Travel
The Times' favorite summer vacation photos from readers in 2014
Travel

The Phoenix factor in Arcadia

Dining and DrinkingLifestyle and LeisurePersonal Service

One look at omnipresent Camelback Mountain and you might think the northeast Phoenix neighborhood known as Arcadia is on the outskirts of town where tumbleweeds blow effortlessly. But you'd be wrong — very, very wrong. Arcadia is where you'll find twentysomethings hanging out at recently opened gastropubs, young families walking to nearby parks, mini-malls with pizzerias and dive bars featuring Skee ball and foosball. This might sound like Los Angeles, but one glimpse of a helmet-less biker cruising down Campbell Avenue and you'll know you aren't in California. The tab for this: about $400 for room, meals (but not the gasoline to get here).

The bed

Hotels aren't cheap in the Arcadia area. But a round-trip drive from Los Angeles won't break the bank, so you'll have extra money to spend on a stay at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa (5200 E. Camelback Road; [602] 840-3610. Rooms from about $350 a night.) This 9-acre hotel at the foot of Camelback Mountain features 119 guest rooms, casitas and villas, a Spanish Colonial aesthetic and 20,000 square feet of meeting space. This is the desert, so during the day you'll want to be by the pool (lined with mother-of-pearl tile) or playing croquet. At night you can relax inside a common area complete with a library, fireplace and a bar, which is as close to heaven as you'll find on Earth.

The meal

Are there dive restaurants in Arcadia? If so, Tee Pee Mexican Food is it (4144 E. Indian School Road; [602] 956-0178. No item more than $13.50 The burro — that's what the menu calls it — is about $8). The place has been in operation for about 40 years, so customers sit in the same red pleather booths as did their grandparents, enjoying tacos, tostadas and a soufflé-inspired chile relleno. If you want something a bit more posh, head to Postino Wine Café (3939 E. Campbell Ave.; [602] 852-3939. No item more than $14), where old-school skateboard decks from Duane Peters, Tony Alva and Christian Hosoi serve as wall-hanging art, and an array of bruschetta and panini mixes perfectly with a wine selection that includes local, national and international offerings.

The find

Ask Arcadians about which local hike you should take and they will answer, "Camelback Mountain." This popular trail closed Jan. 28 for renovation, and a re-opening date has not yet been set. Thankfully, these same Arcadians know this and will direct you to 32nd Street and Lincoln Drive, where you'll find the 32nd Street Trailhead. It offers a panoramic view not often found within city limits. The terrain is easy to moderate and includes numerous stops that allow hikers to look down on the vast urban landscape.

The lesson learned

Everything in Arcadia is pretty cool — except the weather.

travel@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Dining and DrinkingLifestyle and LeisurePersonal Service
  • Standoff
    Standoff

    A STANDOFF ESCALATES: A boat carrying a U.S. Navy crew rushes to bring humanitarian aid to the fishing trawler Ching Fong Hwa in November. The trawler had been overtaken by pirates off Somalia, and a Chinese sailor was killed.

  • Bomb detected
    Bomb detected

    BOMB DETECTED: Iron, a German shepherd trained to sniff out explosives, weapons, wires and other threats, and handler Sgt. Joshua T. Rose, right, wait as military explosives experts investigate a bomb that Iron found south of Baghdad.

  • On the job
    On the job

    ON THE JOB: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake T. Soller follows his explosives-sniffing dog, Pluto, in a home being searched for bombs southeast of Baghdad.

  • Viewer Picture by
  • 5-day-old
    5-day-old

    Broward Sheriff firefighter/paramedic Gisela Bass brings a five-day-old newborn to a waiting ambulance Monday night.

  • 9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Philadelphia 76ers, Game 5 NBA Finals, May 14, 1980.
    9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar vs. Philadelphia 76ers, Game 5 NBA Finals, May 14, 1980.

    The setting: With 33 seconds left in a tie game, Abdul-Jabbar scored on a dunk and was fouled by Julius Erving. Abdul-Jabbar made the free throw and the Lakers won, 108-103, at the Forum. The significance: Abdul-Jabbar sprained an ankle late in the third quarter and limped to the locker...

Comments
Loading