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Hoops and Highs: Your Ultimate Guide to Phoenix for the 2024 NCAA Final Four

Welcome to Phoenix, the vibrant heart of Arizona, and the perfect destination for basketball enthusiasts flocking to the 2024 NCAA Final Four and Championship game. While the games will undoubtedly be the main attraction, here’s a comprehensive guide to the top places to explore, ensuring your trip is a slam dunk. Whether you’re a sports fanatic, foodie, nature lover, or someone just looking for a good time, these are for you!

1. Best Rooftop Bar – Don Woods’ Say When
Location: 400 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013
Website: Don Woods’ Say When
This lounge is perched at the top of the ARRIVE hotel and features 270-degree city views to boutique hotel ARRIVE Phoenix. Named after the mid-century Arizona real estate developer Don Woods, the vibe is inspired by the 60s and 70s and offers old-school apps and delicious cocktails.

2. Top Restaurant to See Famous People – Steak 44
Location: 5101 N 44th St, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Website: Steak 44
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of sports stars and celebrities, Steak 44 is the place to be. Known for its upscale steakhouse experience, this establishment is a favorite among high-profile individuals, offering not only mouthwatering steaks but also an A-list ambiance.

3. Best Hotel for Basketball Lovers – The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
Location: 401 W Clarendon Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013
Immerse yourself in basketball fever by staying at The Clarendon. With its basketball-themed suites and proximity to central Phoenix, this boutique hotel caters to the ultimate basketball enthusiast, providing a unique and immersive experience.

4. Best Hiking Trail – Camelback Mountain
Location: Echo Canyon Trailhead, 4925 E McDonald Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85018
For those seeking adventure, Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon Trail offers a challenging hike with breathtaking views of the city. It’s the perfect way to balance the excitement of the games with some outdoor exploration. This trail isn’t for amateurs, so bring plenty of water and pace yourself!

5. Where to See Desert Wildlife – Desert Botanical Garden
Location: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Arizona’s desert flora and fauna at the Desert Botanical Garden. Encounter unique wildlife, including desert birds and critters, in this oasis of nature situated in the heart of the city.

6. Best Dispensary for Unique Arizona Strains – Giving Tree Dispensary
Location: 701 W Union Hills Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85027
Elevate your Phoenix experience with a visit to Giving Tree Dispensary. Known for its exceptional selection of unique Arizona strains, this dispensary provides a curated cannabis experience for enthusiasts looking to explore the local cannabis culture.

7. Where to Shop for Arizona Souvenirs – Old Town Scottsdale
Location: 3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Nestled in the heart of Scottsdale, Old Town stands as a charming and historic district, exuding a unique blend of the past and present. This vibrant area captivates visitors with its adobe architecture, rustic charm, and a wealth of cultural attractions. Old Town Scottsdale is renowned for its eclectic mix of boutiques, art galleries, and specialty shops, making it a shopper’s paradise. Wander through the cobblestone streets, where an array of stores offer everything from Southwestern-inspired jewelry and artwork to authentic Arizona souvenirs, ensuring every visitor leaves with a piece of the region’s rich cultural tapestry.

8. Where to Find the Best Barbeque in Phoenix – Little Miss BBQ
Location: 4301 E University Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85034
Satisfy your barbecue cravings at Little Miss BBQ, renowned for its mouthwatering smoked meats. Indulge in flavors that will leave you coming back for more, making it a must-visit spot for lovers of savory, slow-cooked perfection.

9. Best Nightclub – Maya Day + Nightclub
Location: 7333 E Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Keep the excitement alive after the games at Maya Day + Nightclub. With its pulsating beats, energetic atmosphere, and top-notch DJs, this hotspot guarantees a night of unforgettable dancing and entertainment.

10. Best Shopping – Scottsdale Fashion Square
Location: 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Dive into the ultimate shopping experience at Scottsdale Fashion Square. As Arizona’s largest shopping destination, it boasts a diverse range of stores, ensuring you’ll find everything from high-end fashion to unique local finds.

11. Best Movie Theater – Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square
Location: 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Catch the latest blockbuster in style at Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square. This luxury movie theater offers a premium cinematic experience, making it the perfect escape for film enthusiasts.

12. Best Place to Catch the Sunset – Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park
Location: 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
For a breathtaking sunset view, head to Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park. Climb to the top for a panoramic vista of the city as the sun sets behind the iconic red rocks.

13. Best Place to See Desert Wildlife – Phoenix Zoo
Location: 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Experience the diverse wildlife of Arizona at the Phoenix Zoo. From native species to exotic creatures, this family-friendly destination offers a captivating journey through the animal kingdom.

14. Best Spa for Relaxation – Joya Spa at Montelucia
Location: 4949 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Website: Joya Spa
Indulge in a rejuvenating spa experience at Joya Spa. Amidst the luxurious surroundings of Montelucia Resort, this spa offers a serene retreat, perfect for unwinding after the excitement of the games.

15. Top Cultural Attraction – Heard Museum
Location: 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Immerse yourself in Native American art and culture at the Heard Museum. With a vast collection of exhibits and artifacts, this cultural gem provides a unique perspective on Arizona’s rich heritage.

16. Best Craft Brewery – Four Peaks Brewing Company
Location: 1340 E 8th St, Tempe, AZ 85281
Experience the thriving craft beer scene in Arizona at Four Peaks Brewing Company. Known for its exceptional brews and vibrant atmosphere, it’s a must-visit for beer enthusiasts looking to savor local flavors.

17. Family-Friendly Attraction – Arizona Science Center
Location: 600 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
For a fun and educational experience, bring the family to the Arizona Science Center. Packed with interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, it’s an engaging destination for visitors of all ages.

18. Trendy Neighborhood to Explore – Roosevelt Row
Location: Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Dive into Phoenix’s artistic and vibrant scene by exploring Roosevelt Row. This trendy neighborhood boasts galleries, street art, and unique shops, making it a hotspot for those seeking a dose of local culture.

19. Best Golf Course – TPC Scottsdale
Location: 17020 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Tee off in style at TPC Scottsdale, home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Whether you’re a golf enthusiast or a casual player, this championship course promises a memorable round surrounded by stunning desert landscapes.

BONUS TIP: Best Preroll in Arizona – Sneakers
Location: Find a retailer
If you want great weed at a good price, try Arizona’s fastest growing preroll brand Sneakers. Sneakers uses 100% flower from some of the best cultivators in Arizona – including the boutique indoor cultivator Giving Tree – to create prerolls. Their motto is No Shake. No Sh!t. The best part: the brand is woman-owned by local cannabis queen Lilach Mazor Power.

Image Credit: Kevin Ruck

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