Glittering department stores and boutiques display the latest in fashion. Or you can visit rustic, porch-fronted shops and be outfitted in Western duds from boots to bolo ties. Western and Native American art make distinctive gifts. Anglo and Hispanic artists recall the frontier days in painting and sculpture, while Native American artists reveal their heritage in arts and crafts. Mexican import shops represent skilled craftspeople from south of the border.
Old Town Scottsdale
Arts, crafts, clothing, and restaurants—many with an Old West theme—abound in the area centered around Main Street just west of Scottsdale's Civic Center Mall. You'll also find an outlet for Arizona Highways, whose publications feature beautiful photography and excellent writing, at 7235 E. 1st Avenue. Many galleries open Thursday evenings for the Scottsdale ArtWalk, which presents exhibitions, demonstrations, and entertainment 7-9 p.m. year-round, www.scottsdalegalleries.com.
Scottsdale Trolley (480/421-1004, www.scottsdaletrolley.com) provides a free service connecting Old Town Scottsdale with nearby Marshall Way, Fifth Avenue, Galleria Corporate Center, and Scottsdale Fashion Square; services run daily except Sunday from mid-November to the end of May. You can park for free at many downtown locations.
Fifth Avenue Shops and Marshall Way Arts District
Shops and galleries here, several blocks north of Old Town Scottsdale, feature diverse offerings, including contemporary, Western, and Native American art. Fifth Avenue Shops begin just west of Scottsdale Road. Marshall Way Arts District extends two blocks south from Fifth Avenue.
This elegant shopping center (6166 N. Scottsdale Rd., two miles north of Old Town Scottsdale, 480/998-1822) is modeled after the Tuscan village of San Gimignano, complete with cobblestone paths, courtyards, and medieval towers and archways.
Glendale—Arizona's Antique-Shopping Capital"
Glendale, the fourth largest city in Arizona, lies northwest of downtown Phoenix; take I-17 Glendale Exit 205 and go west five miles or head northwest on Grand Avenue/US 60. For information on sights, shopping, and events, drop by the centrally located Glendale Visitor Center (5800 W. Glenn Dr., Suite 140, 623/930-4500 or 877/800-2601, www.visitglendale.com, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat.); it's one block north on 58th Avenue from Glendale Avenue. There's lots of free parking.
Downtown Glendale's Old Towne Shopping District, centered on Glendale and 58th Avenues, offers a host of antique stores and other specialty shops. Murphy Park here hosts a Saturday crafts market 9 a.m.-4 p.m. from November to mid-April. The Historic Catlin Court Shops hold more treasures for shoppers just two blocks north. Visitors with a sweet tooth won't want to miss Cerreta Candy Company (5345 W. Glendale Ave., 623/930-9000, www.cerreta.com, closed Sun.).
Other Shopping Malls
Metrocenter (exit west at Dunlap or Peoria Aves. from I-17 in north Phoenix, 602/997-2641) is big—five major department stores, more than 200 specialty shops and eateries, and a 14-screen movie theater; you'll find hotels, restaurants, an amusement park, and two movie theaters nearby. At Biltmore Fashion Park (Camelback Rd. and 24th St. in Phoenix, 602/955-8400, www.shopbiltmore.com), Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue anchor a shopping experience with more than 60 other shops and restaurants.
Scottsdale Fashion Square (7014 E. Camelback Rd. at Scottsdale Rd., 480/941-2140) has four major department stores, about 150 specialty stores, a food court, five full-service restaurants, and two cinemas. El Pedregal Festival Marketplace at the Boulders (34505 N. Scottsdale Rd., 480/488-1072, www.elpedregal.com) features boutique shopping in a Moroccan festival-style marketplace with 35 restaurants, galleries, and shops. Two miles north of el Pedregal in Carefree, shops in Spanish Village (Tom Darlington Dr. and Cave Creek Rd., 480/488-0350) offer Western and Native American art and crafts in a relaxed atmosphere. Superstition Springs Center (6555 E. Southern Ave. in Mesa, 480/396-2570) has five department stores, over 120 specialty stores, an eight-screen cinema, and a 36-horse carousel.
Arizona Mills (480/491-7300, www.simon.com/mall/arizona-mills) brings "Shoppertainment" to the Valley with many factory and specialty shops, a 24-screen theater, Imax theater, games arcade, and a food court. Two information desks offer Arizona tourist literature as well as a map of Arizona Mills. It's in Tempe at the southeast corner of the Superstition Freeway (US 60) and I-10; head east from I-10 on Baseline Road or south from the Superstition Freeway on Priest Drive.
North of the Valley, Outlets at New River (4250 W. Anthem Way, 623/465-9500) sells many big-name brands at bargain prices in more than 80 stores, and there's a food court. Head 15 miles north of Bell Road on I-17 to Anthem Way Exit 229.
REI offers two co-op stores in the Valley. Both stock an excellent selection of gear for hiking, backpacking, bicycling, river-running, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and other sports; rentals are available too. Experts give regular free presentations on outdoor adventures and skills; call or check www.rei.com for the schedules. Optional lifetime memberships, available for a small fee, pay dividends of about 10 percent of all purchases at the end of each year. The Tempe REI (1405 W. Southern Ave., 480/967-5494) is across from the Neils Peterson house. In Paradise Valley, REI (12634 N. Paradise Village Pkwy. W., 602/996-5400) lies one long block north of Cactus Rd., across the street from Paradise Valley Mall. Arizona Hiking Shack (11649 N. Cave Creek Rd., a quarter mile south of Cactus Road in north Phoenix, 602/944-7723) also has a fine array of outdoor gear and rentals.
Native American Music
Drumbeat Indian Arts (4143 N. 16th St. in Phoenix, 602/266-4823) stocks hundreds of different Native American music titles from many American tribes.
Books and Maps
The Book Store (4230 N. 7th Ave., 602/279-3910) has many used books and one of the best selections of magazines in the state. Bent Cover Bookstore (12428 N. 28th Dr., one block west of I-17, just north of the Cactus Rd. Exit, 602/942-3778) offers used hardbacks and paperbacks. Arizona Book Gallery (4717 E. Indian School Rd., 602/263-8353) stocks a large selection of used books.
Guidon Books (7117 Main St., 480/945-8811) in Old Town Scottsdale specializes in Western Americana with both new and out-of-print books. Changing Hands (6428 S. McClintock Dr. #101 on the southwest corner with Guadalupe, 480/730-0205, www.changinghands.com) in Tempe hosts events and carries a large selection of new and used books. Book Gallery (50 W. Main St., 480/835-0757) in downtown Mesa has a great selection of books on art, music, philosophy, and Latin America, as well as fiction. Bookmans (8034 N. 19th Ave., northern Phoenix, 602/433-0255 and at 1056 S. Country Club Dr., Mesa, 480/835-0505, www.bookmans.com) are large stores that offer used books and all manner of media along with free wireless Internet.
For maps of Arizona and the world along with regional and international travel books, drop by A Wide World of Maps (in Phoenix at 2626 W. Indian School Rd., 602/279-2323 and in Mesa at 1444 W. Southern Ave., 480/844-1134 or 800/279-7654, www.maps4u.com).
On to Valley of the Sun Sports