The Hot Sheet | The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ


Home Cooking in Phoenix

There’s something to be said about a meal enjoyed at home. The coziness and warmth of the space, the care that goes into the meal, and the enjoyment of a drink shared with friends on the patio. US Airways Magazine helps you capture that feeling in Phoenix at these urban restaurants located in restored historic homes.

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Dining in Phoenix


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Where to see wildflowers in Phoenix

Saguaro with wildflowers

The desert is in bloom! Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for a beautiful display of color from the desert this spring. Here are the best places in Phoenix to see the desert wildflowers.

South Mountain Park/Preserve
Areas in the preserve with wildflower displays usually include the Bajada, Las Lomitas, Ranger Kiwanic accessible from the Central Avenue entrance. The roadway leading to the Gila Valley overlook (Central Avenue entrance) also offers wildflower growth. Also, look for wildflowers on the north facing slopes in the Pima Canyon and Beverly Canyon (Javalina Trail) entrances of the park.

Sonoran Preserve
Check the north-facing slopes on trails from the Desert Vista Trail trailhead parking area, including areas along the Desert Tortoise and Verde trails, both accessible from the trailhead parking area.

Piestewa Peak Area
Trail 8, the Quartz Ridge Trail – the trailhead is at 40th street south of Shea Boulevard. Several trails with north-facing slopes around Piestewa Peak that are accessible from the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation area are also good spots for wildflower viewing.

Dreamy Draw
Hillsides and washes surrounding Trail 100 out of the Dreamy Draw trailhead at Northern Avenue and Highway 51 often are covered in a wide variety of wildflower blooms.

For more up-to-date information about wildflower blooms around Phoenix visit the Desert Botanical Gardens Wildflower Info site

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Top places to get ice cream in Phoenix

Sweet Republic ice cream

Sweet Republic ice cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Here are the top places to get ice cream in Phoenix.

Pink Spot

Serving more than just ice cream, this locally owned ice cream parlor also serves has breakfast and lunch all day long. Hang out and play a game or ready a book on one of their comfy couches or get some work done while you enjoy your ice cream with their free wi-fi.

Sweet Republic

Sweet Republic has been recognized for their unique artisan ice cream by Sunset Magazine, Bon Appétit, the Food Network and many others. You can try their yummy flavors like Blue Cheese with Medjool Dates, Salted Caramel or Guinness at their original Scottsdale location, in central Phoenix (coming soon) and Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.


This adorable ice cream parlor is located next door to Windsor and serves up many delicious seasonal flavors like Vanilla Lemon and Peanut Butter. Our recommendation is to choose two cookies to go along with your favorite flavor of ice cream to make one delicious ice cream sandwich.


If you have a late night ice cream craving, Melt is the place for you. Open until midnight daily and located just off of Roosevelt Row next door to Jobot Coffee, Melt serves Udder Delights ice cream with flavors like licorice, sour apple, cotton candy and birthday cake.

Mary Coyle

For the classic ice parlor experience look no further than local favorite, Mary Coyle's. With it's pink striped walls and good time tunes, Mary Coyle's serves up your favorite ice cream parlor favorites like chocolate shakes and big-enough-to-share ice cream sundaes.

Udder Delights

This Gilbert ice cream shop is known for it's experimental flavors like potato chip, and red hot banana, but their traditional flavors are plentiful and delicious too. For a special treat, try the chocolate milkshake.


Retro soda shop, MacAlpines has all the retro ice cream treats you can dream of. Malts, shakes, sundaes, ice cream sodas and egg creams are all delicious at this vintage Phoenix spot.

Bertie’s of Arcadia

Half vintage women's clothing store, half soda fountain Bertie's of Arcadia has a fun retro vibe. Make sure to try to try one of their signature shakes like the PB and banana Elvis Presley.

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Filed under: featured, Food & Drink, Nina

Unexpected Phoenix Attractions

Tovrea Castle

Tovrea Castle Photo courtesy of PBS Eight

Who knew you could find water sports, bats, a castle, a Japanese garden and more in the greater Phoenix area? Check out these unexpected attractions that just may surprise you.

Tovrea Castle

Perched atop a cactus-covered hill in east-central Phoenix, Tovrea (pronounced TOE-vree) Castle at Carraro Heights has intrigued generations of Valley residents. The castle and surrounding cactus garden have recently been restored and are currently open for tours.

Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area and Rio Salado Audubon Center

The Rio Salado Audubon Center is a nature center in the heart of the City of Phoenix’s Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, a 600-acre park along the Salt River. Located less than two miles from downtown Phoenix, this unexpected Phoenix attraction is a gateway to a lush riparian habitat used by more than 200 species of birds. Other wildlife you might spot on a visit to the restoration area includes beavers, muskrats, coyotes, jackrabbits, cottontails and javelinas.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden—Ro Ho En—features more than 1,500 tons of handpicked rock, more than 50 varieties of plants, flowing streams, a 12-foot waterfall and a Koi pond. The garden is the product and shared cultural vision of the Sister Cities of Phoenix and Himeji, Japan. This unexpected Phoenix attraction is a great way to spend a sunny day.

Phoenix Bat Cave

Did you know Phoenix has a great urban bat-watching spot? Each summer several thousand Mexican free-tailed bats and western pipistrelle bats use the Maricopa County Flood Control Tunnel near 40th Street and Camelback Road as a day roost.

Papago Park

Papago Park

Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park

Enjoy the beautiful sandstone buttes that define Papago Park and climb to the park’s most popular spot, Hole-in-the-Rock, to enjoy sweeping views of Phoenix.

Watersports on Lake Pleasant

Located about 45 minutes northwest of downtown Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is always bustling with water sports and outdoor enthusiasts. The 10,000-acre lake is enjoyed by windsurfers, boaters, sailors, jet skiers and fisherman.

The Hall of Flame

The Hall of Flame Fire Museum has almost an acre of fire history exhibits with more than 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display dating from 1725 to 1969. The Hall of Flame sponsors the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which honors firefighters who have died in the line of duty or have been decorated for heroism.


Get your auto kicks in Phoenix

Barrett Jackson

Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction

With the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction zooming into town auction fever has caught on in Phoenix. We've rounded up the car auctions and the auto themed attractions where you can get your auto kicks in Phoenix.

Auctions and Events

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction

The Barrett-Jackson car auctions have been selling collector cars in Scottsdale since the 1970s. The auction fun kicks off Jan. 12 and ends Jan. 19.

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The Henry

The Henry

You can’t miss The Henry when you drive by it on Camelback Road. The office building turned restaurant and Fox Restaurant Concepts headquarters is the home to the newest Arcadia/Central Phoenix neighborhood restaurant. The Henry is an American brasserie that serves lunch and dinner during the week and breakfast, lunch and dinner on the weekends. You can also stop by in the early morning to pick up some breakfast, coffee, pastries, and fresh pressed juices from the group’s Juby True brand.

My husband and I stopped into The Henry on an early Sunday evening and found the placed packed as if it were a Saturday night. We were seated inside with a view of Camelback Mountain. When perusing the menu there were several creative non-alcoholic drinks listed like the Chai Lime Ginger Beer and Orange Hibiscus Cooler. There was also an inventive cocktail menu. Looking at the full bar and the lounge seating at The Henry, I made note that it would be the perfect location for a get together and some libations.

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