If you're looking for nightlife in the Valley of the Sun, you won't have to look hard, but you may have to drive quite a way. Although much of the nightlife scene is centered on downtown Scottsdale, Tempe's Mill Avenue, and downtown Phoenix, you'll find things going on all over.
The weekly Phoenix New Times tends to have the most comprehensive listings for clubs and concert halls. The Thursday edition of the Arizona Republic also lists upcoming events and performances. Another publication to check for abbreviated listings is Where Phoenix/Scottsdale, which is free and can usually be found at hotels and resorts.
Tickets to many concerts, theater performances, and sporting events are available through Ticketmaster (tel. 866/448-7849 or 800/745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com), which has outlets at Fry's Marketplace grocery stores.
The Club & Music Scene
Even if it were not in the middle of the desert, the Scottsdale club scene would be red-hot. Packed into a few dozen blocks surrounding Old Town Scottsdale, near the corner of Camelback and Scottsdale roads, are dozens of trendy dance clubs and chic bars. This is where visiting celebrities, wealthy fashionistas, and wannabes all come to party. The crowd is young, affluent, and attractive, and with all the beautiful people cruising around in Porsches and limousines, it's easy to think you're in L.A. Cruise along Stetson Drive, which is divided into two sections (east and west of Scottsdale Rd.), to find the latest hot spots.
While Scottsdale is the nexus of nightclubbing for the fashion-conscious, the Valley has plenty of clubs and bars for those who don't wear Prada. Other nightlife districts include Tempe's Mill Avenue and downtown Phoenix. This latter area comes into its own after basketball and baseball games and concerts at US Airways Center.
Mill Avenue in Tempe is a good place to wander around in search of your favorite type of music. The bars and clubs here are mostly within walking distance of one another. Because Tempe is a college town, the crowd tends to be young and rowdy.
Downtown Phoenix is home to Symphony Hall, the Herberger Theater Center, and several sports bars. However, much of the action revolves around sports events and concerts at US Airways Center and Chase Field.
As most denizens of any urban nightlife scene know, clubs come and go. To find out what's hot, get a copy of the Phoenix New Times. Many dance clubs in the Phoenix area are open only on weekends, so be sure to check what nights the doors will be open.
Cocktails with a View -- The Valley of the Sun has more than its fair share of spectacular views. Unfortunately, most of them are from expensive restaurants. All these restaurants have lounges, though, where, for the price of a drink (and perhaps valet parking), you can sit back and ogle a crimson sunset and the purple mountains' majesty. Among the best choices are the Terrace Room at Different Pointe of View, at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort; Rustler's Rooste, at the Arizona Grand Resort; and both the cozy outdoors edge and the swanky jade bar, at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.