The view from Camelback Mountain
The Camelback East Village, also sometimes referred to as East Phoenix or the East Side, is one of the 15 villages that make up Phoenix. It is adjacent to the suburbs Paradise Valley and Scottsdale and sits between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. There are two main areas of activity in the village - 24th St. and Camelback Rd. core and the 44th St. and Van Buren Ave. core.
State Route 51 (also known as the Piestewa Parkway) is the major north/south freeway through the region, running north from Interstate 10 and continuing past Piestewa Peak and on into the more northern regions of the city. The road runs just east of 16th St. in this region.
State Route 202 (also known as the Red Mountain Freeway) is the the major east/west freeway in the region, running just south of McDowell Rd. It begins at the same point as SR 51 where I-10 goes from east/west to north/south, a location referred to as the "mini-stack" (as opposed to Stack interchange where I-10 and I-17 intersect in West Phoenix).
I-10 is the main east/west route into Phoenix, and runs past the airport. It serves effectively as the "extension" of both SR 51 and SR 202, continuing on south past the termination of SR 51 and continuing west past the termination of SR 202.
As with most parts of the Valley, having a car available is virtually a must for seeing the area. South of the mountains the roads are almost universally laid out in a grid format, with numbered streets running north/south and increasing in number as you move east towards the Scottsdale border.
Leaving the area to the north generally means passing through one of two major mountain passes--the Dreamy Draw via State Route 51 or around Camelback Mountain and through the Town of Paradise Valley via 44th St. to MacDonald Dr. and then north along Tatum Blvd. Either route offers some stunning views of urban desert mountain settings.
- Piestewa Peak, 2701 E Squaw Peak Ln or 2421 E Northern Ave, ☎ +1 602 262-7901, . 5AM-10PM (Dreamy Draw Park) 11PM (Phoenix Mountains Park). The other well known mountain in the area (Camelback Mountain being the most well known), the peak was formerly known as "Squaw Peak" prior to being renamed in honor of Army Spc. Lori Ann Piestewa who was the first Native American woman killed in combat in the U.S. Military in 2003. Due to the recent name change visitors will find references to the peak under both names (for instance, the road leading to the park on the south side of the mountain still has the prior name). This mountain, whose summit rises to 2,608 ft (817 m), is much more accessible to visitors than is Camelback Mountain. Picnic areas exist both on the south side of the mountain (Phoenix Mountains Park entrace on Squaw Peak Ln.) and the north side (Dreamy Draw Park, entrance via Northern Ave.).
- Camelback Mountain, (E McDonald Dr at Tatum Blvd), ☎ +1 602 256-3220, . The most recognizable landmark of the area, Camelback Mountain rises to 2,704 ft (824 m) at its summit. It sits between Phoenix to the south and Paradise Valley to the North. The lower areas of the mountain contain some of the most exclusive residences in the Valley, with the upper sections now part of a park. There are very challenging and difficult hiking trails to the summit that are not recommended for any but experienced hikers. As well, parking near the mountain is extremely limited. The mountain consists of red rock, and is in the general shape of a camel's silhouette. A rock formation on the mountain is known as Praying Monk. The park also contains Echo Canyon.
- Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, . 7AM-8PM. 50 acres of exhibits showcasing desert plants, with an emphasis on plants native to the Southwest. Located in Papago Park, near the Phoenix Zoo.
- Arizona Biltmore Hotel, 24th St and Camelback Rd, . Visit this legendary Phoenix landmark built in 1921 and has hosted famous guests such as Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, and the President of the United States when he is in town.
- Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E Telawa Trl, . Take a tour of the amazing architecture and grounds of this historic mansion built by the famous chewing gum magnate.
Winter visitors to the area will generally be looking for outdoor events. The area has a number of resorts with the relevant amenities, such as the Biltmore resort's golf course and the requisite pools and other activities on site. In the summer, due to the extreme heat, virtually everyone tries to avoid begin outside more than necessary.
- Paint on Pottery, 3629 E Indian School Rd (36th St & Indian School Rd), . Tu-Th, Sa 10AM-7PM, F 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-6PM. A place where the kids (and adults for that matter) can paint their own glazed pottery creation. Studio fee $6 plus cost of pottery.
- Arizona Biltmore Golf Course.
- Town & Country Shopping Center, 20th St and Camelback Rd, . Down the street from Biltmore Fashion Square is a mall without a true major anchor tenant, but with a number of smaller shops and less expensive restaurants (including both chains such as Chili's and Black Angus and local restaurants like Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen).
- Biltmore Fashion Park, 24th St and Camelback Rd, . Includes many high-end tenants such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, and Escada; and many highly-acclaimed eateries.
- L'Amore Ristorante, 3159 E Lincoln Dr (In the shopping complex on the SE corner of 32nd St & Lincoln Dr), ☎ +1 602 381-3159, . M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM. Local Italian restaurant located on the border of Phoenix and Paradise Valley, features fresh seafood and home made pasta.
- Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen, 2119 E Camelback Rd (inside Town & Country Center at 20th St & Camelback Rd), ☎ +1 602 955-0011, . M-Sa lunch and dinner. Camelback area local Cajun cuisine restaurant featuring po boys and, in season, crawfish boils on Wednesday nights.
- Chicago Hamburger Company, 3749 E Indian School Rd, . M-Sa 10:30AM-8PM. "Home of the Original Windy City Slider" is the restaurant's slogan, and the small burgers (along with larger fare) are found here. A Chicago themed sandwich shop offering hot dogs, sandwiches and even Frito Pie (according to the menu, a former manager from Texas added it to the menu and they've left it on). This place is more what you would expect of a traditional burger joint than Delux Burger, also listed in this guide. Delux is when you want something more formal, Chicago Hamburger Company is when you want to grab a traditional burger shop-lunch. Budget priced.
- Delux Burger, 3146 E Camelback Rd (In Safeway center on NW corner of 32nd St and Camelback Rd), ☎ +1 602 522-2288, . 11AM-2AM. An upscale burger location, also known for its mini-shopping cart baskets of fries and a wide selection of micro-brews on tap. Has an interesting variety of salads as well as the sandwich fare. A good place when you want to have informal food but not in a totally informal setting. Upper mid-range pricing.
- Donovan's Steakhouse Restaurant, 3101 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 955-3666, . Wine & cocktails at 4PM daily, dinner 5PM. Upscale steakhouse serving high grade steaks with high grade service. Complementary valet parking provided. High end pricing.
- La Grande Orange Grocery, 4410 N 40th St (SW corner of 40th St & Campbell), ☎ +1 602 840-7777, . Su-Th 6:30AM-9PM, F Sa 6:30AM-10PM. Popular neighborhood cafe featuring breakfast, sandwiches and grocery items, as well as pizzeria next door. Parking is often difficult in the area, though valet parking is offered as well as curbside service.
- Phoenix City Grille, 5816 N 16th St, . M-Th 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 10am-9:00pm. Southwestern themed variations on grill fare is offered by this local restaurant.
- TEXAZ Grill, 6003 N 16th St (NE corner of 16th St & Bethany Home Rd), ☎ +1 602 248-STAR, . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-11PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su 4PM-10PM. Originally named "Lone Star Steaks" the restaurant changed its name when a national chain moved to town and wanted to sue. TEXAZ Grill offers reasonably priced steaks and exceptional Texas fare. Specialties are Chicken Fried Steak, choice aged beef and home made desserts. Budget priced.
- Pita Jungle, 4340 E Indian School Rd (44th St & Indian School Rd), ☎ +1 602 955-7482, . 10:30AM-10PM daily. Offers a selection not only of pitas, but also of other Mediterranean inspired meals in a sit down environment. Mid-Range Pricing..
- Tarbell's, 3213 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 955-8100, . M-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Chef Mark Tarbell's namesake restaurant, it features Southwestern themed cuisine and local organic ingredients. Per the website, dress is "resort casual" defined as "everything from denim to diamonds."
- Tee Pee Mexican Food, 4144 E Indian School Rd, ☎ +1 602 956-0178, . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Neighborhood Mexican food restaurant featuring fairly standard Arizona Mexican food fare at reasonable prices.
- Thai Lahna Restaurant, 3738 E Indian School Rd (38th St Shops Center), ☎ +1 602 955-4658. M-Th 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10:30PM, closed Su. East Phoenix neighborhood Thai food restaurant. Budget priced.
- Wildflower Bread Company, 4290 E Indian School Rd (Arcadia Commons Center), ☎ +1 602 850-8585, . M-F 6AM-9PM, Sa 7AM-9PM, Su 7AM-8PM. Arcadia location of restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring a bakery. Lunch menu consists of sandwiches and soups, while pasta is added for dinner. Free wi-fi access and power outlets are available at the location.
- Zen 32, 3160 E Camelback Rd (Safeway center on NW corner of 32nd St & Camelback), ☎ +1 602 954-8700, . M-F 11-2AM, Sa Su 4:30PM-2AM, grill open until 11PM, sushi served until midnight, bar until 2AM. Sushi bar and fusion grille. Lunch and dinner served on weekdays, dinner only on weekends.
- MercBar, 2525 E Camelback Rd (SE corner of 24th St and Camelback), ☎ +1 602 508-9449, . MercBar is a high-end local place with a 'speakeasy' feel to it. It is hidden in the plaza with no sign, but once found it proves to be worth the trouble. Live jazz on Tuesdays.
- Postino Wine Cafe, 3939 E Campbell Ave (Campell is halfway between Indian School Rd and Camelback Ave, with the best access via 40th St from either road), ☎ +1 602 852-3939, . M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM. A wine cafe located in the former Arcadia post office. In addition to wines, the cafe features panninis and salads. The cafe also offers $5 glasses of wine each day until 4pm.
Resorts originally concentrated in this area of Phoenix, and a number of major resorts either are in the area or border on it. The financial district located on Camelback also means that a number of mid-range hotels also exist in the area to serve the business crowd or others that may not wish to pay the resort prices but want to stay in the area.
- Arizona Biltmore Resort, 2400 E Missouri (Enter off 24th St at Missouri), ☎ +1 602 955-660, . checkin: 4PM; checkout: noon. Not only a place to see, it has historically been the place to stay in the area for those not afraid to pay top dollar. The resort features all the expected amenities and services. The resort is located between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain, sitting along the smaller mountains between the two larger peaks. High end resort pricing.
- Courtyard Phoenix Camelback, 2101 E Camelback Rd (located in the Town & Country Center at 20th St and Camelback, to the W of Bookstar and behind the restaurants in the W part of the center parking lot)), ☎ +1 602 955-5200, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: noon. Midrange hotel that is located 1/2 mi from the Biltmore Fashion Park shopping area and Camelback Esplanade, and about a mile from the Arizona Biltmore resort. Midrange hotel.
- Embassy Suites Phoenix - Biltmore, 2630 E Camelback Rd, . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 1PM. Midrange hotel located next door to Biltmore Fashion Park and just south of the Arizona Biltmore Resort. Midrange pricing.
- The Phoenician Resort, 6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, ☎ +1 480-941-8200 (Worldwide) (toll free: 800-888-8234), . Technically in Scottsdale, it's barely across the border and is located on the base of Camelback Mountain. Very full featured resort location right on the mountain for the Valley. High resort pricing.
- Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak, 7677 N 16th St (On 16th St N of Glendale Ave, S of Northern Ave), ☎ +1 602 997-2626, . Major resort located close to Piestewa Peak, this was the original Pointe resort built in the Valley, originally referred to only as The Pointe. With the addition of other Pointe Hilton resorts (at Tapatio Cliffs to the northwest and the former Pointe South Mountain, now the Arizona Grand Resort) the name was changed to Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak--only to recently have the mountain's name itself changed to Piestewa Peak. High Resort pricing.
- Royal Palms Resort and Spa, 5200 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 840-3610, . checkin: 4PM; checkout: noon. Located immediately below Camelback Mountain, the resort offers a spectacular view of the Mountain. High resort pricing.
The Camelback area offers easy access to other areas of the Valley that will be of interest. Immediately to the east is Downtown Scottsdale  (featuring Old Town Scottsdale and the arts area) and the major shopping mall of Scottsdale Fashion Square (follow Camelback Rd into Scottsdale), a complementary mall to Biltmore Fashion Park (mainly upscale stores, though not quite as uniformly high end).