Revision as of 18:20, 18 December 2009
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, Arizona, United States. 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 Street and Camelback Road core and the 44th Street and Van Buren Avenue core.
Sky Harbor International Airport  is located on the southern edge of this portion of Phoenix, making it by the far the most convenient way into the area for travelers from out of town.
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 Street 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 Road. It begins at the same point as State Route 51 where Interstate 10 goes from east/west to north/south, a location referred to as the "mini-stack" (as opposed to Stack interchange where Interstate 10 and Interstate 17 intersect in West Phoenix).
Interstate 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 Street to MacDonald Drive and then north along Tatum Boulevard. Either route offers some stunning views of urban desert mountain settings.
- Piestewa Peak, 2701 E. Squaw Peak Ln. or 2421 E.Northern Ave., ☎ (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 feet, 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 Lane) and the north side (Dreamy Draw Park, entrance via Northern Avenue).
- Camelback Mountain, (East McDonald Drive at Tatum Boulevard), ☎ (602) 256-3220, . The most recognizable landmark of the area, Camelback Mountain rises to 2,704 feet 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 Parkway, . 7am-8pm. 50 acres of exhibits showcasing desert plants, with an emphasis on plants native to the Southwestern United States. 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 East Telawa Trail, . Take a tour of the amazing architecture and grounds of this historic mansion built by the famous chewing gum magnate.
Winter vistors 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 Road (36th Street & Indian School Road), . Tue-Thur 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-10pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 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.
- Town & Country Shopping Center, 20th Street and Camelback Road, . 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.
- Donovan's Steakhouse Restaurant, 3101 East Camelback Road, ☎ (602) 955-3666, . Daily - Wine & Cocktails at 4pm, Dinner service beginning at 5pm. Upscale steakhouse serving high grade steaks with high grade service. Complementary valet parking provided. High end pricing.
- Zen 32, 3160 East Camelback Road (Safeway center on northwest corner of 32nd Street & Camelback), ☎ (602) 954-8700, . M-F 11-2am, Sat-Sun 4:30pm-2am, Grill open until 11pm, Sushi served until Midnight, Zen Bar open until 2am. Sushi bar and fusion grille. Lunch and dinner served on weekdays, dinner only on weekends.
- 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 Street (Northeast corner of 16th Street & Bethany Home Road), ☎ (602) 248-STAR, . M-Th 11am-10pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 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.
- Chicago Hamburger Company, 3749 E. Indian School Road, . M-Sat 10:30a-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..
- Pita Jungle, 4340 E. Indian School Rd. (44th Street & Indian School Road), ☎ (602) 955-7482, . Daily 10:30am-10pm. Offers a selection not only of pitas, but also of other Mediterranean inspired meals in a sit down environment. Mid-Range Pricing..
- La Grande Orange Grocery, 4410 N. 40th Street (southwest corner of 40th Street & Campbell), ☎ (602) 840-7777, . Sun-Thu 6:30am-9pm, Fri-Sat 6:30a - 10p. 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.
- Thai Lahna Restaurant, 3738 E Indian School Rd (38th Street Shops Center), ☎ (602) 955-4658. Mon-Th 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm, F-Sat 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-10:30pm, Closed Sunday. East Phoenix neighborhood Thai food restaurant. Budget priced.
- Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen, 2119 East Camelback Rd (inside Town & Country Center at 20th Street & Camelback Road), ☎ (602) 955-0011, . M-Sat lunch and dinner. Camelback area local cajun cuisine restaurant featuring po boys and, in season, crawfish boils on Wednesday nights.
- Tee Pee Mexican Food, 4144 East Indian School Road, ☎ (602) 956-0178, . M-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm. Neighborhood Mexican food restaurant featuring fairly standard Arizona Mexican food fare at reasonable prices.
- Wildflower Bread Company, 4290 East Indian School Road (Arcadia Commons Center), ☎ (602) 850-8585, . M-F 6am-9pm, Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 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.
- Delux Burger, 3146 E. Camelback Road (In Safeway center on northwest corner of 32nd Street and Camelback Road), ☎ (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..
- L'Amore Ristorante, 3159 East Lincoln Drive (In the shopping complex on the southeast corner of 32nd Street & Lincoln Drive), ☎ (602) 381-3159, . M-F 11am-10pm, Sat 4pm-10pm. Local italian restuarant located on the border of Phoenix and Paradise Valley, features fresh seafood and home made pasta.
- Tarbell's, 3213 East Camelback Road, ☎ 602.955.8100, . M-Sat 5pm-10pm, Sun 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."
- Postino Wine Cafe, 3939 E. Campbell Avenue (Campell is halfway between Indian School Road and Camelback Avenue, with the best access via 40th Street from either road), ☎ (602) 852-3939, . Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 12noon-10p. 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.
- MercBar, 2525 E Camelback Road (Southeast corner of 24th Street and Camelback), ☎ (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.
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 Street at Missouri), ☎ (602) 955-660, . checkin: 4pm; checkout: 12noon. 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 East Camelback Road (located in the Town & Country Center at 20th Street and Camelback, to the west of Bookstar and behind the restaurants in the west part of the center parking lot)), ☎ (602) 955-5200, . checkin: 3:00pm; checkout: 12:00noon. Midrange hotel that is located 1/2 mile 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 East Camelback Road, . checkin: 3:00pm; checkout: 1:00pm. 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 Road, Scottsdale, ☎ 800-888-8234 (US) 480-941-8200 (Worldwide), . 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 North 16th Street (On 16th Street north of Glendale Avenue, south of Northern Avenue), ☎ (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 East Camelback Road, ☎ (602) 840-3610, . checkin: 4pm; checkout: 12noon. Located immediately below Camelback Mountain on Camelback Road, the resort offers a spectactular 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 Scottdale  (featuring Old Town Scottsdale and the arts area) and the major shopping mall of Scottsdale Fashion Square (follow Camelback Road into Scottsdale), a complementary mall to Biltmore Fashion Park (mainly upscale stores, though not quite as uniformly high end). Downtown Phoenix to the south includes professional sports from the Arizona Diamondbacks  at Chase Field and the Phoenix Suns  at the US Airways Center (the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes play at locations in Glendale, significantly further away from the Camelback area, but still a reasonable driving distance). Downtown Phoenix also is home to a number of performing arts locations, including Phoenix Theatre  which is host to the local community theatre, Herberger Theatre Center , a local facility featuring professional theatre and the Dodge Theatre  which tends to host touring national shows and performers. Tempe to the southeast is home of Arizona State University , which also includes Grady Gammage Auditorium  that, like the Dodge Theatre, hosts national touring professionals and shows. Directly north of the area, beyond the mountains, is the very affluent Town of Paradise Valley , a much smaller area that the general region that is now referred to as Paradise Valley (generally the area of Phoenix itself that is north of the Town of Paradise Valley).