Richard White, June 20, 2014
One of the things that has discouraged us from visiting Phoenix is that we thought you had to have a car to explore the city. First off, we are thrifty so adding hundreds of dollars per week to a vacation is something we avoid. Second, we love to walk and take transit when we travel as it allows us to to see more and experience the city more like a local. (Blog: Everyday Tourist Transit Tales)
But our recent stay at the Red Lion Inn and Suites in Tempe (RLIST) proved us wrong - in fact you don’t need a car to explore Phoenix’s many attractions. “How could that be you ask?”
Red Lion provides an airport shuttle service that will pick you up at the airport and take you back. And, while you are staying there, two vans are available to take guests to anywhere within a five-mile radius. What a great amenity!
Five Mile Zone
Within the five-mile zone of RLIST, you can get dropped off and picked up at the following places:
- Arizona State University campus (a great place to explore and during football season, you have easy access to college football games.
- ASU Karsten, Pagao, Rolling Hills, Rio and Coronade golf courses
- Old Town Scottsdale (where you can shop ‘til you drop).
- Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix Zoo, Tempe Beach Park
- Tempe Marketplace and Tempe Mill Avenue District
- Gammage Memorial Auditorium, the last commission of Frank Lloyd Wright.
- Downtown Tempe where you can catch the LRT train to downtown Phoenix giving you access to baseball and basketball games and the Science Center. Or, stay on the train to Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Art Museum (great gift shop and restaurant) and the hipster Melrose district.
- During spring training you can get dropped off at the Cubs’ Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, the A’s Phoenix Municipal Stadium and the Giant’s Scottsdale Stadium.
- Popular festivals include: Arizona Renaissance Festival, Great Arizona Beer Festival, Scottsdale Culinary Festival and Tempe Festival of the Arts.
RLIST in its former life was an apartment complex, making the suites more like comfortable, and one-bedroom apartments. With Food City within walking distance, you can easily walk to shop for ingredients to make dinner or lunch. (Note: the hotel provides a complimentary hearty breakfast).
The lobby, with its soft seating has a café-like atmosphere for those who want to read or take their laptop to do some work or surf the net.
The Inn also has an attractive outdoor pool area if you want to relax poolside or enjoy a refreshing swim. There’s even BBQs so you can grill up your favourite food to enjoy poolside just like home.
And for golfers who want to work on their putting, they have a carpeted putting green.
If you need a car for a day or two to travel further afield, the shuttle can also drop you off at several car rental offices within the five-mile zone. We’d recommend checking out the Frank Lloyd Wright campus and the Musical Instruments Museum if you decide to rent a car.
The advantage of the RLIST shuttle for couples is that you can go off in different directions in the morning and meet up later for your own poolside Happy Hour chat to share stories.
We are definitely rethinking Phoenix as a potential winter getaway next year.
P.S. If you do have a car, RLIST has great free parking that makes it easy to drive to some activities and take the shuttle to others (perhaps you want to enjoy an adult beverage or two).