We spent a month in Scottsdale in early 2000. We found the "Valley of the Sun" (Phoenix metro area) to be pretty bland - shopping malls, strip malls, suburbs and condo complexes dominate the landscape. The area we liked best was Tempe. There we found a veggie restaurant, interesting music, used book stores, espresso and such, on Mill Avenue. This is right near Arizona State University, which probably explains why it's so lively.
Thanks to Sara ? and Nancy Ryan for additional information.
We found folk, jazz and original pop music at Beeloe's at the corner of Mill and Fifth. It's below the local Hooter's. In Phoenix, visit the Fiddler's Dream for gritty folk music.
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