Embassy Suites Phoenix-Scottsdale. Yes, it's your basic chain hotel, but it stands near the convergence of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Family friendly, with a big pool too. Rates range from $89 in summer to $249 a night. 4415 E. Paradise Village Parkway S., Phoenix; (602) 765-5800.
Barrio Café. Outside, colorful murals. Inside: top-flight food. This restaurant is big with the power-lunch crowd. Try the azul filete — a $28 journey to nirvana. 2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix; (602) 636-0240. Dinner main dishes, $20-$28.
Matt's Big Breakfast. This red-brick restaurant is tiny, with a kitchen the size of a Mini Cooper, but the meals are big, greasy and tasty. Breakfast entrees $4 to $6.50. 801 N. 1st St., Phoenix; (602) 254-1074, http://www.mattsbigbreakfast.com.
St. Francis. For forward-looking dining, locals head to this family-owned restaurant in central Phoenix, for interesting takes on salmon, grouper, calamari and chops. 111. E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; (602) 200-8111, http://www.stfrancisaz.com.
Pizzeria Bianco. Waits can reach three hours at the deep-dish haven downtown. Avoid the long lines with a Tuesday dinner or a late lunch. Most popular pizza: the margherita. 623 E. Adams St., Phoenix; (602) 258-8300; pizzeriabianco.com. Open Tuesdays-Saturdays. CE
Alice Cooperstown. Local resident Alice Cooper owns a sports bar filled with baseball and music memorabilia, in the shadow of where the Suns and Diamondacks play. 101 E. Jackson, Phoenix; (602) 253-7337, http://www.alicecooperstown.com.
Musical Instrument Museum. The piano John Lennon used to compose "Imagine" is on display at this stunning yet off-the-radar museum. 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix; (480) 478-6000, themim.org.
Phoenix Art Museum. The stylish, two-story museum has much to offer art lovers, with air-conditioned rooms adorned with works by Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Georgia O'Keeffe and Claude Monet. 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; (602) 257-1222, http://www.phxart.org.
Heard Museum. Joining a tour here is like walking into a high school history lesson on Native Americans, enhanced by some of the world's best visual aids. Colorful kastina (also called kachina) dolls, sand-cast silverware, hand-woven wedding shawls, water jugs and red-clay pottery line the glass cases. 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; (602) 252-8840, http://www.heard.org.
South Mountain Park/Preserve. Hike to the summit on Holbert Trail and you will be serenaded by red-tailed hawks, accompanied by curious jack rabbits and shaded by bushy small-leafed Palo Brea trees. Along the way, examine 600-year-old Hohokam pictographs etched into massive flat, black rocks. 10919 S. Central Ave., Phoenix; (602) 495-0222 or (602) 534-6324, http://www.phoenix.gov/ PARKS/southmnt.html.
Spring training tix. Games in the Phoenix-based Cactus League begin March 2 and run through April 3; tickets.com, or Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000.
Boulders Resort. Set amid breathtaking rock formations just north of Scottsdale, this is where Fred Flintstone would stay if he won the lottery. 34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree; (888) 579-2631, http://www.theboulders.com.
Sanctuary at Camelback. This serene boutique resort on the edge of a mountain offers world-class amenities in a setting you'll never forget. 5700 McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley; (800) 245-2051, http://www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com.
Hotel Valley Ho. Call it Rat Pack redux. About seven years ago, this 1956 hotel was retooled to the tune of $80 million, and the result is a bold mid-centurion with a big, groovy pool. Standard rooms start at $259 in high season and drop to $99 in summer. 6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale; (480) 248-2000, http://www.hotelvalleyho.com.
Don & Charlie's. One the hottest spring training hangouts for Angels fans who frequent neighboring Tempe Diablo Stadium, this retro rib joint features memorabilia on the walls. Ballplayer sightings are frequent. 7501 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale; (480) 990-0900, http://www.donandcharlies.com. Entrees from $10.95.
Greasewood Flat. Just when you think the entire Phoenix area was built this morning, you stumble upon this bleached-out Old West hangout: food and music in a bunkhouse setting. 27375 N. Alma School Parkway, Scottsdale; (480) 585-9430, greasewoodflat.net.
Golf. Arizona reportedly has more golf courses than Scotland. Scottsdale is the hotbed. TPC Scottsdale, site of the Phoenix Open, is the signature course. 17020 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale; (888) 400-4001, http://www.tpc.com/tpc-scottsdale. Pssst, also try Troon North Golf Club, 10320 E. Dynamite Blvd., Scottsdale; (480) 585-5300, http://www.troonnorthgolf.com.
Cactus League. Scottsdale is holding its inaugural Spring Training Festival, Feb. 25 and 26, featuring rare film clips, symposiums and autograph sessions with ex-players. http://www.springtrainingfestival.com.