Every week Phoenicians and visitors come together for one night to experience the city with Meet Me Downtown Phoenix.
With a rumor running through the halls of ASU's Taylor Place dorm that there is nothing to do, this event consistently allows students, workers and tourists to meet and greet, soak up some rays and take in some local culture while exploring the city through a preset route. The trip is about 3.3 miles, shown through a handy dandy map given to participants at the start of the tour.
If it doesn't sound cool yet, here is a step-by-step walk through of all the stops. Lace up your shoes or mount your bikes and hit the pavement!
Stop 1: Cityscape/The Corner
For anyone participating in Meet Me Downtown Phoenix, your trek begins here. Inside local restaurant The Corner participants can sign in for the event. You can get your hand stamped here, and many local Phoenix businesses offer discounts to those with stamps. At the end of the night return here for the closing ceremonies, including raffles to win prizes such as free Arizona Diamondbacks and symphony hall tickets.
Interlude: The Bug Sculptures
On your way to the next location on our list, be sure to take a gander at these odd little brass statues along the way. Wonderful details adorn these critters from goofy grins to little people crushed underneath their feet.
Stop 2: Heritage and Science Park
While the museum that lends the “ science” to Science Park is closed during the time of the event, the Heritage Square area is still a perfect opportunity to take in some wonderful architecture. Several restaurants line the area, if someone is craving Italian or Japanese, although the restaurants tend to err on the pricier side of things.
Interlude: ASU Mercado Buildings
Although the guide map for Meet Me Downtown Phoenix goes around this chunk of the ASU Downtown Campus, there's a great opportunity to cut through campus and take a shortcut to the next leg of the walk. Some nice shaded areas and Spanish-inspired architecture make this a great option for those who want some slightly different scenery along the way.
Stop 3: U of A/Phoenix Biomedical Campus
More of a scenery piece than an actual location on the tour, en route to the fourth spot on our walk, be sure to take in the gorgeous architecture of the Biomedical Campus.
Stop 4: Arizona Center
A centerpiece of downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Center has both scenery and practicality. Catch some rays by the fountains, grab some food at one of the local restaurants or see a movie at the AMC theater when the walk is over later in the night.
Stop 5: Taylor Place
For ASU students, this stop may be one to shuffle past unless you're looking to relive flashbacks to freshman year where you learned toilet paper is expensive (and your mom's cooking isn't as bad as you thought).
Interlude: Phoenix Children Theater Mural
To the right as one follows the route to our next stop is a fantastic mural with cultural undertones and a message about the importance of water on the backside of the Phoenix Children’s theater.
Stop 6: Roosevelt Row
The de facto art district of downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt Row has a lot to offer. From ice cream shops such as Melt, to places where one can stop and try some local classics at places like Short Leash Hotdogs and Carly’s Bistro, there’s plenty of places to whet both the appetite and the creative mind.
Stop 7: Burton Barr Central Library
A large library just off of the main route, Burton Barr offers four floors packed with plenty of books and opportunities for education and entertainment. On other days, the library offers tours of its rare book vault and various cyber literacy classes.
Stop 8: Margaret T. Hance Park
This massive park covers several blocks of Phoenix landscape. Offering plenty of areas for exercise and relaxation on cooler spring days, Hance Park is known for its variety of festivals, from an Oktoberfest in the fall to the Phoenix Lights Music Festival in Spring.
Interlude: The Irish Cultural Center
You can’t miss this landmark on the walk. A large castle overlooking Hance Park, The Irish Cultural Center hosts a variety of classes about everything from Irish dancing to traditional instruments.
Stop 9: Civic Space Park
The final stop on the walk before returning to the Corner and CityScape, Civic Space Park is best known for the Janet Echelman sculpture, “Her Secret is Patience,” which lights up after the sun goes down.
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