Catch All the Action for the Big Game in Glendale, Arizona
**This post was written by the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau**
If you’re heading to the Valley of the Sun for Super Bowl XLIX, you will want the scoop on everything to see and do while you’re here. Whether it’s the thrills of the gridiron, the hometown festivals, or the destination dining and unique shopping locales, a day spent in Glendale and the surrounding West Valley area is never enough. We’ve got so much to see and do! Not sure where to begin? Check out the highlights of the region. Fair warning, though—you’re going to want to experience it all.
Glendale is hosting the 2015 Super Bowl, and football is just the tip of the iceberg. This district is a sports lover’s paradise. The home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, Glendale is a place to immerse yourself in non-stop sports action and entertainment year round. Head to the award-winning Gila River Arena to watch the Coyotes face off, or take in the football action at the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Cardinals, the Fiesta Bowl, the 2016 College Football Championship Game, and the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. We also know a thing or two about another favorite pastime; Camelback Ranch-Glendale is the spring training home for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Of course, even a sports fanatic can’t live on Dodger dogs alone. Luckily this district offers more than sports and concessions. Check out blockbuster concerts at Gila River Arena and put Westgate Entertainment District on your must-do (or, should we say, must-eat) list. Westgate is a dynamic mix of restaurants and retail with an inviting open-air style. Chill out on the patio and enjoy the brews at the Yard House or chow down to the sweet grooves of dueling pianos at the unique piano bar-themed Shout House restaurant. Follow it up with a stroll through trendy and fun shops that lead to a $6 million Bellagio-inspired dancing water feature that will get you moving, too.
When you’re ready to sit back and be entertained, you can sink into a comfortable chair to view a feature film on Arizona’s largest Imax screen or take in one of the plaza’s many themed nights under the stars. Need to work up an appetite for dessert? Spend an hour with the latest collection on display at Gallery Glendale, which will feature the “Super Moments, Superstars, Super Game — An Associated Press Photo Exhibit” through February 1 (free admission; hours vary).
Westgate Entertainment District will also be home to a free music event the week leading up to Super Bowl, January 28 to February 1. The Super Music Series will include bands Los Lobos and the Eli Young Band, along with many others.
If you’re a music fan—and who isn’t—you’ll want to check out the DIRECTV Super Fan Festival, a four-day music extravaganza featuring some of the hottest acts in the business: Zac Brown Band, Imagine Dragons, Calvin Harris, Jason Derulo, and more.
You’ll also want to score a few deals while you’re out and about. This area is home to Tanger Outlets Westgate, a collection of more than 90 high-end outlet shops. Spend the day walking through the shaded outdoor center just steps away from the action at the stadium, arena, and the restaurants of Westgate.
Speaking of shopping, the Arrowhead Entertainment District is easily accessed from Loop 101, boasting one of the highest concentrations of restaurants and entertainment venues in the West Valley. Bell Road features an area dubbed “Restaurant Row” on one side and Arrowhead Towne Center, an indoor shopping mall of 170-plus stores, on the other. But shopping and dining aren’t the only draws. This area also features entertainment for all tastes. For the theater-minded, there’s Arizona Broadway Theatre, dubbed “Best of the Valley” by Phoenix Magazine. This dinner theater produces top-rated shows and food, enjoyed in an atmosphere where you can be comfortable in business casual or make a night of it in formal wear.
But here’s the thing: We’ve got more than big-time sports and neon lights. There’s a vintage vibe in Historic Downtown Glendale, which pairs gas lamp-style lighting and brick sidewalks with the buzz of hometown festivals, unique international eateries, and specialty shops. Nationally renowned for that one-of-a-kind shopping experience, Glendale’s downtown is broken into two parts—the storefronts of Old Towne and the bungalow-turned-boutiques of Catlin Court.
A trip to downtown opens up a world of flavors and discovery at today’s hip mom-and-pop style business offerings. From family-run restaurants to small businesses featuring rare fashions, jewelry, art, collectibles, delectable treats, and home accents, Glendale’s downtown shops can easily keep a marathon shopper busy for an entire weekend. One of the stops you’ll want to make is at the Cerreta Candy Company, a family-owned candy factory you can tour and see how your favorite indulgences are made. If your sweet tooth still isn’t satisfied, get a scoop or two of frozen goodness at Papa Ed’s Ice Cream, a Catlin Court parlor that serves up hand-scooped ice cream in a unique Craftsman-style carriage house. Warm your heart with a special furry friend to take home and cherish at Bears & More, a toy-lovers wonderland full of plush animals, puzzles, games, and more. All are within historic downtown, where you can enjoy the relaxing shade of the tree-lined streets and take in the history of Glendale’s Murphy Park. The popular park also happens to be the picturesque setting of many of the city’s famous festivals and events, including the Glendale Chocolate Affaire, taking place Super Bowl weekend (January 30-31) with more than 30 specialty chocolatiers and so much more. This outing could be a great family activity or a decadent date for two. And the best part? Free admission!
Another fun stop just east of downtown Glendale is a must for out-of-towners, especially sports lovers. Max’s Sports Bar was named one of the top five sports bars in the country by USA Today and, in fact, is a certified football museum. So not only does it feature the largest collection of football helmets in the nation, but also the bar offers off track wagering and some great pub fare.
There’s a lot to see and do, but don’t let it overwhelm you. The Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau is ready to help. In addition to our professional staff, there is even a dedicated volunteer group of “Glendale Greeters” that can offer an insider’s perspective about what the locals most enjoy about the area. We know there’s a lot to experience, and we don’t want you to miss out on a thing. Let us help put your perfect itinerary together. Contact the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau, home of the Glendale Visitor Center, at (877) 800-2601 or check us out online.