We’re doing something a little unconventional with A to Z today. While Rachel of Another Station Another Mile is currently hanging out at the University of Sussex in the UK, she was born and raised in Tucson, AZ, went to ASU. In Tempe, she worked at the ASU Gammage Theater for 4 years and at the AZ Game and Fish Department in Tucson, so let’s just say she has the street cred to be part of the series!
Let’s meet Rachel!
 Favorite thing about the Phoenix area.
The sunsets and mountains. While living in the UK with its rolling hills is a nice change of scenery, AZ landscape is something you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
 Least favorite thing about the Phoenix area.
Most everyone would say the heat and of course, it’s awful, but I also dislike how far everything is! It’s near impossible to get around without a car and even if you do have one, Phoenix and Tucson are so massive. My commute to work was 45 minutes one way and that’s pretty common I find. I’ve been privileged in being allowed to use my parents’ car whenever I came home from college to meet up with friends, but even simple things such as food shops and haircuts require an Uber.
 What differentiates your area of the Valley of the Sun from all the other parts?
Tempe is packed full of students and is an ever-changing landscape to suit their numbers and interests. It’s amazing to see how much it changed just in the four years I went to ASU.
 Favorite coffee spot in the Phoenix area.
Not a massive coffee drinker, but I love the ambiance of Cartel with locations in both Tucson and Phoenix.
 Favorite spot for drinks in the Phoenix area.
In Phoenix, I love Low Key Piano bar on Mill Ave. Fun, unique drinks with music everyone will love!
 Favorite local hangout in the Phoenix area.
My favorite hangout spot in Phoenix is the Tempe Beach Park/ Tempe Butte on a cool evening. The butte is easier to surmount than people think, taking less than half an hour to the top. I absolutely love watching planes fly close overhead, over Tempe Town Lake and touch down on the runway.
The grass of the park keeps it especially cool at night and it’s the perfect way to get away from the hustle of Mill Ave. My favorite place to hang out in Tucson is 4th Ave. and a few blocks of “true downtown” on the south end of the street (Rialto Theater, Hotel Congress, etc.). That’s where all the action happens, even if it’s filled with scummy U of A students 😉
 Favorite breakfast spot in the Phoenix area.
Grumpy’s in Tucson (Ina and Shannon) or Cracker Barrel. I always had a fun little rule for work that if I have to leave before 6:30 AM, I would treat myself to Bruegger’s on the way!
 Favorite lunch spot in the Phoenix area.
My favorite restaurant of all time is Ike’s, a humble sandwich place on Mill Ave. in Tempe. It has literally hundreds of sandwiches, but of course, I get the same thing every time because it’s so darn good.
 Favorite dinner spot in the Phoenix area.
Lindy’s in Tucson is absolutely legendary for their unique burgers. I’m so glad they recently upgraded to a larger restaurant to suit the overwhelming demand. Saffron is an honorable mention. In Tempe, I love Mellow Mushroom and The Dhaba (Apache and McClintock).
 One thing you always do/spot you always take friends from out of town to do/see.
In Phoenix, I always give them a tour of ASU campus and take them to my favorite restaurants and hangout spots mentioned with maybe a trip to the Grand Canyon since it’s relatively close. In Tucson, I take them for hikes (I live quite close to Catalina State Park and it’s a nice, easy hike on the Canyon Loop Trail), trip to The Desert Museum and flex my local wildlife knowledge and take them to my favorite restaurants and spots.
 How do you like to beat the heat?
Swim with my Border Collie mix, Bailey! He absolutely loves the pool and he knows what’s about to happen when I come downstairs in my bathing suit. It’s great exercise for the both of us. And I also enjoy early morning hikes with my friends. Also water… tons and tons of water.
Like it? PIN it!