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PHX Insider: Grand Avenue

March is a beautiful time in Phoenix, and not just because of the sunny skies and warm weather. This month features a ton of art and music festivals to celebrate the up and coming culture of the city. This weekend is Art Detour on Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue, where it is called the DeTour de Grand.

It features open studios and pop-up galleries on the streets to showcase the work local artists are doing. Since the hostel is close by to the art galleries and small businesses of Grand Ave, we decided to share a list of our favorite hang out spots there.    

The Shops at Third Space

This collection of local businesses at the corner of Grand and 11th Ave has it all -- breakfast, lunch, dinner, alcohol, coffee roasted on-site, live music, an art gallery, a tattoo parlor, a barber shop, and even an eyeglass repair shop. And all with a weird-in-a-good-way vibe. The cute little cottage style buildings that surround the communal rustic patio area actually use to be part of an internment camp during World War II. While that's a pretty heavy thought, seeing how it has been transformed into a vibrant and welcoming community hang out spot really makes you appreciate what art and good people can do for a place. 

Just a short walk or even shorter bike ride from the hostel, the shops at Third Space are the perfect place for an afternoon sipping espresso on the patio with new friends or catching up on work on your laptop in the sunshine. All the business owners are super down to earth and great to chat with about the arts scene in Phoenix. And at night, it's a great place to grab drinks and enjoy some local musicians. 

Bragg's Factory Diner

Located in a strip of art galleries and studios across from Third Space, this small cafe is big on charm. Bragg's bakes fresh vegan dessert pies everyday -- everything from Fireball Whiskey Apple Pie to Cherry Cheesecake -- and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner pies as well. The cafe has a small town rural feel with its collection of old Arizona road maps, classic candies, and standard diner fare. Pie slices are about $3 - $5 each and the flavor options are endless.  

Bikini Lounge 

You probably think Tuesdays are just another boring weekday where there's nothing fun to do after dinner time, huh? Not in Phoenix! Just down the street from the hostel is a wonderful little tiki bar called Bikini Lounge, which hosts a free, funky dance party every Tuesday. Featuring a DJ spinning old vinyl records ranging from funk to cumbia and a cash bar with cheap well drinks and pitchers, it's arguably one of the best nights out in the area.

The party starts just after 10 pm on Tuesdays and gets pretty packed by 11 pm. Oh, and those late night munchies you'll get after a couple hours of dancing? Bikini's has you covered there too with a street food cart set up just outside the entrance serving Navajo fry bread smothered in your choice of either veggies and beans or powdered sugar.

The Winnie

If all your busy traveler activities are starting to take a toll on your mind and body, it's time for a relaxing yoga session at The Winnie. Right next door to Bikini, this dance studio offers $5 beginner and intermediate yoga classes. Sessions run on Saturdays at 10 am, Sundays at 11:30 am, and Mondays through Wednesdays at 6 pm.

(Brought to you by Ally Thibault)