Out of Office: Tips for Work Trips in Phoenix 

One of Arizona’s top entrepreneurs shares the inside scoop on working—and living well—in Phoenix


Camelback Mountain, a quick 20-minute drive from downtown Phoenix, came by its name honestly. Resembling the hump and head of a kneeling camel, this natural beauty rewards its hikers with jaw-dropping views from the summit, plus glimpses of native species like the desert tortoise and cottontail rabbit.


If you’re in Phoenix on a business trip, stay with us. If you fall in love with the desert while you’re here and decide to stick around, consider giving Evan Boxwell a call. He’s the owner of Boxwell Southwest, a Phoenix-based home building and remodeling company with a portfolio full of “I-wish-I-lived-there” spaces. (The company’s focus on modern projects in historic neighborhoods helped land Boxwell on The Arizona Republic’s list of the top 35 entrepreneurs under 35.)

Boxwell knows this town—and definitely knows how to think outside the box. So, we were thrilled he was willing to share his tips on what to do in Phoenix to mix work and play.

Mountains topped with soft, pillow-like snow—perfect for beginner or pro skiers

You’re only working a half day today. How do you spend the rest of it?

I would sneak out early and play some golf with a few buddies. Or, if it’s a Friday, maybe take the family to Flagstaff for an impromptu ski vacation, depending on the time of year.

You have three meals—and only three—to get a taste of Phoenix. Where do you go for breakfast, a quick lunch and dinner?

Dick’s Hideaway for breakfast. Best carne adovada in town. Throw it on eggs, and it’s a game changer. Lunch: Otro Cafe for the carne asada burrito or the cortado salad with carne asada on top. Best carne asada in town. Dinner’s tough. If we’re in the mood to celebrate, we like to go to Durant’s in midtown Phoenix, eat in the bar, order a dirty martini, and the Delmonico steak. For pizza: Pomo, hands down the best crust.

“Beignet tree for dessert if I really want to impress. ”

- Evan Boxwell

You want to impress a new client, boss or colleague. Where do you meet him or her?

Steak 44 in the bar. It’s great people watching and a really good steak dinner. Beignet tree for dessert if I really want to impress.

Business is going great. Where do you and your colleagues meet for happy hour to celebrate, and what do you order?

Sushiholic on Camelback. I don’t get to eat sushi as much as I’d like, because my wife isn’t a huge fan. But when we do, we go there. Tons of items on the happy hour menu for $4-$8.

You have a free evening and an expense account! Where do you and your team or client go for fun—whether you’re in the mood for sports, music, film or something completely unique to Phoenix?

The Yard for brown bag beers and games. They have live music on Friday nights and an assortment of “yard” games, including cornhole. It’s fully shaded, and in the summertime the misters are going full blast.

Where’s the best place to re-energize your mind during your lunch break?

The gym. I think that’s what it’s called.

You have a free hour or two and a camera. Where do you go to capture the best side of Phoenix?

Sedona, obviously. One of the most beautiful places in the world and less than two hours away.

You’ve been wearing the same cardigan once a week every week, and you know it. Where do you go to revive and reboot your business casual wardrobe?

Nordstrom Rack at Town & Country. I rarely shop for clothes and hate paying full price. This place has new stuff at great discounts. From T-shirts to dress shoes, they have it all.

What’s the coolest thing you can see or do within an hour of town?

Rent a ski boat at Roosevelt Lake during the summertime. Pack the cooler full of cold drinks and head out on the water to see some beautiful scenery. Jump in the water when that 110-degree heat gets a little too much to handle.

Driving into Sedona, about two hours away from Phoenix, you can’t miss Bell Rock.

What’s the one attraction in Phoenix you take all of your out-of-town visitors to see?

A hike up Camelback Mountain. A major tourist attraction, but the only place you can get a full 360-degree view of the Valley of the Sun. Pick the Echo Canyon side if you want a great, full-body work out; Cholla side if you’re bringing Aunt Betsie from Minnesota.


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