Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –Charles Swindoll
By Evie Carpenter Tue., Dec. 16 2014 at 6:00 AM
If you happen to be football fans and procrastinators, we have some bad news: pretty much every hotel and resort in the greater Phoenix area is already booked or is about one or two rooms away from being booked for the weekend of February 1, 2015. Sorry. But what do you expect when the Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium and the Waste Management Phoenix Open are happening on the same weekend?
Anyway, go ahead and let the idea of pillow mints and tiny shampoo bottles go, and prepare yourself for something a little more adventurous. Here are our suggestions for alternative lodging for Super Bowl weekend. We’re pretty sure these options will be cheaper than the more traditional hotel route and we can pretty much guarantee you’ll come away with at least one story to write home about.
While most of the rest of the country will be watching the big game huddled on a couch with the heater blasting, chances are that Phoenix will still have gorgeous, relatively warm weather in the mid-60’s, based on 2014’s weather that is. Take advantage and turn the weekend into a chance to explore Arizona’s natural landscape as well as cheering on whichever team you prefer and wishing failure upon the opposing side.
Though there are plenty of options since Phoenix is surrounded by mountains, we would especially recommend looking at the White Tank Mountains. Besides plenty of beautiful flora and fauna, the White Tanks have about 25 miles of trails ranging with something for hikers and bikers or all skill levels and will typically be about 10 degrees cooler than Central Phoenix, according to White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Plus if you have your own horse, you’re welcome to bring ’em along too. And being only about a 40-minute drive away from University of Phoenix stadium, you’re no worse off than if you were staying in Scottsdale.
There are several kinds of sites available with varying amenities from “primitive camping” for $12 per night with no amenities to “shaded RV sites” for $40 per night with water, electricity, and shade cover provided. There is also a base $8 fee for all camping reservations and a maximum of 8 people per campsite. Visitwww.maricopacountyparks.org for more information and to reserve your campsite.
Airbnb has basically revolutionized the way 20-somethings travel. Here’s how the rental website works: A person posts a room, a suite in their house, or an entire house, apartment, or condo on the website with photos, descriptions, and how much they charge for renting out that space. Travelers can search through all the postings by number of available rooms, price, location, and dates available, similar to the way you would search for a hotel room. Once you find a space you like, you contact the owner and set up your stay. There is also a rating aspect to the site where guests can rate their hosts and hosts can rate their guests, which aims to keep both hosts and guests on their best behavior. These ratings appear when you contact another person on the site.
The draw of Airbnb is the affordability and the chance to quickly interact with locals (your hosts) in whatever city you’re visiting. If you get a good host, it can be like staying with your very own personal concierge.
We’ve found everything from a private room for two people for $29 per night to an entire four-bedroom home for $3,500 per night for Super Bowl weekend. Since the postings change so frequently, it’s best to take a look yourself. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find something that works for you.
Similarly to Airbnb, you can search on Craigslist for places available to rent. Craigslist would be a great option for searching for an entire home to rent if you’re coming to town with a large group of people or simply want to stay with friends closer to University of Phoenix stadium. In fact you can easily find many listings specifically targeting Super Bowl attendees.
A recent search for “super bowl house rental” yielded a listing for a three-bedroom, 2800-square-foot home in North Peoria available for $2000 per night. There was also a three-bedroom, 1550-square-foot home located 15 minutes from the stadium with a special Super Bowl deal for $6000 for an entire week. Again, listings and options are likely being snapped up quickly. Take a little time to search for yourself and prepare to get the gang back together and have an epic Super Bowl weekend.
Fair warning: Couch surfing is not for the faint of heart. It’s also probably not for you and your five closest friends. However, if you’re a single traveler with a lion’s heart, couch surfing might be perfect for you.
You can register on www.couchsurfing.com, complete your profile, and then search available couches based on the city you want to travel to and the dates you will be staying. Yep, you may actually be staying on a stranger’s couch.
While this may seem unnerving to some, it can also be an amazing adventure. Plus, the whole point of couch surfing is to share your world with others. That means it’s technically free to stay with your host, unless of course you want to be a decent human and do something nice to compensate them, like taking your host to dinner or bringing them a gift from your home city. Couchsurfing.com also urges users to sign up as hosts after surfing. You know, pay it forward and all that.
Phoenix also has a couple hostels near the downtown area, and if you just need a bed or two for a few nights, which is exactly what you’d need if you’re coming to town for the Super Bowl, a hostel can be a great option. We know hostels have gotten a bad rap recently because of certain horror movies set in them (thanks, Hollywood), but don’t let that deter you. Staying in a hostel is a great way to meet other travelers, be in the heart of the city, and mostly, save money.
One of our favorite local hostels is Phoenix Hostel and Cultural Center, located at 1026 North 9th Street, right near the heart of downtown. Single dorm-style beds are available for $22 per night, private rooms for two are available for $47 per night, and a small group room is available for $47 per night for two with $10 for each additional guest. For more information and to book your stay, visit phxhostel.org or call 602-254-9803. Also, check out hostels.com to search for other local hostels.
If you care more about having a unique Arizona experience rather than being right next to the stadium while you’re in town for the Super Bowl, seriously consider staying atArcosanti, the experimental town north of Phoenix. Paolo Soleri, the late architect, author, and artist, began building this community as an example of an environmentally low impact, urban development. Although Soleri passed away last year, his community if still being built and is available for you to stay at. Sure, it may be about 67 miles from the stadium, which would be a little more than an hour drive, but visiting Arcosanti, let alone staying there, is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Several room options with varying levels of amenities are available from a small single-occupancy room with a shared bathroom available for $30 per night to a room with twin beds, a private bath, and a kitchen for $65 per night.
If you want a uniquely Arizona experience to appreciate Soleri’s famous architecture and our breath-taking desert landscape for your Super Bowl weekend, visit arcosanti.org or call 928-632-7135 to book your room and for more information.
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