Gone are the days of shot glasses and postcards (well, unless that’s your thing), as today’s travelers are seeking the most authentic souvenirs and exclusive gifts unique to the places they visit.
And the same is true for local enthusiasts who are sending and receiving gifts.
Thankfully, Phoenix is home to a wide variety of shops, boutiques, brands and other interesting places to pick up local flavor. So, whether you are shopping for yourself or for your favorite visitor who can’t wait to safely return one of these days, here are our top picks for treasures you can only find in Phoenix:
Bring the smell of desert rain home with you by hanging a bundle of locally and sustainably harvested creosote in your shower. The steam activates the iconic scent and instantly transports your senses back to a rare rainy day out in the Sonoran Desert. For more about Phoenix General, and this popular item, check out our episode of Faces & Places here.
Phoenix General Uptown
5538 N. Seventh St., Phoenix
Phoenix General Downtown
214 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
Cosanti Originals are individually hand-crafted wind-bells (bronze or ceramic) by skilled artisans in the same time-honored tradition introduced by architect and artist Paolo Soleri in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Featuring vibrant colors, organic textures, and design motifs that vary from piece to piece and by artisan, each one is a true “original.” Additionally, planters, ceramic tiles, a line of jewelry inspired by Soleri's sculptures and more are also available here. Interested in learning more? Schedule a guided tour of the working studio.
6433 E. Doubletree Ranch Road, Paradise Valley
From onesies and totes to hoodies and hats, you can deck out the whole squad in Arizona-inspired gear at Bunky Boutique — the exclusive source for the AZ Love brand. Fair warning, you’ll find endless other locally made treasures to peruse here, too.
1001 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Once up on a time, Arizona was known for its five C’s: copper, cotton, cattle, climate and citrus — and this candle captures the fragrant orange blossoms that fill the air each spring. Koko’s Candles is locally owned and operated by Janeen Kokodynski and portion of the profits from each candle sold are donated to the Children’s Heart Foundation.
5027 N. 44th St., Suite B-202, Phoenix
Whether you collect tchotchkes of all your travels or seek out unique finds in each place you experience, you’ll likely find cactus loot that fits the bill at Sibley’s West. Here, the shelves are lined with goods from local artists and makers. Think: all things cactus. No, seriously: holiday ornaments, prickly pear food items, live cacti, candles, art and more.
72 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler
Rooted in the community and dedicated to giving back, State Forty Eight gear is widely celebrated and can be found at retailers across Greater Phoenix — from casinos to adventure outfitters. Designs change frequently, making the collection vast (you may never see the same shirt twice). And, in many cases, limited releases benefit local charities.
State Forty Eight Headquarters
3245 N. Arizona Ave., Ste. E4, Chandler
LUA Skincare's Desert Garden skin tonic brings the magical scent of the desert with all of the wild scents from plants of the southwest: orange blossoms, creosote, white grapefruit and aloe vera. This line also includes Wildflower and Rose Mint — all available at Frances.
10 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix
Calling all beer connoisseurs. Not only is Arizona Wilderness DTPHX Beer Garden among the best places for socially distanced people watching and brews that celebrate all things local, but they also have a robust retail hustle. Here, you’ll find all the shorts, hats and other swag you need to remind you of that ice cold La Ciudad (The City) Hazy IPA. Don’t miss the all-purpose wilderness balm (ingredients locally crafted by Siphon Draw Apothecary) or the Refuge IPA beer soap.
712 N. Arizona Ave, Gilbert
DTPHX Beer Garden
201 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix
You can display your newfound love of Phoenix and support local artists when you shop the wares made of wood, fiber, ceramic, glass, metal, and up-cycled materials at Practical Art. Part retail and part gallery space, all the work here is produced by Arizona artisans. Bonus: All the art here is, well, practical — meaning functional in some way — whether it's kitchen tools, home and office items, soap, clothing, furniture or jewelry.
5070 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Candle aficionados will appreciate the Sonoran Desert-inspired assortment of scents available through this Phoenix-based online retailer. But the best selection for taking home a bit of Phoenix with you is the 23-ounce Cactus Flower candle, which is easy to spot in its pink vessel, dotted with saguaro cactus.