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  • Writer's pictureElena Aleksa

Exploring Phoenix: A Traveler's Guide to Woodlea-Melrose Neighborhood

There are many parts I love about my job and running Ellenfinds but probably my absolute favourite part is getting to work while I travel! I took the opportunity to travel to one of my top cities again and landed in Phoenix, AZ for a quick mid-week trip. 

I had arranged my accommodation in advance - selecting a “Guest Favourite” on AirBNB with great reviews and was so excited to roll up in the historic Woodlea-Melrose neighbourhood and spot my sweet studio guesthouse waiting for me. The owner Brenda and her partner were the absolute nicest people and were so accommodating, I immediately felt right at home! 

Accommodation at Woodlea-Melrose:

The first thing I noticed when walking up to the guest house on the charming little pebble path was just how spacious the backyard was! I spotted the BBQ and a nice outdoor seating area to sit and work on my drawings or have a bite to eat. I made a mental note for later and stepped inside, immediately I was so pleased with the natural lighting of the place. 

The studio itself is bright and open, with a fully equipped kitchen and a cozy lounge and bedroom area featuring a big, comfy queen sized bed. For my work style it is so important to have a functional workspace that also looks great should inspiration hit and this ticked all the boxes! All the seating is so stylish yet comfortable, and the bathroom is fully stocked with any amenities I could want. 

In the mornings I rely on a cup of coffee to get my day started and there was a Nespresso station ready and waiting for me so I was sure to pour up a cup and sit back and relax on the leather couch while I planned out my day.


The Woodlea-Melrose neighbourhood is located in a historic part of Phoenix, and is very walkable. It is a delightfully quiet street while also being centrally located to plenty of cafes, restaurants and a supermarket all just a short walk away.

Never one to want to be too far away from the action, I chose this area because of its charm and walkability but loved the fact that it was only about ten minutes from downtown Phoenix. I was also thrilled to check out the area and discover a full shopping area called Melrose that is just full of vintage shops only 7 minutes walk away! You know I found some great threads when I hit up that area. 

Culinary Adventures:

I was stoked to stumble upon a new local gem this time around and found Copper Star Coffee! When I finished my morning Nespresso I had to venture out and try a latte at a local cafe of course and I was more than excited when I discovered this epic coffee shop in a re-purposed service station filled with art on the walls and great vibes. 

Locally owned and operated, not only does Copper Star serve up great coffee but they have an award-winning menu as well! Complete with vegan and veggie options as well, I had my eye on the bagel list and opted for the Bodega Bagel - I highly recommend it! 

If you’re looking for a nice place to dine in for dinner and a nice meal, I cannot gush about Valentine enough. This cafe-bar-bakery hybrid is truly unique and brings in an eclectic, laid back crowd. The decor is vibrant and quintessentially “Arizona” and reflects the history of the neighbourhood in such an upscale way. From coffee and pastries to cocktails and full meals, Valentine serves it all without missing. You can’t miss when you order a hand-crafted cocktail and the food is modern without being intimidating. I loved watching the Chefs work their magic in the open kitchen almost as much as I enjoyed eating the food coming out of it! 


It was a quick visit to Phoenix but as always I loved discovering a new corner of the city and immersing myself in the history and atmosphere of the local shops, cafes and restaurants. If you find yourself wanting a reprieve to a beautiful, welcoming part of the city then be sure to look up Brenda’s mid-century guesthouse, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind! 


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