Why go now: Historic streets have gotten a shot in the arm, thanks to new cafes, shops, and the just-opened Metro Light Rail.
The scene: Vintage homes, postage-stamp gardens, and 1920s-era public buildings feel like a time warp ― in a good way.
Number of homes: About 950
1990: When Willo became an official Phoenix Historic District.
About the name: It’s a contraction of the area’s two voting districts, Wilshire and Los Olivos.
Neighborhood serendipity: Easley’s Fun Shop (closed Sun; 509 W. McDowell Rd.; 602/271-9146), opened by a magician in 1947, sells clown makeup and Whoopee Cushions.
Spend the night: The Clarendon Hotel (from $199) has a retro art collection and rooftop bar.
Photo gallery: Phoenix Willo