Scottsdale offers the perfect blend of indulgence, intrigue and adventure.
Surrounded by dramatic desert and mountains from every vantage point, Scottsdale is rife with exciting ways to explore the area. On the northern end of the city is the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, one of the country’s largest urban preserves that offers 225 miles of trails. There are multiple paths to tour on foot, along with horseback riding, biking and rock climbing. Those searching for even more heart-racing activities can look to Stellar Adventures for Hummer, ATV or UTV rides deep in the heart of the desert and the Tonto National Forest, while Ford Bronco lovers can hone in on their passion with Desert Dog Offroad Adventures’ exciting tours. Using a fleet of 2021 Broncos, travelers can choose daytime or sunset sessions. And, for visitors hoping to gain new perspectives, Rainbow Ryders delivers via stunning hot air balloon rides above Deer Valley and the Sonoran Desert. Sunrise and sunset group rides are available, as is the option to book a private sunset ride for your party.
BITES & SIPS
One of Scottsdale’s most popular brunch and breakfast destinations is Hash Kitchen, an over-the-top den of delights known for a huge menu of inventive dishes, including cannoli pancakes, banana split brioche French toast and the savory loaded baked potato Benedict. Early imbibers should know that the drink menu is stellar: Don’t skip the build-your-own bloody mary bar or the mimosa flight with an optional cotton candy glitter bomb, natch. For a lighter—yet still totally delicious—lunch, opt for Farm & Craft’s healthy bowls or flatbreads. And if you’re still hungry, head to The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale for incredible Mexican cuisine—the crispy rock shrimp tacos, guacamole and white bean dip are must-orders, as is the prickly pear margarita. There are too many stellar places for dinner to list, but some of our favorites include Francine for upscale French Mediterranean cuisine in a lively environment; Ocean 44 for elegant seafood, steak and sides; FnB, a local darling that sources AZ ingredients in an inventive and delicious way; The Americano, a sexy modern Italian resto from Scott Conant; and Citizen Public House, an awardwinning spot serving fresh American comfort food in a warm, welcoming setting.
Scottsdale Fashion Square’s Luxury Wing
For a one-stop glamorous shopping experience, head to Scottsdale Fashion Square’s new luxury wing, where Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Dior, Louis Vuitton and more all reside. For a more local experience, wander around Old Town Scottsdale, where shops—everything from authentic Southwestern styles at Buffalo Boutique to expertly curated luxury vintage fashions at Vintage by Misty— tasting rooms and restaurants coexist in a charming and historic section of the city. Within Old Town Scottsdale is The Merchantile, a boutique marketplace offering pieces by local merchants and artists, while further afield is WUNDERKIND, Philip Manghisi’s boutique housing a tightly edited selection of ready-to-wear designer pieces from brands like Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Tom Ford; fine jewelry from Spinelli Kilcollin and Irene Neuwirth; decor, accessories and more. Manghisi worked with L.A. retail legend Elyse Walker before opening his own store last year.
Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows Knight Rise
STAY & SPA
There’s no shortage of incredible resorts in the area, many of which have luxe spas on-site. Perfect for those seeking a serene, private atmosphere with a spectacular mountain setting, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney’s Resort & Spa recently revealed refreshed casita-style luxury accomodations. Cigar aficionados may be especially interested in the March 23 Dunbarton Cigar Dinner, part of the hotel's cigar dinner series. Old-school European in style, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia houses the luxurious Joya Spa, while Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows has a chic, upbeat vibe; a fab all-day restaurant; and a new retreat program. Dubbed The Mindful Journey, the three-day personalized program serves to help guests strengthen their connections to themselves and to nature. Golf and adventure lovers alike should head to Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North—yes, for the golf—but also to experience newly debuted programming, including Sip, Soar & Explore, a guided hike with wine tasting. Lastly, Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale is welcoming spring with new menus inspired by its organic garden, along with new spa treatments—The Ultimate Oxygen Infusion Facial and the Clarifying Detox Wrap.
A James Turrell SkySpace at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
SPORTS, ART & CULTURE
The Valley comes alive in the spring, when—following the Super Bowl, the WM Phoenix Open and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show—baseball’s spring training arrives. For art lovers, the biggest event to know is in November, when Canal Convergence, a free, large-scale and immersive public art festival takes place. Speaking of immersive, Wonderspaces—a rotating gallery of interactive large-scale art pieces—is a must-visit spot within Scottsdale Fashion Square. In March, the petite yet powerful Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is welcoming Language in Times of Miscommunication, a new exhibition that presents works by 18 American artists that explore our nation’s current political divide. While there, make sure to check out Arizona-based James Turrell’s Skyspace, especially during sunset. Other must-visit museums include Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and in nearby Phoenix, the Musical Instrument Museum and the Native American-centered Heard Museum. In late April, make sure to check out the Scottsdale Jazz Festival, where talents like Richard Elliot, Carlos Rivas and more dominate the lineup.
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO BY: TOM MACKIE FOR EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE; PHOTO BY: MVMT STUDIOS; PHOTO COURTESY OF SCOTTSDALE FASHION SQUARE; PHOTO BY STEPHANIE RUSSO; PHOTO BY AN PHAM FOR EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE