Start today with a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the desert. As you float above the almost otherworldly landscape, you’ll have a new appreciation for its natural beauty. The Four Seasons arranges balloon rides that conclude with a celebratory champagne breakfast, though there are local operators, like Hot Air Expeditions
and Rainbow Ryders
, that offer similar experiences if you are staying at another property.
After you have seen the desert from a bird’s-eye view, get a closer look at its impressive plant life with a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden
. The 140-acre garden is a renowned showcase of plants that survive in one of the world’s harshest environments. Botanists and romantics alike can appreciate the blooms along the Wildflower Trail, which thrive despite the heat and dry conditions of their environment.
Later in the day, take a stroll on the Scottsdale Waterfront
in Old Town Scottsdale, where public spaces, high-end boutiques and restaurants, and sculpture installations create a perfect environment to window-shop or sample some Arizona wines.
Also in Old Town Scottsdale, Café Monarch
is one of those intimate restaurants that locals would prefer to keep as their own secret. The family-run restaurant serves four-course, prix-fixe menus that change daily, with an emphasis on Italian dishes. Its signature cocktails have helped add to its fame. When it comes to romance, there are few settings that can compete with its candlelit ivy-covered garden. Café Monarch was recently named the Most Romantic Restaurant in America by Yelp.com so it’s a must visit destination on this trip.