Confession: Before visiting, I had the impression that Scottsdale was mainly 1) a paradise for snowbirds and 2) a party spot for baseball fans during spring training. But there’s nothing like exploring a place to change up impressions!
Over the course of a recent long weekend, I was surprised and delighted by Scottsdale’s cocktail culture, adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventures, spa and wellness treatments, scenic poolside lounging, and how easily it all came together. It’s the perfect place for a restorative, sunny getaway. Here’s more about my five favorite Scottsdale surprises.
The Easy Access. Scottsdale is only a 20-minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which offers nonstop service to many U.S. cities. And my airport rental car experience was so seamless! It wasn’t long before I was settling into a poolside chaise lounge at the Hotel Valley Ho—a hip design property in Scottsdale’s walkable downtown.
The Varied Outdoor Adventures. Scottsdale gets 330 days of sunshine a year (be still my heart!), and there are nearly as many ways to embrace the outdoors. You can hike, mountain bike, take a Jeep off-roading tour, saddle up on a horse, go hot air ballooning—and almost never worry about the weather infringing on your plans.
The Spa Surprises. The treatments are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but I especially loved all the Scottsdale spa extras like rooftop pools, steam rooms, meditation gardens, and the hammam at Moroccan-inspired Joya Spa. Plus, I got access to the spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess by taking an aerial yoga class (Surfset and Pilates are among the other Fairmont fitness offerings).