If you’re looking for a reason to head to Scottsdale soon, you won’t have to look too hard. It’s pretty simple. For starters, while much of the rest of the country is preparing for winter, the folks in Scottsdale have said goodbye to 110 degree temps and are soaking up sunshine, with the average high of about 72 degrees.
That perfect weather sets the stage for big fun – hiking, biking, hot air ballooning, rock climbing, horseback riding, kayaking and more. Golfers are in paradise. Places to tee off are plentiful. The Phoenician resort’s 27-hole championship course designed by Ted Robinson, Sr. and Homer Flint is a must-do. So is the Boulders Resort & Spa’s, two 18-hole championship courses designed by Jay Morrish, which also happens to be Arizona’s only Platinum Medal award winner. A bonus too, the Boulders is a beauty like you’ve never seen before. Its name comes from the fact that it is home to 12-million-year old granite boulders.
Now is also a good time to make the trek to Scottsdale because the prices are right. Holiday rates in Scottsdale can typically be 30 percent lower in late-fall and early winter than peak season (late winter and spring).
As if that isn’t enough to tempt you, do your belly a favor and sample some of Scottsdale’s finest cuisine. With more than 600 restaurants, there’s likely nothing you can’t find to eat here. Think Southwestern, Mexican, Mediterranean, barbecue, vegan, organic comfort food, Italian, cowboy fare, contemporary, all done up in stylish presentations, cool settings, and to be washed down with creative craft cocktails and brews. Bink’s Scottsdale is big on local produce, from corn on the cob and charred shishito peppers to heirloom tomatoes and melons. Bink favorites include the Five Spice Duck Breast and Amy’s Bolognese. At the Upton, the global menu boasts specialties like Fried Cajun Oyster, Miso Vegan Ramen with Crazy Noodles and Chinese Char Siu Ribs.
Don’t think Arizona is mostly about the great outdoors, it is and isn’t. There’s much elsewhere too. The Scottsdale Arts district has more than 60 galleries and every Thursday night is Scottsdale ArtWalk, along Main Street and Marshall Way. It is one of the largest concentrations of galleries in the U.S.
There are a variety of museums – from contemporary art; the Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which celebrates all facets of the American West, and the Musical Instrument Museum, (MIM) the world’s only global musical instrument museum, with more than 360 exhibits featuring instruments from every part of the world.
If this time of year makes it irresistible to shop, you’re in the right place for that too. Scottsdale’s Fashion Square happens to be the largest shopping destination in the Southwest, with more than 250 chic-chic retailers. Think Gucci, Cartier, Bulgari, Jimmy Choo, Prada. You get the picture. It’s just one of many clues that Scottsdale is no cow-poke town, but sophisticated. You have to wonder who lives in all the mega manses tucked in the hills. You hope you meet him or her at one of hotspots around town like Red Revolver Lounge, The Mint Ultra Lounge or the Living Room in W Scottsdale.
Scottsdale is a bit under the radar, but not likely for much longer. What do you like about Scottsdale? Let us know in the comments!