Photos courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Beautiful sunsets, vibrant foliage, expansive views, world-class resorts, golfing, dining, arts aplenty, and shopping that would impress even a Kardashian.
Where is this…heaven on Earth? Rome? Paris? New York? Nope. It’s Scottsdale, Arizona! From October through May, the desert is awash in color and gorgeous weather. A two-hour flight from Sacramento to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and then a quick shuttle ride will take you to a number of fabulous resorts in the Valley of the Sun.
First stop on my escape was the incredible Four Seasons Resort at Troon North – home of Arizona’s number one- and two-ranked golf courses. Nestled in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak, the Four Seasons was named on Condé Nast Traveler’s prestigious “Gold List” of resorts and honored by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of the “World’s Best Hotels.” The resort is family-friendly, yet perfect for a romantic getaway or weddings.
Hiking Pinnacle Peak Park
Entering our casita, we spied the signature pitcher of sangria filled with fresh fruit, along with a spicy dip served with house-made tortilla chips. We savored the treats while sitting on our patio overlooking the 6,000-square-foot pool, stunning panoramic views of rugged desert terrain, mountain vistas, and city lights. With no time to waste, we donned our fluffy robes and headed to the spa to enjoy treatments that used indigenous ingredients like Sedona red clay. After, we enjoyed dinner at the resort’s restaurant, Talavera. The menu, prepared by Executive Chef Mel Mecinas, focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients that have been locally and regionally sourced. It is truly desert dining as the restaurant harmoniously incorporates nature into its décor and ambience.
One could spend their entire getaway at the Four Seasons, but with so much to see and do in Scottsdale, it is necessary to venture out. For those interested in shopping ’til they drop, there’s Kierland Commons, an outdoor “lifestyle” center. Accommodating shoppers in the scorching heat of summer, Kierland has plenty of misters throughout to keep shoppers cool. There is also the venerable Biltmore Fashion Park, and no shopping trip would be complete without a visit to Scottsdale Fashion Square – boasting three levels of shops and boutiques including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York.
Montelucia Resort & Spa
Culture abounds in Scottsdale, from the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Musical Instrument Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West, plus evening art walks throughout Old Town. If adventure calls, there are tremendous opportunities for hiking and biking along the desert arroyos of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Looking for golf? Numerous championship courses dot the desert floor – golfers will find their oasis amongst the saguaro and prickly pear.
A visit to the Hermosa Inn, “where the old west meets modern luxury,” should also be on your itinerary. The Inn’s original owner, Lon Megargee, was the first and one of the best-known cowboy artists in Arizona. Paintings of colorful landscapes and cowboy scenes adorn LON’s, the resort’s dining room; try the gooey (and oh-so-yummy!) fresh-baked Brioche Monkey Bread and Huevos Rancheros with house-made chorizo.
LON’s at Hermosa Inn
Journey to the exotic Joya Spa at Montelucia Resort & Spa, also named by Travel + Leisure as one of the “World’s Best Resorts.” This gorgeous property, located at the base of Scottsdale’s most famous landmark, Camelback Mountain, has hosted some very famous folks, and, rumor has it, even a current president!
Once you have visited Scottsdale, you will yearn to return as soon as possible – the Southwestern hospitality and glorious desert calls.
Troon North Golf Club