Trust me when I say that Scottsdale, Arizona should be on your travel bucket list. A recent work assignment allowed me to spend a week there. Having spent time in other West Coast states, such as California and Nevada, I didn’t know what to expect. Would it hold a resemblance to its neighboring states, or would it have its own unique identity? Let me tell you that I was blown away by this city!
I never dreamed of visiting Arizona, mainly due to my perception of what I imagined it to be; A desert full of rising heat waves where the tumbleweeds roamed. Now I have to admit some of my perceptions held some truth. Having visited in the summer month of July, I caught the dehydrating high temperature of 114 degrees.
It was so hot that bottled water was complimentary everywhere I went, including the hotel. My poor phone overheated every time I got in the car. Thankfully by the third day, I noticed that I was acclimating to the temperature. Imagine that!
Now don’t let the temperature deter you from a visit. Just be mindful of the time of year you visit. No matter when you go, you’re guaranteed to enjoy yourself. The people are kind, and the food is deliciously filling!
I did a lot of research on places to visit and eat beforehand. While a lot of the day was spent working, In the evenings I was able to cover a lot of ground. Here’s a little glimpse into the fun I had while in Scottsdale!
Desert Botanical Garden
The Garden is truly one of a kind. It showcases the type of plants that thrive in Arizona’s climate. I was thrilled to see not just one, but a myriad of cacti in the garden. I am a Disney fanatic, so for those Encanto fans, if you remember when Isabela made a new type of plant that looked like colorful flowers growing out of a baby cactus? I saw one of those!
The Camby, Autograph Collection Hotel
The Camby is a 4-star Marriott hotel . It was the most bougie hotel I have stayed at, and I loved everything about it. From the mirrored foil ceiling that you wake up to every morning to the huge window showcasing the view of the mountains. I was in paradise. The unique design of the hotel was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Dinner at Hillstone and Nobu
My weight gain is a direct result of how much I ate in Scottsdale; It has some of the best food I have eaten. The two most notable restaurants are Hillstone and Nobu. The impeccable service and the flavorful bites of food. You know a place is good when the food is well seasoned with herbs and spices. NOT SALT! I also ate at In-N-Out Burger more times than I’m willing to admit. I believe I deserve a pass, since it’s not here on the East Coast, right?
32 below Speakeasy
I don’t know if speakeasies have always been around and are just getting more popular or if this is a new concept in general. I enjoy trying to locate them and the hesitation I feel when I show up at a donut shop and need to ask if the hidden bar is there. 😂 The whole experience is unique, fun, and thrilling. Speakeasies hold some of the best cocktails, which really is just the icing on the cake. This one, in particular, is located downstairs in a coffee shop. It’s a tiny space, but the greenhouse aesthetic is amazing! And the cocktail menu? Well, let’s just say that I can give you feedback on every listed drink. I left there feeling lovely on my way to the airport.
The view from South Mountain Dobbins Lookout
One of the best things about Arizona is how close the mountains are. You feel as though you can reach out and touch them. A lot of trails are easily accessible with a quick 10-minute car ride. Hiking was the the first thing on my list when I landed. Once I reached South Mountain, I quickly learned that the temperature wasn’t ideal for hiking. The Ranger sitting in his air-conditioned vehicle was confirmation. Thanks to his guidance, I drove up the mountain to see the views. Dobbin’s lookout at South Mountain is the perfect place to catch a sunrise or sunset. It has a little peephole in what looks to be a Pueblo. The Pueblo structure came in handy for shielding you from the heat. At this moment I can’t tell you a better view!
I know I will revisit Arizona soon, especially to experience the notorious hot air balloon ride. I also want to visit more of the destinations on the list that were further out, such as the Grand Canyon and Havasu Falls.
If you’re interested in the list that I curated of places to visit while in Arizona, let me know. I will be more than happy to share it with you. Have you been to Scottsdale before? What are some of your highlights?
– SimplyJaneen ♥️