Hello, hello heat!
I absolutely love visiting the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. Yes, even the 115 degree days! (Seriously.)
Although I love Old Town Scottsdale, I like the homey, relaxed feeling of staying away from the hub of activity. I would recommend JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort. There are several pools to choose from, and you’re just a step away from Desert Ridge.
Desert Ridge is home to several big-box stores in the event you need to grab anything from band-aids to pool gear. But more importantly, it has several delicious mid-range restaurants options. I especially liked BJ’s Tavern after a long day of traveling, but there are several options to choose from.
However, you literally cannot go wrong with any of your options. We’ve enjoyed Sheraton Desert Oasis Villas, though the pool isn’t as sprawling. If we wanted to stay closer to the action, I’d probably opt for the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa.
From Hash Kitchen to Scramble, Butter’s to Breakfast Kitchen Bar, Scottsdale has no shortage of options to kick-start the day. Although I don’t think you can go wrong with the classics, I love trying their Southwestern flair to egg’s benedict or omelets. (But, if you’re heading out for a Bach party, please try the breakfast shooters at Hash on my behalf.)
The same goes for fine dining options. (Think Cafe Monarch to Virtu Honest Craft.) But, we tend to opt for more mid-range or casual dining options. (Because there’s literally nothing better than an animal-style In-And-Out burger after a taxing morning hike up Camelback Mountain.)
When we do get dressed up, we’ve gone to Citizen Public House – where the original chopped salad is a must. An absolute must. If you’re looking for dinner with a view, opt for J&G Steakhouse. (Be sure to start with the black truffle cheese fritters and finish with the caramel ice cream.) Top off your nights with Soda Jerk Milkshake Bar or Sweet Republic.
Camelback Mountain is on our to-do list every time we are in Scottsdale. But, rated between difficult and extremely difficult, I admit it is a trek. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve climbing boulders, try Pinnacle Peak Park. This is a 3.5-mile round-trip hike nestled among multi-million dollar homes and golf courses. Although it’s not as rugged as Camelback Mountain, the views are incredible. This trail is considered moderately difficult, but you can reap the benefits with a great view after just 1/2 a mile or so.
Fashion Square Mall has everything you could possibly want in a mall. But, what I love about this mall is that you could easily make the trek into Old Town Scottsdale — located several blocks away. (On the way, I always pop into Oh My Dog! Boutique for a little something for Bella.)
Nearby, 5th Avenue Shopping District is home to smaller, boutique shops. Some of my absolute favorites? Leela Market is perfect for clothing, stickers, and select home decor. I’ve worn my Camelback Mountain tank from here on repeat – seriously. If you’re looking for ultra-sweet dainty jewelry, check out Carmen.
As you may your way further into Old Town Scottsdale, you’ll find even more shops near Main Street. If you love supporting local artisans, I highly suggest you check out The Merchantile. From screen-printed shirts to wooden signs, you’ll find something for everyone in this boutique indoor market.
Of course, sometimes you just want good old souvenirs. For a one-stop-shop, I love walking through Kactus Jock or Bischoff’s Shades of the West. I’ve also stocked up at Outrageous Olive Oils and Vinegars and The Spice and Tea Exchange for the foodies in my life to try.
No matter where you stay, or what you eat — Scottsdale is a perfect getaway. If you’re able, try to visit the Grand Canyon (a 4-hour trek) and/or Sedona (a 2 hour trek). There, make sure to catch a pink jeep tour!
But, I am just as content parking myself poolside with a good book! I’m already counting down the days until my next visit.