Travel: Phoenix & Scottsdale Arizona

This was my first trip, to what I sort of consider the “midwest.” Even though it’s actually the Southwest, I’ve never been anywhere between California and Tennessee. I’ve been out West to California and Colorado. But the vast desolate landscapes (ie. the desert) between there and the East Coast is something I’ve been dying to see! Without further ado, I’m taking you to some of my favorite places in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Hike the Cholla Trailhead Camelback Mountain

Highly advanced mountain trail with steep climbs, rocky terrain & picturesque summit views.

6131 E Cholla Ln, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

(602) 261-8318

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Sunday6:30AM–6:30PM
Monday6:30AM–6:30PM
Tuesday6:30AM–6:30PM
Wednesday6:30AM–6:30PM
Thursday6:30AM–6:30PM
Friday6:30AM–6:30PM
Saturday6:30AM–6:30PM
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Things you need to know:

-Length: 1.5 miles

-The last 1/4mi of the hike is the hardest. Drops on either side and steep. It’s easy to turn around anywhere on the trail beforehand to head back down.

-There’s no parking lot. You must park on Invergordon Drive. It’s first come, first serve. You may have to park aways away and walk to the beginning of the trail.

-Difficulty: difficult. It’s rated double black. From experience, you don’t need to be a hiker to hike it. It’s an excellent workout.

-Kid friendly?: People say no, but I definitely saw kids hiking. It’s safe for kids that are active. You can make your hike as long or as short as you’d like.

-No water. No restrooms.

-Looking for an harder hike? Check out Cholla’s sister trail, Echo Canyon Trail. They have the same hike rating but Echo is known to be a little more difficult. The trail is slightly shorter at 1.2 miles long.

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Explore the Desert Botanical Garden

Explore the Sonoran Desert and discover towering cacti and alluring succulents to brilliant wildflowers and lush trees.

1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008

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Sunday8AM–8PM
Monday8AM–8PM
Tuesday8AM–8PM
Wednesday8AM–8PM
Thursday8AM–8PM
Friday8AM–8PM
Saturday8AM–8PM
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Things you need to know:

-$24.95 admission fee for adults

-$12.95 admission fee for children

-Free every 2nd Tuesday of each month

-Water fountains throughout to refill water bottles

-140 acres, 4,482 species in the Living Collection, 379 rare and endangered species in care at the Garden

-This isn’t an all day activity. You really only need 2 hours to walk to whole thing. You can stay longer depending on your interest.

-Cafe for small bites and restaurant with full menu

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Get a Workout in at The Madison Tempe

The Madison cycling studio in Tempe is a MUST! It’s a party on a bike.

149 S Farmer Ave #101, Tempe, AZ 85281

480.967.0835

Sunday6AM–1PM
Monday6AM–8PM
Tuesday6AM–8PM
Wednesday6AM–8PM
Thursday6AM–8PM
Friday6AM–8PM
Saturday6AM–1PM

Things you need to know:

-It’s a party on a bike, literally

-45 minute class

-60 bikes available

-Crazy exciting lighting show

-Full boutique of wildly cute clothing for purchase

-Showers, towels, water, food, etc. all available

-$? I have no clue. My class was gifted. Can’t find it on their site! Let me get back to you. My guess it’s $20-30/class?

Lounge Poolside at Hotel Adeline

Stop by this boutique hotel in Downtown Scottsdale, Arizona that infuses an eclectic style and energy into the area’s famous roster of eateries, nightlife and culture.

5101 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

(480) 284-7700

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Pool: 6:00am – 10:00pm
Poolside Food and Drink Service: 11:00am – 6:00pm

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Things you need to know:

-Pool area features a bar/cafe and sunloungers, cabanas with TVs and fans

-DJ on weekends

Resort day pass: Daybed/$100, Cabana $225 (people who are not staying at hotel)

– Speakeasy-style whisky bar

-Casual cafe

-Modern restaurant with a terrace with outdoor fireplaces (swoon)

-Rooms: vintage-chic

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Grab a cocktail at The Scott Resort & Spa

The Scott Resort & Spa is an ode to discovery, a loveletter to life lived on the borderlands. With a nod toward Hemingway’s Havana, The Canal Club serves up Caribbean-inspired classics with a contemporary twist.

4925 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(800) 528-7867

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Daily 10:00am – 11:00pm
Tapas Menu 3:00pm – 10:00pm
Happy Hour 4:00pm – 7:00pm

Things you need to know:

-Check out their bar menu

-Craft cocktails

-Tapas

-Sit at the bar or order from the pool menu in a personal cabana

-Dine for a multi-course journey at either Caribbean Redux or The Canal Club

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Food

Mexican food at The Mission

Located in Old Town Scottsdale, this chic, dimly lit restaurant & lounge serves modern, upscale Latin cuisine & craft cocktails.

3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Sunday11AM–10PM
Monday11AM–10PM
Tuesday11AM–10PM
Wednesday11AM–10PM
Thursday11AM–10PM
Friday11AM–11PM
Saturday11AM–11PM

What I had off the afternoon menu:

-Tableside Guac [Chunky haas avocado, jalapeño, red onion, fresh garlic, sea salt, lime, tomatoes, chipotle puree, cilantro, cotija & roasted pepitas made at your table] $14

-Brussels Sprout Tacos [Sesame, chile de arbol, apple, ginger, toasted peanut & cotija] $12

Lunch at Postino Highland

A winecafé offering simply scrumptious food and a warm, edgy culture that brings people together. Inspiring, yet familiar surroundings. High quality, approachable wines.

4821 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(602) 428-4444

Sunday9AM–10PM
Monday11AM–11PM
Tuesday11AM–11PM
Wednesday11AM–4PM
Thursday11AM–11PM
Friday11AM–12AM
Saturday9AM–12AM

What I had off their food and drink menu:

-Vegetarian GF Panini  [smoked almond hummus, avocado, cashew, cucumber, roasted yellow tomato, goat cheese, olive, mixed greens, tomato, basil] $11

Something lite at The Henry

Upscale-casual eatery with a patio, offering an American menu all day, along with a full bar.

4455 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 429-8020

Sunday6:30AM–9PM
Monday6:30AM–10PM
Tuesday6:30AM–10PM
Wednesday6:30AM–10PM
Thursday6:30AM–10PM
Friday6:30AM–11PM
Saturday6:30AM–11PM

What I had off the dinner menu:

-Portobello “Asada” Tacos [avocado, quinoa, tomatillo, cauliflower, refried black beans, cotija] $14

Breakfast/Brunch at Snooze

Vibrant, retro chain serving a seasonal menu of creative breakfast & lunch fare, plus cocktails.

2045 E Camelback Rd A17, Phoenix, AZ 85016

(480) 725-8000

Sunday6:30AM–2:30PM
Monday6:30AM–2:30PM
Tuesday6:30AM–2:30PM
Wednesday6:30AM–2:30PM
Thursday6:30AM–2:30PM
Friday6:30AM–2:30PM
Saturday6:30AM–2:30PM

What I had off the menu:

-Egg White Omelet or Scramble [cage-free egg whites cooked to your liking with your choice of three Flavor Saveurs, served with hash browns and choice of toast or tortillas. Also available as a tofu scramble] $10

-Decaf latte with Oat Milk

Architecture

I love architecture, and Arizona did not disappoint! Check out some of my favorite buildings.

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Roam Old Town Scottsdale

Things you need to know:

-Upscale reputation

-Internattionally know for fine resorts and spas

-Expensive restaurants, superior shopping, art galleries

-Designer golf courses

-Ritzy night clubs and country club living

Old Adobe Mission in Old Town is the first Catholic Parish and oldest standing church in Scottsdale. It was built by hand by the Mexicans who settled there in the 1910s. It was designed in a Spanish Colonial Revival in an architectural style by Robert T. Evans. 

7655 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(480) 947-4331

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Things you need to know:

-Open to the public.

-Free October 1 to May 2010:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

-May 21 to September 30 The Mission is available for private tours for groups of 2 to 20. A donation of $5.00 per person is requested. Please call 480-980-3628 to schedule your private tour.

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Wedding Venue – Royal Palms Resort & Spa

Stay luxuriously in historic estate-style accommodations, villas, and casitas with mountain views.

5200 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 283-1234

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There’s really nothing I can say about the wedding I attended and the venue it was held at. I’m completely speechless. To see for yourself, browse the wedding venue gallery.

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