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Jayson Goetz

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Relax in Style in Scottsdale

Known for its spa resorts, golf courses, and opulent shopping destinations, the desert city of Scottsdale offers visitors the best of Arizona leisure recreation. Take a trip to marvel over the western landscape, visit Downtown Scottsdale for world-class museums, and wind down with a massage at one of Scottsdale’s resort and spas.  For those with a taste for high-end living, there are an abundance of things to do in Scottsdale to meet all your vacation needs.

Outdoor Attractions

Including nearly 200 miles of scenic shared-use trails, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a large, permanent protected, sustainable desert habitat perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Numerous paths are offered throughout the preserve including ADA accessible trails like the Bajada Nature Trail to more physically demanding trails like Windgate Pass. Visit the horseback riding stables at MacDonald’s Ranch for guided horseback rides, hayrides, and cowboy cookouts. All riders at all levels are offered a safe environment for a casual ride against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert. For more trails and flora, visit the Desert Botanical Garden for a world-class experience. Thousands of arid-land plants from around the world line the garden’s five paved thematic trails. From November to December, the garden hosts Las Noches de las Luminarias, an illuminated spectacle including 8,000 hand lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights adorning the gardens interior, and the sounds of ten live entertainment ensembles. During the warmer months, the garden host evening Flashlight Tours for visitors to enjoy the soundscapes of the evening desert.

Cultural Hotspots

For a truly unique experience, visit the Musical Instrument Museum to discover instruments and music from around the globe. The exhibits include multi-media displays and high quality headphones to immerse visitors in global music traditions. The museum also features an interactive Experience Gallery aimed toward aspiring musicians of all ages. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art celebrates the beauty and wonder of modern art, architecture, and design through its rotating exhibitions. The SMoCA boasts an array of diverse programming ranging from world politics to piñata making to incorporate all backgrounds and interests. The museum is also home to “Knight Rise,” a James Turrell skyspace that allows visitors to track the sun’s path across the sky that has toured the country on exhibit at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

 

Shopping

Scottsdale retail destinations package indulgence into self-sustaining ecosystems often combining dining, shopping, and residential communities for a one-stop-shop in luxe living. For a day of opulence and luxury, visit Scottsdale Fashion Square located in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale. This high-end shopping mall offers ritz retail opportunities with upscale stores including names like Neiman Marcus, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. The Scottsdale Waterfront directly across the street offers shoppers a sophisticated and stylish outing experience boasting a diverse collection of retail, office, restaurant, and high-rise residential buildings encapsulating a chic lifestyle destination. The waterfront’s open-air courtyards and surrounding walk paths are lined with palm trees, sensational flowers, fountains, and public art sculptures to be enjoyed by visitors.

 

A short walk over the Soleri and Marshall Way bridges connect the canal to Southbridge and the Scottsdale Fifth Avenue Shopping district. The Scottsdale Waterfront also hosts numerous food and arts festivals throughout the year making this experience luxurious and lively for visitors and locals alike. Located roughly 20 minutes away from Scottsdale Fashion Square, Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter are two outdoor malls situated in the affluent North Scottsdale neighborhood. Both the Commons and the Quarters offer plenty of shopping and dining opportunities for high-end consumers. It's not uncommon to spot a Ferrari or Aston Martin and the like parked outside the vicinity. The malls even offer a valet option.

 

Spas and Relaxation

Scottsdale offers exceptional spa experiences including the award-winning Spa at Camelback Inn providing a full-service destination resort spa against the spectacular backdrop of the Sonoran Desert. Inspired by the holistic practices of Arizona’s indigenous Native American cultures, the spa includes exclusive spa therapies unique to the techniques and ingredients of Arizona’s indigenous people incorporated within the spa’s array of services. The spa boasts 32 treatment rooms, a pool, lush gardens, and an elite fitness center. Spa Aviana offers beautiful facilities and quality service. The spa offers guests the opportunity to order lunch ahead of their appointment to be ready when their treatment is finished. Guests at Aviana Spa have the opportunity to enjoy food and beverages by the French-Celtic mineral pool or by the lotus pond at the indoor-outdoor oasis. Agave at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa incorporates traditional Arizona healing therapies in this desert-inspired retreat. The indigenous agave plant is used in many of the spa’s treatments and serves as the spa’s main inspiration for renewal and rejuvenation. Agave offers 27 treatment rooms, a salon, and cabanas surrounding the pool garden for a private, relaxing area perfect for meditation and outdoor treatments.

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