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Leisure and Luxury

Travelers the world over seek out Scottsdale for its incredible luxury offerings. A day at the spa could mean anything from chakra balancing and meditating in a teepee to a massage from a waterfall or a gold-infused facial. Three to try: The Spa at Talking Stick Resort, The Spa at the Boulders Resort and Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, a AAA Five-Diamond Resort. Shoppers can refresh their wardrobes at Fifth Avenue Shopping District or Scottsdale Fashion Square, Arizona’s largest mall. Round out the pampering at acclaimed restaurants such as The House Brasserie, located in the second-oldest home in Scottsdale; Barrio Queen along the waterfront; or Old Town Tortilla Factory, housed in a 75-year-old adobe home with a patio shaded by 100-year-old pecan trees.

 

A Desert Dream

The Sonoran Desert is the wettest desert in the world. This unique characteristic supports some of the most diverse desert vegetation and animal species on Earth. There are even eight rivers and lakes that invite all types of water recreation. The vast expanse of mesa, brush and mountains is teeming with flora and fauna, including the iconic saguaro cactus that only grows in the Sonoran Desert. There are many memorable ways to explore this unparalleled ecosystem. Hike the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Pinnacle Peak or, for advanced hikers, Camelback Mountain. Soar over the desert at sunrise or sunset in a hot-air balloon, go off-roading in a Jeep, travel on horseback or Segway, or kayak the Salt River. If you’re worried about the summer heat, book your tour for early morning and relax poolside the rest of the day. Fall, spring and winter are wonderfully mild.

 

Uncommon Attractions

Whether it’s arts and culture, history or local landmarks, Scottsdale has something to offer. Immerse yourself in Native American art and cowboy culture at Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West. Visit an oasis in the city at OdySea Aquarium. The fully enclosed escalator that takes you to the shark exhibit is one-of-a-kind. Even the most knowledgeable music fans will be astounded by the 6,600 world instruments at the Musical Instrument Museum in nearby Phoenix. Legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright spent winters at his estate, Taliesin West, from 1937 to 1959. Don’t miss a tour of this incredible property. Plus, Scottsdale is centrally located for side trips to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. At the end of the day, walk through the real swinging saloon doors and grab a drink at the Rusty Spur Saloon, Scottsdale’s oldest bar.

Fun Fact

Rooftop pool at the Well & Being Spa in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
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Say “spaaaahhh!” Scottsdale has more destination spas per capita than any other city in the USA.

Blossoms on a Saguaro cactus
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Saguaro cacti are found only in the Sonoran Desert. They can live to be 150-200 years old.

Photo: Gene Almendinger

Silhouette of a roper at Arizona Cowboy College in Scottsdale
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Arizona Cowboy College is considered the only facility in the world where you can learn to be a real cowboy.

Scenery of McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona
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Nearby Experiences

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View of the mountains beyond a stunning lake

Destination

Flagstaff

Doing yoga poses against an amazing rocky landscape
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Destination

Phoenix

Stunning views seen from Mt. Lemmon

Destination

Tucson