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Travel Well: Scottsdale

I never want my love for traveling abroad to cause me to overlook the beauty right here in America. Arizona is a beautiful state. If leisure is what you’re after, Scottsdale is a great city to go to. There isn’t a whole lot to do, but they do have world-class golf courses, fabulous spas, and a decent amount of shopping. Located about a 40 minute drive from Phoenix, this well-kept desert town has some breathtaking mountain views. This past week, my mom and I traveled to Scottsdale for a girls only getaway. It was a really relaxing trip, but we also got to see a lot of what the city has to offer in the 4 days we were there.

Stay: My mom and I stayed in a 3-bedroom home located right on Troon North’s Pinnacle Peak Golf Course. The house had a gorgeous outdoor area complete with a pool, hot tub, and grill, and our first thought during our tour of the residence was that it would make a great place to bring the entire family. We were a little far from all of the “action,” but all in all, for a relaxing trip, the location was great and we had everything we needed (grocery store, a few restaurants, etc.) near by.  For travelers looking for a leisurely trip, the Four Seasons is lovely and was only located a few miles from the home we stayed in. For those looking to be closer to shopping and activities, the Phoenician (which has a fantastic spa) is a great choice.

View of our home’s gorgeous outdoor area (photo courtesy of Equity Estates)

Dine: Before our trip, my mother and I had our concierge arrange a dinner reservation for us for every evening. We were so relaxed and lazy that we only ended up actually going out for dinner twice! It was so nice to stay in for a change instead of having to get dressed up for dinner and we just lounged on the couch and snacked on crab claws and shrimp cocktail as we watched trashy TV. On our last day, I did notice that Scottsdale has a Sushi Roku that I wish we had seen before because it is one of my absolute favorite sushi restaurants. Out of the dining that we did, here are my favorite spots:

  1. Mastro’s Steakhouse – this upscale steakhouse was located near our residence. They offer an array of steak and seafood options, and their steaks come out sizzling on a hot plate.

  2. Eddie V’s  – on our last evening in Scottsdale, we ate at this seafood restaurant located in the Scottsdale Quarter. The yellowtail sashimi and the shrimp and lobster bisque were both phenomenal.

  3. AJ’s Fine Foods – this was our go to for food during our entire trip. We discovered this local chain grocery store on our first day and were so happy we did. It’s seriously the nicest grocery store I have ever been to – think Fresh Market…but better! They have awesome meat and seafood departments and even have a selection of pre-made foods that you can just take home and pop in the oven.

Shop: The more I shop overseas, the less impressed I am with the shopping in the United States. Even still, Scottsdale has some pretty decent shopping. Fashion Square Mall is the biggest indoor shopping mall that has luxury brands, department stores, such as Neiman Marcus, Barney’s New York, and Nordstoms, as well as stores like Zara and H&M. The Scottsdale Quarter is a cute outdoor shopping area that houses a lot of boutiques and restaurants.

Play: The whole reason that we wanted to go to Scottsdale is because we heard so much about their world-class spas, and the spa at the Phoenician Hotel did not disappoint! We wasted away an afternoon having scrubs, shea butter treatments, and 80-minute holistic massages. The services were fabulous and the spa amenities are really nice. On top of that, if you get spa treatments done, you get a day pass to enjoy the resort’s pools as well. My mom and I also got out of our comfort zone a little and did a desert hummer tour. Our guide, Mike with Arizona Hummer Tours, picked us up in an open-air hummer. He was super knowledgeable about the area, its history, and the cacti and animals that inhabit it. Learning about the desert was a pretty cool experience, and next time, I may opt for the ATV tour where you get to drive your own four-wheeler.

My mom and me on our Arizona hummer tour

Ready for a day of relaxation at the Phoenician

 My Rating: B

Explanation: Like I said, there’s not a whole lot to do in Scottsdale. Plus, it’s VERY hot in the summer. Still, it’s a cool place to relax and was perfect for a mother-daughter trip because we got to spend a lot of uninterrupted time together. The spa was absolutely fantastic, and honestly I would go back to Scottsdale just to spend a day there if nothing else.

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