Planning Your Time
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
Don’t rush your time in Scottsdale. Relax and imagine that your life really consists of endless days of soaking up sunshine, sipping tequila, and dining alfresco at topnotch restaurants that forgo the formality of suits and ties. After all, this is the city that invented resort casual—both in terms of attire and attitude.
Half the fun of Scottsdale is knowing you don’t have to be anywhere or doing anything. You could easily spend a week enjoying days by the pool, playing rounds of golf, browsing in galleries, and getting pampered at one of the city’s five-star spas.
If you only have a weekend, though, be sure to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, Taliesin West, before witnessing the clash of civilizations in Old Town. The eclectic mix of expensive galleries, trendy clubs, yuppie biker bars, and boutiques selling Western and Native American kitsch creates some the best people-watching this side of the Rocky Mountains. Bars and restaurants literally slide away their glass walls from November through April, giving you a front row seat to the streetside spectacle.
Visiting during the summer’s triple-digit heat will force you to change your plans—both in terms of what you do and when you do it. But that’s not a bad thing. Take a cue from the natives—both wildlife and residents—who switch to a more nocturnal schedule from May well into October. Wake at dawn to take advantage of an early tee time or a sunrise hike at one of Scottsdale’s craggy peaks. Then, spend your afternoons in one of the city’s air-conditioned oases, like Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. When late afternoon hits, make like a lizard and find some shade for a nap (the thermometer hits its hottest point around 4 p.m.).
Come out to play in the evening when the sun dips below the horizon and the desert’s beige tones and blue sky give way to a rich burst of color. The Technicolor sunsets are just a preview of the evening’s lime-green margaritas, vibrant Southwestern cuisine, and flashy lounges and clubs. And as the temperature drops 20 degrees throughout the night, let the warm, weightless air convince you living in the desert can be heaven.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition