Phoenix and Scottsdale

From what I can gather you either love it or you hate it. The desert and dry heat aren’t for everyone I guess, but whatever you do don’t judge it until you’ve really tried it. AND, if you’ve only visited once, and didn’t really give it a chance, I urge you to try again.

Driving along, taking in the sweeping vistas, the awesome contrast of the brown/ red mountains against the cloudless blue sky. You can see for miles, a different mountain no matter where you turn. You can actually SEE the mountains, the different faces, overhangs, cliffs. IMG_0198It isn’t like the mountains in the east, forest covered so you only see the sweep of the mountain (although that is beautiful in it’s own way too), you see every part, every contrast, you see where it quite suddenly rises out of the ground. It is astounding. The sunrise or sunset behind these mountains is breathtaking!

The desert in Arizona is different depending on the area you visit so don’t assume you’ve experienced it if you’ve only visited one destination. The desert in the Phoenix area isn’t just brown sand as far as you can see; it isn’t Egypt.IMG_0109 There is a surprising amount of green all around the landscape. The many trees and plants found here are spectacular, including the many varieties of cactus you’ll see.

Besides the gorgeous landscape you won’t be able to take your eyes from, you’ll experience blue skies and sunshine year- round. IMG_0036Talking with those that live there, you’ll find they don’t bother listening to the weather report. It’s basically the same everyday, maybe just a little hotter some days than others. If you aren’t used to the heat, I would suggest visiting in the fall, winter or spring, rather than during the throes of summer. It may be a bit much for you, whether it’s a “dry heat” or not. If you’ve heard about monsoon season, you will be glad to know that if you avoid summer, you avoid monsoon season. It officially runs from mid- July to mid- September. You may visit during that time and not see drop of rain however. That’s just the typical time period for the torrential rains that Arizona can see.

So if I haven’t sold you by talk of the views and weather, then let’s chat about what there is to do and eat…

The greater Phoenix area offers everything. Amazing shopping, great hiking, sports, attractions and amazing food. There is something for everyone. There is even quite a vibrant night life if that’s what you’re looking for.IMG_0803

Some notable stops might include Old Town Scottsdale where you can do some fabulous shopping as well as indulge in some of the area’s best food.
Stop in at Defalco’s Italian Grocery in Scottsdale for some of the best cuisine you’ll ever taste. They have a giant menu and amazing deli you don’t want to miss it.

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Looking for a little hole in the wall type taco shop that serves amazing food at fantastic prices? Look no further than The Old Pueblo Cafe in Litchfield Park across the street from The Wigwam Resort. Which brings me to a phenomenal place to stay just outside of Phoenix where you can enjoy golf, sun and amazing resort amenities.

Spend a morning at Echo Canyon Park for a hike up Camelback Mountain. You may want to take a day and visit Papago Park where you’ll find the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens. In the area there is also the Pueblo Grande Museum, the McCormick- Stillman Railroad Park and St. Mary’s Basilica. Just remember as you plan your days, that being outside in the middle of the afternoon for any hiking or semi- strenuous activity can be dangerous if you aren’t very well hydrated. It’s best for you to get up early and be active in the mornings.

If some Old West type fun is on your radar, head to Old Town Glendale or Old Town Wickenburg.

If it’s luxury you’re looking for, you’ll find it aplenty in Phoenix. Luxury shopping, luxury hotels and upscale dining are easily found. The Arizona Biltmore and The Phoenician are just two such hotels in the area. For shopping, check out Scottsdale Fashion Square or Biltmore Fashion Park. Upscale dining is found around nearly every corner. You’ll find everything you need for a romantic getaway or luxury vacation.109681371

If you love the Phoenix area like I do, let me know your favorite places to shop, eat and have fun. I’d love to get your input!

I believe it’s time to hit the road. I challenge you to give the beauty of the desert a go. Start brainstorming today, I dare you:)

Happy travels!

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