RTX Weekend Escape | Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale 1Scottsdale combines the flavor of the American southwest with trendy arts, shopping, architecture and outdoor adventure. Start your day with a trek into the beautifully rugged surrounding desert, and wind up being pampered in a spa or shopping in glamorous fashion boutiques. This energetic urban landscape doesn’t disappoint with world-class bars, authentic restaurants, and stunning golf vistas.

GETTING THEREScottsdale 2
Scottsdale is located less than 10 miles northeast of Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, which saw nearly 44 million visitors pass through in 2017. A full array of taxi services, rental cars, and public transportation are offered. The airport also offers an art museum featuring Arizona’s artistic and cultural heritage, and shopping and dining for weary travelers.

Scottsdale 5DAY 1
Visitors to the area would miss out if they didn’t venture out into the vast and scenic Sonoran Desert that surrounds the area. This is the lushest, most biologically diverse of North America’s deserts. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is more than 30,000 acres and is the largest urban preserve in the United States. Explore the vast expanse of arroyos, mountains and mesas by foot, bike, Jeep or kayak. Hit the Pinnacle Peak Trail for a signature experience that wraps around the needle-like point in the desert. Wake up early for a sunrise hike to beat the crowds and the heat – it will be well worth it.
For further adventure, the jutting Camelback Mountain offers humps of granite and sandstone that rise above the valley. Both Echo and Cholla Trails access the 2,700 foot-tall summit. After earning your appetite, treat yourself at Café Monarch, a fine dining restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale with intimate outdoor seating and a four course prix fixe menu. Enjoy steaks, chops, seafood, a fine wine list, and decadent desserts. This restaurant has been named to the top 100 list of restaurants in the United States, and it shows with a continuously evolving menu, and excellent quality of food and service.

DAY 2scottsdale 3
After your desert excursion, visit the $200 million OdySea in the Desert complex, which houses the new OdySea Voyager, the world’s only revolving aquarium experience, taking guests on a narrated storytelling adventure through various colored submarines. While there, check out the 16-acre OdySea Aquarium, the Butterfly Wonderland and the OdySea Mirror Maze. Chill out in the afternoon with the adults at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, with constantly rotating exhibits, and the MIM Music Theater, hosting world-renowned artists. Top off your day with dinner at the Riot House, featuring breezy cocktails and an open-air atmosphere complete with lawn games, lush foliage and bright furnishings.

Scottsdale 4DAY 3
Begin your day with an early golf outing at one of Scottsdale’s premier courses, including TPC Scottsdale. Alternatively, rejuvenate with a spa session early – take your pick of which resort will pamper you, as there are dozens. A visit to Taliesin West reveals architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home and studio. Later on, walk downtown’s Old Town Scottsdale, which features 1920s buildings and 19th-century olive trees. Scottsdale presents the vine-to-table concept by introducing four Arizona wine tasting rooms downtown. Grab a wine passport and receive reduced fee wine tasting experiences year round at the tasting stops, which tell the stories of the state’s nearly 100 award-winning wineries.

Make SCOTTSDALE Your Next Vacation!
Plan your trip to Scottsdale with RTX. Book discounted hotel stays as well as attractions and activities at www.RTX.travel. Need a flight to get there, or a rental car to get around? Book all of your travel through RTX.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. His favorite RTX destinations are on the beach: Orange Beach, Alabama, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. .

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