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January 16, 2014updated Jan 17, 2014

Visiting Scottsdale: Jewel of the Sonoran Desert

By Chris Boyle

Four Seasons Plunge PoolMcDowell Sonoran PreserveSanctuary SignatureScottsdale’s Sonoran Desert boasts more than 330 days of sunshine, with events and happenings in full swing all year long.

Take advantage of the idyllic temperatures with an early morning hike up Pinnacle Peak or through Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve – currently at 30,200 acres with more on tap to be added over the next several years.

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Take a desert Jeep or Hummer tour through the craggy mountains or see the desert from above with a serene hot air balloon flight. For truly spectacular aerial views, buckle up for a seaplane ride that includes a water landing on Roosevelt Lake or venture onto a helicopter to fly over iconic locations like Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain.

After a day of scoping out the awe-inspiring sights, thrill your tastebuds with fine dining options at nearly 600 restaurants. Eating local in Scottsdale has never been easier with chefs tending their own herb gardens and using local organic purveyors to create their menus.

One of Scottsdale’s award-winning restaurants, FnB, dishes out sophisticated comfort food using seasonal, local and organic produce and offers an Arizona-only wine list. At the Old Town Farmer’s Market, sample a cornucopia of locally grown flavors and Sonoran Desert specialties. Or, check out The Farm Sessions; a “farm-to-table” experience where local chefs lead participants on a market excursion, then offer a cooking demonstration using local seasonal ingredients.

A plethora of nightlife activities await you with the onset of evening. Head to downtown Scottsdale where you’ll find a nightlife experience to suit your mood. The nocturnal diversions range from hip clubs to cozy wine bars to Western honky tonks. Downtown Scottsdale boasts nearly 90 nightlife options in all, most within an easy walk or pedicab ride from each other.

When the day is done, tuck into the comfort and luxury of the city’s world-class resorts. Experience the grandeur and sophistication of the Canyon Suites at The Phoenician with stunning views of Camelback Mountain or embrace a breathtaking Southwestern setting with Spanish colonial-style architecture, expansive plazas and lush, flower-filled gardens at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Whether you’re looking for premier golf courses, rejuvenating spa treatments or upscale, tantalizing restaurants, Scottsdale’s resorts offer an exclusive experience tailored just for you.

www.ExperienceScottsdale.com

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Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

(800) 782-1117

www.ExperienceScottsdale.com

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