When I say this is the ultimate travel guide to Scottsdale, Arizona, I mean it. Grab your coffee, and let me take you on a little trip to Scottsdale for the next hour! I’m covering everything we ate, where we stayed, and all the fun things we did while visiting for a week. If you’re thinking about adding Scottsdale to your travel plans, don’t think twice. Scottsdale, Arizona, is the perfect place for a honeymoon, a bachelorette trip, or a relaxing getaway. It has everything for everyone, and it’s sunny all year round. Even during the hottest months, there are pools to hang out in, incredible restaurants to sit at, and entertainment all around. Your trip to Scottsdale, Arizona, can be anything you want it to be. It can be adventurous, relaxing, filled with healthy food, fitness, decadent treats, spas, art, or a little bit of everything, which is what we did.
The Best Scottsdale Arizona Travel Blog | Ultimate Itinerary
Traveling to Scottsdale Arizona
Depending on where you’re traveling, I highly suggest renting a car when visiting Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s the type of city that has parking everywhere, and it’s a bit spread out, so having a car made it much easier to get around. If we had used Uber or Lift, the cost would have possibly been more expensive. In Arizona, many activities start at 5 am to beat the heat and catch the sunrise. Waiting for a ride around that time may not be ideal, so I highly recommend renting a car when you arrive at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Scottsdale is only fifteen minutes from the airport, so it’s so convenient to travel there.
Visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, in The Summer!
I know visiting Scottsdale in the hottest months may sound like a turn-off, but it’s the best time if you want to experience Scottsdale with fewer people, and you can get amazing deals on hotels and activities. Even the flights are cheaper during the summer months. I’m talking about 60% off rates during the “It’s That Hot” season!
Best Resorts in Scottsdale
We stayed at three different resorts while visiting Scottsdale. I love the idea of switching resorts and getting a new experience every couple of days. Since the trip was right after our wedding, we started with the gorgeous Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa to kick off our honeymoon.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
Sanctuary Resort is tucked away with stunning views of Camelback Mountain. This is a Scottsdale luxury resort that you must add to your travel plans. If you’re looking for a resort to relax and never leave, you can definitely do that here. As if the incredible food and infinity pool aren’t enough, they have a relaxing spa, tennis courts, yoga classes, and more. And, of course, I wouldn’t be properly flexing if I didn’t mention that celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z spent their honeymoon at the glamorous resort.
When we first got to Sanctuary, we were greeted by staff who helped us check-in, and they took us to our spa suite on a golf cart. The service at this resort was incredible. They offered a texting service if you needed anything, and they would occasionally text you to see how you were doing and if they could offer any assistance. I loved that.
The spa suite was like having a mini luxury apartment at the resort. The decor was vibrant yet modern, and the huge private patio had mountain views. Our room had a fireplace for a cozy champagne night and a private outdoor soaking tub. Next to the fireplace, a stocked bar with a fridge, a Nespresso maker (perfect for 5 am risers looking for coffee), and the resort surprised us with a congratulatory bottle of champagne and charcuterie to kick off our honeymoon. This resort goes above and beyond to make guests feel special and well taken care of.
Breakfast at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa
You can grab breakfast at Elements, but since we dined there in the evening, we decided to order breakfast in our room. I wanted to sit out on the day bed with my coffee and breakfast before spending my morning at the spa. I’m going to come right out and say it. Usually, room service at a hotel is never that great, but here at Sanctuary, it was exceptional. The menu had a lot of options, which made it hard to decide. I ordered the acai bowl, and it was easily the best acai bowl I’ve ever had. It was even better than the ones I had when I was visiting Hawaii. The bowl had mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, banana, and toasted coconut chia crunch over a blended acai smoothie. The flavors were phenomenal, and the fruit was so fresh! I ordered bacon and potatoes on the side, and it was everything I could have dreamed of and more. It was the perfect way to start our first morning in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Hotel With The Best Views
The sunrises and sunsets at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain are some of the most beautiful views you’ll ever catch. Make sure to take the time to look up sun hours and witness the beautiful views for yourself. I took my coffee to go in the morning to catch the views by the pool, and Kyle and I enjoyed the sunset while swimming! We love catching an early dinner and ending the day with a swim, and of course, the sunset over the mountains made it even more dreamy.
The Best Restaurant in Scottsdale
Whether you’re staying at Sanctuary or not, you better get a reservation at Elements Restaurant immediately. Who would have thought that the dinner at our resort would have been the best food we had on our trip? And that’s a huge statement considering everything we ate in Scottsdale was a 10/10. I never realized how much of a foodie town Scottsdale was until traveling here. Usually, when I travel places, I don’t leave with every single restaurant 100% satisfied, but for the first time, Scottsdale did that!
Elements Restaurant at Sanctuary Resort Scottsdale Arizona
We spent the entire day traveling from Charlotte to Scottsdale, Arizona. After a mediocre chicken salad wrap and a bag of goldfish at the airport, I was ready for some real food. We headed to our reservation at Elements Restaurant at the Sanctuary Resort, only a few steps from our suite. I didn’t realize how much of a treat we were in for. When you tell them it’s your honeymoon, they take that kind of seriously. They put us at one of the best tables in the restaurant’s corner, with the open glass window perfect for catching the sunset over Paradise Valley as you sip on delicious cocktails and crunch on tasty appetizers.
Elements Restaurant is a farm-fresh American cuisine with Asian accents crafted by Chef Beau MacMillan, a Food Network star! He works hard to create a seasonal menu incorporating local and organic produce, sustainable seafood, and hormone-free meat. If you’re looking for luxury dining that is both cozy and romantic, Elements is your spot.
Coming from someone who never orders many cocktails, you MUST try the Red Panther! To be honest, I ordered it because it was pretty and peach-flavored. I was not expecting it to taste so irresistible. The Red Panther is made with tequila, grilled peach, maple & red wine bitters. It wasn’t too sweet, and the maple flavors were very subtle. Maybe it’s because I live in the south, but I really appreciated the art of adding grilled peaches to a cocktail.
What to order at Elements Restaurant Sanctuary Resort
We didn’t skimp out on the food here. We both knew this could be our only chance ever to eat here, and we wanted to make this moment count, so we went headfirst into the appetizers.
We started with the Ahi Tuna Crudo. This dish was definitely on the lighter side of the appetizer menu. It came with Asian pears, ninja radishes, shishito peppers, avocado crema, hibiscus, & watermelon aguachile. I loved this dish’s light and refreshing flavors, and somehow all the different textures complimented each other flawlessly.
And to make ourselves feel better before diving into the tempura, we dove into another light starter, the Farmers Market Salad. If you like ginger dressing, you will fall in love with the fresh herb ginger vinaigrette that dressed the cucumbers, shaved carrots, fresh greens, and baby heirloom tomatoes.
Kyle is a calamari connoisseur, and the Fiery Calamari did not disappoint. As someone who just thinks calamari is whatever, I didn’t think that about this version of it. The Asian twist on calamari should be done more often at restaurants. The best technique is to make sure to get the fried herbs, cherry peppers, and calamari on your fork before giving it a last swipe into the miso scallion vinaigrette. I promise your eyes will light up, and it’ll most likely be followed by an “omgggg, that’s amazing” comment.
Don’t miss out on the Lobster Mac & Cheese for the table. It’s the creamiest mac and cheese made with our favorite pasta, cavatelli. It’s filled with butter-poached Maine lobster, creamy fontina, and tarragon. It was just as good when eaten cold the next day.
Now, I blame Elements for this obsession. I think they just loved our reactions to the food they kept bringing out, so they decided to top off our appetizer feast by saving the best for last. If you see Lobster & Squash Blossom Tempura on the menu, you have to order it and then come back here and let me know what you thought. I’m telling you, I’ve never had a dish like it in my entire life. Imagine having the ability to think up or, let alone actually create such a masterpiece? Each bite had locally sourced cooked squash coated with tempura and topped with whipped ricotta, lobster, and chives and placed in a pool of yuzu romesco.
And after all of the food we ate, you probably think we didn’t order entrees. Well, you’re wrong! There’s no way we would skip out on the main course if the appetizers tasted as good as they did. And we were right; the entrees were unbelievable. I know it’s rude to open your mouth while eating, but I had to keep picking up my jaw after my first bites.
I had the Miso Glazed Wild Isle Salmon, and as someone who eats salmon multiple times a week, I’m allowed to acknowledge that this was one of the best salmon recipes I’ve ever had. It was like trying salmon for the first time all over again because this recipe was so unique, and it took ordinary salmon to an entirely new level. It was served with sōmen noodles, snow peas, heirloom carrots, gai lan, ginger, and coriander.
Kyle ordered one of the most popular menu items, which also happened to be his favorite food, the Two Wash Farms Chicken. He and the waiter had a conversation about this chicken for about twenty minutes. I’m assuming they found a common love. The perfectly cooked and seasoned chicken is served with butter-whipped potatoes, savoy spinach, pancetta, and cipollini onion jus.
Are you getting full just reading about this food? Because SAME. Elements brought over some Szechuan green beans to go with our entrees. I don’t know how we had room for all of this, but somehow we managed to stuff every bite of the green beans into our bellies. Everything was just so worth the gluttony.
Waiter: “Would you like some dessert?”
Us: (barely breathing) “oh my gosh, no, we are so stuffed.”
Waiter: “Here we have the Strawberry Shortcake and the Lemon & Blood Orage Custard.”
And even though we did not want dessert and Elements thought they could prove us wrong, we did exactly what they predicted. We at almost every single bite of the dessert and sipped on the dessert champagne they paired with it. How do you say no to a shortcake with vanilla butter cake, mascarpone, chantilly strawberry compote, and berries? You can’t. And somehow, the custard with honey meringue, olive oil & thyme streusel white chocolate bark tasted equally good.
They looked so pleased with themselves when they saw us rolling out of Elements with our food coma eyes. Honestly, what better way to start a honeymoon than with a meal like that? Elements Restaurant made it so special for us, and we’ll talk about that dinner for years to come!
To recover from a day of travel and a night of food comas, we planned a relaxing pool day with a dose of the Spa for me!
Best Resort Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona
I love an early morning spa treatment. It just sets the tone for the day, not that I needed help setting the tone in a paradise zone like this. After finishing up my acai bowl and taking my last few sips of coffee outside on our porch, I headed to the Spa at Sanctuary. While I had a relaxing morning getting pampered, Kyle headed to his happy place, the fitness center. I was so impressed with their gym! It was more equipped than our local YMCA.
When I walked into the spa, I immediately turned on my ASMR tone. Everyone was so zin and quick to help me feel welcome. If you’re anything like me, the thought of going to a spa instantly gives you anxiety. It’s hard to navigate a spot that’s new without the fear of ruining someone else’s zin. While still extremely relaxing, the Spa at Sanctuary was a place to enjoy with girlfriends and laugh if you needed to, and everyone was so inviting.
After checking in, I was given a tour and then my own locker with a robe, shoes, and fresh towels. I took a quick shower and then headed to the lounge, where I sipped on the most delicious passion tea and waited for my massage therapist to come to meet me. We walked across a beautiful walkway with stone rocks and fountains before entering the massage room. The meditation garden and reflecting pond have a way of relaxing you just by looking at them. It was so relaxing and exactly what I needed after a stressful wedding week!
After my massage, I headed to the jet tub, where I met some of the sweetest ladies traveling all the way from Georgia (my neighboring state!) It was such a fun morning, and booking a day at the Sanctuary Spa is a must! They have so many signature experiences to choose from, and you deserve to treat yourself!
We were both excited about having a pool day after meeting back up. We lucked out with two of the best seats next to the pool. Once you arrive at the pool during the day hours, a pool attendant gets you set up on your pool chairs. They add seat covers with fresh towels, pour you a pitcher of water, offer an umbrella, and get you started with a menu! It’s the best service ever.
Lunch by the Pool Sanctuary Camelback Resort
I don’t know how they manage to do it, but the pool is still cold, even on a 115-degree day. This was the best way to cool off while visiting Scottsdale during the summer. We would get cooled off in the pool and then go back to our chairs. We had to do this every 30 minutes to tolerate the heat. I highly recommend getting a spot with an umbrella. I have no idea how people can lay out in the sun when it’s so hot! I was covered in sunscreen head to toe, and my hat was big enough to cover a village.
Being able to order lunch by the pool without going anywhere to get it is so convenient. We ordered the Little Gem Chicken Caesar Salad and it came with croutons, caper berries, cracked black pepper, Parmesan Reggiano, and caesar dressing. And since we were too healthy by ordering a salad and an AZ Sunrise Protein Drink, we opted for the Hand Cut French Fies with a Truffle Mayo. There’s something about french fries by the pool; they just hit differently, especially these. They were SO CRISPY yet so juicy in the middle. Have you ever heard anyone describe a french fry like that? And the truffle mayo was the perfect touch to these fries, and obviously with ketchup, too. Advice: Do not skip the french fries. The only part I didn’t like about the Sanctuary resort was checking out. It was tough to get myself to leave this place! Our experience there couldn’t have been any better. No matter what we wanted, they had it. We left feeling extremely relaxed and a little on the heavier side (if you know what I mean!)
Best Coffee Shops in Scottsdale, Arizona
Before traveling, I always map out at least five coffee shops I want to visit. Scottsdale had so many good contenders that we ended up trying out ten of them. One of the spots was recommended by many readers, Prep & Pastry!
Prep & Pastry – Scottsdale Arizona Coffee Shop
After a 5:15 am morning hike at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, we were ready for coffee and breakfast. Prep & Pastry is the cutest spot, with locally sourced brunch-style food on the menu. They also have a case of freshly baked goods.
But first, I started with an oat milk cappuccino. It was creamy and delicious. For my breakfast, I ordered guacamole toast. It was heavenly! It came with smashed avocado, scrambled eggs, jalapenos, radishes, cojita, and chipotle crema served on August Rohodes sourdough bread.
I felt like it would have been wrong to leave without trying the Classic Prep & Pastry French Toast. How do you say no to a brioche french toast topped with macerated berries, candied almonds, and chai butter? You just can’t, and it was oh-so worth it. I highly recommend trying both of these!
Whether you’re a morning person or not, you better wake up early and head to Macdonalds Ranch for a sunrise horseback ride.
Horseback Riding at Macdonalds Ranch Scottsdale Arizona
I had the absolute time of my life horseback riding in the Sonoran Desert Macdonald Ranch. I was shocked to hear that this was Kyle’s favorite activity on the trip. I didn’t take him for a horseback riding type of guy. After 5 1/2 years of being together, this was our first time riding horses. I have a feeling we’re going to make this a must for all of our future trips.
What to Know about Horseback Riding in Arizona
Don’t be late! It takes about twenty minutes to drive out to the ranch if you’re staying in Scottsdale. Unless you’re taking a private riding lesson, it’s courteous to get there at least fifteen to twenty minutes before your riding time. It takes a few minutes to get everyone signed in, paired with a horse, and given the rundown. If you’re late and people have to wait on you, then you’ll miss the morning rising of the sun, and no one is going to like you (jk, but kind of not kidding.)
Make sure to wear pants, close-toed shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and ice-cold water!
Don’t worry if you’ve never been horseback riding before! It’s easy to learn, and they will provide you a horse that’s good for beginners. You can also choose to wear one of their provided helmets if you want.
Call at least 24 hours in advance to book your ride!
I know I went a little overboard on horseback riding photos, but when do I not go overboard?
Our trail guide was the best! He chatted with everyone the entire time, and he also took phones from people to capture shots while riding! The website does not tell you to tip your guides, but make sure you do! They work hard not only while guiding you but behind the scenes.
We rode through gorgeous trails, passing cacti and mountain views, and since it was so early in the morning, the weather was perfect. MacDonald’s Ranch has been a big part of the Scottsdale community since 1956. It’s owned by the Richardson Family, and it was enjoyable to hear about all the famous people who have visited and which horses they rode. It was funny to learn that Lil Wayne’s mom rode the horse Kyle was on. I think it’s really amazing how a family business like this has grown successfully over the years and the joy it has brought to many travelers!
The Macdonalds Ranch has a lot of fun events throughout the year! When I saw they had a pumpkin patch, I almost booked my flights. It’s also a great place to host kids’ birthday parties.
Please make sure to add horseback riding at Macdonalds Ranch to your Scottsdale itinerary! You will not regret it.
It’s hard for me not to start a conversation about a restaurant in this post without using the word “favorite.” Scottsdale just didn’t disappoint on the food scene.
The Herb Box Scottsdale Arizona
Do yourself a favor and just make a list of all the restaurants I’ve mentioned and try them out. The Herb Box in Old Town Scottsdale was my kind of food. The Crispy Brussels Sprout Chips are a must. Ask for extra vegan yellow pepper aioli because it’s so good that you’re left wanting more. I had them bring me a side of it so that I could use it with my meal.
I ordered the Baja Bowl with shrimp. MMM! It had cotija, black beans, rainbow quinoa, rosemary-poblano, roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, and tabasco fried shallots tossed in a jalapeno-avocado dressing. The flavors were on point! Chefs kiss!
We took a Boston Cream Pie Dossant to go! We wanted to have dessert by the pool later that evening. With the time difference, we loved having dinner earlier in the day and going to bed earlier so we could wake up before the sun!
Hot Air Expeditions Scottsdale Arizona
If you’re not a morning person, Scottsdale is going to turn you into one! Lucky for us, we were always in bed early to stay on our east coast time clock. I’ve always wanted to go hot air ballooning at least once in my life. I said the same thing about skydiving. I don’t believe in doing it twice just because I’ve already survived it once.
Hot Air Balloon Rides in Scottsdale, Arizona
Waking up early for the hot air balloon ride was so worth it. You can’t beat the views! We went up into the sky with Hot Air Expeditions, and they were great!
Which Hot Air Balloon Ride Did You Do?
We did the shared morning balloon ride! If you don’t mind sharing a balloon with other people, then this is the perfect package to do! It’s double the cost to do it privately, so it’s totally up to you.
The ride starts really early in the morning. It includes a shared 45-60 minute hot air balloon ride. You get to toast to your survival (jk, it’s so safe and not even slightly scary) with champagne, a catered breakfast from Vincent’s on Camelback, and you get your own commemorative flight certificates. I hung it up right next to my sangria diploma from Disney World.
It’s an even earlier rise than horseback riding. I was up at 2:45 am so we could be out the door by 3:30 am! You have to drive about 25 minutes out to the airport. Once you get to the airport, you fill out some forms and load up in a van to head out to the loading location. It’s neat to watch the balloons go up into the air around you! It’s the best spot to take some cool photos in the desert as well.
We finally took off from the ground around 5:45 am.
Is the hot air balloon hot?
They don’t call them “hot” air balloons for nothing! Like a scorcher, but not the entire time. I will say there are certain parts of the basket that get the hottest from the fire. Whenever he turned on the burners, it felt like all the hair was burning off my head. If you stand closer to the fire area, it’s not as hot. Don’t ask me to explain the reasoning there. I’m not smart enough for that. It’s not hot enough to hurt you or to make the ride uncomfortable, but I don’t want there to be any surprises. I just had to share our landing…
Are hot air balloon rides safe?
Yes! Especially out in the desert without powerlines or crazy weather. I’d say Scottsdale is one of the safest places to ride a hot air balloon. It’s unbelievably quiet and peaceful up in the sky. You’d be surprised how light the hot air balloon feels up in the sky. It feels like you’re actually floating.
We had a scarier landing, but we all made it out with many laughs and jokes about it. The video I have of this is SO FUNNY! I’ll put it in the video clip in this post. You most likely won’t land like this, but if you do, it’s OK!
After the ride, we had a chance to walk around and take photos while setting up our breakfast. My only complaint is that our breakfast didn’t have any coffee 😆 but the champagne was a nice substitute. Breakfast consisted of mimosas, sparkling cider, croissants, an apple, a quiche, and a delicious cherry cake.
If you’re not afraid of heights and you want some amazing views, I definitely recommend the hot air balloon experience!
I was so excited about lunch at Farm & Craft! I had my eyes on this place as soon as I saw it on the itinerary. I was also looking forward to meeting up with Emily from Experience Scottsdale to learn more about the city and everything it offers! Plus, she was so fun to have lunch with ♥️ This trip wouldn’t have been possible without her!
Farm & Craft Scottsdale Arizona
If you love the farm-to-table style food, which is my favorite, then Farm & Craft needs to be on the top of your Scottsdale itinerary.
If you can’t decide what to order, always ask the server for the top three most popular items on the menu to narrow it down. She listed the Rustic Bowl with Chicken, and it sounded amazing, so I ordered it. It did not let me down! It had roasted vegetables, quinoa, kale pesto, grilled chicken, and pepitas. Kyle’s meal was perfect, too! He ordered the Kale Cesar Salad with Grilled Chicken. It had shaved brussel sprouts, cauliflower, marinated tomato, gluten-free garlic croutons, parmesan, and yogurt caesar dressing.
We started with the Skinny Ranch Crudite. It had the farm’s homemade skinny ranch, garden veggies, and kettle chips. I could drink that ranch; it was so good! Also, if you’re not dipping your chips in ranch, are you doing it right?
We tried the BBQ Chicken Flatbread, which was incredible! I’m not an adventurous pizza eater. The craziest I get is pineapple (yes, I’m one of those!) But I LOVED this flatbread! The sauce was the best part.
The next on our itinerary was visiting the Desert Botanical Garden! Make sure to visit early morning during the summer because it gets super hot! We walked the five thematic trails browsing all the gorgeous aridland plants. I’ve never seen so many cactuses in my entire life! I didn’t even know pink cactuses were a thing. It’s amazing to see the beautiful plants that thrive in one of the hottest and driest places in the world.
What to do in Scottsdale, Arizona
Desert Botanical Garden
You can also check the event calendar for drinks and live music nights.
The garden trails are so beautiful, and you can tell the volunteers and staff work so hard to keep it in tip-top shape for visitors. Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance and schedule your time slot. You can also call ahead to see if they have availability at the last minute.
I had Berdena’s coffee shop on my radar while browsing coffee shops in Scottsdale. It’s the cutest little spot with delicious coffee. I loved the design of this place. It was minimal but had fun tile and wallpaper. It’s located right in Old Town Scottsdale, so you can either enjoy your breakfast in the air conditioning or take it to go while walking around all the local shops.
Berdena’s Coffee Shop in Old Town Scottsdale AZ
They offer freshly baked goods, juices, kombucha, crafted coffee drinks, and more.
I ordered an oat milk cappuccino and their chia and berry parfait. It was all so delicious!
The next hotel we stayed at was Hotel Adeline! Talk about a fun aesthetic! Hotel Adeline in Old Town Scottsdale is one of the cutest Boutique Hotels with an eclectic style and photo-ready no matter what spot you’re hanging out in.
Hotel Adeline is such a fun spot for visiting with your girlfriends or if you’re looking for the ultimate pool-day vacation. The prices are super affordable, and the location is super convenient.
Hotel Adeline in Scottsdale, Arizona
This boutique hotel has been completely renovated and keeps the vibe of a Motel, which I love! Hotel Adeline has 213 guestrooms, delicious restaurants, and a giant pool with a bar, live music, lawn games, and cabanas.
We had breakfast twice at Selfmade at Hotel Adeline because it was so good! The chef was so nice. Kyle asked for hardboiled eggs, and he came by and gave kyle all his extras since he wouldn’t be using them the rest of the day. I’m one always to appreciate little gestures like that.
Breakfast at Hotel Adeline – Selfmade
We ordered the avocado toast, the fresh parfait with blueberries and bananas, coffee, orange juice, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and oatmeal. And we also ordered it again the next day. The food is so good! As I said before, nothing I tried in Scottsdale let me down, even the hotel food!
Since we were still on our Eastcoast time, Kyle and I spent our morning at the pool! Apparently, everyone sleeps in because we had the pool to ourselves. I love that the pool supplies towels, so you don’t have to worry about getting fresh ones or packing them while you travel.
Poolside Hotel Adeline
Honestly, if we didn’t have plans for the day, we would have stayed at the pool most of the time, sipping frozen drinks. No matter how hot it gets, you always feel refreshed after diving into the pool. Hotel Adeline just had the best colorful Arizona vibes! I loved this spot.
Hotel Adeline is a great spot for any traveler! We absolutely loved staying there, and the inviting pool scene was my favorite part.
Fourtillfour is such a cool walkup cafe located in an old garage. The coffee is roasted in-house, which means you can smell the delicious aroma a few blocks away. This was a fun spot to get our afternoon coffee fix.
Fourtilfour Cafe in Scottsdale, Arizona
If you love vintage cars and all things car culture, pay attention to their event calendar! Kyle ordered the cold brew, and I ordered an iced almond milk matcha latte. They were equally delicious! Wake up early and enjoy the outdoor patio area with your drink! They also have baked goods available if you want to treat yourself to a scone or muffin.
Hulas Modern Tiki Bar
If you’re looking for a casual yet DELICIOUS lunch or brunch spot, definitely try out Hulas Modern Tiki Bar in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s located right next to the famous Sugar Bowl. It has Hawaiian-influence cuisine, and the portion sizes are humungous.
The Best Lunch Spots in Scottsdale, Arizona
We ordered the Thai Chicken bowl with boneless chicken breast, spicy Thai sauce, avocado, and fried sweet plantains, and the Blackened Mango Chicken salad with mangos, Miso Vinaigrette, and crispy wonton chips. I loved how fresh and flavorful our food was!
You must order the tropical iced tea to complete your meal! 😉
The LDV Wine tasting room is a great way to escape the summer heat! They also have a gorgeous patio with views of Old Town Scottsdale, where you can also enjoy your flights. We chose a few different wines to try with the help of our amazing connoisseur!
LDV Wine Tasting Room
Kyle and I had a blast at LDV Wine Tasting Room. Even though I don’t drink a lot of wine, I’m always so fascinated by the art of making it and learning about the history of each blend. You can try many different wines on the menu with the flights before purchasing bottles to take with you! If you’re planning a bachelorette party or a weekend getaway, makes sure to add LDV Wine Tasting Room to your itinerary! We spent a few hours here enjoying our flights and chatting with the amazing staff. You can really learn a lot about a city by talking to the locals.
The wine at LDV is 100% AZ estate-grown wines and is based out of the Chiricahua Mountains! It’s great to support local businesses like this, especially after the past year. The wine is so delicious because they focus on single-varietal wines carefully processed with limited winery manipulation. They just taste purer, and you can tell they grow the highest quality grapes. The fruit just speaks for itself!
Wine Tasting in Scottsdale, Arizona
My favorite was the 2018 Rosé of Grenache. It’s not your average rosé, and that’s what made me so drawn to it. They use the limited skin maceration method while cold-soaking the grenache. The skins stayed on for 16 hours to create such a rich and notable flavor. The wine is produced in stainless steel to maintain fruity aromas! Make sure to try that when you go, even if you’re not a rosé type of person.
We really enjoyed our evening at LDV Wine Tasting Room!
You NEED to try Citizen Public House in Old Town Scottsdale. I’m so happy this was on our itinerary because it was out of this world! I totally understand the hype with locals and visitors. If you plan to do the LDV Wine Tasting room, this is a great post-tasting dinner. It’s walkable and a great way to fuel the body after sipping a little too much 😉
Citizen Public House – Scottsdale, Arizona
Our connoisseur at the wine tasting said that we just had to order the Original Chopped Salad. Not many restaurants are known for a “salad,” but I totally get it now. This salad was worth every bite! I’m pretty sure Kyle and I were fighting over the last bite. The flavors are so unique, and the way they pair together is pure magic. They bring the salad to your table styled so perfectly, they let you look at it, and then they start tossing it for you! I loved this experience, and sometimes you have to leave the salad tossing to the pros. It comes with couscous, arugula, pepitas, asiago cheese, currants, dried sweet corn, and marinated tomatoes, and we had them do grilled chicken on ours. It’s finished with a buttermilk herb dressing! YOU HAVE TO ORDER THIS!
Where to Eat Dinner in Old Town Scottsdale
We started our meal off with crab cakes. YUM! They came with an Oaxacan chile remoulade, corn, and arugula salsa. They were perfectly crisp and flaky, with every flavor you could ever dream of in a crab cake. I’d give a 10/10, and I don’t give crab cakes that rating very often.
We ordered the roasted brussels sprouts and this was such a unique side dish. They were cooked in truffle oil and served over sweet corn grits and pecorino romano! I loved the different flavors going on in this dish.
Kyle ordered the Buttermilk Chicken Breast, and I helped him eat some of it to confirm it was delicious! It came with mushroom risotto, charred broccolini, and Chicken Jus.
Make sure to stop at Citizen Public House, even if it’s just to pick up the chopped salad to go! You will not regret it. The only thing you’ll regret is NOT going 😉
I’m a sucker for a cute bakery, and Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop did not disappoint. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with a loud hello and the happiest smile. I could not stop looking around because it was the prettiest setup! It had all the pretty French-inspired vibes.
Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop
I love the story of how Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop came about. It’s owned by the sweetest mother/daughter duo, who both share a love for baking. Danielle, the daughter, also known as “Sweet Dee,” started baking special treats and cakes out of her kitchen at a young age. I can totally relate to this because that’s how I started paying for things in my first year of college. She outgrew her home kitchen and worked hard with her mom to create her very own bakery and cafe.
Best Bakery In Scottsdale, Arizona
There are SO MANY pastries to choose from. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, or dairy-free, they have something for you! The coffee was also exquisite. I had an almond milk cappuccino and Kyle had an iced coffee. It was absolutely perfect with my gluten-free Samoa tart. 😋 Sweet Dee’s has won “Best Gluten-Free Bakery” by Phoenix New Times.
Gluten-Free Dessert Scottsdale, Arizona
Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop is known for its theme events. They have fun-themed treats for Disney, Harry Potter (a customer favorite), Star Wars, and more! You can also order custom-baked goods to fit your event at Sweet Dee’s! This is such a gem of a place or Scottsdale.
You better come with an appetite because you’re going to want to eat everything at The Hash Kitchen. OH MY GOSH, this place has EVERYTHING you could imagine on the menu. If you’re ever with a group of people that is made up of picky eaters, diet restrictions, or the group is craving different cuisines, well, this is YOUR SPOT! It took us a good twenty minutes before we could decide on what we wanted.
What should you absolutely order? The Cannoli Donuts. The waiter said we had no choice, and he wasn’t wrong! Like, it’s a must! The Cannoli donuts are fried to order sweet dough stuffed with sweet cannoli cream and topped with powdered sugar. These are better than any cannoli you’ll ever have. The texture, the flavors, and even the presentation were just simply perfect.
The Hash Kitchen
Kyle ordered the Chicken Tinga Frittata! It comes with chipotle-braised chicken breast, caramelized onions, blistered shishito peppers, cotija, avocado, crema, green chili salsa, and breakfast potatoes.
I ordered the creamy kale Caesar salad because it just sounded so good! It came with creamy caesar dressing, Parmigiano cheese, garlic toast, and grilled chicken. One of the best kale caesar salads I’ve ever had.
The BEST Brunch Spot in Scottsdale
We also decided to get our fruit fix by ordering Giuliana’s Ah-Sigh-Ee bowl! YUM!!!! The acai base tasted like ice cream. It was topped with blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, dried coconut, granola, and peanut butter! It was LOADED! I highly recommend ordering one for the table to split. Mmm!
Provisions Coffee Scottsdale Arizona Coffee Shop
With a quick google search, we found Provisions Coffee.
I loved all the options they had in their baked goods section. We chose the blueberry muffin and the banana maple loaf. The banana maple loaf was THE BEST!! I’d definitely stop back in there again just to pick this up. It went perfectly paired with my oat milk cappuccino!
Kyle ordered a peach sparkling tea! It was super unique. It’s a 24-hour cold-brewed carbonated tea! I actually really liked it. It would have been even better with some kind of fruit purée added in!
Everyone messaged me about trying The Mission Old Town Scottsdale! I totally understand the hype.
When you walk in, the decor surprises you. I thought it would be a bright and airy spot with crazy colors, but instead, it was cozy and extremely inviting. Something about warm lighting in Scottsdale helps with the heat, and the candle lighting made this spot PERFECT romantic for a date night.
The food? HOW DOES THE FOOD JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER? Usually, I can complain about something on a trip, but Scottsdale left me hanging. Everything was top-notch, and I’m not just saying that. Scottsdale has hit my top spot for the best food. PERIOD.
The Mission Old Town Scottsdale
Make sure to get a reservation. We went on a weeknight, and it was pretty packed, but isn’t that a good sign that it’s the place to be? The Mission is located right in Old Town Scottsdale. You’ll find the best Latin cuisine with flavors coming in from Spain, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Fill up on all the homemade sauces, tortillas, and fresh salsa that are made daily! The meats are prepared on a plancha or grill using pecan and mesquite wood that makes sure the meat gets the ultimate flavor!
I was excited to try the Prickly Pear Primarita! It had El Mayor Reposado, organic agave nectar, pressed limes,
The Best Kale Salad in Scottsdale, Arizona
Kyle ordered Marinated Free-Range Chicken, which came with ají rocoto and Oaxacan cheesy rice! It was excellent! I especially loved the rice.
We also decided to order the guacamole (SO WORTH IT!) with our chips and salsa. And they make it fresh to order, which means they toss out that cilantro! 😉
THE STAR OF THE SHOW?
It’s a shocker. THE SHAVED KALE SALAD. I don’t get it. HOW? How does someone make a shaved Kale Salad at a Latin restaurant the star of the show? It’s one of the best kale salads I’ve ever had. Make sure you order it for yourself as a meal or for the entire table to enjoy. It comes with ají Amarillo vinaigrette, baby heirloom tomatoes, blood orange, goat cheese, and Marcona almonds.
If it’s too hot to walk around Old Town Scottsdale, schedule a tour with Joy Rides AZ!
Old Town Scottsdale Gelato Tour with Joy Rides AZ
We had an absolute BLAST! Not only did we learn so much, but we tried out a ton of gelato from local shops. We did the gelato tour, which is totally up my alley! You can do wine tours, bbq tours, beer tours, bachelorette tours, and more! There’s really no other way to explore Old Town Scottsdale better!
Honestly, the owners are so amazing that if you reached out to them with an idea for a tour, they’d probably do the research and set it up for your group! She was the absolute best and such a joy to hang out with.
Explore Old Town Scottsdale
You don’t even have to worry about bringing your camera or phone. She took many photos of us and then sent them to us afterward! I thought that was such a nice gesture. Every time we passed a building or drove down a street, we were filled with fun facts and history about them. We also got a lot of recommendations while riding around.
Best Gelato Spots in Scottsdale, Arizona!
We stopped at three gelato spots, and they’re all equally amazing!
The Gelato Spot
I ordered the pistachio almond and Kyle ordered Captain Crunch! 😋 They had SO MANY flavors, which made it hard to pick. The gelato counter was absolutely endless.
We ordered the Peanut Butter! It was so rich and delicious! It was like pure fudge. The decor in this spot was so cute. The black tile floor makes for the perfect gelato photo.
Yellow Spruce Roasters
I tried the Prickly Pear! It was so refreshing and light! We also had their coffee, which was equally delicious. The owner was so friendly, and they have a super convenient location right in Old Town Scottsdale. Make sure to grab a coffee and walk the shops all around.
There’s nothing better than sipping an iced coffee and eating gelato while cruising around Old Town Scottsdale! Please add Joy Ride AZ to your itinerary. It’s so worth it. I’m usually one to never book tours, but this has made me think otherwise! ♥️
The next resort we stayed at was Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale! The resort was originally built in 1959 but was completely rebuilt in 2017! I was obsessed with the concrete floors paired with a luxury mid-century style interior. The mountain views in this resort are stunning, and as soon as we walked out of our room, we were on a lawn facing the mountains. They even have yoga on the lawn with that view! Even when you’re in the pool, you get gorgeous mountain views.
Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale
I told Kyle that I really wanted to design our bedroom after the Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale room. I loved how the bed had the nightstands attached to all the outlets. We usually have to run around the house trying to find the chargers. The room was bright and airy but also warm in cozy! The room had floor-to-ceiling windows/doors that lead out to a patio with mountain views, and if you wanted to nap during the day, you could pull the giant room-darkening drapes across them. I took about a thousand photos so I could bring this design inspiration into my own home.
Best Resort For Activities Scottsdale Arizona
We arrived at the resort really early. We checked out of our other resort but needed a place to put our luggage since you never want to leave anything in a hot car in Arizona. The hospitality at Mountains Shadows Resort is everything you could dream of! The kind lady working the desk was so helpful and so friendly! She said she could check to see if there was a room ready for us, and she got us checked in early to put our bags away before heading out for the day. And when we got back, she handed us water bottles to take with us. She was just so kind, and it felt so nice to be welcomed into a resort like that.
This resort is the ultimate! You can join a fitness class, or yoga session, play golf, hang out by the pool, or join a special event on the calendar!
You know what I’m going to say, “another resort restaurant with one of the best meals in Scottsdale! “
Kyle and I got cleaned up after hanging around the Mountain Shadows pool and headed to dinner at Hearth ’61, the restaurant located to the left of the lobby. I loved the exposed kitchen, where you could watch the chefs hard at work, and the aromas from the stovetops made me even more hungry! Hearth ’61 serves modern American cuisine, which is actually my favorite cuisine. Serve me salmon, farm-fresh salads, and potatoes for the rest of my life, and I’ll be content!
Renowned Chef Charles Wiley knows what he’s doing! He keeps the seasonal food simple yet powerful in flavor. The dishes are made with local ingredients from surrounding farms. Our food was so flavorful and decadent, yet light and fresh.
I needed to cheers for the mountain views from our table, so I ordered a margarita! Something about Arizona makes me want to drink margaritas. It had tequila, pomm juice, Cointreau, lime juice, and grapefruit & orange bitters. So refreshing!
I highly recommend letting your server guide you through the menu. Whether you like corn or not, corn soup is an absolute must. It’s really flavorful and rich, so you can definitely share it. It comes with a queso fresco and a summer pico. I’ve never tasted anything like it. We found ourselves grabbing the bottom of the bowl with the fresh bread they placed on our table.
We ordered the organic green salads as a starter. The combo of the ingredients made it so light and refreshing! The salad had organic greens salad, chèvre, green apples, radishes, and hazelnuts.
The pan-roasted salmon was unmatched. Salmon is one of my favorite foods, but I don’t like it smoked, and a pan fried usually doesn’t spark my interest. But if it were pan-fried the way Chef Charles Wiley has it done in his kitchen, then I’d order it more often! The outside was so crispy, and the middle was flaky to perfection. The mustard hollandaise sauce paired perfectly with it, and the side of brussels sprouts and caramelized onion gnocchi topped off the dish nearly to perfection.
The BEST Dinner with Mountain Views Scottsdale Arizona
Kyle ordered the Niman ranch tenderloin of beef with a red wine demi, bleu cheese fondue, and truffled mash. We always try each other’s meals, so I can happily confirm that it was amazing! I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I even tried the bleu cheese fondue, and it’s actually something I would order! I am not a bleu cheese person, but this tasted so soft and creamy! I don’t think you can go wrong with whatever you order from Heart ’61. They obviously know what they’re doing back there!
We didn’t get much of a choice if we wanted dessert or not 😆 Our server brought us out the most amazing dessert tray! It was absolutely art. It couldn’t have come at a better time because I was trying to decide whether I wanted something citrusy, chocolatey, or ice cream.
Our tray had three incredible desserts. We had a fudge brownie topped with buttered popcorn, mousse ganache, popcorn crumble, and an orange pop gastrique. We had a pina colada semifreddo with a rum-soaked coconut sponge, Brulee pineapple, granola, and caramel sauce. The last one was a fennel apple tart with brandy caramel, oat crumbles, and vanilla bean gelato. This dessert tray covered everything I was craving! My tastebuds were going wild with all the different flavors and textures. I can usually pick out a favorite dessert, but I couldn’t hear. Honestly, you’re better off just ordering all three of them. We had a fridge in our room, so we just brought the leftovers back with us!
Even if you don’t stay at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale, definitely stop at Heart ’61 for dinner! The views are so worth it, and the food just speaks for itself.
The summertime in Scottsdale should be spent at the pool! Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale has an amazing pool with mountain views, cabanas, and poolside service! Want a drink but don’t want to leave the pool? Well, no problem! We were able to order margaritas and cucumber lemonade while floating around on a tube. And again, with the hospitality here, they were so nice and always checked in on you! Make sure to bring cash because they deserve all the tips in the world after running around in the heat.
Lunch in the Cabana at Mountain Shadows Resort
I highly suggest renting a Cabana at Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale for a morning/lunch day! We did an early morning hike and then headed down to the pool to cool off and relax for the day. The cabana has a t.v., a fridge, couches to lounge on, a fan, and drapes to block off the sun. It’s totally worth it! The pool is 75-foot and connected by a modern waterful feature in the middle. Its views of Camelback Mountain and the surrounding desert make the scenery almost feel like a movie set!
For our poolside lunch, we ordered the organic greens salad, avocado toast loaded up with a poached egg on noble bread, roasted poblano, queso fresco, pickled onion, and watermelon radishes. We also had sliced fruit on the side! I love healthy and refreshing food when I’m at the pool, and the lunch menu was impressive. I mean, look at that avocado toast!
We ordered two of the lightest and most refreshing drinks on the menu, a classic margarita and the cucumber lemonade! You can also order frozen drinks too, but those are dangerous for me 😆
We had so much fun hanging out at the pool! The Mountain Shadows Resort was a wonderful time, and we would stay there again in a heartbeat!
Another coffee shop? Oh yes! I will put together a separate blog with just Scottsdale Coffee shops to make navigating them easier, but it’s not an ultimate “simply taralynn” travel guide without coffee shops! We tried out Black Rock Coffee Bar, and it was delicious!
Black Rock Coffee Bar
Black Rock Coffee Bar was another spot recommended by readers! I’m so lucky to have you all hand over all the great suggestions, and they never disappoint. This coffee shop isn’t in Old Town, but it has parking, a drive-through, and so much indoor seating for escaping the heat.
We ordered a cold brew, an oat milk cappuccino with mocha, and a blueberry muffin! Super delicious, and I loved the flavor of the coffee!
Dining at FRANCINE in Scottsdale is a MUST! I’ve never seen anything like it. The airy luxury-french decor is stunning! The restaurant radiates the rustic charm of le midi, which is the homeland of celebrity chef-owner Laurent Halasz. If you have a Scottsdale trip coming up, open a new browser, grab the number, and make a reservation! Laurent and French-trained executive chef Brian Archibald have recreated signature dishes from the south of France. Growing up with fresh, seasonal, and flavorful dishes at home inspired Laurent Halasz to serve the same to guests at FRANCINE!
FRANCINE is located in the luxury wing of Fashion Square, so after a day of shopping at one of the largest malls, stop in for dinner and a drink! And if it’s not the summertime, I highly recommend sitting outside on the beautiful patio!
FRANCINE Restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona
I kept seeing drinks with flowers on top as the waiter walked by. I told him I wanted one of “those!” It’s the French 75 Valensol Classic Cocktail! It was fruity and a bit on the sour side, which I loved!
We love starting with a salad to split when we’re out to dinner. We ordered the petite greens, and it came with roasted fennel, Roquefort, pecans, and a rosé vinaigrette. Super seasonal and light!
I don’t know what got into me, but I decided to order something completely out of my element. I ordered the Crab Ravioli. When Kyle said he was ordering the salmon, I knew I had to do something different. The crab ravioli had a powerful lemon flavor to it, and it paired perfectly with the savoryness of the seafood. The ravioli itself was impressively handmade with a perfect texture. Kyle’s Salmon Riviera came with an endive tatin and sweet potato. The Endive tatin was the star of the show! It was like eating a savory dessert for dinner. It was flaky and gooey all at the same time. YUM!
If you like cauliflower, you MUST order the Whole Cauliflower. Its presentation is enough to stop you in your tracks and make you forget whatever was about to come out of your mouth. It’s a giant fire-roasted cauliflower sitting on a bed of yogurt and flavored all over with dukkha!
We didn’t get dessert, but we probably should have. Maybe next time! We were just so full!
Funny story. I left all my makeup and hair products at home! It got put in the wrong car when we left the wedding, and I wasn’t going to get it in time for our flight out the next day. I just went to Ulta and grabbed some mascara, and my favorite Tarte-tinted moisturizer for the trip.
I didn’t realize how awful my hair was going to be in the Arizona heat, and after days at the pool, it was starting to get out of control. We kept driving past Dry Bar, and I knew I had to get it done for the last few days of the trip!
Dry Bar Phoenician
I know Dry Bar isn’t an Arizona staple, but I wanted to give you the idea of leaving your products at home and getting your hair done at Dry Bar instead. It’s a great way to explore the gorgeous Phoenician (which I NEED to stay next!!) It was a beautiful property, and I love how my hair turned out 😉
Next up on the Coffee Shop agenda Sip Coffee & Beer!
This spot was so hip! It’s a smaller space inside, but you can tell this is where the regulars hang out. Everyone seemed to know everyone, and there were people reading books, working on laptops, and just hanging out. It has to feel good to own a coffee shop where people love to come and hang out on the regular. Even the staff called the customers by their names on multiple occasions as they walked up to the counter.
Sip Coffee & Beer in Scottsdale, Arizona!
Kyle and I found a spot at the end of a long communal table. We had the gluten-free apple loaf, an oat milk cappuccino (can you tell that was my go-to on this trip?), and Kyle had the Sip Coffee & Oat protein shake! It was terrific. It had Chocolate protein, almond milk, banana, oats, honey, peanut butter, and espresso! It would be an amazing on-the-go breakfast!
I hiked Camelback Mountain all the way to the top back in 2013! It was during October, so no matter what time of day you went, the heat wouldn’t kill you. To hike Camelback Mountain in the summer, you need to be on that trail by 4 am. We made it there at five and did about halfway up before feeling the heat. It’s incredible to see the dedicated athletes run to the top and back down. It’s not the easiest hike, so I’m always impressed! It is still stunning, and even if you don’t plan to hike it, visiting the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is scenic enough! They have parking right by the trailhead but get there early to find yourself a spot. You may even be able to bike there depending on where you’re staying.
Hiking Camelback Mountain Scottsdale Arizona
Camelback Mountain is the first thing people think of when you mention Scottsdale. If you’re going to go on any hike, make sure this is it! There are two different trails to choose from, both a bit on the difficult side. There are rocks you’ll have to jump to, and there are animals that you may run into. Definitely wear thick shoes, and sunscreen, and bring water and snacks. The trails ascend 1,420 feet to a summit with 360-degree views of the cities around it. It’s so worth it!
We stopped into Cartel Coffee Lab one afternoon while walking around Old Town Scottsdale. It gets so hot out while walking that it forces you to enter the stores, which I think is a great way to find new customers!
Cartel Coffee Lab Old Town Scottsdale
Kyle and I split a black coffee (I’m the crazy person that likes hot coffee even in 116-degree weather!) and a hemp sparkling water! I’m now obsessed with that water, so if you’re on the West Coast or in Scottsdale, you need to try it!
Cartel Coffee is a cute little spot with plenty of room to hang out, grab a bite to eat, and cool off from the heat. And the coffee was delicious!
One of the coolest experiences was visiting Wonderspaces at the Fashion Square Mall! It’s filled with interactive art exhibits and things that make you go, “wow!” The art periodically changes to make room for new exhibits, so make sure to check to see what’s new!
I loved the Light Leaks, Transition, and Killing Time. I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but watching The Transition actually made me cry. The dog was so at peace, and the way it sat on the boat made you feel like that’s what heaven must be like for dogs. Art that makes you feel is the best kind of art!
We loved spending our afternoon at Wonderspaces, and I think it’s definitely worth it! Make sure to buy tickets and schedule your time a few days in advance!
Press Coffee Roasters was one of the first coffee spots we tried in Scottsdale. We just left the airport and needed coffee before heading to our resort. I ordered an oat milk Cortado, Kyle ordered the peanut butter shaker (cold brew organic agave & almond creamer), and we split an oatmeal raisin cookie! We were still on East Coast time, so we totally needed the pick-me-up after our flight.
Press Coffee Roasters
It’s right by the Fashion Square Mall, so we headed over there right after! I think Press was one of our favorite coffee shops we tried!
I totally know True Food Kitchen is in many different cities, but if you’re new to True Food, they have one in Scottsdale. It’s one of my favorite restaurants, and since we don’t have one in Charlotte, I HAD to stop in for lunch. After shopping Fashion Square, we ordered sparkling prickly pear tisane and prickly pear hibiscus lime sparkling water.
True Food Kitchen
For our lunch, we had the Spaghetti Squash Casserole, with chicken sausage and crushed organic DiNapoli tomato, caramelized onion, zucchini, and almond ricotta. It was just as good as I remembered!
Kyle had the Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl and it came with broccoli, rainbow carrot, bok choy, green bean, snap pea, mushroom, brown rice, avocado, and toasted sesame!
Notable spots in Scottsdale that you need to check out:
See’s Candies – We picked up a ton of chocolate for the plane ride home! They also threw in a ton of free samples.
Fashion Square Mall – It’s a mall, I know! BUT IT’S HUGE!
The Sugar Bowl – The cutest pink building with outrageous desserts.
Wine Girl – Such a cute spot!
Diego Pops – Our flight got bumped up, so I was sad when we had to cancel our reservation. I know it’ll be the first place we go to when we visit again.
El Chorro: Apparently, they have THE BEST cinnamon rolls.
Craft 64: Amazing wood-fired pizza!
Self-Guided Wright Tour of Taliesin West – Audio tour of Wright’s personal home, studio, and architectural laboratory.
Scottsdale Museums– Contemporary Art, Museum of the West, Heard Museum, and more.
Kayaking I so want to do this next time! Maybe save this for a 4 am kayaking journey or a non-summer activity.
No matter what day, what time of year, or what kind of activity you’re looking for, there is ALWAYS something for everyone happening in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Scottsdale, Arizona, was absolutely INCREDIBLE! I plan to do a few more blogs dedicated to our trip there, but if you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a honeymoon, Scottsdale is it! ♥️ I hope you all enjoyed this guide, and if you made it to the end, YAY! It’s the longest travel guide I’ve ever written, but I wanted to make sure to cover all the moments.
Questions for you!
- Have you ever been to Scottsdale, Arizona?
- I love visiting new coffee shops while traveling; what do you like to explore while traveling?
- What is one restaurant from my travel blog you’d love to dine at?
Thank you so much, Experience Scottsdale or hosting me! This post was not sponsored, but travel, resorts, activities, and most restaurants were paid for by Experience Scottsdale. Thank you for supporting Simply Taralynn!
What a perfect honeymoon! Scottsdale is one of my fave places for a weekend trip from Tucson. I need to get back there ASAP! Gotta try that delicious looking mac and cheese and the lavender lemonade – yum! Last time I was there I did a scavenger hunt around old town Scottsdale and it was so fun!!
And I need to make it to Tucson!
Ohhh the Lobster mac & cheese is so so so so worth the trip! A scavenger hunt sounds like so much fun!
What a great recap. Loved it so much. We have been planning a trip out there soon so anxiously awaiting your post. All the tips were awesome. Thanks so much. It looks like you had an awesome honeymoon. Congratulations to both of you. I am a big coffee fan so thank you for all your suggestions besides the wonderful restaurants….
I can’t wait for you to try some of these spots out!
I have never been to Scottsdale, but you have convinced me to go some day! It reminds me of our Moab, Utah trip. So hot during the day, but not humid!
When we travel we like to go to coffee shops too! We usually hit up a cute coffee shop and then go hiking. =)
Honestly, I loved the resort where you got to eat by the side of the pool! I would definitely love to try that. So fancy!
I have two questions: Where did you get your cute green backpack! I’m in love with it, and what do you do with your pups when you travel? We adopted our dogs during the pandemic and haven’t taken a big trip away from them yet.
Thanks for sharing!
Oh gosh you have to go 😊 & Utah is on my bucket list.
That sounds amazing. Yes, hiking & coffee sound like a great duo!
That green backpack was actually from TJMaxx! It doesn’t have a brand, but only $12.99! Target does have similar ones.
We have our college-aged neighbors stay with them at the house, or my parents watch them since they’re also close! I would definitely look into having an at-home sitter if you can. Boarding them may be terrifying if they are still trying to get settled in ♥️
This makes me want to visit Scottsdale so badly! Going to look into flight. Was this a sponsored trip or your honeymoon?
I mentioned at the bottom of this post that this blog was not sponsored (I was not paid to come here) but Experience Scottsdale did comp some of the trip. I was invited to go down and write a travel guide for Scottsdale, so Kyle made it our honeymoon.
Definitely travel to Scottsdale! ♥️
I’ve never been to Arizona, but I’d love to go there one day 😍
Looks like you had an amazing honeymoon. I’m so happy for you! And all the food.. WOW, looks amazing 😍 Your food pics always make me hungry hahah!
So happy that you’re back posting more again ❤️
Thanks, Marie! Feels good to be back!!
I hope you visit Scottsdale soon!!
This guide was so helpful! I love all of your pictures, especially the shots of your horseback riding adventures, they’re so great!
Don’t you just love when a place has food that never disappoints? I think they’re rare, but some cities really are just food paradises! That’s how we felt in Tulum and Tokyo. Every single place we went to was incredible and somehow better than the last, and it sounds like Scottsdale is the same way!
I really want to head out West now; this guide was so inspiring and everything looks like so much fun!
Hi, Annie! ❤️
Thank you so much! We may have to add horseback riding to our future trips together!
I have Tulum on my bucket list, so I’m heading to your blog right now to go read your guide!
Congratulations again to you and Kyle!!!
You look amazing and I love every single outfit you wore!!!
Ahh, thanks, Freshi!
This guide is amazing and makes me wanna go there right now 🙂 I really hope I can visit your country soon! There is soooooo much to see 🙂
I love to explore local restaurants when I travel and trying as much traditional cuisine as possible 🙂
I cannot choose jus one restaurant from your blog, I would love to dine at so many of them! Farm & Craft, Citizen Public House, The Hash Kitchen, The Mission, Hearth ’61… they look amazing!
I´m so happy you had such a wonderful honeymoon! With the hot balloon and horse riding experience I would definitely love this spot!
Big hugs from Barcelona and can´t wait to see your next travels! 🙂
Oh I know you would LOVE Scottsdale! I hope you can visit soon.
Where is your blue dress from.. I love it and that lil cut out 🥰
That was from Abercrombie!
What a beautiful guide! This blog inspired my boyfriend and I to plan a trip to Scottsdale. I can’t wait to try out some of your spots.
You’re going to LOVE it!!!
This makes me want to visit Scottsdale asap!
This was such a great read! What resort would you recommend for a solo traveler? Something close enough to experience things. 🙂
You can’t go wrong with any of the resorts as a solo traveler! It’s all based on what you’d like to spend and what kind of experience you’re searching for!
You have me excited about visiting Scottsdale this summer!