Updated: Jan 21
It's finally time for a new travel article! It's been a minute since I've done one of these, but so many of you requested this so I hustled to get it to you asap :)
I spent a week in Scottsdale, just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. I never expected to love this place as much as I did, but to my pleasant surprise, I was left speechless and I fell in love with the landscapes and beautiful places.
So here are my top recommendations for this beautiful city:
WHAT TO DO
Hiking! We hiked almost every day and it was so fun, you get the best views! I've provided a list of some great hikes further below.
Desert Botanical Garden A beautiful place to discover all the many types of cactus you will find around Scottsdale and more. But it's so much more than cactuses and it's a truly magical place. It's also got an adorable gift shop!
Drive to Sedona for a day-trip If you've got the time and the budget to rent a car, I highly suggest driving up to Sedona for the day. The hike I did there, Cathedral Rock Trail, has one of the best views I've ever seen in my life. I think I almost cried, no joke. It is truly breathtaking. Sedona has almost no cactus and the rocks are red, the scenery is very different from Scottsdale, which is fun and they have what it called the Sedona Vortex. Spiritual vortexes are said to be cross-points between energy fields in the earth's grid system, or intersecting ley lines. I'm not very familiar with this topic so feel free to google it for more information :) And if you have even more time and budget, I also suggest taking a pink jeep tour (with Pink Adventures company). It was a super fun and unique experience!
Phoenix Public Market On Saturdays you can check out this market for fresh foods, artisans and a lot of people with cute dogs!
Do a little shopping Being from Montreal, there are a bunch of American brands that you can't find in stores here or that are too expensive to have shipped, so I made sure to stop by a few places we don't have: Trader Joe's, Ulta beauty, Nordstrom Rack to name a few. If you want to shop consignment and used designer items, check out My Sister's Closet, they have a few locations. If you are a foodie, head over to Whole Foods, you can get Mochis in any flavour!!! And finally, they have a shop called Last Chance where they stock all returns from stores like Nordstrom Rack and they are SUPER discounted because the stores couldn't take them (and no they aren't ruined and disgusting quality).
WHERE TO HIKE
(difficulty rated by 🔥)
Brown's ranch summit (Scottsdale) 🔥 * photo on the left Best trail views, it's very flat and the scenery is utterly unique
Sunrise trailhead (Scottsdale) 🔥🔥🔥 * photo on the right The trail is very rocky so you have to be careful where you step, hence you don't have as much time to look at the view while you walk, so take breaks to stop and smell the roses ;)
Pinnacle peak (Scottsdale) 🔥🔥 * photo in the middle This trail goes up and down the whole time, you have a beautiful view of mansions and a fancy golf course. Perfect for the dreamer ;)
Gateway saddle (Scottsdale) 🔥🔥 This hike has a less cactuses, more greenery, not in my top trails but definitely worth it if you are looking for an extra hike to do on your trip.
Cathedral rock (Sedona) 🔥 * see Sedona photos By far my favourite hike, the views on this hike are unlike anything I've ever seen. I was speechless. I still have no words.
WHAT TO SEE
Go to Old Town * photo on left It has a lot of cute shops to buy local souvenirs and a bunch of beautiful art galleries as well. One of the galleries has pieces by Pablo Picasso, Banksy and so many more iconic artists!
Taliesin West by Frank Lloyd Wright * photo in the middle Frank Lloyd Wright was a famous architect who designed amazing places like the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and his winter home was in Scottsdale. You can do a tour of the home and find out a lot about his unique views and techniques. We all loved it :)
Sedona * photo on the right As I explained above, Sedona is a beautiful spot that is definitely worth the visit! It's a very spiritual place, you can get spiritual massages, buy stones, get palm readings: everything you could think of. No matter if you are a spiritual person or not, this place will have something for you I promise.
Millions of cactuses! Seriously there are so many! Make sure to take a bunch of pictures of them all :)
The unique homes - all the homes look the same: they are all beige, beautiful, not one higher than the other, no skyscrapers in sight. It's a truly beautiful sight.
WHAT TO EAT
The Mission * photo on the left Two words: tableside guacamole. Oh yeah. I would argue the best guacamole I've had!
North Great place for reasonably priced quality Italian food. I loved their seasonal vegetable salad!
True Foods Looking for a place to eat clean? This is your spot! I had a delicious beet burger (yes beet not beef) and it was so good. The staff is also so nice and helpful!
Diego Pops * photo on the right I didn't get the chance to go here, but a follower of mine suggested this place and says they have amazing nachos! And the decor is super cute!
Unbaked Raw cookie dough you can eat! They have a cute sign that says "I got baked" hehe
The Henry * photo in the middle A beautiful restaurant with a delicious menu, not too expensive, super cute decor and there's a sign outside that everyone takes photos with!