Updated May 29, 2018
Some of my best friends and I took a recent girls trip to Scottsdale, Arizona and we had the best time ever! Not only did we stay at beautiful hotel properties and eat the best food, but we had amazing adventures and such great time together as friends. I’m recapping all of the details you’ll ever want to know about Scottsdale, Arizona! Up first, my video!
Scottsdale Travel Vlog
I had so much fun putting that video together! Now let’s break it all down. I’m giving you all the details on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. So many great pictures, it was hard to narrow it all down. Sorry in advance for the photo dump!
Where to Stay in Scottsdale, Arizona
Our trip to Scottsdale was four nights, and we were able to experience two different hotel properties during our stay. The two properties were so different from one another, and I actually think it was a great idea to experience both. I’d definitely say that if you’re planning a trip to Scottsdale and you’ll be there longer than 3 nights, try and stay at different properties. If I remember correctly, there are over 70 hotel properties in Scottsdale alone, so the options are vast – from boutique hotels to massive resorts. Here’s where we stayed!
Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
Our first two nights were spent at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Upon arrival, I was amazed by the amazing landscaping (so many cactuses and palm trees). The resort is set up against the McDowell Mountains, the architecture is very Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, there are tons of pool areas, a golf course, spa, and lots of restaurants on-site. We also really loved getting to go to the Recency club, which is a lounge you can get breakfast, snacks, drinks and more throughout the day.
It reminded me of being in Mexico without the water. The main areas are all open-air, they had live music, very large and comfortable guest rooms (all have great views) and so many things to do right on-property. We barely left those first two nights! So, if you’re the kind of person that likes to stay where you don’t really have to leave – this place is it. We were so relaxed! I would also recommend the Hyatt for families, as well. They have a lot of kid-friendly and family-friendly activities along with the amazing pools.
Lots of dreamy photos spots, I might add. Love this group shot of us on the resort grounds.
After two nights, we ventured over to Hotel Adeline. It had a much different vibe and pace that we were immediately smitten with. It is a brand new property in Scottsdale, having only been open just a few months. It underwent a $12-millon renovation which resulted in the most Instagrammable boutique hotel ever.
I’ve never been to Palm Springs, but in my head this is what Palm Springs looks like. Hotel Adeline has such a beautiful mid-century modern boho vibe. It’s a small, boutique property with 213 guest rooms. The hotel also has two restaurants – Selfmade and Good & Proper, both of which we enjoyed. It’s really close to Old Town Scottsdale, which is a fun place to explore (more on that in a minute). There is one pool area that is gorgeous, with cabanas, games, and a full bar.
Everywhere you turn in this super cute boutique property is a fantastic photo op. We loved it! If you are the kind of person that likes unique hotels with charm, this will be your jam. I definitely recommend this hotel for girlfriends and couples, as it’s geared more towards adults.
Where to Eat in Scottsdale, Arizona
There was not a shortage of food on this trip, that’s for sure. I loved every meal in Scottsdale. I am not a picky eater and I like almost everything, but I am a foodie. Here are the restaurants we visited while in Scottsdale.
The Vig McCormick Ranch
The Vig McCormick Ranch has a modern chill vibe with a menu that will satisfy anyone in your party. You can get anything from a steak to a poke bowl.
The cheese board and edamame were amazing appetizers, and I got a poke bowl. My friend Katie loved her street tacos. Everyone loved their meals!
You must check out the Vig!
Wine Me Dine Me at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort
We were able to experience Wine Me Dine Me at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, which is a unique dining experience!
Chef Juan takes you through a four-course meal with wine pairings and a special Patron Reposado tequila made exclusively for the Hyatt Scottsdale. This experience is a foodie’s dream!
It was so fun to be able to sit right at the counter to see the chef’s team prepare our meals and get a great education on the flavors along with the wine pairings.
Selfmade at Hotel Adeline
Yet another adorable Instagrammable spot within Hotel Adeline! I mean, just look at this place!
Fortunately, the food was just as amazing as the interior design. Pretty sure all of us ate way too much this meal. We had three appetizers, entrees, and one dessert per person. My favorites from the menu were the chicken skewers and my creme brulee. They also make a mean cocktail!
There is definitely something for everyone on the Selfmade menu. My friends also loved their pizzas!
Postino is an Arizona staple that has now made its way into other cities and states. It is a casual, yet high-quality and unique wine cafe that specializes in bruschetta boards and other dishes made for sharing. We hosted a small baby shower for Bethanie at Postino East in Gilbert. The food, mimosas, atmosphere, and company was wonderful.
Those bruschetta boards were to die for!
It was such a beautiful morning celebrating our favorite mama-to-be and my best girlfriends.
Sugar Bowl in Old Town Scottsdale is a favorite between tourists and locals. It’s been around since 1958 and it has that vintage soda shop feel. The walls and booths are pink, and their hot fudge sundaes are delectable!
So much fun for anyone, especially when it’s hot and you want a cool sweet treat.
Our last dinner in Scottsdale was at Diego Pops. I’d describe it as a trendy Mexican place. Not the Tex Mex I’m accustomed to. It’s like if Torchy’s went to Palm Springs. Haha, I really am grasping here with trying to describe it. It was such a fun atmosphere with unique and cool flavors. The brussel sprout nachos were out of this world (they even had a fried egg on top), and the Mexican street corn queso was delicious.
Definitely give this place a try if you want some unique fun flavors, or even if you just want a really good taco.
What to Do in Scottsdale, Arizona
There is no shortage of fun in Scottsdale. You can be outdoorsy, a foodie, relax at the spa, or hang by an amazing pool. Here were the things we did while we were in Scottsdale.
Pool Time at Your Hotel
We spent the majority of our first day at the Hyatt just hanging around the resort, mostly at the pool and spa. All of the Scottsdale hotels have great pools because it’s the desert and warm year-round. We gotta have a great place to cool off! In fact, I hear a lot of locals get passes to resort pools so they can go have fun and relax.
The pools at both of our hotels were super fun and a great way to catch some sun.
Spa Avania at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort
Our experience at Spa Avania at the Hyatt was first-class. The whole facility is stunning, with private pools, plunge pools, sauna, steam room, relaxation areas, and much more.
We all got to experience the Himalayan Salt Room and everyone got a massage. It was heavenly! Seriously the best way for a bunch of moms on vacation to relax.
Hot Air Expeditions
Nothing like crossing off a bucket list item while on vacation. If you haven’t ridden in a hot air balloon before, you must! Hot Air Expeditions really gave us the most unforgettable morning. I actually have ridden in a hot air balloon before while in Napa Valley, so I knew going in I would love it, and I absolutely did! The Arizona ride was a completely different experience from Napa, so I highly recommend doing it, even if you have gone somewhere else.
Hot Air Expeditions is an early morning experience. Our driver picked us up at our hotel at 4:25 am and they took us to the launch spot. We watched the pilots and crew get the balloons ready for take-off, and off we went!
Our flight lasted about an hour. Our pilot (they are graded pilots!), John, was so knowledgeable of the landscape and wildlife, and he had a lot of great stories to share. He was a pleasure to fly with! Upon landing, we were treated to a champagne toast and breakfast. Afterward, we were escorted back to our hotel all by 9:00 a.m. Worth waking up at 4:00 a.m. for!
Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale is a must-visit! It’s a fun area with shops, restaurants, and sights. Lots of cool photo spots, like this cactus mural.
Diego Pops and Sugar Bowl are in Old Town Scottsdale, as well!
Papago Park is a beautiful spot to get your desert fix. There are multiple trails and hiking options, even for beginners. We decided to take some desert maternity photos of Bethanie in this spot, and the photos turned out stunning!
I mean… hello, desert goddess!
On our last day, we headed out early to do some “legit” hiking on Camelback mountain. I say “legit” because didn’t quite know what we were getting ourselves into because we chose a pretty difficult trail called Cholla Trail. Luckily the park ranger advised us on the difficulty and about where to stop, etc.
We spent a good hour hiking up and down and didn’t get anywhere near the top because we weren’t properly equipped with enough water (#novices) and perhaps not enough stamina. Nevertheless, we got some amazing views of the Phoenix area and had a great morning. Hiking somewhere on Camelback is a must!
What to Drive
While in Scottsdale, I had the opportunity to test drive the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. It was the perfect vehicle for a desert adventure. It seats 5, has ample space for all passengers, has a 7″ touchscreen display that connects seamlessly to my iPhone, and has an overall rugged yet cool look! My first car was a Mitsubishi, so it was fun to drive another one for this trip!
I had fun being the driver throughout the trip, especially in this fun car.
If you’re planning a Scottsdale trip anytime soon, just know you are in for a real treat. I hope you’ve found this travel guide and recap to be helpful. If you need any other planning resources, definitely check out ExperienceScottsdale.com!
Also, make sure you’re following my friends on their blogs and social media. I promise you will love them!
Bethanie: http://www.thegarciadiaries.com || http://instagram.com/thegarciadiaries
Katie: http://www.typicalkatie.com || http://instagram.com/katiemcrenshaw
Brittany: http://www.theashmoresblog.com || http://instagram.com/theashmoresblog
Elly: http://www.uptownwithellybrown.com || http://instagram.com/uptownwithellybrown