Exploring Scottsdale, Arizona

Last week K and I spent six days in Scottsdale, AZ. I told everyone we were going to Phoenix, but after we got there we realized we were actually in Scottsdale- which is a totally different animal.

Anyway, we vacationed over K’s birthday, but it was less of a b-day trip and more of a (much needed) escape. We work a lot, K owns the business, and we’re usually tied up with business stuff while on the road (for business). It was nice to travel with no agenda.

We work with awesome people who took over our job duties & put out most of the fires at home. And we have a dog/house sitter who keeps the home calm in our absence. Thank JESUS for the people in our lives.

I’m modeling my trip recap after Alexandra‘s travel posts.
(Thanks for the inspo, friend!)

Where We Stayed:

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Pros: It was a gorgeous resort with nice (heated) pools, complimentary bike rentals (which we didn’t do), two delicious restaurants, a spa (did not visit), and cafe with drinks, pastries, and custard. The location was great & our room was stunning with a great view of Camelback Mountain. The valet service was so attentive and friendly and quick.

Cons: It was a pricey… and nothing was included. You had to rent the open and empty poolside cabanas if you were interested in poolside shade. The walls were paper thin- kids and adults walking up and down the corridors could be heard and K even got to listen in on a domestic argument next door while I was poolside. I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel like we got our money’s worth. The weather prevented me from lounging around the pool all but one day- and even if I’d spent all 6 days doing that, I’d have to sell a kidney to buy one drink a day while lounging. So… next time we’re Holiday Inn Express-ing it πŸ˜‰

What We Did:

We arrived late Monday night. Tuesday through Friday we did…

  • A Train Ride on Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale, AZ)
    Such a cool experience. We booked first class tickets and had complimentary champagne, appetizers, and our own table & soft seats. Each cabin had an attached open-air car for 360ΒΊ viewing. Our stewardess was great, the info was interesting, and, even though the weather was less-than-great (rainy & cold), we saw some beautiful things. The ride back was a little long and boring (K wasn’t a fan) since it was the same rails we rode out on.
  • A Spring Training Baseball Game (Goodyear Ballpark- Goodyear, AZ)
    When in Rome… right? We’re not huge baseball fans (I went to one game last year), but we figured since we were here with an open schedule (and a hankering for beer & ‘dogs), we’d pop in for an Indians game. Bonus: They won!
  • Penske Racing Museum (North Scottsdale)
    We’re race fans so we took advantage of this free museum. If you don’t care about Formula One or NASCAR racing, this isn’t for you. It takes less than an hour to walk through, it costs nothing, and it’s located in the middle of luxury car dealerships (which we also wandered through). Definitely interesting for car/racing people!
  • Desert Monsters UTV-ing (Tonto National Forest)
    We booked the sunset tour through this guided utv company. It was AWESOME. We got 2+ hours of guided utv-ing through the desert and we were provided with helmets and goggles and bandanas (to keep). Since it rained earlier in the week, the trail was bumpy and puddle-y and everything you want in an off-road experience. There were multiple opportunities to switch drivers, the tour supplied water bottles and snacks, and the guides were so informed on desert life. This was the coolest (literally- it was chilly) experience!
  • Goodguys Spring Nationals (Scottsdale, AZ)
    By happy coincidence, there was a huge car show going on the Friday/Saturday we were in town. Obviously K was gunning to check it out so we got our tickets and spent Friday morning and early afternoon wandering around thousands of cars. I walked over 4 miles at the show.

Where We Ate:

We had a few meals at our hotel and they were admittedly very delicious. The restaurants at the hotel were Prado, Centro, and Crave (cafe).

  • Roaring Fork (dinner)
    If we ever go back to Scottsdale we are visiting this place again. Delicious salmon (me) and steak (K).
  • Daily Dose (breakfast)
    I am still dreaming about the Strawberries & Creme waffle I had!
  • Cartel Coffee Lab (coffee)
    Overpriced, miniature cups, bitter coffee. NOPE.
  • In-and-Out Burger (dinner)
    We were in the place so we did the thing. It was a good meal- I get the hype.
  • Bobby-Q’s (dinner)
    Delicious barbecue AND THEY GIVE YOU COMPLIMENTARY DONUTS WITH YOUR BILL.

When we were in Scottsdale we spent quite a bit of time in Old Town. That’s where the cute shops, cafes, and restaurants can be found. Most of the actives we did were 30+ minutes from our hotel, so unless you just want to shop & eat, plan to rent a car and put on a few miles.

Fun fact? I brought a coat and left it on the d*mn plane. Thank goodness the pockets were empty. The army green coat in all my pics was an emergency purchase from GAP in Scottsdale. I love my new coat more than my old one, though…. So who’s the real winner here >>>?

I was fussy about the weather (couldn’t be helped) and the cost of our hotel amenities (my stupid error), but we had a really nice, relaxing trip. We filled our days with yummy food and activities that we love. We never felt rushed or stressed to get anything done, and I loved every laid back minute πŸ™‚

Annnnd now we’re back to reality this week! Haha.

14 thoughts on “Exploring Scottsdale, Arizona

  1. I had family that lives in Scottsdale… maybe I need to go visit them πŸ™‚
    That’s a shame the resort wasn’t worth the money – it looks beautiful but that’s not cool that they make everything else so expensive to enjoy.
    LOVE your new coat. That did work out well… maybe I need to lose mine somewhere too πŸ˜‰ haha
    So glad you just got a chance to get away from work for a bit – that’s always good for the soul!

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    • It really is beautiful πŸ™‚ I wish the resort had been just a liiiiiittle more inclusive. I hate complaining about it but we did an all-inclusive in Jamaica once and I think that’s made me jaded. Lol
      My coat is perfect for spring! I’m so glad I found it!! Thank you!

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  2. I hate when I feel like something wasn’t worth the money and I hate having to pay extra for everything but you had a great escape regardless and how cool that the car show and free museum was there, that totally lined up for you both! Photos are beautiful, great out of the norm other activities too!

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    • I agree. I complained about it once or twice while we were there but we just chalked it up as a lesson learned. And maybe if I could’ve enjoyed the pool more than a day I’d feel differently. Who knows.
      It was a lovely escape, though! And I’m so glad we did so many things that perfectly fit our personalities and interests!

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  3. I’ve only been to Scottsdale once and it was for a work convention type thingy. But weird. Like lots of meetings that I didn’t attend any, except for the one where I picked up the awards our team won. So it was basically a paid vacation for me. πŸ˜€ It’s always weird to me that pricey hotels can really nickel and dime you for stuff, like wi-fi etc, while cheap hotels come with that stuff. πŸ˜€ It looks like you had a great time overall and I’m glad you got some downtime with K!

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    • Paid vacations are lovely! Hopefully you had better weather than us πŸ˜‰ The hotel was very very nice… but after the one all-inclusive we did years ago I just feel so irritated when I have to pay for every extra little thing. *shrug* Just a blimp on an otherwise lovely week πŸ™‚

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  4. What a bummer the resort wasn’t worth the money, because it looks beautiful!! I can’t believe you lost/forgot your coat…but SCORE with a new one. GAP always has great coats. In N Out is 100000% worth the hype. Glad you got to try it. Everything looked fun!

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    • It was definitely a beautiful place!! The part that got me was on the one nice afternoon I sat down near a cabana on a comfy lounge chair. (NOT under the cabana, right in front of it.) I was there for 15 minutes reading and then a pool server came over and asked if I’d rented the cabana behind me. I said no. He said I’d have to move. (There were 3 filled cabanas and 5 empty ones.) I said ok and was understanding, but even after I moved NO ONE offered me a drink or menu for another 20 minutes. Like…. you could ask me to move but NOT ALSO take care of me as a guest in the process?
      I dunno. Rubbed me the wrong way.

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    • Agreed. New coat > old coat!
      I kept calling it big sky country and K was like, “That’s Montana” and I told him I didn’t care. I thought it was fitting. Hahaha.

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  5. Sounds like a nice, fairly relaxing trip. Sorry to hear about the hotel though – it sounds like the cons kind of overpower the pros on that one! Oh well, the more you know I guess. I think the train ride would be fun, though I can see how it would be boring on the way back. Glad you had a great time.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    • Yeah… We lived and learned. Oh well! It was a super relaxing trip! Even the flight didn’t make me too anxious! I loved the train a lot. K enjoyed the ride out but the ride back all the food is put away and they cash you out at the bar so he was just kind of sitting there staring out the window. (Which I’d enjoy but he was meh about it. Lol.)

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  6. The off-roading sounds like it was so much fun!! I’m so glad you had a proper break – it can be so hard when it’s your own business!

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