Scottsdale is a fun, funky little treat nestled in the Southwest. It's where bachelorette parties go to get down, and where adventure junkies go to live out their hiking dreams. It's where cacti populate the city more than people do. The dry heat, while brutal sometimes, is fitting for a landscape where only the toughest things survive.
Scottsdale is not just meant for groups, however; I took a girls trip there with my best friend and we loved the chance to combine both of our interests and what we wanted to get out of the city while not being tied to an "itinerary" so to say if we were in a larger group. All that being said, Scottsdale is the best for people-watching, hands down. If an entire group of people riding animatronic horses through the town square isn't amusing, I'm not sure what is.
Here are the 3 must-do activities when you get a chance to giddy up over to Scottsdale:
Splurge and get a day pass at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
Inspired by the mesmerizing architecture of Andalusia, Spain, complete with expansive archways, intricate fountains, stunning walkways and more, you have to indulge in the luxury that is, specifically, the stunning Oasis pool that rests below Camelback mountain. There are private cabanas that you can rent out if you want to have a further escape from the heat rather than the pool, and a hot tub if you want to get even hotter (I LIVE for the heat so I chose this option). We used ResortPass to book our day pass to this hotel, and it worked out great. Included in the day pass, there's also free self-parking and poolside service with food and drinks. For all of those recently engaged folks, consider having your wedding at this hotel if you want to live out your European wedding dreams on a tight budget.
2. Eat at ollie vaugn's as many times as you can
Two times wasn't enough times to eat at ollie vaugn's. Also, if you're wondering, the o and the v always should be lowercase in "ollie vaugn's." It's just the way they do things. And they apparently can do whatever they want, because I was hooked on their breakfast burrito and their rotating menu of sweet treats to compliment any breakfast. I learned about this place from watching Matt James' Instagram (thanks Matt!) and I'm so glad that I did. Order at their counter, then make your way to the back where they have the best courtyard, complete with orange trees and an inviting mural. Part of the courtyard is shaded for those blistering hot days. Here's all that we ordered on our two-day ollie vaughn's escapade:
Banana bread latte
Pumpkin whoopie pie
Blueberry and cheese danish
Blueberry almond croissant
Chorizo and egg breakfast burrito
And what we did not order, but still recommend that you do, is the skillet with green chilies and eggs.
3. Take a stroll along the Scottsdale waterfront
This walk was by far one of the highlights of my trip. Even though it sounds like a simple activity of walking along a body of water in the early morning, it brought me the amount of peace that I wanted it to bring me in the short amount of time that I was in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale waterfront is located between Scottsdale Road and Marshall Way. My friend opted for a run, while I chose to take a leisurely stroll along the canal. There were bikers that took a chance on the Arizona heat whizzing by me, and groups of retired men and women who were having a quick catch-up with their friends. A necessary pit stop before your early morning walk, is grabbing a coffee at Cartel Coffee that's a few minutes walk from the waterfront's entrance, and specifically getting the honey lavender latte. Enjoy the views of the mountains as you take in all that Scottsdale has to offer, and as always, thank me later.