If you’re ready to trade gray skies and snow boots for sunshine and sandals, consider a winter getaway to Scottsdale. The city’s stirring Sonoran Desert setting—all towering saguaros, rugged mountains and Instagrammable sunsets—is the ideal backdrop for an inspired escape. Here are five tips for making the most of your Scottsdale winter getaway.
Factor in the Wind “Thrill”
With sunny blue skies and daytime highs hovering near 22 degrees Celsius, Scottsdale transforms wind chill into wind thrill. Float on thermals in a hot air balloon as the sun rises over the breathtaking Sonoran Desert. Snap an Insta-worthy selfie from the summit of Pinnacle Peak while a soft desert breeze cools you down after the hike up. You can even experience the adrenaline rush of sky diving (without jumping out of a perfectly fine airplane) with a visit to the indoor vertical wind tunnels at iFly Phoenix.
Watch for Ice
It’s everywhere. In fact, frost forms daily on the glasses at craft breweries along the downtown Scottsdale Ale Trail, including Goldwater Brewing, whose Machine Gun Teddy brown ale earned a bronze medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. Slushy adult beverages like Diego Pops’ neon Snow Cone Margarita are common on the region’s sun-drenched bistro patios. Visitors and locals willingly risk brain freeze for decadent scoops of artisan ice cream at Super Chunk Sweets & Treats, where rotating flavors like Cake Scrap, Brown Butter and Matcha Green Tea with Blueberry Jam demand a double scoop.
Turn Up the Heat
Winter ushers in some of the hottest outdoor events on Scottsdale’s annual calendar. The action heats up with the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction (Jan. 13 – 21, 2018), an automotive lifestyle event known as much for its galas and fashion shows as for the thousands of premier collector autos that cross the auction block. Next up is the Waste Management Phoenix Open at the TPC Scottsdale (Jan. 29 – Feb. 4, 2018), with its famed 16th hole, record-breaking crowds and top-name PGA players. Other must-see winter highlights include the Celebration of Fine Art (Jan. 13 – March 25, 2018), and Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show (Feb. 15 – 25, 2018).
Scatter Some Sand
Thanks to Scottsdale’s idyllic weather, swimming isn’t limited to summer. Soak up some rays at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ Sunset Beach Pool, which boasts 9,000 square feet of soft white sand for lounging. If surfing is more your style, check out the Flowrider surfing simulator at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. Or make a splash in the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale’s resort water playground, which includes 10 swimming pools and a three-story, high-speed waterslide.
Hit the Slopes
If your winter vacay just isn’t complete without racing over fresh powder, you’ll find prime skiing and snowboarding at Flagstaff’s Snow Bowl, an easy two-hour drive north of Scottsdale.
This winter, make sure your getaway plans include Scottsdale. Visit ExperienceScottsdale.com for more vacation inspiration and start planning your warm-winter escape today.