Morning: Start with breakfast at JOJO Coffeehouse, where you can build your own omelette or opt for lighter fare, such as the avocado toast. After, walk to East Main Street to explore more than 30 galleries, including the Gebert Contemporary Art Gallery, which showcases abstract paintings and sculptures by international and emerging artists.
Afternoon: Stroll along the picturesque Scottsdale Waterfront and admire the Soleri Bridge and Plaza, the city’s most impressive public art project. This striking pedestrian bridge was designed by famed Italian architect Paolo Soleri and spans the Arizona Canal.
Evening: Enjoy JoyRidesAz’s three-hour Sizzling Culinary Dinner Tour featuring three local eateries. A professional guide will escort you via golf cart through six districts, where you’ll savour Scottsdale’s sights, history and delicious food alongside local beer and wine.
Morning: Beat the crowds, and heat, with a sunrise hike up Camelback Mountain. Drive to Invergordon Road, where you’ll find parking, then walk 800 metres to the Cholla Trail. This roughly five-kilometre trek is not for novices, but the panoramic views of Scottsdale and Phoenix are breathtaking—be sure to carry water and sunscreen.
Afternoon: Head to Old Town for an early lunch at The Mission, a restaurant and bar serving modern Latin fare. Order the guacamole and rib barbacoa tacos, and wash it down with a pomegranate margarita. After, browse the charming shops nearby.
Evening: Explore downtown’s Scottsdale Wine Trail on foot and visit five tasting rooms. Begin with the sauvignon blanc at Salvatore Vineyards, and then make a clockwise loop to finish with a syrah at Carlson Creek Vineyards. Later, dine at FnB, an acclaimed, vegetable-centric eatery helmed by chef Charleen Badman.
Morning: Grab an artisan bagel at New Wave Market before driving to Taliesin West, once architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter residence and studio. Book a guided tour to experience this UNESCO site and National Historic Landmark in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains.
Afternoon: Spend your afternoon at the impressive Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Counter-Landscapes: Performative Actions from the 1970s to Now runs through Jan. 19, and Murmuration is on exhibit until May 1.
Evening: Drive 15 minutes northwest of downtown for dinner at elements, an upscale restaurant serving Asian-accented fare in the Sanctuary Resort on Camelback Mountain. Revel in the Charred Edamame, Asian Oyster Rockefeller and Korean BBQ WagYu Beef Cheek as you watch the stunning sunset in Paradise Valley.
[This story appears in the October 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine and was updated on December 9, 2019.]