ARIZONA TRAVEL GUIDE
I may be biased because I grew up there, but I absolutely LOVE Arizona. Everytime I visit I contemplate moving there! The weather is beautiful year round, they have fabulous food and there are so many fun outdoor things to do. I’ve rounded up some of my favorites for you below.
Butters – This place always has a long wait, but so worth it. The pancake options they have are endless. Some of the pancake options: berry bliss (the best), banana cream, apple cinnamon pecan caramel, strawberry chocolate chip – I mean, it’s divine! Warning you that they serve huge portions, so be prepared with a big appetite.
The Montauk – Very Scottsdale! They have great brunch and a nice outdoor seating area with couches and misters. Breakfast bowls (I love the beach bowl), sandwiches and crepes.
Arcadia Farms – Soo many goodies here. The peach French toast casserole, prosciutto pita and turkey and brie panini are fabulous. The brunch board is also great to split!
The Breakfast Club – A Scottsdale classic. Has been around forever!
The Canal Club – A new brunch spot at The Scott Resort. Really cute interior, good avocado toast and fun drinks.
Original Pancake House – A staple. I went here all the time when I was younger.
The Henry – The décor is fabulous as well as the food! They have an amazing egg white turkey omelete with avocado and the quinoa breakfast burrito is also great.
Francine – A new French Mediterranean restaurant that has beautiful décor and great food! The egg white frittata, fig and prosciutto tartine and crispy cod are delicious.
Hash Kitchen – They have a bloody marry walk up bar which is fun. I think the food is average but it’s a fun place to go with a group.
Farm & Craft – A healthy and sustainable spot! The protein pancakes and breakfast burrito are good. I also like their cauliflower mash as a side.
Flower Child – A great casual lunch spot. Some of my favorites are their winter grain and brussel sprouts salad, the turkey sausage and zucchini lasagna, and the mother earth bowl.
ChopShop – Probably my most frequently visited spot when I’m in Scottsdale. I love everything here – but their Thai coconut chicken protein bowl is probably my favorite.
Olive & Ivy – I LOVE this spot and the décor is beautiful, too! Some menu items that stick out are their bacon wrapped dates, pesto chicken flatbread, sweet potato cannelloni, and their Mediterranean salad with grilled chicken.
Sumomaya – A fun Japanese style place to go with a group! Their signature sushi rolls are great, noodle dishes and rice sides. They have a massive tree in the middle of the restaurant which is pretty cool and they have good drinks.
Elements at The Sanctuary – Definitely pricey and for a special occasion but the food is incredible and the view of camelback is absolutely beautiful. If you don’t want to do dinner there, you can also just go for drinks.
Toca Madera – Definitely fun and has a more clubby vibe.The house made plantain chips are great and their enchiladas are next level! Warning it gets very loud in there. I’d say this is more of a fun date night spot to get dressed or place with friends – not so much of a family place.
The Mission – A Scottsdale crowd favorite for sure. They have modern latin food and two locations. Their street corn and tacos are delicious.
Maple & Ash – A classic traditional steak place with a beautiful interior. On the pricier end!
Ocean 44 – An upscale seafood restaurant. Great fish! If you like lobster and oysters, go here!
Postino Wine Bar – Another classic Scottsdale spot with great bruschetta, paninis and wine.
El Chorro – They have a lot of weddings here because the view of camelback is so gorgeous – but their restaurant is great.
True Food – Always a favorite! They have lots of healthy options and two locations. I love their edamame dumplings, teriyaki quinoa bowl with chicken, spaghetti squash with turkey sausage and the grass-fed burger.
Coffee / Smoothies / Bites
La Grande Orange – Another place I’ve been going to since I was little. They’re a small grocer, but they have really good pastries, to-go food, pizzas and their coffee with the house made dairy free milk is my favorite.
Kaleidoscope Juice – My go-to for smoothies! Some of my favorite menu items are the Immortal Machine smoothie, the Mint Chip smoothie, and the Peachy Clean. I’ve heard the strawberry shortcake smoothie is good as well, but I’ve never tried it.
Hava Java – Probably my favorite iced coffee! I love adding their sugar-free almond syrup.
Berdena’s – A super cute little coffee shop. They have good food, too!
The Henry Coffee Bar – The Henry also has a walk-up coffee bar with good pastries and coffee. They have a cute little outdoor seating area with couches, as well.
Juice Core – They have great cold pressed juices. The mother earth is great and the berry easy smoothie. I also love their “The Italian” toast.
Hair – I go to SO32 and see Aly. She’s great with blonde and just the sweetest thing.
Tanning – I went to The Bronzed Bungalow on my last visit and absolutely loved the color and how long my spray tan lasted.
Massage/Facial – I have gone to The Camelback Inn spa a few times with my mom and have always had a good experience there. They also have a really nice pool and jacuzzi that is exclusive to people at the spa so it’s pretty private and quiet!
Hiking – Hiking up camelback is the top of my list and my legs are always sore afterwards. Basically, the ultimate star climber workout! I always go when I’m home. It tends to be busy on the weekends so I like to go during the week on the earlier side if that’s an option. Echo Canyon is a tough climb but so worth getting to the top!
BODI – A HIIT strength and conditioning studio with great classes and awesome instructors. I went to school with Kaileigh and she’s great. The classes fill up really quickly so book ahead if you can.
The Madison Spinning Studio – They call themselves a “party on a bike.” It’s definitely an experience and fun. I’d say similar to SoulCycle but not the same thing. Warning they use a lot of lights so if you get headaches might not be the place for you.
Running – Since the weather is so gorgeous year round, the canal is a great place to go for a run. It’s endless and pretty flat.
There are also the classic chain studios like Barre3, Pure Barre, F45 training, Cyclebar and Club Pilates.
WHERE TO STAY:
The Arizona Biltmore – An Arizona landmark and one of the only luxury hotels in the world with a Frank Lloyd Wright design influence. Aaron and I got married here and it just brings back special memories. The grounds are beautiful. It’s an older designed property but that’s what makes it so lovely.
Andaz Scottsdale – Aaron and I recently stayed here for a mini staycation for our anniversary and we loved it. The grounds are beautiful! The rooms are “bungalow” style and are across 23 acres behind Camelback Mountain. The sunsets are absolutely gorgeous, and the dining and pools are fabulous. Highly, highly recommend. They also have a great gym and have been offering fitness classes a few days a week in partnership with Barre3 Scottsdale.
THINGS DO DO:
Art – There are some beautiful art galleries and museums in Old Town Scottsdale. It’s fun to walk around. Get an ice cream at The Sugar Bowl while you’re there.
Farmers Market – There’s a great farmers market in Old Town, as well. A fun place to get some local goodies as well as organic produce.
Hot Air Balloon Ride – A fun experience! I did this when I was younger.
Bars / Clubs – Old town has a lot of bars and clubs and is fun to walk around at night. Tempe is more of a college town, but also has some great bars and places to go out.
Sedona – A MUST if you have the time. The mountains are absolutely beautiful. There are gorgeous hikes, healthy food and beautiful resorts.
Hiking – There are so many hikes and trails to do here.
Golf – The amount of golf courses they have are endless. Some of the best golfing.