Travel Feature: Scottsdale
I know what you’re thinking. Why is an writer doing travel posts on an author’s blog? When I’m deciding where to place the setting of my stories, I choose from places I’ve traveled to or lived. There’s a lot of wisdom in the cliche, “write what you know”! Unless you’re writing fantasy, where you’re creating a complete world from scratch, it’s very difficult to set a story somewhere you’ve never been. So, let’s just call this little getaway research. After all, my upcoming novella, Signs, takes place in the greater Phoenix area.
Old Town Scottsdale
I’ve traveled to the greater Phoenix area, including Scottsdale, on a couple of occasions now. One of my favorite spots to visit is Old Town Scottsdale. An eclectic mix of boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants. This is a great spot to spend an afternoon.
Where to Eat
Stop for lunch at Farm and Craft. Focused on health and sustainability, this is a great spot for anyone gluten-free, vegan, or anti-inflammatory. I enjoyed a delicious salmon poke bowl.
Enjoy dinner at the acclaimed FnB. Their fresh menu is paired beautifully with an all Arizona wine list. I enjoyed a lamb dish on my last visit that was out of this world amazing!
My new favorite lunch spot has to be Flower Child. I wanted to pack this place up and bring it home with me! Health focused and anti-inflammatory friendly, I thoroughly enjoyed their menu. Two of my favorites are the Mother Earth bowl and the Forbidden Rice bowl.
Hiking Hot Spots
The Scottsdale area is a hiker’s delight. There are a wide variety of trails at all skill levels, sure to challenge any hiker.
For the experienced hiker, looking for an intense challenge, try Camelback Mountain. The two trails offered at Camelback live up to their name. The trails are rock covered, resembling the humped back of a camel. The summit boasts beautiful views of the valley below, making it well worth the effort.
For a less challenging hike, check out Lost Dog Wash Trailhead, located in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The Preserve has a large network of trails making it a great spot to explore.
More Things to Do
Scottsdale has some great options for those traveling with families. Check out the Arizona Boardwalk for family-friendly entertainment, including the Odysea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland, among other attractions, shops, and dining options. The highlight of the aquarium is a rotating exhibit. Take a seat in this theater setting as you rotate through exhibits of sea turtles and sharks. In Butterfly Wonderland, you’ll get up close and personal with a wide variety of butterflies. Pick up a few souvenirs in the gift shops and check out the other entertainments available.
Desert Botanical Garden
One of my favorite stops, when visiting the greater Phoenix area, is the Desert Botanical Garden. On this trip, the garden was featuring Wild Rising by Cracking Art, an installation of animals created from recycled plastic. It was an interesting contrast to the desert landscapes throughout the gardens. Check out their website for current offerings. There’s always something new to see.
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