Why Canadians Love Scottsdale, Arizona
This year, winter has been a savage for most parts of North America. For us in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, it started in October and hasn’t let up yet. We’ve had extremely cold temperatures, huge amounts of snow and all the hibernating that goes along with it. It’s tough for parents and kids to be cooped up indoors!
My husband and I decided to plan a little getaway to escape the frigid temperatures but had the hardest time figuring out where to go since everywhere has been below seasonal! Our typical destinations like Las Vegas and San Diego were just not warm enough. So after waiting long enough to see a 14-day forecast, we settled on our favourite spot: Scottsdale, Arizona. Here is why we can’t get enough of this place:
What to do in Scottsdale, Arizona
Why do we come here at least once a year? I’m letting you in on why this spot is so perfect for Canadians to travel to, and obviously Americans too! I’m even telling you a couple dangers. Experience Scottsdale is a great website with more detailed information to plan your stay but today I’m breaking it down for you from a Canadian perspective.
The Weather/ Climate
We all know that this is really the most important factor! Will it be warm enough? I just want to come back with a tan! The time to travel to Arizona is typically September to May, which is a huge range! October, November, March and April being the most desirable as it is hot but not too scorching. Scottsdale gets an average of 299 days of sunshine per year, so it’s hard to go wrong when visiting the desert. If you want a better breakdown of average seasonal Temperatures, head to this website to better plan your stay.
The desert climate is dry without humidity, which I personally think is the best you can experience. You don’t have to worry about rainy days and you can experience the region comfortably. The mornings and evenings are slightly cooler making it a better time to do some of the more strenuous activities outdoors.
Stay active and experience the vast landscape with lots of great hiking and mountain biking trails. These are a great opportunity to see all the species of cacti and experience the dessert terrain. I love doing hikes while here on vacation. Remember to go early in the morning to beat the heat and the crowds. Pack lots of water and don’t forget your camera! Research some of these trails a little more if you aren’t sure you’re capable of hiking the elevation or the distances. Here are a few to explore: Gateway Loop, Wingate Pass, Bell Pass, Tom’s Thumb (my favourite), and Pinnacle Peak. Popular mountain biking trails include: Brown’s Ranch and McDowel Mountains.
If you’re a golfer then you’ll be happy you chose Scottsdale. Check out these award winning courses: Grayhawk, The Boulders, TPC Stadium and Champions. Or maybe you prefer a different type of cardio like me:
Target, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and Trader Joes? This is the first thing on my mind when I start planning an American vacation. We are seriously lacking some good shopping in Canada. Scottsdale has tons of fantastic shopping ranging from malls to big box stores. You can even take advantage of free shipping and duty-free by shopping online and having your order delivered to your hotel for when you arrive. I had two bikinis, a sunhat and a giant inflatable donut pool floaty waiting for me when I arrived this trip. Check out Scottsdale Quarter, Scottsdale Promenade and Kierland Commons for some of my favourite shops and eateries.
If you’re looking to shop my must-haves, you can do so by hovering over each item in the photo:
There are so many amazing restaurants to be had in Scottsdale. Choose from American fast-food favourites like In n’ Out Burger (O.M.G) or dine in an upscale environment like Sassi. There is everything in between and lots of great options for dietary restrictions too. An absolute must is to head into Old Scottsdale for dinner. We had our Valentine’s Day dinner at a highly recommended Mexican restaurant called The Mission. Then stroll the beautiful streets and take in all the charm of an old southern town.
The Day Trips
Day trips to Sedona, Jerome, and Tuscan are a must if you have more time to spend in the region. You can also head in to Phoenix, to enjoy what all the big city has to offer. Professional football, baseball and hockey games. Plus, all the excitement at the college level too. Do some research for some amazing things to do with your kids like amusement parks, water parks, mini-golf or the new aquarium OdySea.
Scorpians -Yep! The poisonous Bark Scorpion lives in the Phoenix area. They can be seen glowing brightly under black lights at night. Oddly, we love to go on scorpion hunts around our property. Just make sure to always wear your shoes, don’t put any clothes or towels on the ground (especially damp ones!)
Proximity- The airport isn’t very close to Scottsdale so being prepared with a driver or a rental car is the way to go. Having a car is kind of a necessity if you’re looking to partake in all the above activities so I highly recommend renting one.
Water- You need a pool! Since it is the desert, you’re lacking the water. A pool is a must! Make sure that your hotel has a place where you can cool off and lounge around.