Fall is one of the best times of the year in Scottsdale and the Valley. The skies are generally clear and sunny, and the temperatures average in the 70s. Now that it’s cooled off, here are five ways to celebrate the season.
Go for a hike. National Geographic named Phoenix as one of the top 10 cities to hike, and there’s no better time to discover why than right now. In Scottsdale, head to McDowell Sonoran Preserve with its five major trailheads connecting to 146 miles of trails. Or, try the 5.8 mile Scenic Trail at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in nearby Fountain Hills. Camelback Mountain is an iconic Valley hike with two summit trails that gain approximately 1,200 feet in elevation (Note: Even though it’s cooler now, be sure to wear sunscreen and still bring plenty of water).
Dine al fresco. There’s just something about eating outside on a beautiful patio that enhances the dining experience. Scottsdale has more than its fair share of restaurants with outdoor dining, but you can’t beat Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn. The patio is huge, the Western-influenced dishes are great (so are the cocktails), and the ambience is elegant yet resort casual. Another favorite is Old Tortilla Factory with its 1,400-square-foot flagstone patio shaded by 100-year-old pecan trees. The patio at Olive and Ivy overlooks the Scottsdale Waterfront while the one at Four Seasons Scottsdale’s restaurant Talavera offers great views of the Sonoran Desert.
Score a hole in one. You don’t necessarily have to get a hole in one, but now is the perfect time to pull out those golf clubs and head to the course. For a traditional experience, make a tee time at the 36-hole McCormick Ranch Golf Club or Gainey Ranch Golf Club with its three championship 9-hole courses. If you’d rather play a desert course, tee off at We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, rated as one of the nation’s Best Resort Courses by Golfweek magazine. If you feel up to the challenge, test your skills at TPC Scottsdale, home of the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Attend Scottsdale ArtWalk. Although it’s held year round (every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., except Thanksgiving), fall is one of the best times to check out “American’s Original ArtWalk.” The event is an open house for the Scottsdale Arts District where you stroll past the galleries located along Main Street and Marshall Way, popping into the ones that catch your fancy. When you want to take a break, stop for drinks or dinner at one of Downtown Scottsdale’s award-winning restaurants and bars.
Shop ‘til you drop. In the summer, it makes sense to shop in a mall, but in the fall, you want to be outside as much as possible, even when you shop. Scottsdale has several outdoor shopping areas, starting with the unique boutiques and galleries in Downtown Scottsdale. Nearby, Biltmore Fashion Park is one of the original outdoor shopping experiences. Another option is Kierland Commons where you’ll find retailers like Sur La Table, Ann Taylor, Crate & Barrel, and Anthropologie. Further north, El Pedregal at the Boulders hosts free concerts and offers upscale shopping.
Head outdoors for a true Scottsdale experience this fall, and be sure to let us know what your favorite fall activity is in the comment form below!