where to hike in scottsdale

Things To Do in Scottsdale


Happy Friday! This week I've been recapping my time in Scottsdale, AZ. In case you missed it, I've already shared my favorite places to eat and the best hotels to stay. So today, let's dive into all the things that there are to do. 

It goes without saying that a lot of what there is to do are things I've already mentioned: eating, drinking and lounging poolside (again, check out my earlier posts from this week for more on all of that!) But there are a few more things you definitley can't miss: 



arizona adventures

With more than 300 sunny days per year on average, Scottsdale has no shortage of opportunities to get outdoors (and no shortage of natural beauty to see for that matter). Whether you go kayaking, horseback riding, biking or hiking-- you're bound to fall in love with all the desert landscape has to offer. Since we had already been horseback riding in Sedona, I chose to focus on kayaking and hiking for my time in Scottsdale.


We went kayaking with Arizona Outback Adventures along the Lower Salt River just outside of Scottsdale early one morning. The Salt River attracts a variety of wildlife (we saw a few Bald Eagles flying over us and nesting-which was so cool!) But even if you don't spot any wildlife, the natural landscape is brimming with saguaro cacti and beautiful red rock formations. You can arrange a tour with AOA for either morning or afternoon (and they'll even pick you up and drop you off at your hotel).

kayaking salt river scottsdale arizona


For hiking, I chose to do Camelback Mountain: a quick 2.5 hour trip with stunning views of Scottsdale and Phoenix. There are two trail options and both are a bit difficult. Echo Canyon is shorter + steeper, while Cholla (what I chose to do) is stretched out a little more. On both trails, you'll see Saguaros, Ocotillo, Barrel Cactus and the Creosote Bush (aka- lots and lots of beautiful desert Flora). 

camelback mountain scottsdale

I also really wanted to check out the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, but I simply ran out of time. Next trip!

Whatever you choose to do for your outdoor activities, be sure to check out Experience Scottsdale for lots of helpful tips and tours that you can book!



the scott resort and spa

Scottsdale has more spas per capita than anywhere else in the world, so I made sure to take advantage of a couple during my visit. While I know I didn't even put a dent in all there is to offer, I had a great experience during both of my treatments and would recommend them to anyone.

Since I was staying at The Scott Resort & Spa, I got a manicure and pedicure (which was fantastic) at Jurlique- their on-site spa. My technician was wonderful and the treatment room was so tranquil and relaxing.  

The next day I took a day trip up to Troon North to visit the Four Seasons Resort. As I mentioned in Wednesday's post,  I got their unique "Sticks and Stones" massage (incorporating bamboo sticks and hot stones to ease muscle tension and sore joints). All spa products are inspired by the ingredients of the desert to give a custom "Scottsdale" experience. And while the treatment itself was fantastic, so was the entire facility. I lounged around for a bit after my treatment and could have easily spent the day there. 


four seasons spa scottsdale

Some other spas I hear are worth visiting? Well & Being Spa, Joya, Sanctuary on Camelback and Spa Avaina.


To go beyond traditional spa treatments and venture into more of the wellness realm, on my way out of town I visited The Drip Room Scottsdale for an IV drip. If you're not familiar with an IV drip, you're note alone- I never had either. Essentially, these deliver vitamins, minerals and amino acids directly to the body for maximum absorption. This allows the nutrients to flood your body and nourish itself at a cellular level. Using this method, you're able to safely absorb larger doses that would not otherwise be tolerated orally. General benefits of IV drips include: increased energy, enhanced mood, improved sleep, decreased stress and anxiety, increased immunity, hydration and muscle recovery. While I didn't feel an immediate difference after my drip, I certainly did as the week progressed. My complexion looked brighter and I slept better than I ever do. In hindsight, my IV drip from The Drip Room was the perfect remedy to rehydrate + end a trip in the desert and I recommend you do the same before leaving town! 

the drip room scottsdale

That pretty much wraps up everything that I had time for on this trip, but I loved everything about Scottsdale and truly want to go back again soon! Stay tuned for more discoveries whenever I do...


The last bit of advice I can share to help you plan your trip is what to pack for this desert town! Scottsdale is warm most of the year, so just about everything you'll pack will revolve around that. Based on my recommendations, I'd advise a few warm weather outfits to wear to dinner (also here, here and here), a few bathing suit and cover up options (also here and here) for when you're poolside, and some good activewear (also here and here) for when you're outdoors. Being that Scottsdale is a desert setting, I think it's fun to incorporate bright pops of color in everything you wear. 





That's a wrap! Stay tuned next week, because I'm sharing a special post about turning 30. Until then, have a great weekend, friends!




scottsdale travel guide