Around Phoenix, there’s something special in the way morning rays warm the rugged landscape and the evening light falls just so across jagged purple peaks. It’s a land of tempting temps, chatty birds, strong rays, theatrical clouds and abundant cacti – making it a hub for outdoor adventurers and inspiration-seeking artists.
Sure, there are countless opportunities here to golf (on sprawling greens) or sate retail cravings (in beautiful boutiques), but this part of the Southwest offers so much more. Whether you’re on the hunt for an adventure in the Sonoran desert, an evening at the rodeo or a night sipping the perfect prickly pear margarita, we’ve found reasons to put Arizona on your springtime radar.
Hikers enjoy adventures found on and around Camelback Mountain — Photo courtesy of Visit Phoenix
So much to see in Phoenix
After landing at the sleek Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, step into the soothing warmth to take the short trip downtown. Consider making Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix your luxurious urban hub, where an inviting rooftop pool and buzz-worthy lounge await.
This prime downtown address places you directly across the street from Talking Stick Resort Arena (home to the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, plus an enticing roster of concerts and events) and a few minutes’ walk from Chase Field, HQ of the of the Arizona Diamondbacks. You’ll also be near the Orpheum Theatre and Phoenix Symphony Hall, not to mention a lengthy lineup of culinary and nightlife standouts.
At Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix, sink into ultimate bliss on the pool deck and at Lustre Bar — Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix
Draws at this personality-filled hotel include spacious rooms and suites that boast contemporary design touches and mesmerizing views of the surrounding city and mountains. Enjoy Kimpton’s complimentary morning coffee and daily hosted Wine Hour in a second-level lobby lounge that showcases an “Art in Motion” theme.
You don’t have to wander far at mealtime, thanks to onsite culinary gem Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails – a New American eatery where “down-to-earth flavors get an uptown boost.” Savor show-stopping cocktails alongside the seasonal flavors of chef Dushyant Singh’s dishes.
Fare favorites range from the shrimp and grits and classic chop salad to the not-to-be-missed roasted chicken dinner (served with sensational rosemary marcona stuffing, warm potato salad and haricot vert).
Palomar’s views provide great inspiration – like this one from a King Skyline Room — Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix
Other alluring venues within walking distance of the Palomar include The Arrogant Butcher, Chico Malo, Pizzeria Bianco, and Bitter and Twisted (for its creative cocktail offerings). While in Phoenix, rent a cruiser to explore the city, view American Indian art on display at the Heard Museum, and enjoy a “drinks by rail” bar crawl along the lengthy stretch of Valley Metro Rail.
East of the city, the 140-acre Desert Botanical Garden spotlights exquisite plants in a unique red rocks setting, while hosting events like Las Noches de las Luminarias (each winter) and special exhibits like Electric Desert (through May 12).
Golfers flock to the greens of Arizona — Photo courtesy of The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
And don’t forget Scottsdale
For a less urban home base, travel about 30 minutes northeast of the city to Scottsdale’s Westin Kierland Resort and Spa – a spacious desert oasis that quickly feels like home. By day, mix ultimate relaxation with activities like lounging on the lazy river and practicing your balance atop a yoga-ready Boga paddle board.
Agave Spa allows you to transfer all your cares to a “burden basket” that’s placed outside the treatment room, before you sink into services like the tequila & lime body glow scrub or a CBD-infused massage that will turn you to putty (in the best way possible) for the remainder of the day.
Mealtime options abound; in the midst of the buzzing golf scene, grab a fresh lunch on the patio of Brittlebush Bar & Grill, and get ready for a sweet finale on the house. In the evening, request to sit at the rail at gorgeously designed deseo, where you’ll get an intimate look at the talented culinary team hard at work.
Translating to “desire” in Spanish, deseo showcases contemporary Latin cuisine paired with enchanting South American wines. Starter highlights include the ceviche, gazpacho verde (with blistered tomato, basil and summer squash), and millionaire tacos (yuca tacos stuffed with lobster, ahi tuna and Japanese hamachi).
Afterward, consider the outstanding Peruvian fried chicken or the wagyu hanger steak “churrasco” style, before topping off the delightful evening with a crowd favorite – the luscious chocolate cigar.
Deseo delights diners with its flavorful, fresh fare and warm ambiance at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa — Photo courtesy of The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Every evening at sunset, the resort pays tribute to the state’s Scottish immigrants with a performance by master bagpiper Michael McClanathan (or, some nights, his son). Gather around the fire pit at the Dreamweavers Canyon, as the sky melts into shades of pink and sounds of the Scottish bagpipes dance across the property.
Nearby, in Kierland’s distinguished Scotch Library, newbies learn from a patient, kilt-clad pro about how to “mark the mouth” and “release the serpent” during tastings. Meanwhile, aficionados covet the library’s extensive collection of around 300 labels, the most impressive being Balvenie’s 50-year-old single malt.
The Scotch Library features more than 175 single malts, 30 blends and a number of rare bottles imported from all six whisky regions of Scotland — Photo courtesy of The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
If you can pry yourself away from the beautiful property, tour Taliesin West, architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and school in the desert from 1937 until 1959. Or perhaps catch a show at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and eat at nearby hot spots like Flower Child (serving healthy food in bright, radiant spaces) and Blanco Tacos & Tequila (a vibrant and stylish outpost for tasty Mexican fare).
Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy exploring Arizona’s natural beauty on hiking and mountain biking adventures, as well as paddling trips where you may glimpse wild mustangs, blue herons and bald eagles. Whether you’re here to charge up or wind down, the Phoenix area can’t wait to welcome you to its sun-kissed paradise.