The modern-day traveller wants the opportunity to get out in nature, learn, unleash their adventurous side, and, when needed, relax in comfort, and this is what Scottsdale in Arizona offers in abundance. With 300 days of sunshine every year, it’s definitely a place you should be thinking of heading to in 2022.
With 300 days of sunshine a year, awe-inspiring landscapes, epic outdoor adventures and world-class health and wellness retreats, Scottsdale, Arizona, is the perfect destination for travellers looking to get back to the great outdoors and unwind in nature this year. From taking to the sky during a hot air balloon ride to horseback riding in the beautiful desert, Scottsdale invites travellers to reconnect with themselves this year with a variety of desert discoveries.
Seize the day with a hot air balloon ride
There’s no better way to take in your holiday destination than from 5,000 feet in the air during a hot air balloon ride over the expansive Sonoran Desert. Enjoy this bucket-list experience floating at different heights throughout the journey, taking in the stunning scenery and wildlife below. Travellers will conclude their ride with a champagne toast followed by catered fare from the award-winning restaurant Vincent on Camelback, complete with tables, linens and china in the heart of the desert.
Rope, ride and round up cattle at Arizona Cowboy College (main image)
Learn the ropes of authentic cowboy culture at Arizona Cowboy College. This activity is ideal for travellers looking to learn out of the ordinary lifelong skills whilst immersing themselves in this outdoor playground. Choosing between one-day to week-long sessions, guests will rope, ride, and round up cattle alongside real-life cowboys in the desert.
Custom-made to fit riding experience and knowledge, guests will be particularly put through their paces on the three-day course led by owner and senior instructor Rocco. Sharing his expertise on penning, rider safety and equitation, you’ll be able to step outside your comfort zone as you master the saddle, learn to lasso and feed, groom and bathe the cattle. Come the final day; skills will be put to the test, joining Rocco on a trek up the nearby Seven Springs mountain, discovering facts about the surrounding landscape and wildlife along the way.
Stargaze in the Sonoran Desert
Disconnect from the stresses of everyday life by losing yourself in the vast starlit skies of Scottsdale with its desert landscape, low light pollution and clear nights. With Arizona home to the International Dark-Sky Association, Scottsdale offers incredible stargazing experiences, from walking under the stars at Pinnacle Peak to night vision drives through the pitch-black Sonoran Desert.
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale offers complimentary tours led by astrologist Richard Allen, often with sightings of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, while rooms are equipped with telescopes and charts for those wanting to stay closer to home.
Enjoy action-packed adventures at McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Located on Scottsdale’s doorstep, the 30,000 acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve invites travellers to immerse in nature with various action-packed adventures. With more than 100 miles of trails and 225 miles of biking trails across the unspoiled location, the Preserve is ideal for adrenaline junkies to experience unburdened exhilaration in the outdoors once again, whether by hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock-climbing or trail running.
For those eager to discover more about the Preserve, daily education programmes led by Preserve volunteers offer guests the chance to learn about the desert wildlife, fascinating geology, unique habitats and local history of the area.
Disconnect to reconnect at Castle Hot Springs
Located northwest of Scottsdale at the base of the Bradshaw Mountains lies Castle Hot Springs, an adult-only secluded oasis that invites travellers on a digital detox. Employing the mantra of reconnecting the mind by disconnecting from technology, the resort offers guests limited mobile phone service throughout to allow them to unwind from the stresses and realities of everyday life.
What’s more, the resort’s three hot springs pools are filled with mineral-rich water from a nearby natural canyon spring, meaning guests can emerge from a long soak feeling renewed and revitalised. Designed to combat the stresses and strains of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resort has also launched a new wellness menu aimed at achieving an enduring state of mental relaxation. Expect mind-and-body sessions including sound therapy, mantra classes, astrology readings, guided meditation hikes led by private wellness guides, horseback rides, and paddleboard yoga.
For more information, visit www.experiencescottsdale.com.
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