Weekend Recap & Guide: Scottsdale, Arizona

throwing flowers desert arizona

As you guys probably saw on InstagramI spent the weekend exploring the charming desert city of Scottsdale, Arizona with Olivia and John! None of us had been before and we had so much fun floating (literally), biking and eating our way through the city. Here's a recap of everything from our weekend + a few recommendations that are on our list for next time!

Day 1
We checked into our first hotel, Mountain Shadows, a brand new, gorgeous desert resort. The stunning mid century modern decor plus the desert landscape and bright modern rooms had us sold. We headed to Old Town Scottsdale for lunch at the bright, healthy Farm & CraftWith tons of unreal healthy options (I had the salmon bowl) and kombucha cocktails, this would be a frequent lunch spot if I lived in Scottsdale. Afterwards, we rented fun yellow bikes (similar to Citi Bikes) and biked around old town. We stopped into the cutest dessert store called Ruze Cake House for some sweet treats (circus animal cookie dough macarons are a thing). They're famous for their bubble tea topped with cotton candy! We explored the Old Town of Scottsdale and saw some of their gorgeous public art (home to one of the LOVE sculptures pictured below) before heading to our first dinner. We ate at The Mission, a Scottsdale staple known for their avocado margaritas and table side guacamole. It was beyond delicious.

Day 2
We had a 5:30am wake up call to go bucket-listing (as John perfectly put it)! We headed to north Scottsdale to catch a flight... an air balloon flight! It is something I had always wanted to do and the 35 degree temperatures didn't matter a bit... it was amazing! It truly feels like you're floating through the air. It was smoother than I could've ever imagined (see some of my favorite pictures from our hot air balloon ride below)! We went with Hot Air Expeditions and our ride even ended with a champagne toast! We spent the afternoon working from the gorgeous restaurant at Mountain ShadowsIn the evening we went to a wine tasting at Carlson Creek, a local Arizona winery and then headed to check out a new annual outdoor public arts festival called Canal Convergence. Scottsdale has an unbelievable public art scene and this festival was no exception. For dinner, we walked around the corner to FnB, a world class restaurant with a globally inspired, weekly changing menu and a 5 time James Beard nominated chef. All of our meals were honestly unreal but this was arguably my favorite one. 

Day 3
We started our third day with a beautiful guided desert hike on The Gateway Loop Trail. It was a 4.5 mile loop with a moderate difficulty. We had a great guide from HERE who was so knowledgable and taught us fun desert facts all along the way. I shared my favorite wild desert fact on instagram HERE the other day! Post hike, we packed up and moved over to The Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia. This spanish style resort is set at the foothills of camelback mountain and the views are amazing! That afternoon I had a great massage at their unbelievable spa called Joya Spa and later on we ate at their spectacular tapas restaurant and had the most fun dinner!

Day 4
Our final morning we schlepped our suitcases to Hash Kitchen for brunch on our way to the airport (totally worth the schlep). With Arizona's biggest bloody mary bar (fried raviolis and meatballs included) and their famous hashes this upbeat brunch spot is definitely worth a visit. Post brunch we headed for the airport to fly home!

See some of my favorite photos from our weekend below and shop all my looks!

xx Ali