Scottsdale couldn’t be hotter right now, both as destination and temperature-wise given that an Arctic blast has blanketed most of the USA in white this winter. Three hundred days of annual sunshine grace this corner of the greater Phoenix area, and Scottsdale’s charming old-Southwest downtown offers all the amenities of a great city, including top-notch restaurants and plenty of shopping. Beyond downtown, the desert terrain is speckled with amazing resorts, spas, hiking trails and golf courses. Significant growth in recent years has transformed the city into one of the most desirable places to live and visit. With so much to offer, Scottsdale should be the next place you visit for a rejuvenating and exciting vacation. Here are 5 reasons Scottsdale is so hot right now:

Killer Southwestern and Mexican cuisine

If you’re not clinking margarita glasses and stabbing chips into guacamole, are you really even on vacation? Scottsdale offers plenty of opportunities to do both. From hole-in-the-wall taco joints and casual farm-to-table cafés to modern Latin cuisine and James Beard award-winning chefs, Scottsdale’s culinary scene is en fuego right now. For lunch, enjoy re-imagined nachos and tacos at playful Diego Pops. Take it up a notch for dinner with modern Latin flavors at Scottsdale’s beloved upscale restaurant, The Mission.

Photo courtesy of the Four Seasons Scottsdale

Luxurious resorts and spas

Whether you want to stay downtown or in the desert-y outskirts, there’s plenty of amazing resorts to choose from in Scottsdale. Because of the year-round heat, Scottsdale’s hotels are known for their fun pool scenes and rejuvenating spas. Sip cocktails and bop beach balls around the pool at Hotel Valley Ho, play golf and lounge poolside in a private cabana the Four Seasons Scottsdale at North Troon, or indulge in a luxurious massage treatment followed by a copper tub lavender bubble bath at The Scott Resort & Spa.

Cool desert terrain and hiking trails

For those of us less accustomed to desert terrain, one can’t help but be mesmerized by the sandy color palate and funky cacti. The best way to experience the unique and surprisingly diverse nature in Scottsdale is to venture out on one of the many renowned hiking trails in the area. Climb to the top of Pinnacle Peak or embark on one of the two trails traversing the famed Camelback Mountain. Along each trail you’ll wind past 100-year-old Saguaro cacti and enjoy magnificent panoramic views from the top.

Photo courtesy of Compass and Twine

The best setting for a sunrise/sunset hot air balloon ride

There’s something about the dry air and neutral palate of the desert landscape that makes its sunrises and sunsets even more spectacular. Couple that scenery with the cool weather at daybreak and dusk and you’ve got yourself an ideal setting for a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon ride. Sail high above the Sonoran Desert, and then sink slowly back to the ground where a champagne toast awaits.

Photo courtesy of Compass and Twine

A charming, old-time downtown

You’ll feel transported back in time as you stroll along the cactus-lined streets of Downtown Scottsdale. A massive Scottsdale Cowboy sign greets you at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Main Street, and the building facades make it seem as if you’re walking in an old Western film. For a fun afternoon, pop into Sugar Bowl for old-fashioned milkshakes and throwback candies, pick out a pair of boots at Saba’s Western Wear and try on vintage dresses at Fashion by Robert Black. Cap off your shopping adventure with a crisp glass of rosé at the family-owned Aridus Wine Co. tasting room.

See you in Scottsdale!

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