Most golf vacations are pretty predictable. You get up in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and a quick bite to eat, and head to the course. After a good round, you shake hands on the 18th green and head into the bar to tally the damages and share a cold beer. Fortunately, the itinerary can be a little more exciting in Scottsdale. Not only does the city boast some of the best golf venues in the world, but it’s dining, nightlife and entertainment offerings make it the perfect destination for golf travelers looking for the total vacation package.
FOOD BEYOND THE CLUBHOUSE
Scottsdale has seen a celebrity chef invasion of sorts in the past few years with notable names opening high-end steakhouses in the city known for its luxury cache. The first to plant his roots in Scottsdale was two-time James Beard Award Winner Michael Mina with BOURBON STEAK at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (http://ift.tt/1disZIM), which delivers contemporary steakhouse cuisine with classic American side dishes like truffled mac and cheese. Hot on Mina’s heels was the notable Chef Laurent Touroundel, acclaimed as a “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine, with BLT Steak at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa (www.camelbackinn.com). And rounding out the trio is Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who opened his first-ever Arizona location of J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician (http://ift.tt/U3fte2). The menu is designed specifically for Scottsdale and features premium meat and fish and an extensive cocktail list.
After playing a memorable round amidst jaw-dropping mountain vistas at the award-winning We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (www.wekopa.com), head to Ahnala Mesquite Room Restaurant at the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center (www.wekoparesort.com) for adventurous fare and bold beverages. The restaurant’s eclectic menu features local Native American dishes with several house specialties featuring citrus, pecans and herbs grown locally at the neighboring Fort McDowell Yavapai Farm. For another option that focuses on mouth-watering flavors from the rugged Southwest, check out Roaring Fork (www.roaringfork.com). Here, Old West recipes like wood-grilled beef tenderloin and sugar-cured duck breast are top items on the menu. Besides being known for great food, Roaring Fork is famous for its happy hour with tempting drinks like the Huckleberry Frozen Margarita.
HIT THE LINKS – AND THEN THE SIZZLING NIGHTLIFE SCENE
There’s nothing high-maintenance about Dos Gringos (www.dosgringosaz.com), a casual neighborhood bar in downtown Scottsdale where jeans and flip-flops are encouraged. It’s an ideal spot for an evening – or mid-morning – of relaxation, good music and great drinks. The only thing missing from this pseudo-Mexican sojourn is the ocean! Moving on from the laidback persona of the Baja Peninsula to the aura of the Old West, Rusty Spur Saloon (http://ift.tt/17VeYMF) is housed in a building constructed in 1921 as the original location of the Farmer’s State Bank of Scottsdale. In 1933, the bank closed for a holiday and never reopened. The old vaults remain in their original place and have now been converted to a refrigerated unit for storing the bar’s selection of beverages.
With its chic lounge atmosphere, former Phoenix Sun Dan Majerle’s Majerle’s Sports Grill (www.majerles.com) is a one-stop-shop for catching the big game and relaxing with a classic cocktail in hand. As the name suggests, Hi-Fi (www.hifibars.com) is a music-centric, retro haunt with a full menu that includes food, cocktails and adult milkshakes. Housed inside a ground-up new build with stone, steel and concrete bones, Hi-Fi features a vintage speaker wall erected with wood-framed speakers, throwback black and white televisions, and a digital graffiti wall. Nearby, The Mint (www.themintaz.com), part restaurant and part ultra-lounge, boasts the largest outdoor patio in the area and prides itself on an extensive list of inspired craft cocktails and a champagne bar located within Mint’s co-ed powder-room.
RELAX AND RECOVER
The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North (http://ift.tt/1fWlXal) is a relaxation hub offering an extensive array of innovative spa treatments like the Golfer’s Massage. The treatment incorporates stretching techniques with the kneading of tight muscles with warmed golf balls to alleviate tension and stiffness while keeping golfers at the peak of their game.
The hip, not-your-spa-next-door Bliss Spa at the W Scottsdale (http://ift.tt/IthzU9) features seven treatment rooms, grass (yes, grass) tiled steam showers, and the legendary brownie buffet in its relaxation room. The spa’s deep tissue Extreme Sports Massage is an intensive, deep-reaching treatment that helps relieve stubborn knots and chronic tension associated with an athlete’s often rigorous workout routine.
ACTIVITIES THAT TAKE YOU OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Adventure lovers can get their kicks at Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve (http://ift.tt/1bRTNfM), which is home to 30,200 acres of protected Sonoran Desert land. There, you can experience the natural environment through hiking, biking and horseback riding. Other hot spots for free outdoor adventure include the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Camelback Mountain, Papago Park, Piestewa Peak and Pinnacle Peak Park. Canyoneering might be a new word for your vocabulary, but 360 Adventures (http://ift.tt/1bRTPnQ) guarantees that just one experience will have you hooked. The journey takes visitors to the Roosevelt Lake area for hiking, wading, swimming, scrambling and rappelling excursions through one of geology’s most impressive feats, a canyon. Professional guides navigate guests through spectacular chasms as they encounter the stunning elements.
Learn to rope and ride with the best of ‘em at Arizona Cowboy College (http://ift.tt/1fWlWTM) where you’ll gain first-hand insight into the true cowboy life. Participants sleep in a bunkhouse for two nights while learning the ropes of horsemanship and participate in rigorous classes about cattle. Then, they trade in their cot for a few nights on the desert floor under starry skies and partake in on-the-range lessons about cutting, branding, inoculating, dehorning and driving cattle on working ranches.
The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving (www.bondurant.com) is the largest purpose-built facility in North America featuring a 1.6-mile road course and an 8-acre paddock. There’s no better way to satisfy the need for speed than driving door-handle to door-handle at 100 miles per hour in a Chevrolet Corvette or Camaro. Experience the art of high-performance driving and maybe even drive from zero to 60 in less than four seconds. Octane Raceway (http://ift.tt/1fWlWTJ) offers is an indoor and outdoor kart racing and entertainment venue offering high-speed European kart racing.
During the fall, winter and spring, climb aboard Desert Splash Adventure’s (http://ift.tt/1fWlWmJ) Cessna Caravan Jet-Prop Amphibious Seaplane for an excursion that begins at Scottsdale Airport and snakes its way through the Salt River canyons and lakes for a bird’s eye view of the rugged, breathtaking terrain that lies 20 miles east of Scottsdale. In just over an hour, you’ll have soared through Salt River Canyon and over Roosevelt Dam and “The Spires,” a rugged sand castle-like rock formation that’s tucked deep inside the Superstition Mountains. You’ll even experience a water landing when the seaplane touches down on the surface of Roosevelt Lake.
Laura McMurchie, Vice President of Communications
Jerry Rose, Vice President of Communication Links
from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona | http://ift.tt/1zTTfVx