Friday, March 18, 2016


A monthly tourism news update from the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pop the Dom Pérignon because 2016 is a big year for Scottsdale. Several iconic resorts and attractions are celebrating milestone years, including the iconic Hotel Valley Ho, a national historic landmark. This fun and funky Mad Men-esque hotel is honoring its 60th birthday and 10-year reopening anniversary—an endeavor that restored the property to its former grandeur. Much like the Hollywood stars once did, enjoy your mid-century modern guest room. The property just underwent $4 million refurbishment that included the addition of new décor, brand-new 49-inch HD televisions and custom-built designer furniture. For media information, contact Kristin Heggli at or 480-421-7734.

The Hoover Dam, Robert Redford and Pope Francis are all celebrating the big 8-0 this year and so is Scottsdale’s jewel of a hideaway—The Hermosa Inn. As part of the historic property’s anniversary, The Hermosa Inn unveiled new looks to the valet, lobby, guest rooms and casitas. Additional initiatives to commemorate the monumental year include a photos contest from guests’ experiences, an 80th anniversary package and a new arts program in partnership with the Phoenix Art Museum titled “Conversations in Fashion.” This new series was created as a design-focused, cocktail hour to feature select artists from the museum’s Arizona Costume Institute’s program of events. For media information contact Babs Harrison at or 602-384-3211.

Jump in the Back to the Future DeLorean and head back in time to visit Taliesin West, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2017. Take a peek into the personal home, studio and architectural laboratory of Frank Lloyd Wright’s on the property’s 90-minute Insights Tour or delve even deeper into Wright’s desert inspiration during the Desert Walk. For media information, contact Alison Rose at or 602-300-3433.  

The legend of mermaids has existed for almost as long as men have sailed the oceans. While there is no guarantee that mermaids exists, Scottsdale can confirm the opening of its own mythical creature—a seafood restaurant in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. On March 19, Crab & Mermaid Fish Shop will begin to serve casual seafood at its nearly 4,000-square-foot downtown Scottsdale location. This new restaurant’s menu will include popular bi-coastal seafood dishes such as clam chowder, lobster rolls, crab cakes and more. At the helm of the kitchen is culinary maestro Chef Isaac Carter, who is best known for the 12 years he spent with celebrity chef Todd English’s enterprises. Carter’s brag-worthy resume touts his roles at Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley, Mass., Olives in Charlestown, Mass. and at the Bellagio Las Vegas, Eva Longoria’s BESO in Hollywood, and the restaurant at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. For media information, contact Cynthia Dunne at or 623-687-6229.

Make summer vacation the high point of your year like Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease by planning a money saving Scottsdale getaway. That’s right, it’s time to pack your pool floaties and sun dresses for a summer soiree that pairs early morning and evening activities with ample pool time and irresistible summer resort rates that are up to 60 percent lower than peak season.

As the saying goes, early bird gets the worm, or in Scottsdale’s case, the adventure. Conquer one of city’s scenic hiking trails like McDowell Sonoran Preserve or Camelback Mountain in the morning hours for the best views in town. If you are going to accept the challenge of a hike in summer, make sure you keep safety in mind. Saddle up for a peaceful horseback ride with Fort McDowell Adventures and you just might see wild mustangs, bald eagles or other wildlife. Or try the all-new waterfall rappel at Boulders Resort and Spa, where you and a guide will scramble over rocks while being misted by a waterfall. 

After your morning adventure, wander over to one of Scottsdale’s museums to learn a thing or two and enjoy some air conditioning. Scottsdale Historical Museum in the Little Red Schoolhouse will take you on a historical voyage of the destination through photographs, artifacts and changing displays. Take a melodic journey at the Musical Instrument Museum to view instruments from all around the world or make a stop at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to experience compelling modern art, architecture and design. Lastly get your cowboy fix with a visit to Scottsdale’s newest museum—Western Spirit Scottsdale Museum of the West, to experience art and artifacts that tell the tale of the region’s early years.  

Finish the day with a relaxing treatment at one of Scottsdale’s world-renowned spas. Make a stop at The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North for an invigorating Healing Hikers Massage. Soothe dry skin with the Desert Nectar Honey Wrap at The Spa at Camelback Inn, where you are drenched in a mixture of pure Arizona honey, buttermilk and oats. Or enjoy The Spa at The Boulders Resort’s signature Turquoise Wrap, which is based on the American Indian belief that turquoise is a protective stone that creates a sense of peace and wellbeing. For media information, contact Clare Hahne or 480-889-2709.

Alright, Griswold’s, it’s your moment to shine. Pack up the car (we’d discourage you from strapping grandma to the roof) or skip through airport security as you head to Scottsdale, which is pretty much the Disneyland of the Southwest.

The Sonoran Desert may be known as a haven for coyotes and javelinas, but in July 2016, Scottsdale will welcome more than 5,000 marine animals. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will bring the sea to Scottsdale with the opening of OdySea Aquarium in July 2016. Guests of all ages will explore approximately 300 different species of marine life that reside in bayous and coral reefs. The aquarium promises guests of all ages a high-tech, high-entertainment, oceanic adventure with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer viewing of aquatic life—even in the restrooms—and underwater acrylic tunnels that lead to each level. For media information, contact Debi Bridges at or 480-306-4242.

Let the fun begin the moment you check in at the award-winning Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, which will debut renovations this summer, including 102 new rooms. However, it is the brand-new Sunset Pool that will really please the family. Kiddos will love the splash pad and white-sand beach with zero-edge entry, and mom and dad will appreciate the swim-up bar. Scottsdale has more resorts jam-packed with family fun activities like The Phoenician, home of Funician Club, and The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa’s Kierland Mining Co., where kids receive a scavenger hunt booklet to launch their stay. For little ones who love the outdoors, explore Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch’s flora, fauna and cultural elements with hand-on activities. Or embark on an adventure with the Kids for All Seasons program at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North, where kiddos receive a passport at check-in and a special prize upon completion. For media information, contact Clare Hahne or 480-889-2709.    

All aboard! Next stop is family fun at McCormick Stillman Railroad Park. Located in the heart of Scottsdale, this park offers train rides on the so-called Paradise and Pacific Railroads and an antique carousel. Visit a variety of shops or the model railroad building and museum. For media information, contact Henry Garcia at or 480-312-8501.

What is a visit to the “West’s Most Western Town” without an authentic cowboy experience? Get a taste of the 1880s western frontier at Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse at Wild Horse Pass, where you’ll explore the world-renowned Steakhouse & Saloon and catch live demonstrations that will make you believe you’ve stepped back in time. For media information, contact Laurie McCartney at or 480-705-2907.

Scottsdale is a place that is constantly evolving. While it holds its western roots near and dear, the downtown in particular has undergone a renaissance as it welcomes new, innovative businesses while also celebrating the treasures of yesteryear.

Food offerings are an integral part of any city’s identity. With more than 800 restaurants in and around downtown, Scottsdale is no different. But now the destination is taking the farm-to-table concept one step further with three Arizona wine tasting rooms popping up in downtown. These wine tasting rooms tell the story of Arizona’s 100 award-winning vineyards, many of which boast 90 point wines as recognized by Wine Spectator. Take LDV Wine Gallery, for example. The Wine Gallery brings the taste of Southeastern Arizona wine region to the heart of Downtown Scottsdale. Sip a glass of wine beneath the two shaded patios or enjoy bites and sips in the tasting bar and open kitchen. About 45 minutes away from LDV Winery in Southern Arizona is another winery that has been making a name for itself—Aridus Wine Company. This family-owned vineyard may run the largest custom crush facility in Arizona out of Wilcox, but you can sample several grape varietals in its Downtown Scottsdale tasting room. You don’t have to go all the way to Jerome to try Salvatore Vineyards. This small, family vineyard also opened a downtown tasting room in 2015 where you can try their exceptional wines.

Not to worry if wine is not your taste. You won’t have to wander too far to find Arizona breweries and restaurants that are perfecting the art of beer making and serving. Start the day at Sip Coffee & Beer House, a restaurant and bar that feels like your best friend’s backyard. This unassuming joint offers small bites, live music on select days, and a beer list that includes local brews from Dragoon Brewing in Tucson and Papago Brewing in Scottsdale. Right next door is Goldwater Brewing, which opened its doors in May 2015. This family-owned brewery’s signature beers include West Coast style IPAs, ales, lagers, and specialty and seasonal beers. Grab a souvenir growler-to-go before popping over to Two Brothers, a family-run brewery that’s based out of Naperville, Ill. Two Brother’s Scottsdale location offers up year-round, seasonal beers and artisan beers, as well as barrel-aged sours. Then, it’s off to Bad Water Brewing’s comfy taproom, which only seats 30. Try one of the brewery’s trifecta of beers, the Saison, IPA or Western Lager, while enjoying a cheese board.

Scottsdale pays homage to its western roots at its newest attraction, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Since its 2015 opening, this non-profit, story-telling institution has created quite the name for itself, recently becoming a certified Smithsonian Affiliate museum. As an Affiliate, Western Spirit will receive loans of iconic artifacts, as well as educational programming, expert speakers and career development for museum professionals. You can explore Smithsonian treasures in the museum’s galleries of paintings, sculptures, cultural artifacts and interactive exhibits, which illustrate the ever-evolving history and culture of the American West. For media information, contact Clare Hahne or 480-889-2709.

Remember to log onto for additional tourism news, press kits and releases, media tour information and more. And you can always turn to our public relations team for additional assistance, from photo needs to story ideas. If you are interested in being considered for a group or individual media tour, please fill out the form here. To keep up with Scottsdale’s latest news and happenings, follow @ScottsdalePR on Twitter, @ScottsdaleCVB on Instagram or visit

Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Contacts:
Laura McMurchie, VP of Communications
Direct: 480-429-2253

Megan Neighbor, Director of Communications
Direct: 480-889-2716

Clare Hahne, Communications Coordinator
Direct: 480-889-2709

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Top 10 Things to See & Do in Scottsdale

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or seasoned regular, here are 10 uniquely Scottsdale experiences you won’t want to miss.


1. Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve

This expansive urban preserve, the largest of its kind in the nation, boasts 170 miles of scenic hiking trails in the McDowell Mountain foothills. The Gateway trailhead offers access to numerous paths, ranging from the ADA accessible Bajada Nature Trail to the challenging Windgate Pass Trail.


2. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright was so captivated by the Sonoran Desert’s natural beauty and sunny climate that he chose Scottsdale as the location for his winter home and architectural school, Taliesin West. Daily tours offer guests an insider’s look into Wright’s ingenious designs and his ability to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces.


3. Musical Instrument Museum

Discover unique instruments and music from around the world at MIM! High-tech headphones and multi-media displays immerse you in global musical traditions, while the hands-on Experience Gallery lets aspiring musicians of all ages try their hand at instruments like guitars, gongs and gamelans.


4. Downtown Scottsdale

Downtown’s nine walkable neighborhoods offer you a variety of experiences by day and night. Discover historic Scottsdale in Old Town, browse the galleries of the arts district, shop along Fifth Avenue or discover the energy of Scottsdale after dark in the Entertainment District.


5. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

This downtown gem celebrates the pioneer spirit of the American West through changing exhibitions of fine art, rare historic artifacts and cultural treasures. Be sure to check out the museum’s event calendar for live music, speakers and Western film screenings.


6. A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale Tours

Arizona Food tours offers both lunch and progressive dinner tours that will give you the inside scoop on downtown Scottsdale’s dining scene. Each tour stops at approximately five restaurants, where you’ll be treated to gourmet samplings and, in many cases, hear directly from the chefs about their cuisine.


7. Desert Botanical Garden

The Garden’s five paved, thematic trails introduce you to thousands of arid-land plants from around the world. Must-see events at the Garden include Las Noches de las Luminarias, the Music in the Garden concert series, and summer Flashlight Tours.


8. Heard Museum

The Heard’s award-winning collections explore the Native American cultures of the Southwest. Frequent art and cultural demonstrations, as well as annual events like the World Hoop Dance Championship (Feb.) and Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market (March), give you the opportunity to meet and talk with Native artists from various tribes.


9. Desert Belle Tour Boat

For a relaxing desert experience, join the Desert Belle for a 90-minute cruise on Saguaro Lake. This 143-passenger, two-level boat gives you a close look at the region’s native flora and fauna while navigating one of the Valley’s most pristine Sonoran Desert canyons.


10. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

SMoCA celebrates the modern art, architecture and design of our time through thought-provoking, changing exhibitions. The museum, an ingenious renovation of an old movie theater by architect Will Bruder, also is home to “Knight Rise,” a James Turrell skyspace that allows you to track the sun’s colorful path across the desert sky.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Easter in Scottsdale

Easter in Scottsdale

Easter activities in Scottsdale are perfect for bringing the whole family together. Whether you’re partaking in a delightful brunch or enjoying an egg hunt and photos with the Easter Bunny, there are plenty of ways to celebrate in Scottsdale!

Note: Most restaurants and resorts require reservations. Please call ahead to verify times and pricing and to make reservations.

Photos with the Easter Bunny at Scottsdale Fashion Square

When: March 9 – March 26, 2016; 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Mon – Thurs.); 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Fri. – Sat.); 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Sun.) Details: Bring the kids for a visit with the Easter Bunny, located on the upper level in the Nordstrom wing. Take photos and receive a free gift! Cost: Click here for pricing Phone: 480-941-2140

Free Easter Bunny Photos at Desert Ridge Marketplace

When: March 11 – 26, 2016 Details: Kids can visit with the Easter Bunny and get a free downloadable photo and gift (available while supplies last). Photo packages are also available for purchase. Click here for the Easter Bunny’s schedule. Click here for the Easter Bunny’s schedule. Cost: Free Phone: 480-513-7586

Phoe-Phoe’s Afternoon Tea Party at The Phoenician

When: Saturday, March 26, 2016, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Details: Join The Phoenician on the Orchid Lawn for a charming version of our traditional tea offering, complete with kid-friendly finger sandwiches, scones and an assortment of desserts. All children in attendance will receive a plush bunny Phoe-Phoe as well as a copy of our children’s book. Cost: $45 (Children 3 – 12); $60 (Adults) Phone: 480-423-2530

Easter Brunch at The Phoenician

When: Sunday, March 27, 2016, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Details: The Phoenician will be unveiling a new look and location for its Easter Brunch experience. Providing dramatic Sonoran views and a more contemporary American menu, this culinary offering will be hosted on the resort’s fifth floor. Activities will include arts and crafts, a caricature artist, face painting and games on the East Lawn from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Easter bunny will also be making a visit to the event. Click here for the Easter Brunch Menu. Cost: $55 (Children 3-12); $110 (Adults) Phone: 480-423-2530

Easter Brunch and dinner at ZuZu

When: March 27, 2016, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Details: Savor a delicious brunch at the Hotel Valley Ho. Guests have the option of ordering brunch specials or choosing from the seasonal menu. A Bloody Mary Mimosa Bar will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Easter Egg Hunt start promptly at 9 a.m. on the ZuZu patio and features special prizes. The chefs at ZuZu also have a savory dinner menu in store, and dessert is served all day long! Click here to view brunch and dinner specials. Cost: A la carte pricing Phone: 480-248-2039

elements Easter Brunch at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

When: Sunday, March 27, 2016, 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Details: Celebrate the holidays at Sanctuary Resort and indulge in celebrations and specialty dining menus created by Executive Chef Beau MacMillan. The three-course menu includes items such as sticky buns, maine lobster cobb, huevos rancheros and more. Click here for the complete Easter Brunch menu. Cost: $85 per person Phone: 480-948-2100

Easter at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

When: Sunday, March 27, 2016, 9 a.m. Details: Known as the best Easter egg hunt in town, the Westin Kierland features an innovative Easter brunch experience in the resort’s Trailblazer’s Ballroom. The Easter Champagne Brunch menu will offer breakfast stations with fresh pastries and omelets, carving stations with agave-glazed ham, spring her-crusted beef strip loin, seafood and sushi stations, a bountiful dessert station and more. The ticketed Easter Eggstravaganza includes bounce hoses, a petting zoo, arts & crafts and access to a 25,000 egg hunt! Cost: $75 (Adults); $25 (Children 5-12) Phone: 480-624-1202

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |