I love the desert heat, and I think more so now since I don't get to experience summer living in San Francisco. Mark Twain said it best: "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." I wanted to have a real hot girl summer, so I went to Scottsdale, Arizona, in the middle of August.
Last time we visited Scottsdale we didn't have a great experience with Airbnb. Read about it here: How Airbnb almost ruined my trip to Scottsdale, Arizona
. This time, we decided to stay at one of the most luxurious resorts in the heart of Paradise Valley: Mountain Shadows
Mountain Shadows has a gorgeous backdrop of Camelback Mountain, close to various hiking trails and only a ten-minute drive to downtown Scottsdale. The resort is also perfect for a relaxing retreat to unplug and unwind. My favorite part of staying at Mountain Shadows was relaxing by the pool, in a bikini, and reading.
The one thing missing at Mountain Shadows is a spa. However, they do offer in-room massages. If you're looking for a full spa experience, the concierge at Mountain Shadows will give you a complimentary ride in their Tesla to Sanctuary Resort Spa
One of the many reasons why I wanted to stay at Mountain Shadows was for their yoga events. Every Thursday evening, they offer a one-hour free flow yoga for hotel guests and the community. I love how there were so many locals that showed up to practice yoga together.
On another night, Tru Fusion
and Meditative Vibes
put on a Sunset Vibe and Flow event at Mountain Shadows. Complete with headphones for the best dance party in your head and a great connection to your yoga instructor.
Since I'm such a gym rat, I went to the fitness center at the Citizen's Club every morning. The fitness center offers an array of 60-minute classes ranging from pilates reformer, TRX, to aerial yoga. My favorite was the pilates reformer. It's a fantastic low-intensity workout, and I highly recommend trying it.
The Short Course
Mountain Shadows is not just a hotel and community; it's also a golf course. But it's not your average golf course because it's a Par-3 course, making it a short 18-hole course. Ben is the golfer, I'm the "ride-along-in-the-golf-cart" kind of gal plus I make a semi-good caddy. I highly recommend the short course at Mountain Shadows if you're a golf fanatic, just beginning your golf journey, or love views of Camelback mountain.
Have you heard of Teaspressa
? If you watch Shark Tank, you know what I'm talking about since they were on the show. Teaspressa is a natural and organic tea made like coffee. You get a caffeine kick like a cup of coffee as well as all the tea's health benefits.
Not only was the matcha super delicious, but the store was super cute! Flowers were hanging from the ceiling, a charming seating area with decorative pillows, and an insta-worthy wall!
I'm not sarcastic when I say I'm obsessed with Tocaya Organica
. This modern Mexican restaurant is trendy with a mission of better eating. They offer salads, tacos, burritos, and bowls in their casual dining space. I love how all of their items are vegan, and omnivores have the option to add meat or dairy onto their order if they like.
Plantain chips and guac
I visited Tocaya a total of three times during my visit and tried the Tocaya salad, Shredded Kale and Quinoa, and the Keto Bowl (Not pictured). All of them were so delicious and fresh, perfect in the 100-degree weather.
Shredded Kale and Quinoa
I'm a huge San Francisco Giants fan and it just so happens they were playing against the Diamondbacks in Arizona during our trip! I love going to ballparks, and this was my first time visiting Chase Field. Chase Field is the first stadium built in the United States with a retractable roof because Phoenix is the hottest major city in North America. Game time temperatures can rise well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. With the dome closed, the stadium is at a very comfortable 78 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the best features of Chase Field is the pool which can be rented out during game days.
Chase Field offers a few vegan options. We tried the "Mediterranean Vegan Wrap with Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken" at Taste of Chase, and the Camelback Burger (Impossible Burger patty with avocado, cucumber, lettuce, brown sugar truffle ketchup, herb mustard, jalapeno-onion relish, toasted onion flakes) at PV Burger.
Aravaipa - Vertigo Night Run
Ben loves to run, and I love supporting him on his crazy running adventures. Once a month, we travel to a different running event. This month was the Vertigo Night Run
put on by Aravapia Running. Aravaipa Running
puts on great trail runs all over the state of Arizona.
Vertigo Night Run landed on a full moon this year, allowing runners to run under the beautiful illuminating glow. The event was in Waddell, Arizona at White Tank Mountain Regional Park. The trail loop is a distance of 10 kilometers. Ben ran the 31-kilometer race (19.2 miles) which was three times around White Tank Mountain trail. This event was Ben's first time running in the desert at night but not his last since he enjoyed running at night. As a cheerleader/spectator, I prefer day time events because I had a hard time spotting Ben in the dark. All in all, it was a fun experience, and Araviapa put on another great run.
Scottsdale has a lot of really great restaurants that are hip and trendy. The Henry
is one of them. We've driven past the restaurant several times, and I've always wanted to stop in because they have this cute lit-up arrow on the front. I did my research on vegan options before going, and I was pleasantly surprised with all the options.
We started with the "Made to order Guacamole" and the "BBQ Heirloom Carrot" Salad, which was so delicious! For the main entree, we shared the "Portobello Asada Tacos" and the "Harvest Bowl." We were so full and satisfied with everything! The Henry
is not just a restaurant, it's also a great place to have a cup of coffee and do some work on your laptop. I highly recommend checking out The Henry, just follow the arrow.
Another fun trip to Arizona in the books! Let me know in the comments if you've ever been to Scottsdale and what were your highlights? Scottsdale, I will never desert you!