In the Valley of the Sun: Phoenix, Arizona

phoenix arizona

Visitors head there to golf. Or to catch some sun during the cold, dreary days of winter. But surprisingly, Phoenix has a bit more to offer than just sun and a hole in one. The city has a thriving food and art scene and an increasingly diverse populace. Here are our favorite spots in town to escape to:

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Desert Botanicals Gardens

Phoenix is not all fuddy duddy retirees. The city has a number of stellar cultural institutions such as the Heard Museum, which showcases Native American art and history. The Desert Botanicals Gardens are still a huge draw, thanks to the unique fauna. Head there at night to check out Chihuly in the Garden, a showcase of artist Dale Chihuly’s studio glass works set amid the landscape. Music and drinks are on hand to get you in the mood. If golf is what you came here for nothing beats heading to the legendary Boulders resort for a round. You’ll get a stunning desert setting and much needed space on the fairway.

Eat & Drink

Bink's in Midtown Phoenix is one of the hottest new restaurants, thanks to dishes such as chicken karaage with lemon pickle and cilantro.

Last Spring, James Beard Award–nominated chef Kevin Binkley opened Bink’s, an upscale American joint in Midtown. We loved the Chicken Karaage with lemon pickles and cilantro and the paella with squash and corn. The Henry opened to much fanfare in December and is known for its friendly vibe and comfortable setting. Grab a coffee here in the morning or come back to sit by the fireplace as you dine on authentic Swedish meatballs. Don’t forget to grab a drink at The Gladly, which crafts unique cocktails and has an extensive list of wine, beer and spirits. 

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Omni Montelucia

Phoenix and Scottsdale are home to many world-class resorts but we love the Omni Montelucia in Scottsdale. The expansive Mediterranean-style resort sits at the base of iconic Camelback Mountain and offers 293 luxe suites and rooms, several swimming pools, Prado restaurant—which has some of the best appetizers and service this side of the Mississippi—and the top spa in town. Indulge yourself at Joya Spa, a behemoth of a space that offers classic services with a Southwestern twist—think holistic and life affirming. The Hammam alone is worth the price of admission. You’ll be in expert hands and leave town feeling thoroughly invigorated.