Located in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, adjacent to the state capital of Phoenix, just a short drive away, Scottsdale is an excellent base for a wide range of activities and facilities. Old west meets here; a handful of classic saloons feature live country music and Native American culture is strong, while Fashion Square Mall (Arizona's largest shopping centre) to The Borgata, which is styled on the charming Tuscan town of San Gimignano, offer ample opportunities to satisfy any shopper. There are also art galleries and award-winning museums and eclectic dining choices − including plenty of steakhouses − add the modern touches. Outdoor activities are unrivalled, from Segway tours, the region’s famous golf courses and hot-air balloon rides, to adventures in the Sonoran Desert. There are hiking and biking trails to suit all abilities, including the family-friendly interpretive walk along the Bajada Nature Trail and McDowell Mountain Regional Park. If you prefer equestrian adventures, these include moonlight rides and hay-wagon excursions, or take an off-road Jeep tour with an entertaining cowboy Guide. For a total contrast, try rafting, tubing, fishing or kayaking on the rivers and lakes nearby.
Sedona is brimming with stunning, striking scenery and attracts visitors in search of a true experience with nature, eager to see its unique red rock formations, including the pinnacles, the spires and the domes. There is no walk or drive in Sedona that is not defined by stunning scenery. Sandwiched between Slide Rock State Park and Red Rock State Park, there are plenty of opportunities for creekside rambles, birdwatching, geology talks. Head to Crescent Moon Picnic Area and you’ll see Cathedral Rock which is one of the most famous; its reflections bouncing off Oak Creek. On the bank opposite Cathedral Rock is a series of totem-style stacks of small rocks called Buddha Beach which is considered to be the site of one of Sedona’s sacred 'vortexes' − defined as areas of concentrated spiritual energy, where many people experience effects including intense feelings of joy, peace and healing. Amidst Sedona’s landscape is the skilfully crafted Chapel of The Holy Cross that was designed by Sculptor, Marguerite Brunswig Staude and perches two-hundred feet above the valley floor. Meanwhile, the town of Sedona offers plenty of art galleries and spas, whilst nearby vineyards are open for wine-tastings.
If you won't be beased in Sedona itself, day trips can be arranged from Scottsdale.
Arizona's second largest city (after Phoenix) is located in a Sonoran Desert valley surrounded by mountain ranges, forests and national parks. Amongst them are Saguaro National Park (home to the giant Saguaro cacti) and Catalina State Park, which has miles of equestrian, bird watching, hiking and mountain biking trails. The region offers a wide spectrum of outdoor activities, and with Tucson laying claim to being the sunniest city in the USA, there is plenty of good weather to enjoy them. At The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain guests can soak up the sunshine at any of the three pools, whilst horse-riding, star-gazing and horse-riding are amongst the activities available. The region is rich in Native American culture and cowboy heritage, the Tucson rodeo is held annually and its home to one of the most active filming locations for Westerns - Old Tucson - which has been used extensively since 1939 for a host of classic Westerns including Rio Bravo (starring Western film legend John Wayne), The Outlaw Josie Wales, Gunfight at the OK Corral and Tombstone, as well as television series including Little House on the Prairie and Bonanza. Open to the public on selected days, you can enjoy panning for gold and vintage car and train rides as well as gunfight shows.
Golf in Scottsdale
Scottsdale is regarded as a top golfing destination and our featured resorts offer access to some fantastic golf experiences: At Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North , golfers enjoy special privileges at both The Pinnacle and The Monument championship golf courses at Troon North Golf Club whilst guests of The Phoenician have a total of twenty-seven holes to play at the resort's award-winning courses.
Apache Trail, Scottsdale
Take a day trip along the Apache Trail scenic drive for views of forested mountains, canyons and sparkling desert lakes, along with attractions including Goldfield Ghost Town, where you can tour a gold mine, pan for gold, dine at the saloon and witness a thrilling re-enactment of an Old West-style gunfight.
Art and design lovers can visit the Heard Museum, renowned for its collection of Native arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Taliesin West, built as his winter home and studio. For something different, join the Thursday night ArtWalk, when the art galleries of the Scottsdale Gallery Association open their doors to the public -combine with dinner in Downtown or a trip to the theatre for a delightful evening out.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson
To really understand your desert surroundings, visit this natural history museum, zoo and botanical gardens all rolled into one. See desert animals, including prairie dogs, in the most natural of environments and over 1,200 types of plants, as you enjoy a fascinating and educational day out.
Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson
This fine example of mission architecture is one of the region's most iconic historic buildings. As an active Catholic church, visitors can join in mass, if they wish; otherwise the museum offers an insight into the mission's history.
The Grand Canyon
Approximately a four-hour drive, north of Scottsdale is the Grand Canyon's South Rim. It is possible to join a Ranger-led walk or a bus excursion tour of the rim, ride a mule down to the bottom, take scenic helicopter flight or go rafting on the Colorado River. The Tusayan Museum offers an insight into Pueblo Indian life at the Grand Canyon eight-hundred years ago. Activities at The Phoenician include day trips to the Grand Canyon and western ghost towns.
Summers are extremely hot, while winters are cool. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit. It’s dry most times of the year, though thunderstorms are not uncommon during the summer months.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Arizona.
British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Phoenix.
From London Heathrow to Phoenix: 10 hours, 40 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Travel Advice Update
The FCO travel advice for the USA has been updated with an amendment to the Entry requirements section - on 18 December 2015, the US Congress passed a Bill updating the requirements for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP); under the new rules, with effect from 1 April 2016 all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip.
The web-based Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) requires all passengers (including infants) travelling via or to the USA to apply for authority to travel a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel. You may be denied boarding or refused entry to the US if you have not registered and obtained authorisation. To apply visit the official website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ A charge of UD$14 per person (subject to change) will apply and must be paid by either credit or debit card.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Customs and Border Protection programme Global Entry gets pre-approved travellers through border control faster at some US airports. If you’re a British citizen and a frequent visitor to the USA you can now register to get a UK background check on www.gov.uk/apply-faster-entry-usa. If you pass the background checks, you’ll be invited to apply for Global Entry.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.