With over 310 days of annual sunshine, more than 40 luxury resorts, a host of world-class destination spas and phenomenal dining and nightlife scene, Phoenix is the perfect couples’ getaway. Whether you’re a foodie, adventure seeker or simply want pampering and relaxation you’ll be well taken care of in America’s sunniest metropolis.
SIGHTS TO SEE
Phoenix also happens to be America’s 6th largest city, and with so much ground to cover why not try your sightseeing from above? Hot Air Expeditions offers sunrise and sunset hot air balloon rides that are peaceful and romantic, yet exciting and invigorating. You’ll float like a cloud over vast expanses of arid land, spotting local wildlife and taking in magnificent unobstructed desert vistas. An al fresco champagne breakfast of fresh fruit, cheese, pain au chocolate and quiche completes the adventure.
If you want to experience the incredible desert scenery, but prefer your feet planted firmly on the ground, South Mountain Park and Preserve has 82 kilometers of trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. To learn more about the area’s unique cacti and plant life visit the Desert Botanical Gardens; a one-of-a-kind museum showcasing 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits and more than one hundred rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world. The gardens also hold special events throughout the year including several concert series and Las Noches de Las Luminarias – a Southwestern holiday tradition with thousands of hand-lit lanterns.
The arts and culture scene in Phoenix is as unique as the landscape, with an unusual blend of Native American, Hispanic, African and Asian influences. For a perfect depiction of this diversity, visit the Phoenix Art Museum to view its collection of art, photography and fashion design. Another hugely popular museum is the internationally acclaimed Heard Museum, which features 10 exhibition galleries comprised of approximately 40,000 pieces of Native American artefacts and artwork. The local art scene is also flourishing, and every Thursday evening the Scottsdale Gallery Association holds an Artwalk in Old Town Scottsdale to showcase the many artists and galleries in the area.
SIP & SAVOUR
Foodies visiting Phoenix can indulge in a full spectrum of cuisine that ranges from signature Southwestern dishes to exotic international fare. For a casual morning, tour the Downtown Phoenix Public Market and taste your way through fresh local fare including artisan cheeses, pickles, jellies, soups, and baked breads.
A tasty way to experience one of Phoenix’s most popular neighbourhoods is to take a tour of Old Town Scottsdale with Arizona Food Tours. Over the three hour walking tour you’ll learn about the history of this old western town while sampling Southwest cuisine from some of Scottsdale’s most popular eateries. Other fabulous finds in Old Scottsdale are Petite Maison, a stylish, intimate French bistro with amazing Steak Frites and Crème Brule, and Arcadia Farms which has been a household name in farm-to-fork style cuisine for over 20 years.
When the sun goes down Old Town Scottsdale transforms itself from quaint and artsy to ‘the place to be’. Sexy lounges, moody wine bars and bumping clubs, such as Suede, Martini Ranch and Pussycat Lounge are packed with partygoers until the wee hours. A local favourite, for Sunday pool parties and late night cocktails, is the chic, yet cheeky W Hotel.
SPA & STAY
The iconic Arizona Biltmore Hotel, designed by famous architect Frank Loyd Wright, has been a Phoenix institution since opening in 1929. The impressive property, which spans 39 acres, features manicured lawns and gardens, eight swimming pools, tennis courts, championship golf, a 22,000 square foot day-spa, as well as a mix of 750 guest rooms, villas and suites. Among the Biltmore’s six dining options is The Wright Bar, which lays claim to creating the original Tequila Sunrise, and the seasonally inspired fine dining restaurant Wrights.
For a more intimate and romantic boutique hotel, book into the Royal Palms Resort & Spa. Awarded with Travel + Leisure’s #1 Resort in Phoenix for 2012, this former 1920’s Mediterranean-style mansion offers solitude and tranquility with 119 beautifully appointed casitas, guestrooms and villas set amidst lush courtyards and fragrant gardens.
Royal Palms is also home to the amazing Alvadora Spa, specializing in luxurious couples’ treatments, and the critically acclaimed T. Cook’s restaurant, offering delicious seasonal dishes and fire-roasted specialties from the Mediterranean region.