Hotel at a Glance: Howard Johnson Old Town Scottsdale
This hotel is a short walk from the restaurants, art galleries, and Old West boardwalks and hitching posts of Old Town Scottsdale. The lobby has a bit of an old-timey feel itself, with exposed brick walls and a wood-burning fireplace. Guest rooms, on the other hand, are modern, with granite bathrooms and contemporary artwork.
- Free continental breakfast includes a variety of cereals, baked goods, juices, and coffee.
- In-room amenities: 37-inch HDTV, microwave, mini refrigerator, and free WiFi
- Go swimming in the heated outdoor pool and hot tub.
- Native flora: The hotel's grounds feature scrubby desert plants.
Scottsdale, Arizona: Stucco Mansions amid Rocky Desert Landscape
Located just northeast of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale once served as ranch land where farmers grew oranges and lemons and cowboys kicked up dust in the fierce, dry heat. That era earned Scottsdale the nickname of “The West's Most Western Town.” Today, it is an affluent city landscaped with lush green grass and lined with stucco mansions. For a glimpse of the city's Old West roots, head to Old Town Scottsdale, where wooden boardwalks and hitching posts sit in front of a retro ice-cream parlor and rustic specialty shops.
Upon arriving in Scottsdale, you know you're in the desert—cacti and tumbleweeds dot the landscape, and dry shrubs and gnarled trees cover the McDowell Mountains in the distance. To get a closer look at southwestern flora, head to the Desert Botanical Garden. There, themed trails wind past huge cacti and other moisture-hoarding succulents, best seen in the cooler early morning or twilight hours.