By Mikal McLendon, Travel Correspondent
Sonoran Escape with Southwestern Charm and Mountain Views
Like the ducks and swans swimming in nearby Camelback Lake, some of the sunbathers by the pool have decided to seek relief in the water. They are treading in the pool or wading beneath the refreshing waterfall, which is fed by a 20-foot stream. Others huddle in the shade of cabanas, interrupting their poolside chatter now and then to retrieve umbrellaed drinks from the Coyote Cabana Bar. From the pool deck they can see the jagged edges and earthy red hues of the McDowell Mountains, whose severity stands out against the laid-back scene here at the Millennium Scottsdale Resort & Villas.
A southwestern aesthetic prevails in the resort's interior, festooned with rustic wall art and adobe accents. In the superior rooms, a private balcony or patio lures visitors from the air conditioning with abundant sunshine and views of either the pool area or of the lake and pine-studded fairways on its far shore. Within the spacious, 400-square-foot rooms, plush, crimson bedding embraces sun-kissed vacationers as they drift off while watching movies on big-screen LCD TVs.
After a long day of volleying on the tennis courts or climbing aboard complimentary paddleboats to test the pH of Camelback Lake, vacationers can refuel at the Millennium's Diamondbacks Bar & Grill, home to a menu of burgers and other handheld edibles. Come evening, bolder flavors reign at Piñon Grill, where couples gather on the lakeside patio with glasses of wine and plates of peanut-crusted halibut to savor the pinks of a Sonoran sunset.
Scottsdale, Arizona: Challenging Fairways and Cultural Treasures
Across Camelback Lake from Millennium Scottsdale Resort & Villas, McCormick Ranch Golf Club rests amid a quiet residential area. The club's two courses were designed by architect Desmond Muirhead, with the tropically themed Palm course requiring careful shot placement thanks to water hazards on more than half of its 18 holes.
In Old Town, a historical district in downtown Scottsdale located about 3 miles from the resort, Wild West saloons and western-wear shops intermingle with jewelry stores and delis. At the Rusty Spur Saloon, the lively strumming of a rodeo band complements classic southwestern fare and a busy décor of license plates, barrels, and assorted oddities. Over in Old Town's art district, where multiple galleries encircle tree-lined courtyards, artists display everything from contemporary mixed-media pieces to Pueblo Indian pottery. On Thursday nights, the area's fountains and statues light up for the Art Walk.