Hotel at a Glance: Orange Tree Golf Resort
Though it sprung from the sands of a former orange grove in the desert, Orange Tree Golf Resort keeps things fresh and green. Its 18-hole, USGA-rated championship golf course serves as a lush oasis amid an otherwise arid environment. The resort has been recognized by the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for its environmentally friendly practices, which include an onsite recycling program and water conservation.
- Nifty in-room amenities: One-bedroom suites feature two-person whirlpools, Tempur-Pedic mattresses, kitchenettes, and 32-inch TVs.
- A room with a view: French doors open up to patios and terraces with views of the desert.
- Get sweaty: Hit the outdoor pool, badminton court, horseshoe pit, or fitness center.
- Must-see nearby: Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert masterpiece, is just 20 minutes away by car.
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.
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