Hotel at a Glance: Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort & Suites
Inspired by the adobe casitas of the American Southwest, guest accommodations at Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort & Suites feature white-washed wood-beam ceilings and private adobe patios. The resort sits on 25 acres outfitted with hammocks, two pools, and a nature trail leading through desert foliage. Guests also have access to four tennis courts and bicycle rentals (extra fees).
- Distance from downtown Scottsdale: 2.5 miles (Phoenix is only 14 miles away)
- Eat outdoors at Moriah Restaurant, which serves up chicken fried steak and eggs, buttermilk pancakes, and other breakfast favorites in a Spanish Colonial–style courtyard.
- Mountain views: The resort overlooks Camelback Mountain, with especially good views from the main pool area.
- Local wildlife: Keep your eyes peeled for cottontail rabbits and quail on the nature path.
- Go shopping: The Shops at Hilton Village are right across the street from the resort.
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.