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Hotel at a Glance: We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center
About 20 miles northeast of downtown Scottsdale, private homes gradually give way to thousands of saguaro cacti. It’s in this secluded area that you’ll find the 4-star We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center, a sprawling oasis set against the backdrop of one of North America’s largest deserts. Admire the landscape from a deluxe room—each unit looks out over the McDowell Mountains, the outdoor pool, or the pristine golf course.
- Ways to unwind: Take a dip in a pool or hot tub or head to the Amethyst Spa for a massage.
- Seven dining options serve everything from burgers and shakes to sushi. This Getaway includes a daily $10 dining credit valid at Ahnala Mesquite Room and for room service.
- Tee off at the nearby We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, which has two award-winning championship courses. Frommer’s named it one of Arizona’s best places to golf.
- In-room amenities: high-speed WiFi, flat-screen high-definition TVs, and coffee maker.
Scottsdale, Arizona: Stucco Mansions amid Rocky Desert Landscape
Scottsdale once served as ranch land where farmers grew oranges and lemons and cowboys kicked up dust in the fierce, dry heat of the Sonoran Desert. 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.