Originally published by THE SCOUT GUIDE by March 20, 2023.

Nature is waking up from her slumber and the weather is getting better—which makes spring the ideal time to plan a getaway. Bonus: Peak summer crowds have yet to roll in, and the scorching heat and soaking humidity are still a couple months away. Want to get out there and enjoy the season? We’ve scouted five fabulous destinations—from a southern seaside oasis to an outdoor adventurers’ paradise out West—certain to put a spring in your step.

It’s hard to beat the desert in the spring in the“Valley of the Sun,” where warm days make an entrance in mid-February. “A springtime visit to Phoenix and Scottsdale is a must,” shares Sasha Clements, editor of The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale. “Not only does the balmy weather welcome a host of outdoor activities — from catching a Cactus League Spring Training baseball game to enjoying a Camelback hike — it’s also the perfect season to enjoy the many amenities of the Valley’s world class resorts, plus our excellent dining and shopping offerings.”

To kick off your desert weekend, make your way to the Desert Botanical Garden’s spring concert series, held most Friday evenings from February through May, Music in the Gardenfeatures a variety of genres from jazz and blues to country and world beats. Stroll the Garden’s paths and enjoy dinner at Gertrude’s, then settle in for music under the starry desert sky. On Saturday morning, Sasha suggests visiting the Old Town Scottsdale’s Farmers Market or the Uptown Farmers Market featuring everything from freshly baked breads and seasonal produce to homemade jams and tamales.

Golf enthusiasts will rejoice at the variety of world-class courses to choose from, including Troon North, TPC Scottsdale, Papago Golf Club, and Mountain Shadows. If you’re not too spent from your morning round, Sasha recommends taking to the trails to soak up more of that breathtaking desert landscape. Take your pick from a wide range of hikes—from easy jaunts like Double Butte Loop and Hole-in-the-Rock Trail in Papago Park, to a more challenging expedition like the Echo Canyon trail. If your preferred cardio is more in the vein of retail therapy, head to the bustling heart of Scottsdale with a visit to Old Town boasting a mix of boutique shops, art galleries, design showrooms, and the obligatory Arizona souvenir. After a day of activity, sit back and enjoy one of the renowned spring desert sunsets. Sanctuaryand Andaz are two gorgeous resorts, with perfect spots to take in those cotton candy skies, preferably with a cocktail in hand.

To plan your Phoenix & Scottsdale getaway, check out the Phoenix & Scottsdale Cheat Sheets. And for additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Phoenix & Scottsdale, Arizona, follow The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale on Instagram and visit The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale website, where you can browse or buy the latest volume of The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale.