Road Trip: From Aspen to Arizona

*Originally published by The Scout Guide Aspen*

Embarking on a road trip from the picturesque landscapes of Aspen to the vibrant cities of Scottsdale and Phoenix promises an unforgettable journey filled with diverse experiences. As you trade the mountainous terrain for the desert sun, prepare to discover a rich adventure of culture, art, and culinary delights. Let us guide you through the must-see attractions and activities in Scottsdale and Phoenix, drawing inspiration from The Scout Guide Tucson and Phoenix to ensure you make the most of your Southwestern adventure.

Day 1: Arrival in Scottsdale
Check into Civana and start your journey in Scottsdale by exploring the city’s artistic side. Visit the Scottsdale Arts District, where galleries and studios showcase a wide range of contemporary and Native American art. Don’t miss the opportunity to peruse the offerings at galleries such as Bonner David Galleries and Bentley Gallery and locally owned stores like Cave & Post Trading Co. and Urbana. Whether you’re in the mood for Southwestern cuisine or international flavors for lunch, Scottsdale is the perfect spot. Take a leisurely stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden, a mesmerizing showcase of arid-land plants from around the world. Capture the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and learn about its unique ecosystem. Relax, recharge and rehydrate at Hydrate IV Bar and Squeeze. Wrap up your first day with dinner and enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Old Town Scottsdale, exploring bars, live music venues, and more. Editor pick for dinner: Spotted Donkey for the charred avocado tacos!

Day 2: Scottsdale to Phoenix

Nourish yourself at Seed to gear up for the drive to Phoenix, a city that seamlessly blends modernity with rich history. Upon arriving in Phoenix, delve into the city’s cultural offerings. Visit Phoenix Art Museum or the Heard Museum, renowned for its Native American art and artifacts, providing insight into the region’s indigenous history. Recharge with lunch at a Valentine’s. Explore Roosevelt Row Arts District, where street art, galleries, and boutiques converge. Immerse yourself in the local art scene and perhaps pick up a unique piece to commemorate your trip. As the day winds down, dine at Tarbell’s, enjoying a culinary experience that reflects Phoenix’s diverse and innovative food scene.

Day 3: Outdoor Adventures and Relaxation

Escape the urban hustle for a day and head to Camelback Mountain for a hike. The challenging trails offer panoramic views of the Valley of the Sun. After working up an appetite, head to Terras to enjoy a well-deserved meal. Spend the afternoon exploring the scenic trails of Papago Park or enjoy a round of golf at one of the area’s world-class golf courses. Wind down with a relaxing evening, recharging for the journey back to Aspen.

Your road trip from Aspen to Scottsdale and Phoenix offers a perfect blend of art, culture, and outdoor adventure. By exploring the recommendations in The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale, you’ll discover the hidden gems that make this journey truly unforgettable. Embrace the unique charm of the Southwest and create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you prefer to fly, look at SkyShare, a TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale member.