Kick off your Phoenix short getaway downtown in Historic Heritage Square. Wander amid late 19th- and early-20th- century buildings featuring gift shops, museums and restaurants, then take a peek into the Arizona Doll & Toy Museum. Around the corner on Washington Street, the planetarium at the Arizona Science Center will thrill both kids and adults. Back at Historic Heritage Square, order a wood-fired pizza from Pizzeria Bianco.
Start: Historic Heritage Square, Monroe and Sixth streets
Nearest Third and Washington streets
Make your way up to Camelback Road and spend a leisurely afternoon shopping at the Biltmore Fashion Park. Sift through designer wares at Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s or stroll past the tranquil garden courtyards in the open-air plaza for some boutique window-shopping. Get a caffeine boost with a steaming café au lait at Paradise Bakery & Café or linger over a burger and burgundy at Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar.
Start: Biltmore Fashion Park
After a break at your Phoenix hotel, take a taxi to Old Town Scottsdale and get ready for some Wild West entertainment. Stroll the wooden sidewalks between Scottsdale Road and Brown Avenue, peeking in rustic 19th-century storefronts crammed with jewelery, Mexican imports and souvenirs. Take the trolley over to the Scottsdale Waterfront to fuel up for a night of two-stepping at a saloon or two, the Handlebar-J, for starters.
Start: Downtown Scottsdale
Start your day exploring the adobe ruins of the 1,500-year-old Hohokam village at Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park. Survey the excavated ball courts, mounds, irrigation canals and a vantage point strategically located for viewing the summer-solstice sunrise. Artefacts and interactive exhibits in the gallery shed light on the ruins. As hunger pangs set in, head back downtown for an authentic American Indian lunch of green-chili tacos at Fry Bread House.
Start: Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Center
Spend an afternoon being pampered at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. Give way to soothing desert sage rituals and warm-stone massage treatments. Afterward, lounge by one of the 10 swimming pools nestled next to bougainvillea-draped gazebos or soak in a swirling spa. Towering red mountain spires provide an awe-inspiring backdrop.
Start: Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa
End a Phoenix break eating like a cowboy. Consider a plate of Rocky Mountain oysters at Rawhide Steakhouse, and then definitely order The Gunslinger steak. Ask about the sundown cookouts, with hayrides and live country music. For something more low-key, dress up and treat yourself to dinner and cocktails at the luxurious Thirsty Camel, in The Phoenician hotel, for its amber-hued sunset views over Camelback mountain.