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There are many places for one to choose from when you get the chance to begin traveling. You’ll find that Scottsdale, Arizona is the perfect place to go when you get some time to relax and unwind this winter and spring. Not only do you have wonderfully comfortable and sunny weather throughout winter months, but come the spring, when the desert flowers bloom, you also get to avoid the searing heat that comes with the following summer season. So, if your curious about all you can do to make the most out of the beautiful area and season, read on to discover our ultimate guide to winter and spring in Scottsdale!

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Enjoy a Hike in the Sun

Of course, if the state of Arizona is known for anything, it’s the constant warm weather that envelops the city, making it the perfect place to go if you are looking to be able to enjoy the outdoors even as Santa is getting things prepared for his trip and the candles are being brought out for a week of celebration. For instance, you might like to take advantage of the cool weather this winter to head over to Camelback Mountain. Towering over the city at an elevation of 2,704 feet, a quick hike provides two different trails to the summit. This hike is well known to be challenging, and there is no shame in doing a half trip. However, if you do conquer the steep ascent, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views of the surrounding metropolitan area, not to mention quite the feeling of accomplishment upon standing victorious at the peak.

people hiking in desert

If you’re looking for more of a relaxing stroll, then make sure you head on over to Pinnacle Peak Park, which features a 1.75-mile out-and-back trail that will have you gaining an impressive 1,300 feet of elevation. As well, for those who are curious about learning more about the natural world, you’ll be pleased to find there are several informational and interpretive signs along the route. Like many areas, you’ll also find a number of rock-climbing routes should that take your fancy. There are also relaxing picnic areas with fantastic views of the McDowell Mountains in the distance.

Of course, there are times when you might wish to enjoy the sights of the desert and natural world, but maybe don’t want to go on a hike or brave a long journey in the desert sun. If you find yourself in this situation, you are sure to find the Desert Botanical Gardens to be the perfect addition to your journey and travels. As you walk the trails, you’ll find yourself gazing upon all manner of beautiful plants that thrive and come alive in the hot and dry desert climate. You’ll also find that painting the trails are all manner of desert flowers whose fragrance gives the paths a fragrant and sweet smell. Of course, if you’re a lover of wildflowers, make sure you take a stroll down the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail which offers sights of all manner of desert flowers and flowering cacti. If you keep your eyes particularly peeled, you just might spot the occasional hummingbird going about its daily duties.


Have a Desert Adventure

While exploring on your own can be a thrill in and of itself, there is something lovely about following behind a guide, as you not only are shown areas you never would have seen otherwise but are given the knowledge to truly appreciate that which you are beholding. If one is looking to truly experience the desert, there is the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which features a range of different trails to enjoy as you explore and immerse yourself in the beautiful desert. Take your choice of 84 trails ranging from a short walk at 1.9 miles to a true backpacking adventure at 51.2 miles! Not only this, but many of the trails are accessible to a wide range of different activities from horseback riding to biking, and you’ll even find several rock climbing paths to conquer! However, just make sure you keep an eye out as the area is also a favorite of rattlesnakes, though as long as you watch where you are walking, you’re sure to have a hike and adventure to tell of upon your return.


Book Rentals For your Desert Adventure
Head on over to REI Co-op Adventure Center and have your pick of a variety of high excitement tours that are sure to give you a story to share back home and incite jealous in those who listen. For instance, you might enjoy grabbing some mountain bikes and gliding across the dirt as you explore the outer areas, or you might enjoy just a simple walking tour so you can focus your energy on putting all that you see into memory, or one can go for some heavy excitement and book a rafting trip where you will bound about as you struggle your way through the daring rapids. No matter how terrifying and adrenaline-pumping your trip, fear not, for all the guides are both CPR and first aid certified as well as experts in their fields, ensuring that both yourself and your entire party are in good hands. However, if you would rather skip the tour and just explore yourself, they are more then happy to rent you out individual equipment so you can find your own adventure.


bar with seating

Enjoy the Cuisine of the Southwest

Of course, if there is one thing that Scottsdale offers year-round that beats many other nearby towns, it is the large number of diverse eateries ranging from the grandiose and luxurious to the classic diner where the food itself is the draw and not the ambiance. For instance, you might enjoy checking out Reserve, which features a chef’s tasting menu hosting over twelve different courses for you to enjoy and savor. Not only will you get to enjoy fantastic food, but you will find that the outdoor seating area makes for the perfect intimate surroundings should you find yourself coming on a special occasion or just looking for some time alone with a loved one. If you find yourself the wine lover, make sure to check out their wine pairings which have been chosen by their personal sommelier, ensuring the absolute best combination for your palate. Enjoy parings with such courses as royal osetra caviar, Chilean sea bass, corn pudding, chocolate caramel cake, and more!

However, at other times we may not be looking to get dressed up and eat expensive food but would much rather go someplace for the pure experience or entertainment. In that case, you very well might like to check out Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, where you not only get to dine like kings on a four-course meal but have true medieval entertainment ranging from knights jousting and fighting with arms as you cheer your champion on to equine entertainers showing off skills upon their steeds that even a cowboy would find impressive. To increase the spectacle, enjoy the immersion of special effects to truly bring the tournament to life!

If one is looking for something a bit lighter, you might just like to head on over to Carlson Creek Vineyard, which hosts a variety of cheese boards hosting a range of different items including artisan cheese, meats, marinated olives, nuts, dried fruit, and more. As well, it wouldn’t be a vineyard without a wonderful selection of various wines which more than meet expectations. For $12, enjoy a sampling of your choice of five wines from over 13 choices. Enjoy the bold flavors of grapes grown at a staggering 4,300 feet, with the desert combination of warm days and chilly nights, providing a thick-skinned grape bursting with flavor.

wall with art


Some Urban Treats

Of course, while Scottsdale offers a range of different tours, outdoor areas, and wonderful eateries, it is of course a large metropolitan area that hosts some fantastic urban activities that are sure to be the perfect finish to what has surely been a memorable experience. For instance, if you are looking to get acquainted with the finer things in life, and truly entertain the artistic side of one’s mind, then head on over to Wonderspaces, where you will be able to admire the work of a plethora of artists. However, this isn’t your typical gallery you might have visited with your high school; rather, you’ll find a variety of interactive or at the very least unique and bizarre artworks that you won’t be forgetting soon. For instance, you might like to enjoy the Human Study #1, where you truly become the art as you pose for a robot who proceeds to draw your portrait, adding it to the over 36,000 that currently make up the exhibit. There is also Before I Die, where you can have a chance to truly look deep within yourself at what it is you most crave from life. If you are interested in a rather macabre and strange work of art, check out Killing Time, which is a kinetic hourglass shaped like a skull. Upon approach, you will spot a bubble of ferrofluid coming alive as it pulses and breaths, giving the statue a unique and rather unnerving life.

After you explore the mysteries of Wonderspace, you might enjoy appreciating natural beauty for a bit at Butterfly Wonderland, which hosts the title of the largest butterfly conservatory in the country. As you walk in, you will be transported to a rainforest as you find yourself surrounded by thousands of beautiful butterflies as they go about their day. Not only can you observe and walk amongst these fluttering insects but enjoy the various interactive exhibits that can be found within its walls. For instance, observe the circle of life in the Butterfly Emergence Gallery, or perhaps catch an education 3D movie at their theatre. One can also peer at the various reptiles that call the rainy area home, and even try out a bug or two in their edible insect station.

Finally, make sure you check out OdySea Aquarium for a chance to see the underwater world as you haven’t ever before. Explore their Rivers of the World exhibit or take part in their new interactive exhibit where you experience the illusion of submerging in a submarine to go upon an educational but engaging 20-minute adventure. Afterwards, head over to SeaTrek, where you will actually go underwater and interact with the hidden world with the help of a special diving helmet. Of course, there are the classic touch pools where you can hold the cuddlier of our aquatic friends. You can also enjoy the Deep Ocean Gallery, where one will find themselves taking an elevator down to the underground level and see the strange world that lies in the depths of our planet. There is also the Bizarre and Beautiful Gallery, which hosts a variety of different fish and underwater animals which are quite the thing to behold for a number of reasons.


Enjoy the Best of Winter and Spring in Scottsdale

As you can see, there are many reasons to come visit Scottsdale this winter or spring. If reading about these adventures has you daydreaming already, make sure to give Porter a call at (888) 627-8207 or book your stay with us online today! Don’t forget, we’ve also got Scottsdale Spring Training rentals for anybody in town to catch a game.

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The natural beauty of the Arizona desert is complemented by the innate elegance of the buildings, shops, and parks that make up the Scottsdale area, and if you have been contemplating a summer or fall journey to the West’s Most Western Town, we have more than a few ideas on how to fill all the seconds, minutes, and hours of your vacation getaway! Our mission at Porter is to give tired travelers properties that are more than just a place to rest your head; we want you to have a home that fits like a glove and becomes an integral part of your Arizona experience! Because making our guests happy is quite possibly the most important part of our mission, we have put together this guide to all the wonderful activities you can enjoy during your Scottsdale summer or fall escape to the desert, and we hope that if we do our job right, you will return for more adventures in the winter and spring, but that is a story for another time!


Come Home to Porter

Because the most important part of any vacation is the place you choose for your vacation escape, our first chapter in our fall and summer guide to Scottsdale will begin with the homes we offer at Porter. Elegance, luxury, and comfort collide to create spaces that are warm, welcoming, and restful, and as the door swings open before you for the first time, you will discover a property you never want to leave. Drop your suitcase where you stand (there will be plenty of time to unpack later) and follow the paths created by luxury materials to the rooms that will be your home for the next week or so.

Offering kitchens that are the heart of the home, these rooms allow you to save on dining expenses as you create feasts that somehow taste better in this new location and dining rooms where family members will gather to play games, briefly check into the office, and of course, devour the feasts you created in the kitchens that are conveniently located just steps away from the dining tables at which you are seated! Discover living rooms filled with plush furnishings just begging you to sink into them and take a long nap, game rooms with vintage style arcade games and backyard oasis’ containing swimming pools, hot tubs, and fire pits included so as to ensure that the fun in your Scottsdale getaway never ends!

When the sun sinks behind Camelback Mountain, in a blazing display of color and fire, the skies above all the mountains turn a velvety shade of midnight purple, you and your family will enjoy the best luxury of all: a deep an uninterrupted night’s sleep in beds that are soft, comfortable, and inviting!

fountain with horse statues



Scottsdale and the Summer Solstice

Your journey to Scottsdale in the summer brings you to the region during the hottest time of the year, but you will soon learn that the dry heat does make a difference, and if you stay hydrated, wear plenty of sunscreen, and spend your daylight hours in the places listed here, you will do just fine. Even more if you start and end your days with a dip in the pool outside your Porter sanctuary! Although we are known as the West’s Most Western City, the city of Scottsdale is far from rustic, offering a surprisingly sophisticated choice of Scottsdale vacation ideas in which to participate. Spend your days enjoying the air conditioning of the many shops and stores that dot the landscape, exploring gift shops filled with artwork, silver and turquoise jewelry, and other goodies that DO offer a Western flair. Bischoff’s Shades of the West is guaranteed to offer the Western-style products that Eastern families often associate with the Old West. If you really want to stay cool and shop posh, Scottsdale Fashion Square mall is one of the few malls in the nation that has survived the downturn that has befallen most malls. Spoil your spouse with an Armani suit, get caught in a web (the world wide web!) with a bunch of geniuses at the Apple Store, and while you are there, pick yourself up something special from Tiffany & Co or Rolex!

Our city in the desert is also famous for the quality of art created here, and Scottsdale is home to the works of many of our best artists, so do not forget to include stopping in a few different galleries during your adventures. Main Street offers a large collection of galleries, including the Marshall Gallery, Bonner David Galleries, and the acclaimed Altamira Gallery, just to name a few. For families traveling with children, you may be surprised that Scottsdale, known for its culinary excellence and its sophisticated nightlife, is also a family-friendly town, as shown with a visit to OdySea Aquarium! Offering a tour through the oceans, rivers, and lakes of the world without having to leave the state, OdySea is a fairly new attraction, located at 2500 E Via De Ventura in Scottsdale, but is one that has already become a tradition for Arizona families and visitors from all over the world! The Butterfly Wonderland, featuring over 3000 colorful flying insects from around the globe, is a magical addition to the aquarium, delighting children of all ages with its rainforest setting.

All of this walking and exploring is no doubt making you thirsty, so why not sit and sip awhile at some of our local wine tasting rooms? Arizona wines are becoming well known throughout the world, and the Salvatore Vineyards Tasting Room on 5th Avenue, LDV Winery on Stetson Drive, and Merkin Vineyards, also on Stetson Drive, offer authentic tasting experiences of some of the best wines in the state! Spend your morning hours shopping and your afternoons seated in comfortable bar spaces sipping, and if you do nothing else during your vacation to Scottsdale, you will STILL consider your getaway a success!

Finally, the families that play together are the coolest families we know, and one of our favorite places to show our children our hidden skills is Octane Raceway! Offering an indoor high-speed race track, a virtual reality arena called Velocity VR, mini bowling, an arcade room, and a restaurant and bar, spending a few hours here just might become the highlight of all your fabulous Scottsdale adventures!

hiking trail in desert mountains


Falling for Fall

We are about to let you in on a little secret: Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Scottsdale, and it is also one of the least crowded times to visit! The kids are back in school, winter breaks have not yet started up, and as the temperatures begin to drop, we try to spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the nearly perfect weather! Now Scottsdale is not a place to visit when you are wanting to see the fall leaves on the trees, as that typically does not begin to happen until closer to December, but we are just a short drive from stereotypical fall temperatures and trees dressed in their autumn’s finest, so a road trip north to Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, or Jerome could always be added to your itinerary.

In the meantime, if you choose to stay close to your Porter home away from home, the first thing on your Scottsdale vacation ideas list should be a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Once the winter residence, work studio, and architecture school of the esteemed architect, this structure is a shining example of his work, looking as if he just went away for a week or two and will be back to sleep, learn, and play at any moment. Tucked away in the desert and offering incredible views of the natural landscape, Wright was a proponent of keeping things natural, and Taliesin West looks as if it had just grown out of the desert one day, like a stray wildflower that decided to become a permanent resident. Tours are offered every day of the week, and although they do offer a quick one-hour house tour, we should tell you that you will be disappointed in yourself if you don’t choose one of the more extensive tours; the man was fascinating, and the stories the guides tell are guaranteed to interest you and leave you wanting even more!

exterior of taliesin west pool area

Now that the weather is cooler, as we stated earlier, this is the time of year desert dwellers cannot wait to get outside, so hiking is an extremely popular pastime! The McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers over 225 miles of hiking trails, allowing you to experience the true beauty of nature, but if you are here early in the season, you may want to make sure that you hike in the morning hours and carry extra water, because the temperatures can still get up there quite a ways! Sometimes walking with a purpose can be a lot of fun, especially if you happen to be in town on the second Thursday of the month and the Scottsdale Art Walk is taking place. Stroll from gallery to gallery, sipping wine, sampling small bites, listening to live music, and, of course, oohing and ahhing over the talented works displayed! Every month has a different theme, but the quality of the work being shown stays strong. Arizona, like many desert states, attracts some of the most talented artists in the world, and we are proud of all they contribute!

Next up on our ultimate list is something you may not expect from a desert town, a cruise on Saguaro Lake! Yes, there are a few lakes that actually do have water in them, including Lake Pleasant, Canyon Lake, and Saguaro Lake, which happens to offer the aforementioned cruise. Lasting approximately 90 minutes, the Desert Belle offers a variety of cruises, including a narration tour that gives you the history of the area and a peek into the beauty of the natural landscape, a music tour showcasing Arizona’s talented musicians (on weekends only), a wine and music tour on Wednesdays (sign us up!), and a Craft Beer and Music cruise on Fridays. If you have decided that Scottsdale is the wedding destination spot that will be the perfect place to begin your new life, private charters are available, and the Desert Belle is often booked for the rehearsal dinner!

Just as we spoke about in the summer guide above, shopping in Scottsdale is always a good idea! The boutiques and shops you find, particularly in the Old Town area, are filled with gifts, crafts, and art pieces that you never knew you needed. Be sure and stop by the sugar bowl for an afternoon pick me up; the bright pink building has been a local landmark and tradition since the 1950s, offering ice cream, sandwiches, and an authentic ice cream shoppe experience!

glasses of wine


Dining and Dancing the Nights Away

Scottsdale is known for its vibrant and sophisticated nightlife, so we thought we would take a few minutes to talk about the fun you can have at night in any season! Enjoy the upscale food and drinks offered at Beverly on Main, where a secret room, hidden behind a bookshelf, offers a speakeasy vibe as you enjoy delicious beverages. Experience a taste of France when you dance the night away at Paris in Scottsdale, and if you are looking for something a little more family oriented, Medieval Times in Scottsdale opened rather recently and offers good food, great fun, and the chance to step back in time for an hour or two. Offering a jousting tournament, the knights and their steeds make your meal go down even easier!


Choose Scottsdale for Your Perfect Vacation

Day and night, Scottsdale is a city of sophistication and fun, and our Porter properties reflect that! Reserve your Scottsdale summer or fall sanctuary today!