There’s something special about the Sonoran Desert. In Arizona, the sky looks different and the stars seem to shine brighter than usual. I’m not sure if it’s the energy thats absorbed while in the desert, the abundance of activities or the walkable neighborhoods that makes this place so inspiring and desirable. Arizona has been historically known for it’s overflow of outdoor activities and adventures, but lately this town has been getting more recognition for it’s culinary, wine and art scene.
Watch the Youtube Video below on touring Scottsdale Food, wine and drink scene.
Scottsdale’s thriving food scene is home to over 800 restaurants in various walkable neighborhoods offering a variety of the city's public art and sports entertainment options. Other easier options, however, like guided Urban Historic and Culinary Tours on Golf carts by JoyRide AZ, are available for you to enjoy the outdoor inspirations.
One of those dining options offering a “DIY” Bloody Mary Bar is Hash Kitchen. Hash Kitchen is located outside of downtown and open for breakfast and lunch only and offering a brunch menu seven days a week. Their menu has an extensive list of their signature hash dishes.
Over 40 toppings available for your DIY bloody Mary drink.
One of the best parts about this place is it’s Bloody Mary bar with various in house vodka infused flavors. Along with your choice of liquor, 40 plus options for toppings are available for your choosing. A non alcoholic option is also available, along with a full size bar. They also serve several in house vodka infused flavors such as, Jalapeño, Cilantro Lime, Cucumber Chili, bacon or celery.
Another delicious dining spot is Hand Cut Burgers and Chop House. This restaurant is super chic with a modern urban feel with a classic american food menu. They also offer a nice Arizona wine list along with other selections from the U.S. The restaurant is located in the Scottsdale Mall and is open for lunch and dinner.
(Arizona's Public Art)
Old Town Scottsdale and Civic Center
The Soleri Bridge and Plaza By Paolo Soleri
Along the Scottsdale waterfront lies a bridge connecting humans to the solar calendar by the inspirations of philosopher Paolo Soleri. The Soleri Bridge, a representation of past and present, connects us conceptually across time.
Two large pylons (64ft to be exact) stand across the bridge and a vertical red line lies on the ground in between both sculptures, identifying where the suns shadow will be at a particular day and time of the year. Situated at a true north axis, the bridge is intended to mark solar events produced by the sun’s shadow.
The pylons are perfectly placed 6 inches apart, casting the sun throughout the gap, creating a shadow across the bridge. The bridge is a feature also representing Paolo’s Art work throughout his life.
According to Scottsdale’s Public Art
The Soleri Bridge:
“At each summer solstice (June 21st) when the sun is highest in the sky, no shadow is cast. While at each winter solstice (December 21st) when the sun is lowest in the sky, the shadow is the longest, reaching to the bridge structure. A red stripe along the length of the bridge deck follows the light and perceptually leads the viewer across the bridge. The bridge and plaza also celebrate the annual equinox events that are approximately on September 21st and March 22nd”.
The Doors by Donald Pilski
Ever wonder what it’s like to stand inside a kaleidoscope? “The Doors” by Donald Lipski was created by the inspiration of his young son, who wondered what it was like to be inside a kaleidoscope. An artist from Philadelphia, Donald Lipski creates art from everyday objects normally taken for granted.
The Doors sculpture is made of Ipe (Brazilian hardwood), mirror polished stainless steel, L.E.D. lights, and thousands of hand forged stainless steel rivets and strapping, taking three days to install. You can stand under the sculpture and listen to the enhanced sounds of “Sound Passage”, like a Subway underground and other music tones by sound artist Jim Green.
Passing the Legacy
The endpoint for the Annual Hashknife Pony Express ride (Pictured below)
Modeled after Arizona's official seal (Pictured below)
The Bronze Horses
In 1989, the Bronze Horse Fountain was donated by Bob Parks (pictured below)
………Wander the wine trail
Most people don’t think about wine when they travel to Arizona. However, Arizona is home to over 100 wineries throughout the State, with several galleries and tasting rooms conveniently located throughout downtown Scottsdale. Aridus Wines, LDV Tasting Gallery, Salvatore Wines and Carlson Creek Tasting Rooms are situated among various neighborhoods in Scottsdale offering the finest selections and true to terroir Arizona wines.
Carlson Creek Tasting Room Gallery is conveniently located in the Art’s District in Scottsdale and relatively close to other tasting rooms and walkable neighborhoods. Carlson Creek Vineyard is a family owned winery and vineyard that was founded on the principal of building a multi generational business that can be passed down to future generations. As a result, the Carlson family went out in search for the perfect land to plant their grapes and found their property in 2008. Carlson Creek Vineyard purchased their 40 acre property in Wilcox, Arizona and planted their first grapes in 2009.
The vineyard is ran by Robert “Bob” Carlson Jr. and his two sons, Robert Carlson III and John Carlson, who is the winemaker. Their wines are almost entirely estate grown and are 100% Arizona. They include wine selections with varietals of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Grenache Rosé, Malbec and Mourvèdre, with Chenin Blanc and Merlot varietals being locally sourced. Carlson Creek is now home to over 280 acres in vineyards and their success was not only due to their award-winning wines, but also because of the demand for their grapes from other winemakers throughout Arizona.
Pictured above is the 2012 Chenin Blanc, a beautiful refreshing medium dry wine that is easy to drink and pairs well with pasta creamy dishes.
One Air bnb
During our short trip we stayed at a Scottsdale Air BnB, The Platinum Experience. This property was beyond beautiful and conveniently located to downtown Scottsdale within minutes. The home has five bedrooms (Sleeps 12), five bathrooms, several living rooms, a super large kitchen and dining area. The home was beautifully landscaped with a large pool and backyard oasis. This was a dream home!!!!
If you're planning your next trip to Scottsdale Arizona or any surrounding areas, make sure to book your next outdoor adventure with Arizona Outback Adventures. They offer guided outdoor adventures to Havasupai, hiking trails, backpacking, mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding, floating trips and much more! I took a private kayak guided tour of the lower Salt River, which is located approximately 40 minutes from Scottsdale Arizona. This was one of the most scenic and relaxing waterscape experience I have ever floated on. Although this outdoor adventure is calm and relaxing, it does have some mild river rafting that even beginners can handle. The river is surrounded by unobstructed views of four mountain ranges in the Sonoran desert and beautiful wild life and wild horses that will make you feel one with nature. You can view a video of my Kayak adventure HERE or read more details on the trip HERE. You can also view a video on my helicopter flight through secret canyons in Sedona HERE.
Scottsdale Arizona has quickly become a popular destination, not only for it’s beautiful weather, but for its various walkable neighborhoods offering the city's top dinning and entertainment options. I hope you found this article inspiring or helpful for your next trip to Arizona and thank you for taking the time to read this.
*********** A special thanks in partnership with Experience Scottsdale
Golf Cart Tours by Joyrides AZ
Drink: Carlson Creek Vineyards
Sleep: Air bnb Platinum Experience
Play: AOA Adventures
More information on Scottsdale's Public Art
Listen to our Podcast on this trip HERE