On February 6Cristie Kerr answered the question:Well, one of the reasons we moved here was for the golf. Golf and the weather, I would say, are the main reasons people come here in the wintertime. What people don’t know about Scottsdale is that it is really, really known for horses. It’s known for people that do dressage, for roping and the rodeo. So, for horses, they have a lot of big horse shows here. The third thing, obviously, I think is the outdoor sports: biking, hiking and being very active.
A lot of people come here because of the different kinds of social things to do. There are a lot of bikers. We live in North Scottsdale, and in [nearby] Cave Creek there are high-end Harley bars and places to go watch football games and just hang out. A lot of people like riding out here. And when I say riding, I mean motorcycles. They do a lot of outdoor sports. I’m trying to think of what else Arizona is known for. Just general lifestyle things. Scottsdale/Phoenix is a great place to live. Sports are another thing. We have all the major sports: basketball, hockey, football and baseball. It’s kind of a spread-out city, but it is very, very active.
On March 29Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:As a city full of tranquil landscapes and peaceful sunsets, you might expect Scottsdale’s collection of spas to be stellar — and it is. From the stunning 12,000-square-feet The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North to the Havasupai Waterfall-encompassing Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star retreats seem plentiful just north of the city center. South of it, you’ll find Aji Spa, another Four-Star beauty that employs traditional Native American techniques in its treatments. Right in the heart of things sits The Sanctuary Spa in all its understated Four-Star elegance. Another chapel of serenity is the cutting-edge Four-Star The Centre for Well-Being at The Phoenician. And when it comes to the oasis known as Royal Palms Resort & Spa’s Four-Star Alvadora Spa, there’s so much to tantalize –the Mediterranean-styled, open-air design; the mesmerizing plant-inspired massages—that you may need to get a room for a couple of nights to ensure that you fit it all in.
On March 13DeMarco Williams answered the question:Even though it rains just a few times a season in Phoenix, the city’s dining scene is growing at an alarming rate. Everywhere you look around the greater area, you’re bound to see (and certainly smell) something delicious. Blue Hound, which sits on the ground level of downtown Phoenix’s brand-new Hotel Palomar, is doing wonderful things with its gastro-pub menu. Beckett’s Table and Windsor are two other PHX restaurants cooking up some sustainable magic. A little further from the city center are exciting southwestern-tinged places like the TQLA in Mesa and Saddle Ranch Chop House in Glendale. But, of course, while all of this newness is cooking up, established eateries like Arizona Biltmore’s Wright's at the Biltmore and the Royal Palms’ T. Cook's are doing inventive things of their own to keep their kitchens relevant.
On March 11, 2013DeMarco Williams answered the question:Without question, the best time to visit the Valley is the late winter or early spring. The temperature is generally a pleasant 75 degrees and the calendar is usually filled with excitement. If you come to the city in early February, you can enjoy the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the best-run events on the PGA calendar. If you visit in early March, you can partake in annual festivities like the Devoured Culinary Classic, PHX’s premier dining showcase. Stay until the end of March and you can catch the family-friendly McDowell Mountain Music Festival. And, of course, if you come at any time of the month, you can see some unbelievable spring training baseball as 15 MLB teams play their way around 10 stadiums that are never more than 40 minutes apart.
On November 13, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:The best places to stay in Phoenix take advantage of the sunny weather with luxurious pools, fine dining and stunning desert settings.
At Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Southwestern-style casitas stand out on the 40-acre nature preserve in the foothills of Pinnacle Park. A veritable mecca for golfers, the resort grants priority tee times at Troon North's two courses, considered among the best in the world. Be sure to check out the spa, which offers desert nectar facials and moonlight massages.
Also in Scottsdale and situated at the base of picturesque Camelback Mountain, The Phoenician is a local gem with pristine golf courses, pools and a spa. Don't miss a walk through the cactus garden and get an audio tour of the hotel's $25 million collection of art, which includes French tapestries, Navajo rugs and contemporary fiber art.
Located near some of the best shopping and restaurants in the city in the middle of Camelback Corridor, The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix wows with striking views of Piestewa Peak and luxurious service. The rooms, classically decorated with beds topped with luxury Egyptian cotton linens, all have views of the skyline or the Squaw Peak Mountain Range. To take in the sun, go outside to the heated pool and the sundeck area, which is cooled with hydro-misters.
Or venture to Paradise Valley to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain. You won't find typical Southwestern décor here. The desert chic mountain casitas have woodblock floors, glass-tiled dry bars and luxurious bathrooms with travertine marble. The multi-level spa casitas boast floor-to-ceiling windows and walk-in closets, while the spa suites have outdoor soaking tubs in case you just can't bring yourself to walk the short distance to the large infinity-edge pool.
On June 29, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Dining in Phoenix has come a long way in recent years. While much of the city's cuisine is still based on Southwestern and Sonoran influences — and we're not complaining — Phoenix is also home to considerable innovation thanks to James Beard Award-winning chefs and Five-Star worthy dining experiences. The local food movement is taking off in the city, with chefs around the Valley of the Sun snapping up the city's best produce — and growing it themselves — and transforming it into simple, bright dishes. Increasingly, artisanal products such as local olive oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill and Arizona wines are showing up on tables across the city. Still an affordable city, this is the place to try prix-fixe menus without breaking the bank. The only downside to the recent explosion of the restaurant scene is the lack of a central neighborhood to dine in. Much like the sprawling desert, the best of Phoenix dining stretches across cities, suburbs and even into outlying areas.
On June 29, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Phoenix may not automatically come to mind when you thing of great food cities, but this Southwestern city has plenty to offer foodies. With James Beard Award-winning chefs and a Five-Star dining experience, it's easy to lose yourself in Phoenix's high-end cuisine, but it's not for the faint of wallet. The backbone of the city, however, is Southwestern and Sonoran dishes. Don't leave town before you work your way through our list of can't-miss Phoenix food experiences:
1. Eat something spicy. The Southwest is known for bold flavors and sweat-inducing meals. Whether it's a green chile burrito at hole-in-the-wall Rito's Mexican Food or street-food inspired tacos at more upscale Gallo Blanco, you can't visit Phoenix without braving the heat.
2. Try the pizza, yes, the pizza. Listen up, New Yorkers and Chicagoans — Phoenix's Pizzeria Bianco has national notoriety. That means multi-hour waits for the wood-fired pizzas, but it's worth it.
3. Experience Five-Star cuisine at Kai. The only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant in the Valley of the Sun, Kai wows with Native American inspired dishes and superb service. It's hard to go wrong at this stunning facility, but the grilled tenderloin of tribal buffalo is not to be missed.
4. Go exotic. Housed in a funky, historic home, Nobuo at Teeter House is James Beard Award-winner Nobuo Fukuda's playground, where stellar Japanese cuisine mixes with to-die-for interpretations of street food. Dishes are designed for sharing, which is good since it's tempting to order the whole menu.
5. Get out of the city. A drive from Phoenix, Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek is a foodie's paradise. The playful interpretations of Americana favorites will keep you on your toes. The menu avoids typical high-end clichés, breathing new light into prix fixe dining.
On June 29, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Although the hotspots are somewhat limited, brunch in Phoenix is a must, with patio dining and swoon-worthy cuisine. For the best of both, check out our five best picks:
1. Lon's at Hermosa Inn. Set in a restored hacienda, Lon's at Hermosa Inn brings the best of old and new Arizona together. A well-worth-it $24 gets you an all in-one-brunch deal, featuring simply yummy entrees made from ingredients from the organic garden.
2. El Chorro Lodge. A Valley favorite, El Chorro Lodge features a picturesque patio with views of Camelback Mountain. While the restaurant's complimentary sticky buns are addiction worthy, savory dishes, such as house-specialty eggs benedict, shine at this Valley institution.
3. Fez. This restaurant is easily the best brunch in central Phoenix, with delightful cocktails and stellar twists on classics. The menu boasts the "best egg white omelet you'll ever have" and it isn't lying.
4. The Mission. Arizonans have a penchant for spicy food in the morning, at noon and, well, all day. If you want to brunch like a local, head to The Mission in Scottsdale where funky style and seriously good Latin cuisine await. The chorizo and eggs and red chilaquiles are staples.
5. T. Cook's. At T. Cook's at Royal Palm Resort, enjoy sunshine and spectacular views of Camelback Mountain over an all-you-can-eat buffet spread. The Mediterranean elements are the best on the menu, so be sure to try the fresh mozzarella.
On June 29, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Inspired by the beauty of the desert, romantic restaurants in Phoenix start with stunning views and finish with stellar cuisine. Here's our list of the five best:
1. Quiessence. At the base of South Mountain, sitting among pecan groves and gardens, this local favorite wins on its intimate setting alone. The elegant American fare changes daily, but the multi-course Farmer's Feast brings the best of this working farm to the table.
2. T. Cook's. This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant at Royal Palms Resort boasts Old World sophistication and top-notch cuisine. The twinkling lights, colonial architecture and soothing fountains will transport you out of the city and into another era.
3. Lon's at Hermosa Inn. For a touch of Arizona charm, head to Hermosa Inn, where you'll dine in a restored hacienda. The crave-worthy dishes are created from the restaurant's organic garden and the sunset views are some of the best in the city — be sure to sit on the patio.
4. Vincent on Camelback. The ever-romantic French tradition meets the Southwest on James Beard Award-winner Vincent Guerithault's menu, featuring fusion dishes. While the setting is decidedly romantic, food is the focus here. Your sweetie will swoon over the duck tamales.
5. A Different Pointe of View. With sweeping views and high-end cuisine, this mountaintop restaurant specializes in romance. Be sure to book a window seat for a view of the twinkling city lights.
On June 29, 2012Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question:Given the generally family-friendly vibe in Phoenix, it's easy to think the city was planned specifically with youngsters in mind. Kid-friendly restaurants are plentiful in Phoenix, but a handful of local gems make the dining scene truly unique. For an experience kids and their parents will dig in to, try these local favorites:
1. Joe's Farm Grill. The restaurant is a trek from downtown, but worth the drive. Fare such as burgers and barbecue is made with local products, and even vegetables grown onsite. Come to enjoy a surprisingly bucolic setting in the city where kids can burn off some energy in the open green spaces.
2. Organ Stop Pizza. Music from the 6,000-pipe Wurlitzer organ keeps kids dancing in the aisles while parents can kick back with beers and pizza at this truly one-of-a-kind spot.
3. Sugar Bowl. A favorite since the '50s, this retro ice cream parlor is a sure-fire hit. Have a banana split and get acquainted with old-fashioned treats like the Sugar Bowl's Ice Capades and Camelback Sodas. When you're finished, there's an arcade next door.
4. La Grande Orange Pizzeria. This cool and casual spot is a breakfast bar, pizzeria and grocery in one, serving pies from classic to unique, including a vegan option. There's a kids' menu and they serve celery and carrot sticks for no charge.
5. Rustler's Rooste. Kids will love the Western atmosphere at this themed restaurant. You'll embrace the kitsch, too, when you see their reaction to the giant slide in the dining room. They serve steaks, ribs and chicken, but that's not really the point.