Many of us enjoy jetting off to exotic destinations for our yearly vacation, but there’s a great deal of pleasure that can be gleaned from exploring the area we’re already in. Whether that’s something as simple as exploring a different neighborhood of your city or taking a road trip to a nearby state, there’s a lot to be said for the joys of a staycation. That’s why we’re giving you a few suggestions of how to spend a weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Explore Nature at Papago Park
One of the best ways to kick off a staycation is by exploring the local area on foot. Scottsdale is a bustling neighborhood, but its most beautiful location is undoubtedly Papago Park. This park is home to loads of tourist sites, including a zoo, the botanical gardens, well-stocked fishing lakes, and even a golf course, but what you’re here for are the hiking trails. The stunning red rock scenery is typical of the Arizona desert and whichever trail you choose you’ll be able to see stunning examples of it. However, the Hole-in-the-Rock trail is the most famous at the park, and for good reason. Before you begin the trail make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes, and if you’re starting around the middle of the day then wear sun protection too because it gets hot! The trail is well-marked, smooth, and suitable for most abilities. The main attraction comes after a series of steps that take you up some 200 feet. From this vantage point, you can look through the ceiling of the cave and see blue skies above. It is a surreal experience and one that you’re unlikely to forget.
Unleash Your Inner Bret Maverick at the Arena Poker Room
For poker aficionados, Scottsdale might ring a bell for being the home of Bret Maverick. This cardsharp from the Maverick television series was so famed for his poker skills that one of the best poker hands was named after him, The Maverick. If your hole cards include jacks and queens in any format, then you’ve got yourself a Maverick. If you fancy paying homage to Bret Maverick then treat yourself to a game of poker at one of the best rooms in the country, The Arena Poker Room. This poker room features the highest limits of any room in the state, as well as regular tournaments that are run professionally. For those who are confident in their poker playing abilities, it can be a whole day out in itself. For those who are a little less confident, there are slot machines to play on, or you can kick back and watch sport on the big screen.
Enjoy the Best Chimichangas at Spotted Donkey Cantina
Arizona is famous for its Southern-Mexican cuisine and the Spotted Donkey Cantina, at el Pedregal has been voted the best Mexican food in the state, so it is definitely worth a visit. If your hiking and poker have helped you to work up an appetite then don’t be shy about your ordering. The menu here is fairly concise unless you’re after tequila, in which case you’ll be spoiled for choice. Take a seat on the spacious outdoor terrace and before you order anything else, tuck into one of their legendary chimichangas. The barbecued beef is the favored filling, topped with spicy black beans, red or green salsa and plenty of cooling guacamole and cream. For those after something a little lighter, the shrimp ceviche is to die for and served with lots of fresh herbs, a cool salad and fiery chilli dressing.