The Ultimate Guide to a Girls Weekend in Scottsdale

camelback mountain group.JPG

         Let’s be real. My favorite things about a vacation are, in no particular order!:

1. Relaxing and sitting by the pool

2. Having some outdoor adventures

3. Adorable + Delicious Restaurants

          For my Bachelorette Party + Birthday Weekend, we did them all! My friends came into town for a long weekend, and my sister and I stayed for a few extra days to soak up the relaxation. But sister, Scottsdale is BEAUTIFUL and that dry heat makes for the PERFECT relaxation therapy by the pool. You know that phrase, “everything works again if you just unplug it, even you?” Well, friend, we did just that every afternoon by the pool and I couldn’t suggest it more. I came back feeling refreshed and more energized than ever! Anywho, back to the things to do besides enjoy that Arizona sun.

         Here is a little recap of the things we did, places we ate, and resort we stayed at to help you plan your next adventure in Scottsdale!

Things to do

Hike

         The go-to? Hands down Camelback Mountain. Not only will the views seriously take your breath away (or is that the elevation and the fact that I’m climbing up rocks? Hmm...), but once you reach the top you will feel proud and accomplished for the climb you just completed! There are two trails to choose from. Echo Canyon trailhead goes up one side, while Cholla trailhead goes up the other side. Echo Canyon is moderate until the end where it turns to extreme because of the literal climbing that you do. Quite honestly, it looks scarier than it is. While Cholla trail is moderate the entire way, it too contains some climbing! While my entire bachelorette party was in town, we went up Cholla trail.

         Pro tip: be sure your bach party is into the endeavor. I had a few friends that questioned their friendship with me during this hike, haha! Totally kidding, though it is a bit tough, so be sure everyone knows what’s coming! Natalie and I did the other side. If you’re up for the challenge, I’d suggest Echo Canyon, the views are incredible and the challenge is a fun one! You could also go up one way and back down the other if you prepare for the travel to and from the mountain that way.

Spa

         There are plenty of spas to choose from in Scottsdale, especially in Paradise Valley. For the bach festivities I was going for traditional Bachelorette + a Spa vibe. We hired two massage therapists to come to our AirBnb after the hike (very good decision) and before going out on the town that night!

        My sister and I stayed at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn and indulged in the spa there as well. With a spa pool, restaurant, fitness facility, and full package of spa services, I couldn’t suggest the JW Camelback Inn more! Not sponsored, but I totally wish it was haha! I indulged in a Swedish massage and the signature facial.

Shopping in Old town

       The shops in old town are too cute and a must do! Not to mention the surrounding coffee shops, restaurants, or bars for a glass of wine, cocktail, or sparkling water with lime, everyone is sure to find something they’d love to partake in!

Restaurants: AKA my love language. Friends.

         A good fun restaurant, with some great as heck food AND food that’s on the healthier side? That is precisely the way to my heart. So of course, I’ve got a restaurant list for you! Dress up, have fun, and enjoy!

Brunch

Farm + Craft

         Oh. My. LORD. Friends. First of all, this restaurant prides itself on it’s “Seasonal Wellness Menu” with four avenues to help it’s customers indulge in “optimal health.” These include, anti-inflammatory, increasing probiotic levels, maintaining high levels of antioxidants, and reducing overall stress. They do this by providing their customers with sustainable, gluten free, organic, and hormone-free ingredients. The menu is FULL of items for any style of eating, all good for your insides, and taste AMAZING. I need to go back and try literally everything else on the menu. Not only is their food fabulous, but their drink menu is just as wellness packed! Even their adult beverages include items like spiked kombucha, and drinks served in a mini watermelon! You bet your buttons I got one of those, with a photo to prove it! And if you have a fluffy companion, their menu includes a “dog bowl” so your fur baby can indulge too!

Farm + Craft

Dinner

Diego Pops

Oh my lanta again my friends. They had a brussel sprouts bowl. It’s like I died and went to heaven, except I didn’t I’m still here on earth kickin’ it with a brussel sprouts bowl. All things trendy Mexican food, totally cute atmosphere and decor, and right in the middle of all the action in downtown Scottsdale you can’t go wrong!

Diego Pops  

Old Town Tortilla Factory

A few years ago I came here and just HAD to come back! One of my favorite things about dinner in Scottsdale is that so many have the option of sitting outside underneath adorable little christmas lights. This was my first exposure to that! I took my bachelorette party here before going out for the night. If you’re going with your bachelorette party, be prepared to be one of 5 groups of girls dressed in all black and one girl in white...I can’t help but laugh! Scottsdale is a hot spot for bach parties! If you like Mexican and you enjoy sitting outside in a cute atmosphere - this one is for you! 

Old Town Tortilla Factory  

Elements at the Sanctuary

          Friends. Hands down, Elements at the Sanctuary is one of my favorite restaurants in the United States. As an avid traveller who’s vacations revolve around dinner restaurants, that’s a big statement! Junior year of college my Mom and I were vacationing in Scottsdale and our concierge suggested we go here for some fine dining. Sitting with a view of the entire mountainside sparkling in front of us, I have never forgotten this place!

          This time around, Elements was so kind to host my sister and I for dinner. Regardless, I just HAD to make it back here. Nestled on the mountainside of Camelback Mountain, the sunset just doesn’t get much better. If your reservation is after sunset, get there early to watch!

           As for food, I love this menu because it offers such a variety but also really creative healthy dishes. I ordered the salmon over asian inspired noodles with a side of schezwan green beans. Sis ordered the short ribs. So. Darn. good. To see all of the goodies we ordered and the amazing view in real time, view my Instagram story from that night in my "travel" story highlight! 

           As a holistic health coach that believes in having your cake and eating it too, I love it when I find restaurants that really pride themselves on high quality ingredients. Elements focuses on farm fresh American food with an Asian flare. With seasonal menus that offer local, organic produce, sustainable seafood and hormone-free meat everyone is sure to find something both their taste buds and health conscious minds adore!

         And for dessert? Well, friends. They had a peanut butter bomb. Need I say more? Pro-tip: order it with a scoop of the buttermilk gelato and thank me later.

       If you find yourself in Scottsdale looking for a dinner where you’ll be treated like a queen and fed one of the best meals you could think of with the view of a lifetime, this is the place for you! 

Elements at the Sanctuary

The Montauk

        I’ve never been to the Hamptons, but I feel like that’s where I was at the Montauk! With a menu created for the health conscious mind packed full of flavor and the feeling of being pampered in the Hamptons, I just love this one! 10/10 need to go back!

        Look at their website, you’ll see why I keep thinking of it as the Hamptons! Walking distance from the shops and nightlife in downtown Scottsdale, this is a perfect one for a weekend night on the town! My bachelorette party and I headed to Kazimierz Wine and Whiskey Bar after the Montauk for the perfect Saturday night!

The Montauk

Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn

         Oh Lon’s. This was another one that my Mom and I went to a few years back that I just had to revisit! Again with the old town western vibe yet luxurious feeling sitting under the lights on the lawn, I just love atmospheres like this! Offering a wide variety of Globally inspired Arizona cuisine, everyone is sure to find something they can’t get enough of!

         If you’re into a high-end dinner with wait staff that treats you like you’re the only one there, this is the one for you! Okay wait. They also had some AMAZING roasted brussel sprouts. You bet your buttons I got those and loved every second of it. Natalie also got a churro tree and two of the tables surrounding us asked what it was so they could get one too. So there’s that. Okay and one more thing. I got the key lime pie with dairy free coconut sorbet that literally changed my life. Fine, maybe not literally but it was darn good.
Lon's at the Hermosa Inn

To Stay

 JW Camelback Inn

         I’m going to be honest (obviously - sometimes I don't understand that phrase), there are a lot of really amazing resorts in Scottsdale, especially Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley is described as the Beverly Hills of Arizona. It’s quiet, luxurious, relaxing, beautiful, and everything you need in a reset weekend!

         The JW Marriott Camelback Inn sits walking distance from the best best hike (Camelback Mountain, bet you didn’t see that coming eh?). With an adult pool, a family pool, and a spa pool there is no lack of lounging in the sun to be had.

          Not to mention three restaurants including a spa restaurant focusing on wellness and healing from the inside out, I sure was a happy girl. Their room service menu even begin with a full explanation of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber, explaining where you can find each in their options for ordering in! It’s like delivery but healthy. I love!

          One of my favorite parts of this resort is that they’ve partnered with wellness professionals to provide live personal training, expert advice, pre-laid out running or hiking trails, as well as wellness and fitness follow along videos accessible from your hotel room TV.  

Visit the JW website

        There you have it, friends! From relaxing in the sun, having a blast with my friends on the town, eating, to hiking, I’d give anything to go back and relive this trip! It was just too fun! If you’re headed to Scottsdale and try any of my suggestions, let me know what you think! We can bond over the peanut butter bomb at Elements or the brussel sprout bowl from Diego Pops!!


Click through the images below for a glimpse into the trip!

Diana Matuszak