Weekend in Phoenix and Scottsdale – Travel Guide

pretty cactus at desert botanical gardens in phoenix

Sara and I were looking for a sunny spot to celebrate our January birthday along with a location to serve as a great place to spend a few days brainstorming ideas for this year on Alice & Lois. Getting to Phoenix were quick flights from both San Francisco and Colorado, and warm temperatures and desert vistas sounded just about perfect. So it was off to Phoenix.

We stayed at the Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale, which had come highly recommended by several friends. The hotel is bright, completely Mid-Century Mod and a total treat to stay at for a long weekend. We were enamored by the 50s architecture and the stories of the hey day of the original Valley Ho.

hotel valley ho pool

One of our favorite things was to lounge by the pool on an oversized poolside round couch like lounger. There’s nothing like sitting under the sun, setting goals and dreaming up new columns, DIY ideas and exciting new directions for our business. And then whenever you feel like it, you can go for a swim. I think we’ve started a new wintertime tradition for Alice & Lois.

Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale


We loved exploring Scottsdale and Phoenix. Let’s start with Scottsdale, since the Hotel Valley Ho is walking distance to Old Town. That area is full of art galleries, restaurants and shops.Scottsdale is a wonderful walking city. We walked miles everyday. One morning we walked to ReGroup Coffee where you can grab a coffee and rent a bike. How fun is that?!

Regroup Coffee and Bikes in Scottsdale

Another day we stopped by the gorgeous Farm and Craft restaurant for brunch. They have a great wellness menu that changes seasonally. One of our favorite things we saw in Scottsdale was on their patio – a chalkboard with the words “Love Is…” painted on it. Pieces of chalk sat ready for people to add their own words to it. I think every town needs this sign.

Love is chalkboard sign at Farm and Craft in Scottsdale

We also hit Diego Pops with our friend Laurel and of course we had to take a dozen photos of their instagram-worthy interior. From their pineapple wallpaper to leather couches and lit up Jaritos bottles, it was photogenic. We wanted to try FnB restaurant in Scottsdale, but didn’t make it. Definitely on the list for our next trip.

diego pops pineapple wallpaper

Grab a treat from Ruze Cake House in the Old Town Arts District and walk through the gorgeous grounds of the Scottsdale Museum of the West. And make a stop at La Grande Orange, a bakery/café with a little grocery store and gifts.

desert botanical gardens in phoenix

Our favorite night was the evening we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.

You can meander through five loop trails that are stunning. We both said we need to go back again to take it all in.


We didn’t spend that much time in downtown Phoenix, but did spend a morning walking at the Biltmore. What a gorgeous place. We had wanted to visit Talisien West outside of Scottsdale but didn’t buy tickets in advance, thus it was sold out the day we had planned to go. See, we do need to plan another trip!

biltmore sprites in phoenix

After the Biltomore, we drove to Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row art district to take a stroll. Then we made our way to the Phoenix Public Market and farmer’s market next door. The public market is the perfect combination of coffee house, market and restaurant.

Another spot that’s on our list for our next trip is Chris Bianco’s Pizzeria Bianco. And we’ve been told that his restaurant Tratto is phenomenal as well!

It’s apparent that we should start planning our trip to Arizona next year! Do you have any favorites in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area?

Photos by Sara Albers & Melissa Fenlon. all rights reserved.




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