My daughter and I traveled to Arizona in December and had four fantastic fit days with our family. We saw my sister and her kids, celebrated the holidays and my birthday and also toured the Arizona State University campus. We started planning our trip in August because we needed to work around everyone’s busy schedules as I discussed in my post about Managing Expectations Over the Holidays. With that in mind, we had a wonderful trip and covered a lot of ground in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas.
Many people know Scottsdale for its spas and wellness retreats. But it also offers amazing shopping and art galleries. We spent our first day exploring Old Town Scottsdale. The town is absolutely perfect for walking, shopping and snacking. After climbing the Love Sculpture, we headed to Cafe Forte for Cranberry Champagne cocktails. It was so nice to toast to the holidays and have a cocktail with my sister and my daughter. We also browsed the art galleries and stopped at the legendary Hotel Valley Ho for lunch.
Arizona is well known for its wonderful hiking trails. Thankfully, my sister is an expert when it comes to hiking. Having lived in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, she is the perfect tour guide. My favorite family hike was the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. We did a small hike at sunset and the views were amazing. Coming from a city, it was breathtaking to take in the silence, the scenary and the fresh air. And I loved that our trip incorporated lots of fitness as one of my goals this year is to be mindful of exercise and try to increase my activity level each day.
We also hiked to the Hole in The Rock at Papago Park. It was a fun, easy hike and an excellent photo spot. Since we visited on a day with some sprinkles, the trail was a bit slippery but on a dry day, it is truly an easy hike with minimal elevation.
As I have shared on my blog, I wear a Fit Bit and try to walk 10,000 steps per day. Many of my blog posts talk about my favorite walking cities. Naturally, a big part of our trip to Scottsdale was making sure that each and every day helped me hit my step goal. One evening, we treated ourselves to Las Noches de las Luminaries at Desert Botanical Garden. I highly recommend a night walk through the gardens during this fun, festive event. We absolutely loved it. After our evening walk through the beautiful, twinkling lighted paths, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Gertrude’s in the Garden.
Since a visit to Arizona State University was on our list of things to do, my daughter and my niece and I drove to Tempe for a day. We walked the campus and were lucky enough to be there during the Tempe Festival of the Arts. The festival is a tradition in Tempe with over 300 artists, food vendors, live music, street performers, beer, wine, spirits and fun family‐friendly activities.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that we could skate outdoors in Arizona in December. We took a short drive to Phoenix from Scottsdale and had appetizers at the Blue Hound overlooking the ice rink. The Christmas decorations were beautiful and the staff at the restaurant were all deck out in ugly Christmas sweaters. The kids loved skating and had a great time.
So, visiting Scottsdale is a great way to keep up with your fitness goals and see some amazing sights. We had no trouble finding fun things to do while enjoying each other’s company and staying active. I hope you will share your ideas for fun, fitness trips in the comments section below.