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Experience Scottsdale for Cultural and Culinary Creativity

With the annual Canal Convergence public art celebration taking place soon, November 9-18, there’s no better time to visit Scottsdale AZ. This community event features international and regional artists, inviting the public to immerse themselves in art installations, outdoor performances, and interactive workshops.

Scottsdale is an art lover’s dream, with dozens of galleries to explore downtown, and a long tradition of celebrating design, architecture, and culinary creativity. While special events like Canal Convergence and Scottsdale Contemporary Month may lure you in this fall, there’s an abundance of art to celebrate in Scottsdale year-round. Every Thursday, the Scottsdale Art Walk invites guests to explore the galleries of Old Town while offering opportunities to interact with resident artists. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is surrounded by public art and immaculate gardens on the exterior, while inside offers rotating exhibitions showcasing contemporary art and design. In addition to renowned contemporary art, Scottsdale is known for its historical preservation. With free admission to Scottsdale Historical Museum, there’s opportunity to explore a beautiful one-room schoolhouse along with the city’s history through rotating exhibits.

Consider a luxurious stay just outside Scottsdale at Mountain Shadows in Paradise Valley. This stunning property first opened in January 1959 and the resort quickly attracted Hollywood stars for its tranquil location below Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain. Those spectacular views have remained consistent over the years, but the resort property was rebuilt and reintroduced in 2017 with a commitment to modern elegance, while paying tribute to its architectural origins. I loved the mid-century modern design of my guest suite, accented by contemporary amenities like the huge soaker tub with mountain views just in the distance.

One of my favorite features of Mountain Shadows was the pool deck and cabanas surrounding two 75-foot pools. A modern waterfall feature connects the two pools, while chaise lounges and cocktail tables surround the deck and offer cozy options for enjoying a refreshing cocktail. Inside, Hearth ‘61 offers refined on-site dining with an inventive cocktail menu. Just down the hall, take a stroll through The Gallery at Mountain Shadows where new exhibits debut every other month. The gallery features artists connected to Arizona. Then schedule tee time for The Short Course, an 18-hole golf course with impeccable views of Camelback Mountain. 

During your exploration of Scottsdale, you’ll need to fuel up on local fare. I had the most amazing BLT layered with generous avocado at New Wave Market. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be rightfully tempted by Super Chunk which shares its space with New Wave Market. Split the 3″ John & Yoko, a decadent Tres Leches Cake, with a pal. Then head to the tasting room for Carlson Creek Vineyard before taking a stroll to view art installations at Canal Convergence. Once the festivities have filled your day and you’ve explored the galleries downtown, settle in for a hearty meal at Citizen Public House. The ‘original chopped salad’ is supreme with couscous, currants, smoked salmon and more, but trust me when I say this is a shared plate. Then move on to the buttermilk chicken or pan seared scallops. If you’re staying in town on a weekend, be sure to also explore Old Town Farmer’s Market, hosted Saturdays at 3806 N. Brown Avenue, for a cornucopia of local produce and specialties, including ciders, tamales, honey, and artisan breads. Then warm your hands with a steamy espresso from Cartel Coffee Lab.

It’s less than a 3-hour flight from SEA to PHX, and Scottsdale is a quick 20 minute ride from the airport. Canal Convergence takes place November 9-18, 2018. For even more travel planning tips visit Experience Scottsdale.

Lori A. May is a Seattle-based travel writer. Follow her on Twitter at @loriamay.

A portion of the author’s itinerary was provided by Experience Scottsdale.

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