Grills aren’t the only things that will be sizzling on Labor Day for visitors traveling to Scottsdale, Ariz. Tourists not used to triple-digit temperatures should be prepared to sweat it out and then cool it down while celebrating the customary end-of-summer three-day weekend in the Southwest’s chicest cowboy town. So while most of the country is beginning its cool down, Scottsdale still packs high heat in early September, but the town also provides a myriad of ways to cool down – everything from luxurious hotel pools to climate-controlled shopping meccas to ice cream shops featuring such artisan flavors as honey blue cheese and basil lime sorbet.
Scottsdale has more luxurious hotels than you can shake a cholla at (not that you’d want to touch one of those cacti), and all of them offer great summer rates, when the idea of 105 degrees in the shade scare all but the hardiest (and thriftiest) leisure travelers. This is the time to take advantage of the nearly empty lazy rivers, dive-in movies and s’mores pits that the Westin Kierland Hotel offers at more than 50% off its high-season rates. Or set up camp at the uber-luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Scottsdale at Troon, where pool butlers mist you with Evian water and hand you poolside popsicles. Travel back in time to the retro-cool Hotel Valley Ho and make like a hipster with the funky pool party vibe and proximity to Old Town Scottsdale’s vibrant nightlife scene.
Scottsdale is nirvana for those either looking to do some serious damage to their bank accounts or just window shop, and it rivals more metropolitan cities like New York and Los Angeles with the recent arrivals of Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, H&M and Gucci. Old Town Scottsdale offers the traditional Indian and Southwest jewelry, accessories and western wear, as represented by Gilbert Ortega or Saba’s Western Shop. The brand-new Scottsdale Quarter is home base to the hip Apple Store, West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Nike stores. Scottsdale Fashion Square is the grande dame of shopping, with more than 2 million square feet of air conditioned retail space and is anchored by Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York.
What better way to cool off after a day spent heating up than try out some of the best dining establishments the city has to offer? Try a seafood tower at Masto’s Ocean Club or a handcrafted cocktail at Culinary Dropout or icy sake and tuna tataki at Stingray Sushi or a lime and basil sorbet at Sweet Republic Ice cream shop. Travelers visiting Scottsdale simply won’t have enough time to try all the wonderful food and drink available in town, so the best advice is to make reservations to return to the Southwest soon.