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Dive into Scottsdale

The Sonoran Desert may be home to coyotes and javelinas, but in late 2016, Scottsdale welcomed 5,000 marine animals. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community brought the sea to Scottsdale with the opening of OdySea Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the Southwest. The attraction features 300 different species from waters around the world, including bayous, coral reefs and the deep abyss.

The Luxury Trifecta

A perfect trifecta is brewing in Scottsdale and neighboring bedroom community Paradise Valley. The destination will welcome three new resorts in the next three years, all within a three-mile radius. This fall, Hyatt Corporation’s Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa will be added to the resort roster, and in February 2017, Mountain Shadows will debut. Check back by the end of 2018 for the unveiling of the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley.

Scottsdale’s Wine Walk

Of all the things Arizona is known for, wine may not be the first things that comes to mind. But Arizona now has more than 100 wineries, many of which have received 90 plus ratings from Wine Spectator. You don’t have to travel around the state to sample these wines either. Downtown Scottsdale is now home to four Arizona wine tasting rooms—Aridus Winery, Carlson Creek Vineyard, LDV Wine Gallery and Salvatore Vineyard. Cap off an evening with dinner at FnB, where diners sample some of the finest vegetable dishes with a wine list that

Raising the Bar

It may seem counterintuitive, but Scottsdale is now home to a cocktail bar that has moonlighted as a New Orleans antique shop, Cuban hideaway, Agua Caliente Racetrack during Prohibition, and Chinatown hangout. And that’s exactly why Counter Intuitive is so aptly named. Open exclusively Friday and Saturday nights from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., Counter Intuitive rotates themes, with the décor and menus shifting every few months to keep even regulars on their toes.

Indulge the Senses

Shoppers flock to Scottsdale for upscale fashion parks, but the city also offers shopping opportunities for foodies. Stop by the intimate Bodega Market to stock up on local produce, farm-raised eggs, just-baked bread and more. Early bird gets the worm, or in Scottsdale’s case the best produce at Scottsdale Old Town Farmer’s Market. Local growers and specialty food producers congregate every Saturday morning to offer a wide variety of organic and pesticide-free produce.

Breathing Life into Sacred Traditions

Explore the cultural footprint of the Southwest’s Native American nations during Native Trails, presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. These noontime festivals tell the stories of Native culture through song and dance during free noontime performances in Scottsdale Civic Center Park January through March.

The Art of Vacationing

Scottsdale has always served as a place of inspiration for artists and architects, so it is no surprise that it is one of the leading art destination in the country. One place where that is most evident is in the Arts District, where dozens of creative minds have taken up shop. Stroll the area on Thursday nights when galleries and museums extend their hours for Scottsdale ArtWalk. Or take a self-guided tour of the Scottsdale Public Art Program and view nearly 50 permanent artworks, including Robert Indiana’s iconic “LOVE” sculpture and Soleri Bridge & Plaza.

Seeing Scottsdale the Wright Way

Frank Lloyd Wright was enthralled by the Sonoran Desert and to this day, Wright’s architectural legacy lives on in Scottsdale. Tour Taliesin West, Wright’s one-time winter home and still functioning architecture school. Stroll through the shops at the Scottsdale Promenade to gaze upon the spire that Wright designed for the Arizona Capital Building. Catch a touring Broadway show at ASU Gammage, one of Wright’s final designs. Or spend the night at a hotel designed by one of his protégés, like Hotel Valley Ho and Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.

Wanna be a Cowboy?

If you’re looking for more than trail rides and resort-style cookouts, Arizona Cowboy College offers an in-depth look into the true cowboy lifestyle. Partake in comprehensive classes that will teach you horsemanship skills, including cutting, branding, inoculating, dehorning and driving cattle before heading out to the range and showing off your stuff.

Need for Speed

Put the pedal to the medal at Bondurant Racing School, which teaches aspiring racers how to drive like the pros. Learn from the experts  in a high-performance racing vehicle on a 1.6-mile, multi-configuration track. From four hours to four days, the school offers racing courses for every level of driver.