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Scottsdale Stories

Unplugged Scottsdale

I tell myself that I’m not going to watch Netflix, cruise Instagram or travel down the TikTok rabbit hole  right before bed. But, I do. In this digital age, screens are, well, everywhere. Despite our best intentions, they’re seemingly impossible to escape. (Case in point: I’m writing this to you on a computer screen and you’re likely reading it on a computer screen.)

To help fight those bad habits, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places to unplug in Scottsdale.


Tom’s Thumb Trailhead

Scottsdale is well-known for outdoor adventure, which comes in all shapes and sizes. A phone is never necessary to enjoy our expansive scenery, and one of the best places to disconnect is in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which encompasses more than 30,000 acres of pristine desert. Check out the Tom’s Thumb/Feldspar/Mesquite Canyon Loop. It’s considered an easy hike and you’ll love the breathtaking views of Mesquite Canyon.


Spa Avania

The Luk Pra Kob is a traditional Thai-inspired massage that dates back more than 5,000 years. This contemporary offering at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale's Spa Avania combines movement, stretching and fragrant essential oils to increase the flow of energy throughout your body and put you in a state of total Zen. Combine that with the spa’s luscious amenities – a Celtic mineral pool, Himalayan Salt room and peaceful lotus pond – and you’ll be so relaxed by the time you leave that you may decide to swear off electronics forever.


Terraced Cascade at Chaparral Park

This public space is one of nearly 100 pieces in Scottsdale Public Art’s permanent collection. You’ll find it at Chaparral Park (which boasts a dog park, a lake with a fishing pier, playgrounds and more across 100 acres) between the northern baseball fields and the Xeriscape Garden. The earthwork piece is meant to highlight harvesting water in a desert landscape, but the terraced walls make for the perfect space to read a book, meditate or enjoy coffee with a friend.


Castle Hot Springs

While not technically in Scottsdale, I would be remiss to not include Castle Hot Springs – an hour northwest of Scottsdale in the Bradshaw Mountains. This recently reimagined oasis was a haven for the Carnegies and Rockefellers more than a century ago. After falling into disarray in the 1970s, the resort has been meticulously restored and will wrap you in unparalleled luxury. Farm-to-table cuisine, daily classes and activities, star-studded skies and exclusive access to natural hot springs are all included in your room rate. In fact, thanks to a little modern-day plumbing magic, the springs' healing waters can even be enjoyed from a bathtub on your private balcony. Rumor has it that there are no televisions or cell phone service, so there will be no falling off the bandwagon here!