Unplugged Scottsdale

By local contributor
Kelly Triplett

I tell myself that I’m not going to watch Netflix right before bed. But, I do. I swore I would never let my toddler play on a phone but, she has her own (don’t judge – at least it’s a hand-me-down). It’s no secret that in the digital age, digital 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 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 Thai Massage at Spa Avania is more enough to put you in a state of total Zen.  This 2,500-year-old treatment combines compression and yoga stretches to reduce stress and increase the flow of energy throughout your body. 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 soon-to-be-open oasis was a haven for the Carnegies and Rockefellers more than a century ago. After falling into disarray in the 1970s, this resort is being meticulously restored and will open in fall 2018. It promises farm-to-table food, star-studded skies, and natural hot springs that can even be enjoyed from a bathtub on your private balcony thanks to a little modern-day plumbing magic. Rumor has it that there are no televisions or cell phone service, so there will be no falling off the bandwagon here!