Summer is time to celebrate, and there’s no better place for a summer escape than Scottsdale, Arizona. Situated in the Southwest’s picturesque Sonoran Desert with the McDowell Mountains as the backdrop, Scottsdale boasts more than 330 sunny days annually. Whether it’s a family vacation or celebrating a special occasion, Scottsdale is the ideal destination.
Celebrate Family with Summer at the Princess
According to travel experts, families want a destination with something for everyone. While relaxation is at the top of many must-have lists, you’ll also want plenty of opportunities for family fun. Two-thirds of families say water activities must be on their summer itinerary. The best way to enjoy a summer vacation in Scottsdale, where June through September brings high temps, is to book a resort with fabulous swimming pools.
At Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, you can find the perfect balance of fun and relaxation for the entire family and plenty of water activities for everyone. Each year, Summer at the Princess features a different theme, and this year it’s all about adventure. During Adventure Summer, kids can play explorer, seeking the Lost Temple by day and heading to a Volcano Glo party with its two 200-foot waterslides and techno music by night. On the weekend, the entire family can chill in the pool for dive-in family movies and watch fireworks light up the night sky.
While the kids seek out grand adventures, adults can relax at Well & Being Spa, enjoy a poolside cocktail, or book an early morning tee time at TPC Scottsdale.
Summer-Friendly Family Experiences in Scottsdale
If you can pry the kids away from the pool, Scottsdale offers a host of things to do. The Musical Instrument Museum, showcasing more than 8,000 musical instruments from around the world, is ideal for families. Just a short 10-minute drive from the hotel, you can spend several hours exploring the interactive exhibits. After listening to instruments, visit the Experience Gallery to make your own music.
For a full day of activity and fun, head to Arizona Boardwalk, an entertainment destination for everyone with its eight attractions. Head to OdySea Aquarium, where kids can book hands-on encounters with sea creatures, such as a private penguin encounter or SeaTREK Underwater Helmet Diving. For a quieter encounter, visit Butterfly Wonderland. You and the kids will enjoy wandering through the Rainforest Experience and meeting up to 70 species of butterflies. For a bit of shopping, Four Peaks Mining Co. Store features amethyst hand-mined in the nearby Mazatzal Mountains. Younger visitors can explore the interactive simulated mine.
Just down the street from Arizona Boardwalk is Octane Raceway, a one-third-mile indoor go-kart track and Scottsdale staple for almost 20 years. The entire family can zip around the track at speeds up to 45 miles per hour. Make a day of it at Octane by exploring the offerings of Velocity VR, then try your hand at axe throwing, or video games in the arcade.
Finish your family fun day with dinner and dessert at Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar. Overlooking the 18th hole of the TPC Scottsdale Stadium Course, Toro Latin features a fusion of Latin and Asian flavors that pleases all palates. Dessert might be the best part of your day when you order La Bomba! Servers deliver a massive chocolate bowl filled with ice cream, fruit, and goodies. They smash it on the specially prepared table, to a cheer of “La Bomba!” and drizzle it with three sauces for everyone to enjoy.
Celebrate a Special Occasion
Scottsdale is also the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion. Whether you’re gathering for a family reunion, celebrating an anniversary, or beginning a new life together, the beautiful Arizona desert beckons. To see it in a new way, soar above the Sonoran Desert in a hot air balloon, book a private plane tour over the Grand Canyon, or go stargazing in the desert to see the Milky Way’s brilliance above the desert floor. Fairmont’s Celebration Concierge can help you create these unforgettable memories.
You can easily plan a special occasion without leaving the resort. Host 10 friends and family members in a poolside cabana for the day, have the Bourbon Steak sommelier select custom wine pairings for a very special dinner, or book a spa day and relax at the spa’s private rooftop pool.
There is no place better to celebrate summer than in Scottsdale, and The Princess is ready to greet you, so you can make memories to last a lifetime.
Susan Lanier-Graham is an Arizona-based travel writer who loves to share life’s wow moments. She edits several print and online travel magazines, is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist, and a member of Society of American Travel Writers.