24 Hours in Scottsdale, Arizona

In the time it takes to drive from one city to the next in L.A. traffic, you can literally fly to another state with less of a headache. So that’s exactly what I did. I hopped on the short 50-minute flight to Scottsdale, Arizona for a short 24-hour getaway that was relaxing, filled with unique history, and lots of great foodie finds.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I was in Arizona so I took a little ‘ditch day’ away to relax and get my feet wet for much needed reintroduction to Arizona. I got on the plane at 8:15 a.m. and arrived in Scottsdale to check into my hotel around 9:30.

STAY: Hotel Valley Ho

Experience Old Hollywood in Scottsdale! Hotel Valley Ho originally opened in 1956. It was a hideaway to the stars from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Bing Crosby. It has mid-century architecture and even special swivel doors that would help celebrities evade the paparazzi. This boutique hotel has a lot of Arizona and Hollywood history in it. The hotel is located right in the heart of downtown Scottsdale so everything is extremely walkable.

I dropped off my carry-on bag into my beautiful two-story room that came in tact with a beautiful view and its own kitchen and proceeded to head into ZuZu’s in Hotel Valley Ho for breakfast and to the spa for a hot stone massage, which was divine. I was expecting the masseuse to just place stones all over my back for a heated effect, but she actually used two hot stones for the massage. Ever had your knots kneading with a hot stone? Trust me. You’re missing out!

EAT: ZuZu’s

I was so pleasantly surprised by the unique and eclectic menu at ZuZu’s. I ordered a salmon plate as well as an order of blue corn piñon pancakes, which were topped with crab, an egg, hollandaise, and greens. 

DO: Sunset hike in at the Gateway Trail at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The sunsets in Arizona are something else. The bright and beautiful colors literally look like those default computer wallpapers. Plus, right now is the perfect time to get in some great sunset and wildflower shots. 












EAT: The Mission

The Mission serves modern Latin cuisine. The decor is gorgeous with a marble bar, faux rainwater walls, and ornate chandeliers. The absolute best part of The Mission was the fresh guacamole making that they do for you table side. I also throughly enjoyed my order of pork shoulder tacos. They melted in my mouth! The pork shoulder is smoked and slow braised for 12 hours topped with pineapple habanero glaze and served with 10 mini hand made corn tortillas.

DRINK: Coffee at Fourtilfour

Venture to Fourtilfour for a damn good cup of joe. The best part of is their vintage Porche car theme of the coffee shop. It was the perfect way to start the day.

SHOP: Fashion by Robert Black
Fashion by Robert Black sells upscale vintage high-end women’s clothing, including couture pieces. They have a secret back room with all the goodies. I even got to try on a 1920’s skirt made of monkey hair. How cool! There were even some vintage 1930’s CHANEL and YSL clothing.

JUICE: After all that shopping, I stopped by Kaleidoscope to grab a green juice. I loved the Hot Yogi made with pineapple, wheatgrass, coconut water, lemon. The store was sectioned off with Spiritual Gangster apparel right next to the juices. Did you know that crazy popular yoga apparel line is originally from Arizona?


FOOD & DRINK: Diego Pops

If there’s Brussels sprouts and beet-infused sauce on top, that basically turns this dish into a healthy vegetable right? Brussels sprouts nachos with street corn queso, Queso Oaxaca, Fresno Chili, pickled onion, topped with roasted garlic beet creama and a fried egg. Diego Pops also has an array of fun cocktails like their margarita shaved ice cocktails. Their interior is also extremely Instagrammable.


SWEET TOOTH: Super Chunk

It may be physically impossible for me to count the ways that I love Super Chunk. Sure, it’s been on every single food and travel show out there, but I honestly didn’t have high hopes. Sounded like something overrated to me. I stepped into Super Chunk’s and never wanted to leave. Husband/wife team Sergio and Country Velador really have something special here. This bakery isn’t just good in terms of Scottsdale or Arizona, but it’s amazing in terms of it’s one of the best bakeries I’ve ever been to, ever! Let’s start with the popcorn choices. Holy cow! Have you ever had Brown Butter Fleur De Sel Caramel Corn? Did you even know Truffle Cheddar Popcorn? Or what about their Brookies? That may be my new favorite word. Brookie! A brownie and a cookie baked as one! The flavors change daily too. One of my many favorites of the day was the John & Yoko, a drool-inducing honey cake soaked with cinnamon tres leches and layered with mascarpone whipped cream, and honeycomb candy. And you know those Birthday Cakes? Super Chunk’s puts the rest of them to shame. Instead of vanilla, they use chocolate cake layered with real French buttercream and coated with sprinkles. Super Chunk’s also carries local favorite Zaks Chocolate, which makes delicious small-batch artisan chocolates. Their chocolates are sourced from around the world. Their chocolates are creamy and full of fruity notes. Plus, all of their dark chocolate bars are vegan, gluten free and dairy free.

EXPLORE: Los Trompos

Walk through downtown Scottsdale and check out the temporary fall installation, Los Trompos: 10 brightly colored, interactive “spinning-top” sculptures created by award-winning Mexican artists and designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. These pieces were so beautiful. The spinning tops are made from colorful material from fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican artisans. Several people can sit in each “pod” and spin at once.

FOOD: FnB Scottsdale

Located in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, FnB is a gastropub featuring unique farm-to-table American cuisine and local Arizona wines. FnB sources their ingredients from Arizona’s top local farms, which is why their menu constantly change.

Here’s their delicious fried cauliflower, fish sauce sauce, mint, cashew. The Trout Platter was equally pleasing to the eye and stomach with its fresh vegetables, pickles, a beet cured hard boiled egg, trout spread, a horseradish cream and a side of toast. Co-owner Pavle Milic curated the first Arizona-only wine program. FnB also has an award-winning wine program with over a hundred wineries.

MORE SHOPPING: Vintage by Misty

This trip was filled with vintage finds. This shop had a myriad of designer clothing, jewelry, and accessories from the 40’s to early 90’s from all over the globe including London, Paris, Italy, and Israel!

DRINK: Hotel Valley Ho Lounge

With just an left before my flight, I grabbed a cocktail from the bar inside my hotel. The Hibina Colada had donQ coconut rum, sweetened milk, pineapple + hibiscus triple sec.

FAREWELL: And with that, my 24 hours in Scottsdale had come to a close. I had so much fun exploring Scottsdale and of course-eating! Twenty four hours was definitely not long enough. I can’t wait to be back. If you’d like to learn more about Scottsdale, you can visit their tourism website here.

Kristie Hang is a jet setting freelance food and travel journalist featured in LA Weekly, LAist, Gothamist, MSNBC etc. She has a Masters in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism and a B.A. from UCLA. Find her online on Instagram @kristiehang

Be first to comment