Greater Phoenix, known as Valley of the Sun, lies in the desert. But don’t let that fool you; the area is anything but deserted, especially in winter when locals and visitors step outside to enjoy high season. A winter wonderland in its own special way, its mild weather and abundant activities suit just about any kind of traveler. Shake cases of cabin fever, soak up the sun, and seize a mix of see-and-do opportunities, including world-class car auctions, golf, spring training, hiking, shopping, and culinary events.
Here’s the scoop on what’s happening in Phoenix/Scottsdale early this year. There’s something for any persuasion.
A love affair with automobiles drives collectors, celebrities, and enthusiasts to the Valley for two top-notch auto auctions: Barrett-Jackson (through January 22) and Russo and Steele (through January 23). Year after year, these events take attendees for a joy ride.
Love golf? There’s no better place. With more than 250 courses around town, duffers have their pick of the links. Plus, the Waste Management Phoenix Open brings pros to town for a competitive show at TPC Scottsdale from January 31 to February 6.
There’s plenty to do in Arizona, and there’s plenty to eat, too. At FireSky, you’ll savor fresh coastal Italian cuisine at Taggia. Other temptations include the 2nd Annual Arizona Barbecue Festival (March 26), and the 33rd Scottsdale Culinary Festival (April 5-10).
For the love of the game, baseball fans come from near and far to cheer on their home teams in advance of opening day. The Cactus League’s 15 ball clubs step up to the plate on February 25, with standoffs running through March 29. From FireSky, getting to all ballparks – including the home-away-from-home stadiums of the San Francisco Giants, Colorado Rockies, and Arizona Diamondbacks – is easy.
Downtown Scottsdale is a hotspot for those that like to eye and buy. Hit Fashion Square Mall, the Scottsdale Waterfront, and the shops hemming Old Town’s streets and avenues. Need a java fix? The nonprofit Sola Coffee Bar has the best cappuccino this side of the ocean. Have a weakness for vintage? Check out Fashion by Robert Black, which houses haute-quality one-of-a purses, dresses, broaches, and pins.
Great weather and the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert lend themselves to all kinds of active endeavors. Enjoy the one-of-a-kind scenery via bike, foot, jeep, hot air balloon, and much more.
Story written by Amanda Fier.
Top photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Updated April 20, 2016.