After hiking Sonoran Dessert trails, study the glittering canopy of stars in some of the country’s darkest skies.

Photography Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

From the romance of the wide-open desert to world-class golf and more sunshine than just about any other U.S. city, Scottsdale offers a marvellous escape for adventure or relaxation. Unique diversions – infused with spirited Southwest culture and history – include replica cowboy towns, art museums and galleries, and an enticing assortment of outdoor activities that maximise the authentic Southwestern experience.

Explore the desert

Head out on foot to get to know the expansive Sonoran Desert, which is home to the towering saguaro cactus, clear skies and seasonal wildflower displays. A guided interpretive hike in nearby Pinnacle Peak Park is easily accessible from Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

The central location of the Resort makes it a perfect base from which to explore the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Lake Powell.

Photography Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Other hiking options include a self-led trek in the majestic McDowell Mountain Regional Park or the Discovery Trail in the magnificent Desert Botanical Garden.

For a more comprehensive view of the vast landscape, consider a hot-air balloon ride high above the mountain peaks, or a tour by jeep, for an up-close look at the mighty canyons, steep summit ridges and rugged desert trails.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

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See Southwestern art

In Phoenix, the Heard Museum is a prime destination for Native American art, history and culture. A satellite gallery, Heard Museum North Scottsdale, offers constantly changing exhibitions and a delightful sculpture garden.

Taliesin West is consistently singled out as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest triumphs, for its beauty and unusual form. Built in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, this Scottsdale treasure is now a National Historic Landmark.

Play a round of golf

With more than 50 courses offering the rugged desert as a backdrop, Scottsdale is considered among the top golfing destinations. Troon North Golf Club is the jewel in the crown, with its two 18-hole courses set in the desert landscape with towering granite boulders. Both Grayhawk Golf Club and We-Ko-Pa Golf Club are also among the best.

Relax and unwind

With more than 25 day- and resort-spas, Scottsdale is the place to come and unwind. A sanctuary for renewal, the Resort’s Spa offers many treatments inspired by the natural botanicals of the Sonoran Desert. Try the Coco Mole Energizing Wrap, which utilizes nourishing oils and café mocha sugar for a full-body treatment. The Spa also offers treatments specialized for golfers.

Shop the square

Scottsdale Fashion Square is a must-visit if you want to explore the best shopping in the area and browse top designer stores, such as A|X Armani Exchange, Jimmy Choo and Tory Burch. The Mall Concierge can even arrange for valet service, car detailing and covered parking.

For a customized shopping experience, Scottsdale-based Spree! offers a chauffeur-driven limousine and a personal shopper on outings uniquely tailored to clients’ personal preferences.

Learn cowboy skills

At Cowboy U, you’ll learn Western or English horsemanship skills and ranching techniques.

Photography Photography courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Students at Arizona Cowboy College learn how to live like cowboys (and cowgirls). Once the star of a reality television series, Cowboy U teaches the essentials, including roping skills, cattle breeding and shoeing.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

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