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Scottsdale, Arizona

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Adventures abound in this Southwestern town

Scottsdale has much to offer as a vacation destination. Access to desert activities, championship golf courses, world-class dining, shopping, and art museums and galleries will keep your itinerary full.

Stay at Montelucia Resort & Spa

This resort sits at the foot of Camelback Mountain and offers luxurious accommodations, including a presidential suite actually used by a sitting president. President Barack Obama stayed in the 2,800-square-foot Andalusian suite, which features a grand marble entryway, two expansive living areas, two palatial bedrooms and three full bathrooms, plus a massage room. The privacy and views from the included private pool and spa can't be beat. Montelucia Resort & Spa, 4949 E. Lincoln Drive, also offers the award-winning Joya Spa for rest and relaxation as well as Prado, the on-site AAA Four Diamond restaurant serving executive chef Michael Cairns' inspiring Old World cuisine that features Arizona's fresh ingredients. Visit montelucia.com for more information and reservations.

Eat at Los Sombreros

Critics from across the country praise this Mexican restaurant at 2534 N. Scottsdale Road, and for good reason. Favorites from the menu include mole poblano, tortilla-crusted snapper and the award-winning lamb adobo, which helped Los Sombreros earn a spot on Arizona Republic restaurant critic Howard Seftel's Top 10 Mexican restaurants in the Phoenix area. Those wanting to people-watch request a table on the patio outside, but foodies can be found next to the open kitchen watching chef and owner Azucena Tovar at work. Visit lossombreros.com for more information.

Explore at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Located at 7374 E. Second St. in the Old Town district, this minimalist building designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder features five galleries of changing modern and contemporary exhibits. Be sure to visit the public skyspace by acclaimed artist James Turrell, one of only a few in the world, which allows you to experience the ever-changing light of the desert sky. Visit smoca.org for more information.

Shop at Kierland Commons

Scottsdale offers plenty of shopping opportunities, but this open-air center at 15205 N. Kierland Blvd. features more than 50 high-end specialty stores such as Anthropologie, Coach, Hemingways Cigar Boutique, Lather and Sur La Table as well as dining opportunities. Shop later in the day and end with dinner and a show at Bobby's Restaurant and Jazz Lounge. Visit kierlandcommons.com for more information.

Hit the Casino at Talking Stick Resort

The casino at this Scottsdale resort spans 240,000 square feet and has seemingly endless slot machines, poker games, Keno and table games. You can try your luck at any time of the day or night, as the casino, located at 9800 E. Indian Bend Road, never closes. If your attention span for gaming proves limited, swing by for a short time then take in the entertainment at the resort, which has a regular schedule of concerts and comedy shows. Visit talkingstickresort.com for more information. Of course, a trip to the Scottsdale area would not be complete without an adventure in the desert, whether on foot, horseback or in an off-roading vehicle. You also can take to the skies in a hot air balloon or helicopter. Check out experiencescottsdale.com to find adventure providers.

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