An 18-point golfer's guide: Scottsdale, Arizona off course

By Chris Baldwin, Contributor

This Quick Guide is part of an ongoing series designed to help readers make the most of their vacations in the most popular golfing destinations.

The Phoenician Resort
The Phoenician resort makes any short-list of the best in high-end Scottsdale lodging options.
The Phoenician ResortUpper Deck Sports Grill
If you go

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- First off, it's not Phoenix, all right. Phoenix is where you go to watch a ballgame, catch a flight or visit the Teeter House (an 1899 tea shrine, no kidding). Scottsdale is Phoenix's hipper, trendier, more exciting brother. The smart aleck, the one in the family you want to hang out with.

Scottsdale hotel rooms

Place to stay if you're filthy rich: The Phoenician -- If your trust fund doesn't have a trust fund you're out of place.

Place to stay if you just want to feel rich for a weekend: Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain -- Actually on a mountain rather than a big hill like many Phoenix "mountain" resorts.

Place to stay with a date: Renaissance Scottsdale Resort -- Private hot tubs on private patios.

Place to stay with the family: Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort -- Why are you staying in Scottsdale with the family again?

Place to stay if you're looking for a deal: Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center -- Great rooms, just far enough off the beaten path to bring rebates.

Place to stay on the cheap: Cave Creek Tumbleweed Motel -- Little, rowdy, next to the old-time saloons. Yet you don't have to look for critters under the bed.

Scottsdale dining

Single best dining experience: See Saw -- Better than New York's famed Nobu at a third the price.

The Jacques Cousteau hidden treasure award: Quiescence -- An actual working farm that serves gourmet food in a cabin at the end of a dark gravel lot.

Overrated: Bloom -- Touted as cutting edge, it's actually closer to an overpriced version of the already overpriced Cheesecake Factory chain.

Top cheap eats experience: El Molino Mexican Cafe -- Real chimichangas. You're in Arizona. Say no to the Bell.

Most blatantly misleading restaurant name ever: The Pink Pony -- Unsuspecting visitors go here for -- well, you know -- and end up staring across the restaurant at someone's grandmother. It's actually a steakhouse frequented by the 3:30 p.m. dinner crowd.

Scottsdale drinking and sightseeing

Spot to try and pick up a young business professional: Kazimierz World Wine Bar -- Where the newly 9-to-5 go to drown their sorrows in tastefully short skirts and tight T-shirts.

Where to look for Paris Hilton: James Hotel bar -- Her in-town (and Paris is in town more than you'd think) starting the night spot.

When you only want to watch the game: Upper Deck Sports Grill -- HDTV bigger than many movie screens, cheap burgers.

Best side trip: Prescott, Ariz. -- Where the temperatures and the greens fees drop.

If you must do something educational: Heard Museum -- Shatters the whole cowboys-and-Indians nonsense.

Most overblown attraction: Arizona Casino -- Vegas is an hour away by air. Frequent this place and Pete Rose will be wondering if you have a problem.

Chris BaldwinChris Baldwin, Contributor

Chris Baldwin keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment