Pinterest image - The Best Girls Weekend in Scottsdale

You see them everywhere: girls weekend getaway, yoga-and-wine retreats, and girls-only trips to an exotic locale. But when it comes to planning your next friends trip, you might feel like you’ve seen it all before. That is until you stumble upon a city like Scottsdale, AZ.

With its abundance of restaurants, bars, spas, and hotels centered on the natural beauty of the outdoors, Scottsdale has become one of the most sought after destinations for women in search of a girls weekend away, a mother daughter trip or even a golf trip.

There’s so much more to Scottsdale than just bars and nightclubs. This guide on how to spend a girls weekend in Scottsdale will bring you to gorgeous views, historic landmarks, wine sipping and plenty of activities perfect for bringing together a group of friends for an unforgettable girls trip to Arizona.

What is the vibe in Scottsdale?

Scottsdale is situated in the Sonoran desert in northern Arizona. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the desert. The Scottsdale area has many resorts and spas, hiking, and beautiful scenery all just a short drive from the city. The weather is great, warm, dry and sunny. Temperatures rarely go below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

How many days do you need in Scottsdale?

3-5 days is perfect for a girls weekend in Scottsdale. You can easily spend an entire week in Scottsdale, there’s so much to do and see in the city itself and the surrounding areas. If you’re into hiking, you’ll want at least one full day, you’ll need a day to relax at the pool and spa and then you need a day to explore the city or take a drive up to Sedona. So, 3 days is the minimum stay in my opinion. But it all depends on what you’re plans are!

Is Scottsdale worth going to?

Absolutely! A girls weekend in Scottsdale will bring you to a very beautiful and peaceful place, it is an amazing blend of nature and man-made luxury life. The aura of this place will take you to another world and relax your mind. There are lots of things to do in Scottsdale such as Grand Canyon day trips, Sedona day trips, Hiking, ATV rides etc.

In this blog post we dive into the best girls weekend ideas for a trip to Scottsdale. From hotels with spas to boutique shopping experiences to bars and restaurants, these are the best locations to spend your next trip with your girlfriends.

golf course boulders resort for a girls weekend
The Boulders Resort Golf Course

Where do you fly into for Scottsdale AZ?

First things, first, what’s the best way to get to a girls weekend in Scottsdale? The most convenient airport to Scottsdale Arizona is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. It is approximately a one-hour drive from downtown Scottsdale.

Other nearby airports include Mesa Airport, about 45 minutes away, and Tucson International Airport, about 90 minutes away. You can also fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport. It is about a four-hour drive from downtown Scottsdale.

tonto bar and grill for a girls weekend in scottsdale
Tonto Bar and Grill at Rancho Manana

Tips for Booking Your Flight to Scottsdale

If you plan on flying for a girls trip to Scottsdale, you’re likely looking for the most convenient and affordable flight. You’ll want to check out this post on 5 big mistakes to avoid when booking flights, but first we’ll go over some tips:

  • Be Flexible.
  • Set up Price Alerts.
  • When you find a deal, book it!
  • Use Points and Miles.

Be Flexible!

I can’t stress this enough, when you’re booking travel the number one way to make it affordable is to be flexible. If you’re willing to travel off season or whenever a deal pops up you’re setting yourself up for more opportunity to get to where you want to go without breaking the bank!

Set up Price Alerts!

Whether you’re flexible or not, it’s a good idea to set up price alerts. My favorite sites for this are Google Flights, Skyscanner and Hopper, but there are tons out there! But remember that Southwest may not always show up on these sites, so you’re going to want to check directly on their site. Southwest does not usually release flights until 6 to 8 months in advance. I usually wait until then to get serious about booking a flight.

When you find a deal, book it!

The best time to book a flight is when you find a good deal. I know it can be hard to coordinate with a group of friends, but don’t let that stop you from snagging a good price.

Most airlines let you cancel for a full refund within 24 hours and nowadays you can cancel flights without penalty and get a credit. So if the price goes down later (keep those alerts set!), you can rebook and get a credit for your next flight.

Southwest announced that they are no longer putting an expiration on flight credits so there’s nothing to lose!

Use Points and Miles

If you know me, you know that I can’t write a post without mentioning points and miles. This is by far my favorite way to save money on travel. There are so many great ways to earn points and miles – credit cards, shopping portals, rewards partnerships.

What I love about it, is that you can earn on everyday purchases with little to no effort on your part. Check out my post on how to save money for your next vacation for more info!

The grand canyon for a girls weekend in scottsdale
The Grand Canyon

How to Get Around Scottsdale AZ

Ok, so you’ve arrived for your girls weekend in Scottsdale, but how do you get around? If you are flying into Phoenix, it’s super easy to rent a car and drive to Scottsdale. Depending on where you’re staying and what your plans are, renting a car may be the most convenient option.

How to find cheap deals on rental cars

I recommend that you use AutoSlash to find cheap deals on rental cars. It’s a free tool that will give you quotes, coupons and price tracking. The Points Guy has a great guide on how to use AutoSlash that you should check out.

What about public transportation?

The Scottsdale Area Transportation (SAAT) provides a variety of transportation options to get around the Scottsdale, AZ area. The Public Transit is a great option for traveling within the Downtown Scottsdale, Old Town/Historic District and Downtown Phoenix areas, which are connected by regular transit service.

Free transportation options

The City of Scottsdale offers a free Trolley system it runs every 20 mins Monday thru Friday.

Other transportation options in Scottsdale, AZ

You can also take Uber or Lyft to get around the surrounding areas, but if you’re going to do that, make sure you have your rewards linked!

For Lyft Rewards, you can add your Hilton Honors Account or Delta Sky Miles account.

Navigate to the Rewards section from the Lyft app and add a travel partner, super easy! If you do not have a loyalty account with Hilton or Delta, what are you waiting for? Joining these loyalty programs are totally free.

You can also earn points with an eligible Chase credit card and earn credits with an eligible Mastercard.

To earn Marriott Bonvoy points with Uber navigate to the Settings tab within the Uber app.

Add your Marriott Bonvoy account under the Rewards section and you’re good!

If you do not have a Marriott Bonvoy account – Go join the totally free Marriott loyalty program right now!

We opted to rent a car because we wanted flexibility and did not have a big group. But for many of the activities mentioned in this post, you can take an Uber or Lyft to the pick up site if you have a tour scheduled.

image of the Spa at the boulders resort and spa for a Girls Weekend in Scottsdale
The Boulders Resort and Spa

Where to stay in Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale is in the Sonoran desert, surrounded by beautiful scenery. So when you’re looking for where to stay for a girls weekend in Scottsdale, a hotel in downtown isn’t going to cut it for this post.

How to use points to stay at Scottsdale Resorts for FREE

I love staying with hotel brands like Hilton Hotels and Marriott Properties because I am able to use loyalty points. And if you’re flexible you can find a really great redemption. Plus since you’ve now linked programs with partners like Uber or Lyft you’re racking up the points without even thinking about it!

We stayed at The Boulders Resort & Spa for 60,000 points per night which was a steal! I was able to earn enough points for a 7-night stay and I got the 5th night free just by using Hilton Honors points.

How did I do it?

With the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates and Fees), I earned a welcome bonus of 80,000 points, but I’ve seen the bonus rise to 130,000 points after $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months. I used the card for my everyday purchases to meet the minimum spend requirement.

Hiltons are my preferred hotel chain, so I was able to rack up enough points pretty quickly. Plus during the pandemic, I spent a lot of money on groceries so that helped! I even earned a free night reward to use later.

Why we love The Boulders Resort and Spa

The Boulders Resort & Spa is a beautiful destination for a girls weekend in Scottsdale. It’s definitely up there when looking for the best Arizona resort for girlfriends. It’s only a 35 minute drive from the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport. The scenery is quintessential Sonoran desert with views of beautiful cactus and boulders.

The Boulders Resort accommodations include Casitas, Villas, Haciendas. The rooms are beautiful and Sonoran desert inspired which is exactly what we were looking for. We enjoyed the onsite restaurants, the spa, pools and golf course. You can spend the entire weekend just staying on property if you wanted!

Other Amazing places to stay:

  • JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
  • Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
  • The Phoenician
  • Rancho Mañana Resort
  • The Scott Resort & Spa
  • The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
  • The McCormick Scottsdale
hiking at red rock state park for a girls weekend in scottsdale
Red Rocks State Park

Things to do in Scottsdale Arizona

There’s no shortage of things to do for a girls weekend in Scottsdale! If you’re not interested in driving around yourself to these sites or if you’d rather have a guided tour, Viator has some amazing Scottsdale Tours that you should check out.

Get cashback when you book through Viator!

Don’t forget to stack on cashback offers when you book through Viator. I like to use my Citi Premier card (after activating the offer). And if you like shopping portals, you can stack that onto your purchase.

Shopping portals like Rakuten even let you connect a rewards program like American Express so you can earn rewards points. You can even use points to book these tours via a credit card portal like Citi Thank you Points or Ultimate Rewards.

If you’re new to shopping portals, check out this guide to maximizing shopping portals from The Points Guy.

As I mentioned before, if you don’t have a car it’s fairly easy to get an Uber or Lyft that will take you to the pickup site for these destinations:

  • Grand Canyon: Located only 1 hour from Scottsdale, The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s definitely worth a visit!
  • Sedona: This beautiful city is located 2 hours from Scottsdale. There are lots of hiking and sightseeing opportunities there and wineries (more on this later)!
  • Arizona trail: This 800-mile trail goes from Mexico to Utah and crosses the entire state of Arizona. It’s an excellent way to see the diverse landscapes in the state.
  • Red Rocks State Park (Sedona): said to be “the most photographed place in Arizona” there’s hiking, kayaking, incredible views of the red rocks and city of Sedona.

More things to do below!

DA ranch winery for a girls weekend in scottsdale
D.A. Ranch Estate Vineyards in Sedona

Scottsdale Girls Weekend Top Things to Do

When you’re planning a girls weekend in Scottsdale, birthday weekend in Scottsdale, Mother Daughter trip, or any getaway with the girls – you can’t go wrong with these activities.

  • Maya Day Club: 20,000 square feet of outdoor restaurant, beer garden and back yard games!
  • Hiking at the Camelback Mountain Resort: If you’re looking for a fun and active girls weekend, a day of hiking at the Camelback Mountain Resort is perfect. It’s got challenging or leisurely strolls with the back drop of incredible views of desert landscape.
  • Hiking at the desert botanical gardens: The Desert Botanical Gardens are a must-see on any visit to Scottsdale. This 55-acre oasis is a botanical garden, wildlife park, and cultural preserve located in Papago Park, just north of downtown Scottsdale. The gardens are the world’s only desert Botanical Park that showcases plants native to the Sonoran Desert.
  • Shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square: The Scottsdale Fashion Square is an upscale indoor shopping mall that’s popular with tourists and locals.
page springs winery for a girls weekend in scottsdale
Page Springs Cellars in Sedona

Day trip to Sedona Wineries

We decided to do a day trip to Sedona at the last minute, but if you are looking to book any Sedona Wine Tours or other Sedona tours from the Phoenix or Scottsdale area, you will want to book in advance. Most tours fill up months in advance, so make sure to book as soon as possible to secure the date that you want.​

What’s great about booking with Viator is that you can filter for free cancellation up to 24 hours. So you can reserve a spot, but change plans later at no penalty.

Sedona tours are a great way to see the Red Rock Country and visit the beautiful red rocks. You can choose from a variety of tours, including the ever popular van tour, hiking tours, jeep tours, or a private tour just for you and your girlfriends.

We spent the morning at Red Rock State Park and then made our way to a couple of Sedona wineries:

  • Page Springs Cellars: beautiful scenery, head to the tasting room or grab a table for a light lunch and sample wine while you take in the Arizona landscape.
  • D.A. Ranch Estate Vineyards: When you’re driving up to DA Ranch, you’re not sure exactly where you’re going as you drive down a dirt road, but trust me you won’t regret it once you reach the ranch house.

Is it better to stay in Scottsdale or Sedona?

It depends on what your plans are. If you want to spend the weekend hiking, touring wineries, or being close to the Grand Canyon then it may be best to stay in Sedona. But Scottsdale has more shopping, bars and restaurants nearby, so a day trip to Sedona is also a great way to spend the weekend. You can even split your stay between Scottsdale and Sedona.

Day trip to Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is a littler over 3 hours from the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. We booked a small group tour through Viator which included a helicopter tour. The tour company made sure that we had the address to the nearest pick up site, but they also had a list of nearby resorts that they pick up from. They picked us up in a nice air conditioned van which was limited to around 13 passengers.

As we made our way up to the Grand Canyon, we made a few stops including the famous Route 66. The weather was too cold and snowy for the helicopter ride, but we got lucky and still able to get some good visibility from the sites they took us to.

Hot Air Balloon tour

One of my dreams is to travel to a hot air balloon festival. I’ve always loved the photos of the sky filled with balloons and their different colors and designs. So when we were in Arizona, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity for a Hot Air Balloon tour.

We booked a morning hot air balloon ride through Viator. It was October so we had to get up really early to meet the group at the pick up site in time. You can find tours that include breakfast and a glass of champagne once you complete your flight. It’s definitely a morning well spent.

The best time to go on this experience is from the end of October to the beginning of March. The reason for this is that it’s the time of year when there are the least amount of wind gusts.

Hot air balloon ride for a girls weekend in scottsdale
Hot air balloon ride from Phoenix

Explore Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is a one-of-a-kind urban district that features shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife attractions. The area is surrounded by beautiful mountains, abundant green spaces and unparalleled breweries and distilleries.

Things to do in Old Town Scottsdale:

  • Take a hike in one of the many nearby trails. There are many options throughout the year, including Camelback Mountain, McDowell Mountain Regional Park or Papago Park.
  • Visit one of the many microbreweries and distilleries in the area to enjoy some local flavors.
  • Go for a walk in Scottsdale Civic Center Park: The park has lots of public art, so it’s fun to roam around and take pictures of all the cool installations.
  • Shop at boutiques in the Old Town district: There are lots of cute boutiques in Old Town that sell all kinds of unique things you can’t find anywhere else.
  • Eat delicious food at one (or all) of the many restaurants: There are tons of great restaurants in Old Town, so it’s hard to pick favorites!
hash kitchen brunch for a girls trip to Scottsdale
Hash Kitchen Brunch

Where to Eat in Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale has some of the best restaurants in the Phoenix area. There are many fine dining restaurants offering a wide range of styles and prices, as well as great lunch spots. Just be sure to make reservations, as most restaurants fill up fast.

You can also discover the best resorts restaurants as well. My picks are the Spotted Donkey or Tonto Bar and Grill.

Hash Kitchen: Great brunch spot! They have several locations and there’s always a DJ! It’s a great spot, but they don’t take reservations so get there early or prepare for a wait. We went near closing time so the wait wasn’t bad.

Spotted Donkey: If you like tequila, this is the place for you! They have a great tequila list (yes, tequila, not wine) and an abundance of outdoor seating. The restaurant is part of the Boulders Resort, so they called us a golf cart to take us over.

Tonto Bar and Grill at Rancho Manana: What a hidden gem! We ended our long day of hiking and exploring with a nice dinner, basically across the street from the Boulders Resort.

Pomodoro: Amazing Italian food and an quintessential Arizona atmosphere.

Ready for a Girls weekend in Scottsdale?

I hope you’ve found this guide helpful when planning a girl’s weekend in Scottsdale. There are so many things to do in Scottsdale and you’re sure to have a great time no matter which activities you choose.

Just make sure your girl’s weekend is filled with laughter, good food, and lots of bonding time! You deserve it!

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Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

Editorial Disclosure – The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

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