Travel Tips & Adventures

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Scottsdale: Travel to THE Vacation Place

When I first traveled to Arizona, everyone talked about Scottsdale as some magical place.  This week we’ll be featuring Scottsdale.  You can decide whether it is magical for yourself!Scottsdale has such a strong image – they call it “branding’ nowadays – somewhere between cowboy and Boca Raton. The Scottsdale vibe is so powerful that people choose to live in the outskirts of Scottsdale just to get a Scottsdale address. Homes may be more expensive than another home just down the street (without the Scottsdale address).

Scottsdale upscale and elegant

Scottsdale upscale and elegant

A bus stop in Scottsdale - with a cowboy theme

A bus stop in Scottsdale - with a cowboy theme

Now, if you’re just visiting Scottsdale for a vacation or conference, that’s another thing.  Scottsdale has some fun diversions and great ways to relax and enjoy our wonderful climate.  Now, if you don’t enjoy really hot (I know, they say, “ but it’s dry heat!”) weather, visiting in June, July and August can be a challenge. But, the dryness really does make the heat more bearable.

In December after living in Arizona for years, I’m finding the 60-ish degree (Fahrenheit) weather chilly.  When I lived in New York, I thought 60 was balmy after the cold of winter and would walk around in shirtsleeves.  It’s all relative – go figure!

Arriving and shopping in Scottsdale

You won’t instantly see the difference between Phoenix and Scottsdale until you hit the “downtown.”  The cachet of a Scottsdale address means that stores that are not an Arizona fixture will locate in Scottsdale. 

Scottsdale has a Nordstrom, Macy’s and most other major brands.  Traveling up the length of Scottsdale Road for miles, retailers are major lures to anyone who loves shopping.   There are national names like Crate & Barrel (I know they’re online, but they actually have a store in Scottsdale!), Barney’s NY, Abercrombie & Fitch, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters – the list goes on.

H & M - trendy new retailer in Scottsdale

H & M - trendy new retailer in Scottsdale

Take the new, trendy transplant H & M that started in Sweden and is now located in 35 markets with 1,800 stores.  When H & M opened on November 4 in Scottsdale, people camped out in line for hours waiting to see the reasonably priced fashion.  They were not disappointed.  The very fashion-forward retailer has adult’s and children’s clothing and accessories – and I didn’t see one item for more than $49.95!  Indeed, most items were less than $30.  For instance, a frilly little girl’s party dress was $24.95. 

However, they seem to have sold much of their merchandise in the larger women’s sizes and there were not many offerings in sizes above a 10.  One of the staffers told me that they carry sizes through 16, but that they had sold out a lot with the holidays. 

I would have taken photos, but a staff person stopped me inside the door and told me that I couldn’t take photos.   There certainly is a very energetic vibe in the store, which carries over to their Web site.  Like a sci-fi movie, part of their Web site has clothing coming at you in a 3-D mode.  When you click on an item it comes up with all of the details.  H & M is impressive.

Tomorrow… More shopping in Scottsdale

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