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Phoenix tours and excursions

Phoenix tours

Adventure tours

Voted one of America's Top 100 Tours in National Geographic, Desert Storm Hummer Tours takes daring visitors on a breathtaking ride through the Arizona desert lands, any time of day or night. For a truly Wild West experience, Apache Trail Tours provides a jeep ride into the mountains and an opportunity to experience panning for gold.

Tel: +1 602 692 7124; +1 480 982 7661.
Website: http://www.apachetrailtours.com

Balloon tours

For the best way to see the mountains and the views across the Sonoran Desert, a ride in a hot air balloon is hard to beat. Travel early morning to enjoy a spectacular sunrise, or choose an evening excursion and watch the sun disappear behind the distant mountain range as you float along at a leisurely pace. Trips are weather dependent, although thankfully the Arizona climate rarely disappoints. Weight restrictions do apply.

Tel: +1 480 502 6999.
Website: http://www.unicornballoon.com

Phoenix excursions

Tombstone

The flat plains and mountainous backdrop of the vast Arizona desert is a constant reminder of every Western film ever made, so it's hardly surprising that Tombstone is a popular tourist location attracting nearly half a million visitors every year. This prospecting and mining town, made famous by Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral, plays on its Cowboy and Indian heritage, and visitors can join in the fun by sipping a drink at a gunslinger's saloon bar and watch while a staged gunfight takes place outside.

Tel: +1 520 457 2202.
Website: http://www.cityoftombstone.com

Flagstaff

A drive along the iconic Route 66 in Arizona will eventually bring you to the historic town of Flagstaff, made famous by that very road back in the late 1930s. Nowadays, the town still capitalises on its famous heritage by hosting classic car rodeos and annual festivals inspired by one of the USA's most famous roads. When the road itself is quiet, visitors can brave a guided haunted tour, or visit American Indians in the nearby reservations – direct descendants of the early settlers. The Grand Canyon is a mere 125km (78 miles) north of this cultural location, and tours leave here daily.

Tel: +1 928 213 2951.
Website: http://www.flagstaffarizona.org

Featured Hotels

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The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

This luxurious desert retreat's backdrop is in the dramatic McDowell Mountains, and has pools, fountains, falls and lagoons in its own grounds. A plaza and courtyard have a Mexican village style. Rooms are spacious, with a southwest theme and either a patio or balcony. Casitas include butlers. Amenities include a free kids’ club, golf concierge for its famous golf course, five restaurants, five pools, water slides and an indoor/outdoor lounge with live entertainment.

Four Seasons at Troon North

Everything you expect from a luxurious Four Seasons resort. The lobby is a living gallery of desert art. Accented with a desert motif, the spacious rooms include a fireplace and a balcony, often with picture perfect views. Marble bathrooms have deep soaking tubs. Accommodation is in casitas, small villas. Excellent cuisine is accompanied by sweeping desert views at Acacia, a contemporary steakhouse, and the southwest-flavoured Crescent Moon. Amenities include a spa and fitness centre, and two lounges.

The Phoenician

With US$25 million worth of art (there is a self-guided tour), this hotel is opulent. The grounds have a large cactus garden, nine pools (some shaped like grand pianos) and a golf course. The hotel's restaurants range from epicurean, with a wine list of 4,500, to an ice-cream parlour and tea court. Airy rooms feature Berber carpeting, Irish linens, as well as rich and oversized Italian marble bathrooms. Not to be missed is its plush spa with a complete treatment menu, and the unusual addition of Tarot card readings.

Orange Tree Golf Resort

This hotel complex, on one of Scottsdale's popular golf courses, offers plenty of luxury for the discerning guest with a slightly less discerning budget. The décor is newly renovated and modern, and has 160 suites, all with a balcony or patio. The facilities include fitness and sports centre, swimming pool and golfing lessons. The poolside bar serves lunch and the golf restaurant is an alternative destination for dinner.

The Saguaro Scottsdale

Vibrant colours, handcrafted Mexican furniture and two outdoor pools help give this trendy hotel in Oldtown Scottsdale the va-va-voom factor.
Recently renovated, the hotel boasts 194 guest rooms, each furnished with a pillow-top mattress and 42-inch flat screen TV. Outside, a tropical garden sits between two outdoor pools and a margarita bar, stocking more than 100 varieties of tequila.

Arizona Biltmore Resort

Since 1929, this has been the place for celebrities, dignitaries and presidents. Spread over 16 hectares (40 acres), structures are interspersed with gardens, nine pools (the Catalina was Marilyn Monroe's favourite) and Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas here. The grounds include: tennis courts, lawn chess, croquet and two championship golf courses. Guests will find earthy-toned, spacious accommodation, large marble bathrooms and excellent service. Light meals are available at a café in the hotel's plaza.