This desert oasis on the edge of Phoenix has shed its lime green golf togs image for a little Generation X flavor: contemporary art galleries, world-class cuisines, spas to swoon in - even a jazzy waterfront (yes, as in H2O) retail district.



By Becca Hensley

  • Image about Scottsdale Mall
DO
Traverse Camelback Mountain's Cholla Trail at sunrise and the vista will awe you so much, you won't even notice the painful, nearly two-mile trek uphill. Though relatively short, this difficult jaunt has steep, rocky sections with drop-offs on both sides - and a view worth the effort. (Less-fit hikers should plan to pace themselves.)




  • Image about Scottsdale Mall
STAY
Long a haunt of Hollywood greats, Scottsdale continues to attract the West Coast glitterati. Join them in the heart of Old Town at the ultracool Mondrian Scottsdale ($300 to $500, 480-308-1100, www.mondrianscottsdale.com). Recently refurbished and now the hippest hangout in the desert, it reflects the new, youthful spirit of the city with funky-colored stucco interiors, a star location on the Scottsdale Mall, and a pool so social that you won't want to leave.









  • Image about Scottsdale Mall
EAT
Meander down to restaurant row to experience Cowboy Ciao (480-946-3111, www.cowboyciao.com), a gourmet world that defies classification (Western baroque?). Try the Stetson Chopped salad, a local favorite. Nearby Sea Saw (480-481-9463, www.seasaw.net), a "Tapanese" eatery, offers the unique cuisine of Nobu Fukuda (think whitefish carpaccio and miso-marinated foie gras). Go retro Polynesian at Hotel Valley Ho's Trader Vic's (480-421-7799, www.hotelvalleyho.com), or amble across town to the Star Spangled Tavern (480-419-8729, www.starspangledtavern.us) for some creative comfort cuisine.