Oases in the High Sonoran DesertIyna Bort Caruso
Nestled in the cactus-strewn landscape of the high Sonoran desert and punctuated by the dramatic Camelback and McDowell mountains, the city of Scottsdale sparkles like a diamond in a platinum setting. It's classic, stylish and metropolitan, yet Scottsdale's luxury homes, farms, ranches and estates are imbued with Southwestern charm.
Year-rounders, second-home owners and a perpetual tide of vacationers relish the natural splendors of the great outdoors and that includes the abundance of championship golf courses for which the Scottsdale & Paradise Valley area is renown. With nearly 200 public and private courses and bountiful sunshine, it’s been said golf in Scottsdale is as good as the game could get.
It's not just the jade-green fairways or multitude of tennis courts, for that matter, that make Scottsdale a gem. Fine restaurants, top-notch shopping, and a thriving cultural scene with world-class museums, art galleries and theater blend easily with the relaxed, family-oriented small-town atmosphere. Homes range from suburban ranches to sumptuous villas and from country club developments to sprawling desert estates. Master planned, guard-gated luxury country club communities, tucked into the foothills, enjoy cooler temperatures and stunning sunrises and sunsets from the higher elevations.
Those with a desire for a sleek, cosmopolitan and turnkey lifestyle opt for Scottsdale’s amenity-laden high-rises with 24-hour valet and concierge services. Some buildings are towering walls of glass, with shimmering vistas and expansive outdoor garden spaces, and are smartly located near Scottsdale’s uptown shopping and dining districts.
Paradise Valley, situated between Scottsdale and Phoenix, is a tranquil 16-square-mile oasis with large open spaces, unobstructed views and acre-plus zoning. From multi-million dollar estates, Camelback Mountain, Mummy Mountain and Phoenix Mountain Preserves dominate in silhouette. Some residences sport a rural Tuscan desert style. Others are decidedly contemporary with richly landscaped gardens. Many who buy here get their first exposure to Paradise Valley from a stay in one of its exclusive luxury resorts. They quickly discover a week or so in this Southwestern-style slice of paradise is just not enough.