The last time I drove between California and Arizona is when I first moved west six years ago. I remember it being a bit rough, but it was the last leg of my adventurous road trip and I think I just wanted to be in my new home soo badly! I didn’t take in the scenery or really enjoy it for that matter. So when a family event called for a drive to Arizona, I was ready to soak it all in this time.
I hit the road bright and early with my new ride, a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. What’s to love about this small SUV…everything! It’s fully equipped with cameras for extra safety and awareness, a head up display, USB ports that connect your phone for Car Play and map navigation, Sirius XM radio (and my new obsession Pop Rocks), twin sunroofs, and the best features were the heated seats and steering wheel! The lane assist feature is also super important because if you’ve ever driven in California, you understand the struggle of having to know what’s happening in every direction around your car all at the same time!
The first two and a half hours into the trip from San Diego were quite lovely actually. An hour and a half east, begins the drive through different elevations, followed by major windmill farms, fields covered in solar panels, and lush greenery. The highway runs through huge rock covered mountains and alongside sand dunes. The natural sand dunes remind me of those tabletop zen gardens where you make designs with a miniature rake. The next three hours aren’t quite as entertaining, but I started to see traditional plants like the Saguaro Cactus and ultimately got closer to my destination, Scottsdale, Arizona.
The first stop in town was a brunch place that I was super eager to check out! Hash Kitchen will blow your mind from the first moment you step inside. The walls are covered with brunch themed phrases, there’s a DJ booth for weekend brunches and even a disco ball. Looking for brunch drinks? They have everything from cereal shooter flights to mimosa flights, and Arizona’s LARGEST build your own Bloody Mary bar!
Holy cow the food is AMAZING! Can we talk about the Craft Bacon Board? It’s piled with different flavors of bacon, bacon jam, and charred brie – yes, please! The Pretzel Benedict was certainly the most unique spin on the classic that I’ve seen yet; the pretzel took up the entire plate and was covered in a beer cheese hollandaise. But it’s truly a toss up for my favorite dish between the Herb Fried Chicken and Waffles topped with fried leeks and the Lemon and Ricotta Pancakes because they were both incredible dishes! I wish there was a Hash Kitchen in San Diego (hint, hint)!
After brunch, I checked into The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. This elegant resort shares its grounds with an 18 hole golf course, pools, spa, and dining options. I wish I had more leisure time to lay around soaking up some sun by the pool because it looked like the perfect place to be on a warm day. A really big perk of this resort for me was definitely the valet parking. These guys are super nice and very efficient which is great when you’re on the go a lot (shout out to Michael and Landon).
Scottsdale is a great destination for a staycation or road trip. The drive is about five and a half hours from San Diego, so it’s a very accessible and easy drive. Take the drive with someone who makes you laugh and you’ll be there in no time. If you golf or hike, this is the spot for you, and if not, there are pools and spas to enjoy. I had a relaxing and fun-filled weekend at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch and would highly recommend checking it out for yourself!
One more must-try suggestion is a stop in Dateland, Arizona. We stopped on the way back because my roommate said we had to stop and get a “date shake.” The date shake does not disappoint, I promise!
Until next time, happy eating (and traveling)!