Scottsdale ArtWalk. This weekly event has been drawing big crowds for 30 years, from 7-9 p.m. every Thursday on Main Street, with a lively mix of eateries as well.

Taliesen West. During high season (November-April), the two-hour tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and studio is a hefty $32. Offseason, the price drops to $24. 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale; (480) 627-5340,

Pinnacle Peak Park. Camelback Mountain in Phoenix is one of the nation's great urban hiking experiences. Better for young families, though, is the Pinnacle Peak Trail, a 30-minute climb that can be done in flips-flops. 26802 N. 102nd Way, Scottsdale; (480) 312-0990,

McDowell Sonoran Preserve. These hills on the edge of Scottsdale make a brilliant spot for an early morning hike. Try the Gateway Loop Trail, which makes a 3.5-mile circle around a big hill. If you have less time or energy, there's the wheelchair-accessible Bajada Nature Trail, a flatter half-mile round-trip. Free. Gateway Trailhead and parking at 18333 N. Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale.

McDowell Mountain Regional Park. This hilly, cactus-studded territory just east of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve includes 50 miles of trails for mountain bikes, hikers and horses. Entry fee, $6 per vehicle. 16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr.; (480) 471-0173, CR

Arizona Outback Adventures. Rent a bike or try a guided ride with the company's Gary Heald, but you'll run the risk of being outraced by a 73-year-old. (480) 945-2881, $40-$95 a day

Floating the Lower Salt River. White-water adrenaline junkies need not apply. But if you put a kayak or raft in the water south of Saguaro Lake, you'll be floating in the middle of a desert panorama that includes Red Mountain to the west and sometimes includes wild mustangs at water's edge. (But beware of high-density tuber traffic during spring break.) Through Scottsdale-based Arizona Outback Adventures (see above), guided half-day trips usually run $90 each (four people in a raft) to $125 each (two people in kayaks). CR


Tempe Town Lake. Escape the spring training heat with a boat ride here, a mile from the bustling stretch of Mill Avenue. Kayaks and electric pontoons for rent. 72 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe; (480) 303-9803, CE

Cornish Pasty, Tempe and Mesa. These two modest restaurants serve the British equivalent of the calzone — one of the most original meals you will find. 960 W. University, Tempe; (480) 894-6261; 1941 W. Guadalupe Road, Mesa; (480) 838-3586. CE


Saguaro Lake Ranch. The Mesa area's most distinctive lodging, with stables and trails that offer riding and hiking. Some cabins are on the banks of the Salt River, where kayaking is an option. Just upstream, Saguaro Lake stretches out from Stewart Mountain Dam, creating opportunities to fish, boat and water-ski. 13020 Bush Highway, Mesa; (480) 984-2194, Three-meal plan $150-$175 per adult, $30-$70 per child.

Arizona Museum of Natural History. Packed with kid-friendly attractions: large model dinosaurs, rocks, gold panning and cellblocks from early prisons. 53 N. Macdonald, Mesa; (480) 644-2230,


Old Town Glendale. The Dodgers' Camelback Ranch spring training home lacks heart and history, but in Old Town Glendale you'll find a charming square full of shops, restaurants and trees brimming with migrating birds.

Haus Murphy. This German restaurant reportedly sells more German beer than anywhere else in Arizona. The little outdoor Biergarten is a perfect spot after a game at Camelback Ranch to drain a light Spaten or bock straight from the tap. 5739 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale; (623) 939-2480.

Renaissance Inn. Don't tell anybody, lest his groupies mob the lobby, but Vin Scully stays at the Renaissance Inn in Glendale during spring training. 9495 W. Coyotes Blvd., Glendale; (623) 937-3700.

Westgate City Center. A few miles from Camelback Ranch, this big entertainment area in Glendale has the usual been-there, done-that chains. For something more real, check out Hell's Half Acre, near the west entrance. (623) 877-8447.

Southern Arizona

Tucson area