Driving approximately 20 miles; about 1 hour total, with stops for field trips. Walking up to 2 miles total throughout the day; flat, paved terrain at a slow pace.
Happy New Year! We'll have a later start this morning to recover from our evening celebration and allow time for an independent walk, watching the parade on TV or just sleeping in. After boarding our transportation, we’ll transfer to the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG), for a docent-led exploration. A valuable community resource, the garden aims to educate and conserve the wonders of the desert with a focus on plants of the Southwest. Since a Swedish botanist planted a sign “Save the desert” in his yard in the 1930's, community members came together to create, develop, and expand the garden as the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society.
On your own to enjoy what you like at either of the two eateries on the Garden grounds.
Continue to explore the DBG on your own wandering through the garden’s 50 acres in search of the 139 rare, endangered, or threatened species of plants from across the globe. Before returning to Scottsdale, we will take time to explore the Arizona Biltmore, designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a former student of Frank Lloyd Wright who served as consulting architect on the project. Opened in 1929, the Biltmore was immediately crowned the “Jewel of the Desert” and has been a preferred resort for celebrities, heads of state, and business scions. After a brief introduction to the Biltmore by our Group Leader, we will have the opportunity to explore the grounds on our own.
At one of Scottsdale’s restaurants, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu for our farewell dinner. Coffee, iced tea, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.
After returning to the hotel, we’ll reconvene for a brief program wrap-up and farewells, wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.