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.
At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a breakfast buffet, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.
We’ll pull out our maps and become acquainted with the Phoenix Metropolitan Area – nicknamed the Valley of the Sun – pinpointing our destinations over the upcoming days and getting a sense of the Valley’s extent. Still at the hotel, we’ll learn about water in the west through a presentation given by a representative of the Salt River Project, the utility and water provider for much of central Arizona. After boarding the motorcoach, 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 1930s, 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 orientation 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. Coffee, iced tea, and water included; other beverages available for purchase.
After returning to the hotel, we’ll learn about those that came before -- the Hohokam and their legacy of canals in the Phoenix area. Our Native American speaker will describe the contemporary Native American tribes in the greater Phoenix region.