Adventure Activities in Scottsdale - Try if You Dare

by Cathleen Shaffer, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Oct 4th 2010 11:33 AM

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Adventure Activity Scottsdale

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Scottsdale, in Northern Arizona, sits with a backdrop of the San Francisco Peaks and enormous Ponderosa pine forests. While it is a popular tourist destination and popularly known for golf, spas, and a laid-back lifestyle, Scottsdale offers a lot more than this desert rock formation. We dare you to try at least one adventure activity in Scottsdale so read on for some ideas.


Desert Storm Hummer Tours


There is nothing like the desert after dark to bring out those scorpions. Desert Storm Hummer Tours has a night tour that sets you up with night vision scopes and goggles to view scorpions and other desert wildlife from a Hummer that seats up to 10 people. It is a four hour tour of the Sonoran Desert and is one of the best adventures in Scottsdale. This tour was voted one of the top 100 adventure tours in America by National Geographic in 2000, and this off-road tour is one that you won't soon forget. The guides are terrific and know the desert like the back of their hands, which is a good thing, as the Hummers travel with their lights off and everyone uses night vision. Tours are offered seven nights a week every day of the year. Call or visit the website for daily departure times.

Desert Storm Hummer Tours,
15525 N 83rd Way, Scottsdale,
AZ 85260; 480-922-0020;
Adults $125, Children $100

Malee's Thai On Main


Your dare, if you choose to take it, is to wander into Malee's, a Thai Bistro in Old Town Scottsdale. Grab a table and a menu and start ordering. There is one catch though – you must order items off the menu that you have never had (or in some cases never even heard of). Do not read the item description; go simply by the cool names like Siamese Kisses, Evil Jungle Princess, and Drunken Dragon Noodles. You will be surprised at how good everything is at this restaurant even if you don't know what you are ordering! Dare to break out of the old restaurant menu ordering rut and experience some of the best authentic Thai food in Scottsdale.

Malee's Thai Bistro,
7131 E Main St, Scottsdale,
AZ 85251; 480-947-6042;
Mon-Sat 11AM-close, Sun 4:30PM-close


Up, Up and Away


This is a family adventure activity in Scottsdale you cannot miss! Unicorn Balloon Company will show you the sights of the desert and mountains from a high vantage point: a hot air balloon. With bases in both Scottsdale and Phoenix, Unicorn Balloon will pick you up from your Scottsdale hotel (for a $20 van fee) and drive you to the Sonoran Desert for the balloon ride. They offer year-round sunrise rides ($165/adult ticket and $125 for 12 & under), sunset rides (not available every season) and the balloons go both high and low so you can see Saguaro cactus, Palo Verde trees, coyotes, jackrabbits, javelins and mountains.

The panoramic view in a balloon is exciting and you can feel the adrenaline rushing as the balloon sways and goes up and down. You are in the air for about an hour. They offer various balloon packages that can include a jeep tour with a balloon ride, a wedding balloon ride, and other exciting adventures in Scottsdale.

Unicorn Balloon Company,
15001 N74th St, Scottsdale,
AZ 85260; 480-991-3666, 800-755-0935


Firearms Experience


For patrons 12 years and older, Desert Wolf Tours has a firearms experience that allows you to participate in live fire exercises lasting 1.5 hours for $125. You will receive training from NRA certified rifle and pistol instructors, many with military backgrounds. After the training, which also includes using a blue-plastic replica, you are allowed to fire 30 rounds at targets. The training also includes safety and the science behind ballistics. The handguns used are semi-automatic M16s and Glock 17s. Call or visit the website for hours.

Desert Wolf Tours,
6501 E Greenway Pkwy,
Scottsdale, AZ 85254; 877-613-9653

Golf the #1 course in Arizona


Dare to golf with some of the best at what Golf Magazine says is the number one course in Arizona. Golf Troon North Golf Club is home to two new courses, and one of them, the Pinnacle course, is rated #1 in Arizona and 21 in the nation. Pro golfer Tom Weiskopf led the design project for the Pinnacle, which blends two courses together and changes the sequence in which the holes are played. With holes named quarry, hidden green, swale, hell bunker and dynamite ridge, you can only imagine how fun and challenging this course is. Rates and tee-times vary, so be sure to call or visit the website for booking and to learn about current specials.

Golf Troon North Golf Club,
10320 E Dynamite Blvd, Scottsdale,
AZ 85262; 480-585-5300, 480-585-7700 (Tee Times)
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