PHOTO: Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, Arizona. (photo via Flickr/Sergei ~ 5of7)
Spring training baseball is phenomenal in Scottsdale, Arizona, but there are other perks besides America’s Favorite Pastime (when you need a break from spending time in the sun earning that tank top tan).
I spoke to Melanie Newman, an MLB.com reporter who's been in the industry a few years now. She spends a lot of time in the Arizona area throughout the year, especially during the spring and fall months.
She began by gushing over the food options.
MORE Destination & Tourism
For the Foodie
“Can you tell I like food?” she laughed.
Newman listed off some of her favorite eateries, including El Tataki, which is a Mexican and traditional sushi grill located in Glendale. It has your typical sushi rolls, but you can also order chicken wings as an appetizer. She also says Monday’s and Tuesday’s are “great at Cien Agave in old town Scottsdale, as they have margarita and taco specials.”
“I’m talking $2 tacos and $4 margaritas,” Newman expounded. “And they're really good. A cucumber margarita is great to offset the Arizona heat.”
If you’re a bacon lover—which if you’re a human, you more than likely are—you have to try a spot called Matt’s Big Breakfast.
“They have a run-of-the-mill menu with hash browns, eggs, toast, bacon & pancakes. And I don't know what they do to their bacon, but it's to die for,” she explained.
Oh, and the breakfast is served all day.
For those of you who have a sweet tooth, Melanie mentions Creamistry, a liquid nitrogen-made ice cream with multiple locations in Arizona.
“If you're getting it to go, don't tell them because they freeze it again and then it's too hard to eat while you drive home.”
READ MORE: Is Phoenix the Next Big Foodie Destination?
For the Fun
Across from Scottsdale's Talking Stick Casino is Top Golf.
“I recommend going at night because the view of Talking Stick may be one of the franchise's best,” Newman said.
There are regular golf options too—an endless amount I’m told—but, like Melanie, I don’t golf, so we are unsure what an endless amount of golf courses accumulates to (we're sure it's great, though).
Melanie provided a quick tip when it comes to the Odysea Aquarium in Scottsdale.
“Check with ballparks, because just like San Francisco, you can probably get a discount by showing your game ticket.”
We did not forget about you outdoor enthusiasts, either.
READ MORE: Developers Pitching $4 Billion Theme Park in Arizona
“Sedona is gorgeous, and if you have the time, it’s about a two-hour drive,” said Newman. “Stunning views and some solid breweries with local shopping. They also have jeep tours available, but my favorite was hiking to the top of Cathedral Rock. You think it's scary, but the top is unbelievable and so fulfilling.”
Newman also mentions that, if you are blessed with an entire day to go somewhere and explore, check out Antelope Canyon.
“I think it's $20 to get in, but the colors are unlike anything you'll ever see.”
During the spring months, the NHL's Arizona Coyotes are also playing—if a hockey game is something you’ve always wanted to experience. (Which trust me, you do.)