A vacation in Scottsdale, Ariz., could be just the thing you need to wipe out a case of the winter blahs. And during this time of year and into the spring there's no shortage of things to keep you busy and entertained, from championship golf courses to art shows, from a food festival to a classic car auction.
And baseball. Spring training isn't limited to Florida.
Scottsdale is a great place for serious car lovers. Kruse International has its 35th annual Scottsdale auction set for Jan. 26-29, although it's really being held at Phoenix International Raceway. Click on the date and then "View Inventory" to get an idea of what's going on the block. You could bid on a 1965 Aston Martin, or a 1931 Stutz Cabriolet Coupe. If those dates don't fit your schedule, Barrett-Jackson has its annual Scottsdale event during Jan. 14-22. Look at "Auction Car List" for gems such as a 1953 MG TD Roadster, or a 1936 Lincoln K Towncar.
Looking for something with less horsepower? The Scottsdale Gallery Association touts the city's more than 100 galleries, and holds Thursday evening ArtWalks with exhibits and entertainment. Along with the ArtWalk schedules, you'll need to click on "Map & Directions" to get the layout of the gallery district.
Interested in baseball? The Phoenix metropolitan area that includes Scottsdale is the home of the Cactus League for mostly Western clubs. The schedule for games being played this March won't be posted until January, but until then you can survey the teams and stadiums.
A little later in the season, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival is set for April. "Event Schedule" lists happenings for just about every budget, from the $200-a-head James Beard Dinner to the $5-a-person Southwest Festival of Beers.
That's just a sample of what the city offers. The Scottsdale CVB has a full calendar, with other events including the Scottsdale Fine Art & Chocolate Festival. And be sure to check out "Attractions & Adventures" for everything from hot air balloon rides to rock climbing. For variety, the city of Phoenix is right next door, and the state's official Arizona Guide can help you plan side trips.
Take your golf gear and clubs along and enjoy some of the area's manicured courses. Arizona Tee Times has links to many of the major courses, plus vacation package deals. And move down the left side of the page to find the link to Golf Arizona for reviews of some of the resorts. If you don't see what you need, try the similarly named Tee Times in Arizona which advertises discounted greens fees and a "Build Your Own Golf Package" service.
When you're ready to make plans, look at the state tourism office's Arizona Vacation Values to see if you can find a travel discount package to fit your schedule and interests.