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City Guide: What to See in Scottsdale, Arizona

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2011 Annual Meeting gallops into Scottsdale, Ariz., “The West’s Most Western Town,” April 30–May 3.

From high to low, Scottsdale and its environs present a full retail rodeo. This desert destination’s founding farmers would be flabbergasted by the glam development and boisterous nightlife flourishing within its borders of Phoenix, Paradise Valley and the McDowell Mountains. For a retail overview, start at the Phoenician Resort, home base of the NACDS conference, and follow the directions here. Yee-haw!



Want to see where ritzy Camelback Mountain’s dollars drain? Take a left out of the Phoenician Resort, and head east on East Camelback Road to this luxury epicenter between North Goldwater Boulevard and North Scottsdale Road. Salt River Valley girls get out their gold cards at Barneys, Neiman Marcus and more. 7014 East Camelback Road, 480.941.2140.


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From Camelback, head left (north) on North Scottsdale Road and right on East Chaparral Road for Safeway on the left, which attracts upper middle-class locals when they aren’t splurging at AJ’s Fine Foods. 7920 East Chaparral Road, 480.994.5653.



Back heading east on Chaparral, turn right on North Pima Road for Wal-Mart. Its controversial sign casts a bright glow over midcentury modern ranch homes with yards of citrus and rosemary. 4915 North Pima Road, 480.941.0333.



Continue north on North Pima Road and turn right on East Indian Bend Road for Target on the left. With downtown Scottsdale’s huge northern push into former ranch country, it’s quite central these days. 9000 East Indian Bend Road, 480.951.4403.



A tad east, hop on the 101 Loop South and exit at East Indian School Road. Turn right (west) for a John Wayne-worthy straight shot of in-store and freestanding pharmacies. First up on your left are Bashas grocery store, 8035, 480.663.1043, and Walgreens, 8015, 480.990.0202. Continue west past North Hayden Road, for Fry’s on your right at 7628-A in the Miller Plaza Shopping Center, 480.945.6660. CVS sits across the street at 7552, 480.945.6660.



Staying west, swing a left (south) at North Scottsdale Road for Albertsons, another desert mainstay. Make a beeline for its on-site Osco, 2785 North Scottsdale Road, 480.947.6977. Or is it time to lead your horse to water so its rider can down a drink? Then stay north on North Scottsdale Road, where you’ll run into a bonanza of shops and restaurants. Beginning around 2nd Street, Old Town Scottsdale overflows with salty margaritas. North of Indian School is more civilized with the Fifth Avenue Shops and Scottsdale Waterfront. A good entry point is jogging left on East Stetson Drive.


Have a business breakfast: ARCADIA FARMS CAFE Before it becomes overrun with lunching ladies, tuck into this Cali cottage for freshly baked strawberry scones and coffee cake. A savory breakfast quesadilla and berry and mascarpone cheese crepes stick to the sides even more. Breakfast served daily, 8–10:45 a.m. (7014 East First Avenue, Scottsdale, 480.941.5665)


Enjoy a leisurely lunch: THE MISSION Who needs martinis when you’ve got margaritas? Order one made with organic Tres Agaves tequila and agave nectar before crunching into beer-battered rock shrimp tacos with crema and cabbage. Smothered in Peruvian chile pinto beans, the ridiculously decadent, bacon-wrapped Kobe dog on a brioche bun is best to share. Time for a cabana nap! Lunch served daily, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. (3815 North Brown Avenue, Scottsdale, 480.636.5005)


Celebrate a great deal: T. COOK’S On gorgeous, starry nights, ask for a fireside seat on the terrace. This five-star setting calls for Champagne, a nice accompaniment to heaping plates of antipasto. Move on to escargot paired with a house Burgundy and paella with a Creole kick. Dinner served daily, 5:30–11 p.m. (5200 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, 602.808.0766)


Go to foodie heaven: FNB A farm-to-table island in a sea of steak houses. Co-owner Pavle Milic expertly explains chef Charleen Badman’s seasonal ingredients, whether rutabaga with ginger crème fraîche or salbitxada sauce. The gutsy, all-Arizona wine list surprisingly stands its ground. Dinner served Wednesday–Sunday, 5–10 p.m. (7133 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, 480.425.9463)


Visit a 21st-century saloon: MERCBAR Bartenders pour a dozen wines by the glass or whip up mean mojitos, as a Euro-trendy “bar chef” turns out small plates. Opens 4 p.m. Monday–Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday–Sunday. Closes 1 a.m. Sunday–Thursday, 2 a.m. Friday–Saturday. (2525 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, 602.508.9449)



Cheryl Mahoney, vice president of Beauty at CVS, is an NACDS veteran who knows Phoenix’s “dry heat” climate can present a bevy of beauty challenges. Mahoney plans to stay cool “by wearing light colors, lightweight fabrics and staying out of the direct sun.” A product she will not be without is La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, since a “quick spray throughout the day keeps me refreshed and my skin moist.” Wearing a sunscreen is also a must, including La Roche-Posay Anthelios for her face and CVS Continuous Spray Sunscreen for her body. “It’s part of my regimen, along with Neutrogena Oil Free Moisturizer and the Cheryl Mahoney Garnier Eye Roller. I’ll also bring [CVS private label] Essence of Beauty body lotion to keep my skin moisturized.” Accessories will top off Mahoney’s musts, notably her Chanel tote and Louis Vuitton sunglasses. “I don’t go anywhere without them. They go with everything and really protect me from the sun.”