The Complete Guide to Where to Dine and Drink in Scottsdale

I’ve been a guest of the Scottsdale CVB now two times for the purposes of research and though some of these referenced experiences were made possible by them, even in such a case, all opinions are my own as always.

Incredulity seems to be a common reaction when I tell people how amazing Scottsdale, Arizona is. Especially as a food town. But it is. Amazing. Especially for those people, like myself, who like to celebrate life and all its beauty by dining and drinking.

In order to support my case, I decided to compile as complete a list as possible of all the best places to fill one’s belly in the greater Scottsdale (sometimes Phoenix) area. Of course, I haven’t yet been everywhere, but I will confess I made the title for SEO purposes primarily and since I love Scottsdale so much, I do plan to add to this list with future trips!


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Lindsay - Your photos are stunning! I think I’ll start with cocktails at the Jade Bar and then scoot over to the ice cream bar. Hope to visit Scottsdale one day!

Kimberly Killebrew - Oh. my. gosh! Scrolling through these pictures were sheer torture – in a good way! 😉 My husband’s from Mesa with family in Scottsdale. It really is a great place for terrific food. Thanks for sharing and for all these fabulous recommendations!

Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama - I have never been to Scottsdale myself (yet!), but I think that would have no problem eating and drinking my way through the city, lol. 😉 LOVE that it has such an active craft beer scene there. The Sip Coffee & Beer sounds right up my coffee addict, craft beer loving alley.

Andi - I have been to Phoenix many, many times but looks like I have missed something really amazing in Scottsdale. I need to make time to head that direction, and when I do I am just going to follow your eating and drinking itinerary because it looks amazeballs!

Julie - this is totally comprehensive – thank you, and I’m bookmarking now! I am particularly enthralled with the place that does coffee + beer. Why don’t more places do this? It’s amazing and I have had literally countless situations with friends when, inevitably mid-afternoon, someone will want a coffee and someone will want a beer. And two stops are made. Genius.

Kirsten Alana - I’m so glad you agree about Scottsdale, Lauren! I still have a hard time when people don’t want to believe that. I’m a huge fan!! Glad you like the guide.

Kirsten Alana - Yay!!! This is exactly why I blog, Emily. To help people like you. I’m so glad this will come in handy. And I hope you’ll keep in touch and let me know places that you discover which I don’t yet know about! 😉

Emily - THANK YOU for this!! I’m moving to Scottsdale this summer (in July, because I’m crazy and love to torture myself with hot weather, apparently) with my boyfriend. He grew up there and wants to move back, so this Midwest/East Coast girl is on a new adventure, one that I hope will include LOTS of eating and drinking. I haven’t read through the whole thing yet, but I pinned it and plan to work my way through it soon. :)

Lauren - Scottsdale, Arizona is a wonderful place to visit. Thanks for sharing this guide of what to do when visiting!

United Airlines and the Tribeca Film Festival

I was given free entry to the event mentioned in this post but otherwise, I have no relationship with United Airlines and I was not compensated for sharing this information with you. All opinions are, as always, my own.

I love movies! Dante and I love movies! Not a week goes by that we’re not watching some movie. So almost any news to do with movies, gets me excited, and when United Airlines invited me to the Tribeca Film Festival for a screening of the movie Anesthesia, I couldn’t resist the chance to see a movie and learn more about United’s commitment to independent film. 

United Airlines and the Tribeca Film Festival

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Kirsten Alana - Yes we do!!

Connie Hum - Great photos! Now we need to figure out which Broadway show to go watch together and when!

Capturing the Beauty of Spring in New York City

I’m asked fairly often what, in my opinion, is the best time in which to visit New York City. My pick is springtime! But take a look at these photos and tell me whether or not you agree…


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Deborah - I have always wanted to see NYC in the spring. Absolutely breathtaking!!

Nutmeg Nanny - These are such beautiful pictures! I love NYC in the spring. Living just a little north of the city I always take the time to head down in the spring just to take it all in.

Lindsay - Gorgeous photos! I think springtime is the most beautiful time of year, too. So lovely after a drab winter. Thanks for capturing it and sharing!

@Travelpanties - You’ve done it again! Such stunning photographs. I think you captured spring in NYC perfectly! You may have possibly made it look even more gorgeous. I never want it to end! So many flowers, so little time!!

Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor - Simply beautiful! I need to place a trip to the city just so that I can visit the Brooklyn botanical garden. I love when everything is blooming, so pretty!

We're the Russos - These photos are amazing! So glad we stumbled upon this post. Definitely adding Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to our list of places to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Toni | BoulderLocavore - Such a beautiful tour of the gardens! Your photos are fantastic and I was going to ask what lens you used! Thanks for posting it. We are expecting cold rain this weekend in the west. Will be visiting this post again for a spring pick-me-up.

Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama - Gorgeous photos! I have only been to NYC in November right before Christmas and that was pretty magical.. but New York City in spring looks just as magical! :) I definitely want to plan a visit there during a warmer season. Thank you for sharing these!

Joseph - Love these shots! What a gorgeous day captured in amazing photos.

Kimberly - Oh, this is so gorgeous, LOVE it!! Absolutely fabulous and inspiring photos, Kirsten, thanks for sharing!

Christina - Oh my! I think I’d have to agree! I had no idea that New York would every looks this beautiful! I missed seeing the cherry blossoms in DC by 2 days, two years ago, so I have never seen anything like your photos myself, yet.

I’ve only been to NYC once, but am dying to return…hopefully in the springtime!

Kirsten Alana - Thank you, Cathy! And I hope you are able to visit next year and see it for yourself!

Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig - Absolutely gorgeous shots. I have never experienced New York in Spring…need to change that!

Kirsten Alana - Thank you so much for your comment, Glen! No macro lens, just a trusty prime that I love. It’s all in knowing how to get the most out of a lens. And I hope you *do* visit NYC in Spring!

Glenn Manderson - Kirsten, love the colour and especially the detail in your shots; felt I was in Japan as opposed to New York until near the end. Thought you might have used a macro lens for some but then found you only used one lens which is not in my repertoire – yet. I have been to New York in all seasons but the Spring so will have to put it on the agenda for next year.

How to Be Successful on Instagram: Do the Work


Every day, I get asked questions about Instagram. It’s been happening for a long time now, despite the fact that only this week did I pass the 100K follower mark.

In the social influencing world that I operate in, there are varying standards for what is considered to be successful, but I have been paid for my work on Instagram for almost two years now. For my own purposes: only this week should I even be able to start to possibly maybe consider myself as getting to a point where I could be perhaps deemed “successful.”

So…….why have people been asking me for my tips on how to do Instagram better for, literally, years? I believe it is mainly because of one simple rule I’ve lived by since I had a lightbulb moment about a year after I joined the social network.

The rule is: Do The Work

It’s that simple.

It’s not the only principle that will help you enjoy, and see a return from, Instagram. So that’s why this is just my first post in what will be a series full of the lessons I’ve learned by screwing up a lot and learning the hard way what not to do, and thereby, what to do.

Let’s start by my expanding on what I mean when I say, Do The Work. View full post »

PatrickEGTT - Glad I came across you, Looking forward to learning more!

fazlulkarim - where my photo apps?

Amber - Good collection, represents strong mind for photography

Kirsten Alana - Wow. I’m glad you see it that way, thank you Pauline. It’s true, I do post photos when I am not traveling though I try to keep my feed mostly travel-centric. I think the key for me is that I am always driven by stories. So I look for everyday moments and things that have a story to tell. I try to make it personal but also relatable. There’s no formula for that part, it’s just an instinct thing more than anything else!

Pauline - This is awesome! I was going to email you personally to ask this question – How do you see beauty in the everyday things? I follow you on Instagram and I notice you still post unique photos in the days that you are not traveling the world (i.e. in the days you are home). Any tips would be appreciated! Thanks, Kirsten!

Kirsten Alana - Thanks! And great question, Michael! I think success can be defined in a variety of ways but for me it’s two-fold: 1) I’m able to earn an income because of my Instagram account and, 2) I have an engaged following of people who regularly ask for, and rely on, my opinion.

Michael - Congratulations on all your hard work, and talent, leading to success. How does success manifest itself with Instagram?

Kirsten Alana - Thanks for these suggestions, Julie! They’re great and I’m so glad you’re looking forward to learning more.

Julie - This is a great idea for a series, and I’m sure you’ll be covering lots of topics that I’ve been too chicken to ask you about! In addition to the three ideas you mentioned as starting points (all of which I would be keen on learning more about), I’d also be interested in:
1. How to engage on IG on a daily basis (maybe in addition to responding to the many comments you receive?). How to be part of the community effectively.
2. These days, many brands have these # campaigns where you tag their # and if they like it, they’ll feature you and link you you. Is this a good way to build awareness/likes? And if yes, any you recommend? There are so many that I see!
3. Any themes of pics you see that do particularly well? I have had trouble spotting which of my pics do consistently well or poorly – seems like flowers, yes. Coffee, yes (for whatever reason). Big monuments/sights – depends. Quotes – yes. Any other ideas?


Around the World with Four Seasons

I’m typing this from London, where I’m taking the time to catch my breath after having traveled around the world for the last 23 days with Four Seasons. It’s the longest time I have ever been away from home for one assignment and it’s the largest assignment I’ve ever had responsibility-wise. I’ll be taking the time to blog more specifically about the trip later on this year but I wanted to start to share some of my highlights to get you excited about seeing more and to alert you to the fact that there are stories already going live on Four Seasons Magazine that I am sure you won’t want to miss. Read on for those links and for a photo preview of what these last 20 + days have been like…

Flying over Sydney Harbor in a Seaplane with Four Seasons

Flying over Sydney Harbor in a Seaplane with Four Seasons

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Kirsten Alana - Thank you so much my love! It was a good job to have, but it was hard to be away from you for a whole month in order to do the job.

Kirsten Alana - Well I’d love that of course, Rebecca 😉 But I understand myself that it’s hard to keep up with everyone. I’m glad you want to know more though!

rebecca - It appears I so need to connect with you on social media because I have been missing out! What an awesome adventure! I bet you are exhausted. Can’t wait to read all about this trip. Very lucky!

Jayne - What an incredible journey you’ve been on. It’s been so much fun following along on social media and getting to meet up with you in Sydney. I look forward to reading your articles on the Four Seasons site J

Danté - Great photos and experience babe!

Pauline - I’ve been following your journey on Instagram and this is the only thing I can say – WHAT A JOURNEY! The photos are amazing and I truly loved seeing the updates :) I will go and check out the Four Season magazine now…

Holly - Clicked through to the Four Seasons site– I’m loving all your gorgeous photos! Looks like an amazing (and exhausting!) experience. I’d have a hard time pulling myself away to get photos edited and stories up so quickly :)