I travel the world looking for great experiences, but there’s something about coming home to Arizona at the end of every trip that gives me a thrill. I’m fortunate to call the Valley of the Sun home and I love relaxing at some of our local treasures with my best girlfriends. After the long summer, you know you deserve a break. Book a girlfriend’s getaway in Phoenix and relax before the holiday season gets into full swing. Here are some of my favorite spots for you to check out on your visit to Phoenix.

Shopping the Camelback Corridor

The Camelback Corridor is one of the most popular shopping districts in Phoenix. Running along Camelback Road from the residential area of Arcadia through the upscale financial district of The Biltmore, and extending to Central Avenue, the area is known for its upscale shopping and dining.

Biltmore Fashion Park. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Biltmore Fashion Park. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

The heart of the Camelback Corridor is Biltmore Fashion Square at Camelback and 24th Street. This mid-century shopping plaza is the premiere shopping destination for Arizona. You will find many of the top national luxury brands, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Ann Taylor, Tumi, and BCBG Maxazria. But you can also find some upscale shops unique to Phoenix. Be sure to stop by Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, where owner Melissa Lenberg offers not only the biggest names in all-natural beauty products, but also practical tips and advice on how to use products you didn’t even know you needed.

There are two great hotels you can stay in during a visit to the area. Both provide visitors with unique-to-Arizona experiences. For a classic stay, check out Arizona Biltmore. Built in the late 1920s in collaboration with architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Arizona Biltmore has long been a favored playground for Hollywood A-Listers, world dignitaries, presidents and royals for decades. The resort has been newly revamped, but the history is still alive and well.

Enjoy drinks by the firepit at Arizona Biltmore. Photo courtesy Arizona Biltmore

Enjoy drinks by the firepit at Arizona Biltmore. Photo courtesy Arizona Biltmore

If you and your girlfriends stay at Arizona Biltmore, be sure to grab a seat by the firepits, order up drinks, and watch the setting sun cast shadows on Piestawa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak). Arizona Biltmore is just north of Biltmore Fashion Park and surrounded by beautiful golf courses and the rugged mountain peaks. You’ll feel the seclusion of this desert oasis, but will be only five minutes from shops and restaurants.

If you’re looking for something playful and modern, check out the newly opened The Camby across Camelback Road from Biltmore Fashion Park. I love the eclectic feel of The Camby, where crystal chandeliers and neon lights just make sense.

Eclectic Design Awaits at The Camby. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

Eclectic Design Awaits at The Camby. Photo by Susan Lanier-Graham

The boutique hotel offers both regular rooms or — ideal for a girlfriend’s getaway — larger suites where you can laugh and talk well into the night. There’s even a passage under Camelback to reach shopping across the street. After a day of shopping, you can relax back at The Camby in the small urban Zest Spa on the hotel’s second floor, float in the rooftop pool, and share a selection of small bites at Artizen. Before turning in, be sure to order up a nightcap at The Bees Knees, where you can sip on classic drinks with a twist, from a Pisco Sour, Negroni, or Vieux Carre to the Mark Twain (Scotch and lemon), Sazerac or Dark Knight with Rittenhouse Rye and Chocolate Bitters.

Relax on a Spa Retreat

If your idea of a perfect girlfriend’s getaway is more about relaxing than shopping, head to Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia for a retreat at Joya Spa.

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Photo courtesy Omni Hotels

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Photo courtesy Omni Hotels

Hands down, this is one of the best spas anywhere. The Omni Montelucia is located in beautiful Paradise Valley, between Phoenix and Scottsdale. The views of Camelback Mountain, particularly at sunset, are spectacular. But the spa, for me, is the real gem on this property.

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