Best spring break value travel destinations: Scottsdale

Lake Havasu gets the lion’s share of attention when it comes to spring break in Arizona, but for sheer activities, Scottsdale can’t be beat.

An oasis in the Sonoran Desert, it’s full of activities like ATV tours, some of the world’s best golf courses and spas, a flourishing arts community, Native American history, and great nightlife. Plus, when it’s freezing in the rest of the country, it’s blazing there—a perfect spring break getaway for those who like the heat but not the beach.

Scottsdale’s environs are dotted with stunning canyons and rivers.  Get a bird’s eye view with a seaplane tour. Or, drive three-and-a-half hours and make a day trip to view the most spectacular wonder of them all: the Grand Canyon.

As one of the two homes of Major League Baseball's spring training, teams from around the country converge here every March as the “Cactus League.” If you’re dying to see your favorite teams up close and personal, in a much more intimate setting than during the regular season, tickets are as low as $5.

For a more gambler's spring break experience (losing your money and then regretting it later), press your luck at Talking Stick Resort, a 240,000 square foot casino with more than 700 slot machines. Or, just saddle up to the bar at the Rusty Saloon, Scottsdale’s most famous dive and a registered historical landmark that’s wetted the whistle of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Dierks Bentley.

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Stay at the chic Hotel Indigo, a boutique hotel in the center of Old Town Scottsdale, for as little as $201/night. Or try the Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites, an all-suite hotel, for $171/night.

Scottsdale is a 90 minute drive from LA, three-and-a-half hours from Chicago, and two hours and 45 minutes from Houston. Flights generally range from $150 - $350 RT: excellent deals are always to be found on Southwest.