February in Phoenix is Fabulous

Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Golf

Yes, yes—Tiger finished dead last two weeks ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but don’t blame the weather or the TPC Scottsdale’s sumptuous playing conditions. February and March in metro Phoenix is about as good as it gets, underscored by bluebird skies, near-perfect climate and astonishing attractions—heady stuff that beckons visitors to go outside, play hard and return home with braggadocios suntans.

A Phoenix winter vacation is an annual rite for millions of travelers. What is there to do? Check out these six can’t-miss wanna-dos:

1. Edenesque Indulgences: At the Spanish Colonial crafted Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the AAA Five-Diamond property is pampering guests with a new Willow Stream Spa that matches up beautifully with the property’s luxury accommodations, restaurants, tennis, swimming, golf (preferred access to the 36-hole TPC Scottsdale, pictured below) and nearby access to premier boutique shopping.

2. Slamming Suds & Tasty Eats: Although the Arizona Strong Beer Festival is an annual celebration of high alcohol content beers, the event is also a taste-bud tickling opportunity to sample dozens of singular craft beers and foods from top-notch vendors. Feb. 12-21 at Steele Indian School Park.

3. Grand-Stand Your Vacation: At the recently renovated and renamed Arizona Grand Resort & Spa (formerly the Pointe South Mountain Resort, pictured above), guests are relishing the luxury suite accommodations, seven-acre water park, six dining options, full-service fitness and spa facility, and an award-winning 18-hole golf course designed by Forrest Richardson. Travel tip: The resort backs up to the 17,000-acre South Mountain Preserve, and sprawling Arizona Mills shopping park is just a half-mile away.

Photo: Hiking South Mountain, © Visit Phoenix

4. MLB Spring Training: Fifteen major league teams frollick in the Valley of Sun with a fastball sizzlin’, hardwood-crackin’, 220-game schedule played in 10 first-class baseball stadiums, each of which is no more than a 45-minute drive from the other. It’s called Cactus League Spring Training, and for aficionados of America’s favorite pastime, it’s a show not to be missed. March 3-April 4.

5. Zoomtown USA: At the annual NASCAR CampingWorld.com 500, thrill seekers feed their need for high-octane action, plus see the world’s best stock car drivers like Kyle Busch compete for vital Sprint Cup Series points. March 13-15 at the Phoenix International Raceway.

6. LPGA’s JTBC Founders Cup: Come see past, present and future stars of the world’s most dynamic women’s pro golf tour during this spectacular event held annually at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. Hall of Famer Karrie Webb is scheduled to defend her title against a field of fan favorites including Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Lydia Ko and former Phoenix resident Michelle Wie, winner of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. March 16-22 at Wildfire Golf Club.

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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.