Arizona: A Mad Men Guide to Scottsdale, Arizona

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Travel—My first impression of the Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona is, “How very Mad Men.” The décor is modern and retro, very 1960s chic. In fact, the hotel first opened in 1956 and, after a recent renovation, has retained its mid-century charm. From lobby to lounge, and everywhere in between, touches of bygone era are evident.

Hotel Valley Ho Scottsdale Arizona

I’ve flown here, from east coast to west, for a conference (very Don Draper of me). The only differences is I’m not a big-wig ad executive. I’m a magazine editor with two little kids at home. And while this trip is for business, it’s also an escape—a brief mommy vacation.

And the retro vibe of the Hotel Valley Ho has me thinking, "How can I Mad Men my trip to Scottsdale? How can I vacation like a 1960s fashionista?"

I could:

Alas, I am here for business and can’t ditch the conference to party with The Jet Set ala Don Draper in season two. I do indulge in a chocolate martini with my colleagues at Café ZuZu, the hip lounge at the Hotel Valley Ho, and treat myself to the CoffeeBerry Yoga Facial at the VH spa (highly recommend!).

I would love to return to Scottsdale, with my husband (and maybe the kids—there’s a great musical instrument museum I’d like to take them to) and enjoy this part of Arizona Mad Men style.

Have you been to Scottsdale, Arizona? What would you add to the Mad Men experience?

To plan your Scottsdale getaway, visit

Shannon Morgan Shannon Morgan is a food and travel writer focused on food allergies and fitness. She is the Senior Editor at Maryland Life magazine, a mom of two, and a runner with a passion for yoga and coffee. You can find her online at Shannon Morgan Creative, follow her on Twitter @SLDMorgan, or connect on Facebook.

Scottsdale photos by Shannon Morgan. Headshot by Andrew Murdock.

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4 responses to “Arizona: A Mad Men Guide to Scottsdale, Arizona”

  1. I lived in Arizona for 20 years and have only been to a couple of the places you mention, Shannon! I will definitely have to add your suggestions to my list of places to visit on my next trip. Thanks for the recos.

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