In some ways, The Phoenician is like the modern-day equivalent of some medieval castle. It's near the base of a mountain in Scottsdale, and it's meant to cater to a particular tax bracket of locals and tourists alike. Luckily, you don't have to breach their walls with force, and everyone can access the whimsy of the resort's cactus garden. This slice of pristine nature isn't just home to 250 or so succulents and cactuses, but also chuckwallas, roadrunners, and other desert creatures. And whether you opt to traipse around yourself, or join the resident horticulturist for a guided tour, visiting the garden is a chance to explore a microcosm of our rich desert. It's a highly cultivated, mostly manufactured desert, but that doesn't mean it's any less compelling. And what better way to understand why people live here — or maybe why you'd want to make the move yourself — than by exploring the understated beauty and downright serenity that comes with accepting and embracing life in the arid Southwest. Plus, when you're done, just go back to the hotel for a swim or a mojito the size of your face.