Things To Do In Scottsdale
Best Things to Do in Scottsdale – An Overview
Scottsdaleis a vibrant city located in the eastern edge of Maricopa County, Arizona. It is adjacent to the Greater Phoenix and has a population of about 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2015). It was named Scottsdale in 1894 after its founder Winfield Scott and got incorporated in 1951 with a small population of 2000. Scottsdale city is known for its buzzing hotel scenes and late night partying, traits that make it hard for anyone to miss fun things to do in this incredible city. Among the fun things to do in Scottsdale include outdoor activities, golfing, shopping, dining, sightseeing and spending your nights at the glamorous fun-filled nightclubs.
When it comes to outdoor activities, Desert Wolf Tours leads the pack as it boasts amazing packages and outdoor activities that both locals and visitors will find it hard to find somewhere else. Desert Wolf Tours have been ranked the best Off-Road ATV Adventure Tour for six years in a row, a clear indication that what it offers remains unrivalled. Some of the fun things at Desert Wolf Tours include exploring the beautiful Sonoran Desert with Tomcars, participating in shooting competition as well as teaming up with others on a rescue mission and to pin down a hostage courier. Apart from Desert Wolf Tours, other great places for outdoor activities include McDowell Sonoran Preserve where you can go hiking and McDowell Mountain Ranch Park & Aquatic Center, a home to soccer fields, ball fields, skate park and an aquatic center. Other spots include TPC at Scottsdale, MacDonald’s Ranch, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, Pinnacle Peak Park, Chaparral Park & Community Center, Phoenix Zoo and El Dorado Park. All these make it impossible for you to run short of fun things to do in Scottsdale, AZ.
Scottsdale also has amazing golfing facilities where you can spend quality time playing golf. Whether you’re a recreational player or a professional golfer, you’re assured to find the perfect place to enjoy your favorite game while on vacation. Some of the best golfing spots in Scottsdale include Troon North Golf Club, commonly known as Scottsdale’s “crown jewel”, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club located on the eastern edge of Scottsdale, TPC at Scottsdale, a home to the most attended golf competition in the world, Kierland Golf Club, Orange Tree Golf Club and McDowell Mountain Golf Club among others. All these golfing spots have something unique to offer to different types of golf players, with most of them providing a breathtaking view of the adjacent Sonoran Desert.
Although you might be on vacation in Scottsdale, there comes a point when you have to do some shopping. Scottsdale boasts amazing shopping destinations with the latest items from different designers and manufacturers. In case you’re after uniquely Arizona gifts and souvenirs, there’re specific stalls where you can get exactly that. Some of the best shopping spots in Scottsdale include Scottsdale Fashion Square, which happens to be the largest shopping spot in the Southwest, Scottsdale Quarter located in the north central Scottsdale, Scottsdale Waterfront at the edges of Old Town Scottsdale, Kierland Commons, El Pedregal Festival Marketplace, Scottsdale Pavilions and The SHOPS Gainey Village among others.
While you enjoy yourself with jeep tours and Arizona ATV adventures, dining remains at the center of almost everything you do. Scottsdale boasts a blooming culinary scene characterized by more than 400 amazing high-class restaurants. The city has the best chefs and cuisines from different corners of the globe, something that makes the city one of a kind. Among the best dining spots in Scottsdale include the charming Virtu located in the Beespoke Inn, vintage-inspired EVO that provides timeless Italian cuisines, FnB, Café Monarch, The Mission where you can enjoy candlelight dinner, Taggia located at FireSky Resort & Spa, Roaring Fork and Citizen Public House among others.
Scottsdale also has some of the best sightseeing spots in the larger Arizona area, including Butterfly Wonderland with more than 3,000 butterflies flying there every day, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, a spot that boasts as being the sole National Historic Landmark in the entire Scottsdale area and Desert Botanical Garden that has the world’s finest collection of desert plants from almost every corner of the globe. Other sightseeing places you should consider visiting during your vacation in Scottsdale include Musical Instrument Museum with more than 6,000 musical instruments, Odysea Aquarium with sharks, penguins, sea turtles and sea lions, Sea Life Arizona Aquarium and Scottsdale Historical Museum among others. If you would like to know more about the history of Scottsdale city the best place to go sightseeing would be Scottsdale Historical Museum, but if you love car races and would like to know more about racing and other related stuff, the perfect place would be Penske Racing Museum.
Apart from shopping, sightseeing, dining, golfing and engaging in different outdoor activities, your vacation in Scottsdale will be incomplete if you fail to visit some of the finest nightlife/entertainment joints within the city. It’s true that Scottsdale is yet to achieve the nightlife glamour of Los Angeles and New York, but it has some of the best entertainment spots in Arizona. Some of these spots include Livewire located in the southern part of Scottsdale and has the ability to accommodate more than 1,100 revelers, Rogue Bar with great pools, live music and big comfy booths, Goodwood Tavern located in Old Town Scottsdale with vintage style and elevated bar bites as well as cushy booths and sprawling patio seating and AZ88 Bar & Restaurant famous for its sandwiches and burgers. Other entertainment joints include The Beverly, Kazimierz World Wine Bar, Maya Day & Nightclub, The Mint, Wasted Grain and Rockbar Inc. All these spots will make your night seem shorter and your stay in Scottsdale more fun.
It is pretty clear that you can’t run short of fun things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona if you decide to spend your vacation in this amazing city. You can enjoy Arizona ATV tours and adventures, jeep tours and Scottsdale shooting adventures provided by leaders Desert Wolf Tours or go golfing, shopping, sightseeing or even dining to make your vacation a worthwhile adventure.
Scottsdale Outdoor Activities
Scottsdale is home to some of the finest outdoor spaces within the Valley of the Sun, including McDowell Mountain Ranch, Pinnacle Peak Park, and Desert Wolf Tours. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Scottsdale, AZ, this guide is all you need. Let’s dive in and get to know more about some of these amazing sites and what each one of them has to offer to aficionados of outdoor activities.
Desert Wolf Tours
Desert Wolf Tours has been ranked the best desert Scottsdale ATV Tour for the past six consecutive years and has been inducted into the Scottsdale TripAdvisor Hall of Fame for their consistently excellent service to their guests. With Desert Wolf Tours, you get a rare chance to drive a Tomcar, and with the help of Desert Wolf Tours guides, you will get a chance to explore the beautiful Sonoran Desert for not less than three hours. Desert Wolf Tours has made Arizona ATV tours much more fun-filled and worthwhile. In the Sonoran Desert, you’ll see the incredible dynamic terrain, breathtaking mountain vista views, and some Sonoran Desert historic features. You will also be able to enjoy a half-day ATV tour where you may experience an ancient Indian Fort, Fresh Water Oasis, River Crossings, and Old Stage Coach Trails, all at a small cost of $148 pp off-season (summer) and $159 pp on-season. To add to the list of Arizona ATV adventures, Desert Wolf Tours offers Tomcar Sunset “Scorpion Hunt” ATV Tours, the original and still the best Off-Road Sunset ATV Tour in Arizona, available between June 1 and September 14. Costing only $159 pp, this Scottsdale and Phoenix ATV tour lets you drive a military-grade Tomcar ATV through the Sonoran Desert at night using 10,000-lumen LED light bars. As if that’s not enough, you go to a secluded spot to search for scorpions with a black light. When you spot them, they give you a light show! What an Arizona ATV Adventure!
Finally, suppose you are looking for a group activity, bachelor or bachelorette party, corporate outing, or team-building activities. In that case, Desert Wolf Tours will surely have an adventure exceeding your expectations. Elite Combat Simulator, the Ultimate Team Building Activity, is an adventure where you work as a team to pin down a terrorist courier, rescue a hostage, and embark on Operation Neptune Spear. Another group or team-building activity is the Off-Road Desert Tomcar ATV Tours. This is the best of all the Arizona ATV adventures, one that makes Desert Wolf Tours #1 when offering the best ATV tours in Scottsdale and Phoenix for locals and visitors. These ATV tours will take you deep into the Sonoran Desert, and you’ll also receive a souvenir Desert Wolf Neck Buff FREE of charge ($20 value) as well as an “I joined the Wolfpack” silicon bracelet ($5 value) with each paid seat. This Tomcar ATV tour is the Valley’s most popular desert ATV tour and has played an instrumental role in Desert Wolf Tours, winning six back-to-back awards as the best Off-Road Desert ATV Adventure Tour. Other team-building activities include Desert Firearms Adventure and their Tomcar ATV tour, Top Shot Competitions, Food, Drinks, and Live Entertainment after the tour. Desert Wolf Tours also allows you to become part of a special operations team for a day in their one-of-a-kind, action-packed Elite Combat Simulator, costing $279 pp (Minimum of 6 people). You will become part of a SpecOps squad, be equipped with authentic uniforms, tactical gear, and advanced non-lethal training weapons, and then set out to complete a hostage rescue mission and capture a terrorist courier. This Scottsdale shooting adventure uses rifles that have been converted to fire “man-marking rounds.” This is the same technology used to train the Elite Special Forces worldwide. The Boom Adventure is another Scottsdale shooting adventure where you can operate five different rifles, with the Grand Finale being an explosive target. This adventure costs only $199 pp, or $159 pp when booked with a Tomcar ATV tour.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
McDowell Sonoran Preserve protects over 30,000 acres of pristine desert north of Scottsdale. It is a perfect hiker’s paradise with more than 115 miles of excellent trails. Luckily, you don’t have to pay anything for access or parking. The Gateway is the central trailhead that gives access to popular trails of other preserves. During January, February, October and November, McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers a series program known as Family Fridays Sunset Series.
McDowell Mountain Ranch Park & Aquatic Center
This park features 35 acres of excellent recreational amenities, making it an oasis for Scottsdale residents and visitors. It has a skate park, aquatic center, ball fields, soccer fields, and a 600-ft lazy river. It has one of the best lap pools in the Valley, featuring eight lanes and four diving boards. The Aquatic Center comprises a large tube water slide, water play features, a lazy river, and a large play pool with a zero-depth entry. McDowell Mountain Ranch also boasts large grassy areas with shaded picnic areas, veranda seating viewing the pool, and a party island at the lazy river, which is a perfect location to hold birthday parties.
TPC at Scottsdale
TPC Scottsdale boasts of being home to the most-attended golf tournament in the whole world, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The tournament is played every winter. TPC Scottsdale is favored for its superb blend of challenge and playability and is graced by some of golf’s top players and thousands of recreational golfers. The beautiful McDowell Mountains surround the golf course with two championship courses: Champions Course and Stadium Course. It’s worth noting that TPC Scottsdale is the only PGA Tour facility in Arizona. It offers golfers worldwide a rare opportunity to experience the service and standards normally reserved for professional golfers.
Located in North Scottsdale, MacDonald’s Ranch is the perfect place for guided horseback rides, stagecoach rides, hayrides, live entertainment, and cowboy cookouts. Regardless of your skill level, at MacDonald’s Ranch, you’ll find activities for single riders, corporate gatherings, small-, medium-, and large-sized parties, and even conventions. If you’re looking for the perfect place to mark a family reunion, MacDonald’s Ranch offers the perfect desert sites for exclusive cowboy cookouts. Additionally, all the sites offer eye-catching views of the McDowell Mountain Range and the Valley of the Sun.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is one of the finest places for outdoor activities located in the heart of Scottsdale, AZ. It offers a carousel and train rides for kids and adults, historic railroad artifacts, a spacious green area for picnics, a train museum, model railroad displays, and many popular events all year round. At Hartley’s General Store, you’ll find food, drinks, ice cream, and Thomas the Tank toys, while Snackstop has a variety of drinks and snacks. If you’re looking for a place to take your kids or a perfect picnic destination, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is just a perfect place to go. It is a family-friendly site located north of the city center.
Pinnacle Peak Park
To add to your list of outdoor things to do in Scottsdale, visit Pinnacle Peak Park, especially if you want to enjoy the majestic beauty of the desert. The park is one of the most iconic natural landmarks you can ever find with the Sun’s Valley and is a popular destination for hikers. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the 1.75-mile trail with smooth tread. Upon reaching the trail summit, you can enjoy picturesque views of the Valley. Other park amenities include drinking fountains, restrooms, and four picnic tables.
Chaparral Park & Community Center
Walking, running, rollerblading, and biking are fun outdoor activities at Chaparral Park and Community Center. The 100-acre park has a wide range of recreational amenities. The park’s center has a 10-acre lake for fishing and boating and a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier. There is a playground for kids and adults and a swimming pool with a diving area to enjoy yourself. There are six lighted ball fields, two grass volleyball courts, three lighted soccer fields, a basketball court, and a multi-purpose court. Chaparral also has an exercise course in case you want to get in shape. The Community Center also has a classroom that can host classes and meetings.
If you’re a fan of animals, planning to spend time with animals at Phoenix Zoo would be perfect. The park boasts more than 1,200
animals, including the endangered species. When you visit this amazing outdoor activity site, you’ll enjoy attractions such as a tropical rainforest exhibit, a children’s petting zoo, and train rides. You can ride a camel, get close to giraffes, or visit Stingray Bay. It’s advisable to arrive early during summer to see the animals during their most active phase. Zoo Lights and other special seasonal events are held throughout the year to add the icing on the cake.
El Dorado Park
El Dorado Park is among the biggest municipal parks in Scottsdale, AZ, featuring two lakes and 60 acres of green space. It is one of the most popular weekend destinations, with four reservable ramadas, three reservable picnic areas, seven drop-in ramadas, and two drop-in picnic areas. The park also has a soccer field, three lighted softball fields, two kids’ playgrounds, a lighted sand volleyball court, and a basketball court. The swimming pool becomes the main center of attention during the summer, while the 5K course is the best place to enjoy a run or train. Additionally, the park is home to the renowned Wedge Skate Park.
Best Things to Do in Scottsdale – Sightseeing
Scottsdale is one of the best places to visit if you plan to have an unforgettable sightseeing experience. The vibrant city is home to some of the best sightseeing spots in the larger Arizona area, including Butterfly Wonderland, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, Desert Botanical Garden, and Sea Life Arizona Aquarium. Apart from embracing other fun things to do in Scottsdale, sightseeing would make your visit worthwhile only if you visit at least two or three of these amazing sightseeing spots.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
Taliesin West boasts of being the sole National Historic Landmark in Scottsdale. The structures are built of sand and rocks of the Sonoran Desert and meld to the McDowell Mountains. Set in the middle of the Sonoran Desert Preserve, Taliesin West meanders through landscaped gardens, provocative terraces, and walkways commanding nothing but breathtaking views of the glorious Valley of the Sun and Camelback Mountain. You will be able to view the innovative and glamorous desert masonry of Taliesin West with the help of expert guides. You will make multiple rests along the way as you learn about the incredible history of Taliesin West and its renowned creator. The Panorama Tour includes visits to the Music Pavilion, Cabaret Theater, and Wright’s Private Office. At the same time, the Insights Tour adds the gracious Garden Room and Wright’s Living Quarters to the places you visited during the Panorama Tour.
Butterfly Wonderland is one of the best sightseeing spots in Scottsdale, as it records more than 3,000 butterflies per day flying within its confines. It is the largest butterfly pavilion in the US, and you’ll be able to enjoy a 3D theater, an Emergence Gallery, live nature and honeybee displays, and a lush rainforest atrium with thousands of butterflies flying freely all year round.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art features the most incredible and compelling contemporary art, architecture, and design from around the globe. It includes a public “skyspace” designed by artist James Turell. The skyspace enables visitors to experience the changing light of the desert sky. The museum was designed by Will Bruner, an award-winning architect, in the Old Town district in Scottsdale.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden has the world’s finest collection of desert plants from different deserts around the globe. It has over 50,000 accessioned plants set out in five different thematic trails. The Garden offers workshops and lectures on desert landscaping, botanical art and illustration, horticulture, photography and nature art, and health and wellness. When you visit Desert Botanical Garden, you’ll enjoy special events, specialized tours, seasonal exhibits, family activities, concerts, dining options, and the Garden’s gift.
Musical Instrument Museum
Odysea AquariumThe Musical Instrument Museum showcases different musical instruments and musical cultures from different parts of the world. You’ll find more than 6,000 musical instruments and objects. It has monthly events and an acoustically magnificent theater, hosting over 200 concerts yearly. TripAdvisor ranks the Musical Instrument Museum as the leading tourist attraction site. USA Today Travel also ranks it among the best museums for families. Some of the instruments at MIM are played by notable artists such as John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Taylor Swift, and Johnny Cash, among others. You will also be taken to the Experience Gallery, where you can touch and play various instruments.
Odysea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the southwest. The aquarium has sharks, penguins, sea turtles, sea lions, and octopuses, among other aquatic animals, immersing you in fascinating aquatic life from different parts of the world. You’ll enjoy a 3D movie and SeaTreak underwater ocean adventure, among other amazingly interactive experiences. Other impressive features include nine sphere-shaped aquariums with colorful schools of fish and a giant submerged escalator descending into the deep ocean to give you a perfect glimpse of thousands of sea creatures.
Sea Life Arizona Aquarium
You’ll be surprised by the strange, beautiful, and fascinating sea creatures as you go through an underwater world. You’ll see sea sharks, octopuses, rays, and sea turtle Ziva from a very close range. There are interactive touch tanks, a quiz trail, and a fantastic 360-degree ocean tunnel.
Scottsdale Historical Museum
The Scottsdale Historical Museum, located in the Little Red Schoolhouse, chronicles the history of Scottsdale city with artifacts, photographs, and changing displays. Group tours and speakers are available to enable visitors to enjoy the tours. The Schoolhouse is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm and on Sundays between noon and 4 pm. The schoolhouse remains closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, on holidays, as well as in July and August. The Schoolhouse has shorter hours in June and September, from Wednesday to Saturday (10 am – 2 pm) and Sunday (12 pm – 4 pm). However, it remains the perfect place to visit if you want to know more about Scottsdale’s history.
Penske Racing Museum
If you’re a fan of Motorsports, Formula One, and other related racing sports, Penske Racing Museum would be the perfect place to visit for an awesome sightseeing experience. The museum showcases a collection of trophies, cars, and other racing memorabilia chronicling the incredible career of Penske Racing as one of the most successful sporting dynasties. On display include the 1963 Pontiac Catalina driven by Roger Penske when he stormed to victory in the 1963 Riverside 250 and the 2009 Dallara driven by Helio Castroneves when he won the 2009 Indy 500.
Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Museum has more than 17,000 works of artists from America, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Modern America. It houses different contemporary and fashion designs rarely found in any other global museum. At Phoenix Art Museum, you’ll enjoy different festivals, independent art films & educational programs, and live performances. If you’ve your kids with you, do not worry because PhxArtKids is an interactive space for kids. Additionally, you’ll enjoy vibrant photography exhibitions, dining at Palette, the lushly landscaped Sculpture Garden, and shopping at The Museum Store.
Playing golf would be great if you’re looking for fun things to do in Scottsdale, especially if you enjoy challenges. Whether you’re a beginner in golf who’s out to enjoy him/herself playing golf or an advanced golfer seeking to hone your golfing skills on some of the finest golf courses in the world, Scottsdale offers you the perfect setting to achieve precisely that. Scottsdale, together with its neighboring communities, is home to almost 200 golf courses, which has aided the city in establishing itself as one of the leading golf destinations in the world. Let’s check out some of the best golf courses within Scottsdale, a perfect solution for you if you’re still asking yourself whether there is something you can do in Scottsdale.
Troon North Golf Club
Commonly known to many as Scottsdale’s “crown jewel,” Troon North Golf Club offers you an unrivaled desert golf experience. The two eighteen-hole courses meander through scenic foothills and natural aesthetic ravines under the cool shadows of Pinnacle Peak. Sonoran Desert’s rugged landscape creates an iconic golf experience that is yet to be matched by any other golf course. Troon North Golf Club is renowned for its challenging natural terrain, ambiance, and visual beauty. The immaculately groomed fairways featuring impeccable customer service and bent grass greens make this golf course one of a kind. Surprisingly, most golfers have placed the Pinnacle and Monument in their must-play lists, indicating that you will love this course too.
We-Ko-Pa Golf Club
Located on the eastern edge of Scottsdale, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club boasts stunning mountain vistas in almost every direction. At We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, you can access many great golf amenities, including a 21,000-square-foot clubhouse comprising a restaurant, bar, and an expansive patio. According to rankings released by Golfweek, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club ranks 67 in America’s top 100 modern golf courses. Play the Cholla course today and get a rare glimpse of desert wildlife.
TPC at Scottsdale
TPC Scottsdale is home to the most attended golf competition in the world: Waste Management Phoenix Open. It is a favorite course for some of the best professional and recreational golf players. TPC Scottsdale is favored mainly for its amazing blend of challenge and playability. McDowell Mountains surround it with two championship courses: Champions Course and Stadium Course. Additionally, it is Arizona’s sole PGA Tour facility, offering players worldwide an opportunity to taste the standards and services often reserved for professional golfers only.
Kierland Golf Club
The Kierland Golf Club is the perfect place to savor the essence of competitive golf in the desert. The golf club is set against the picturesque mountain ranges and the dramatic skies of the Sonoran Desert, making it a must-play course for golf lovers who prefer rugged outdoor play. Ranked among the most luxurious golf resort destinations, Kierland Golf Club has bagged three golf awards, including the Best Golf Shop by GolfWorld (2011) and one of the best golf courses in the US by Golfweek.
Orange Tree Golf Resort
Orange Tree Golf Resort has been hailed in recent years for its endeavors to go green, which include reducing waste usage, reducing non-recyclable waste, and launching an active recycling program. The beautifully maintained course has long been considered one of Arizona’s most highly-rated traditional golf courses. The resort is popular not only with the locals but visiting recreational players as well. At Orange Tree Golf Resort, you will have access to a restaurant and bar where you can drink and dine.
McDowell Mountain Golf Club
Formerly known as Sanctuary Golf Course, McDowell Mountain Golf Club is the latest golfing jewel in Scottsdale. Situated on the western slopes of McDowell Mountains, this golf course recently underwent architectural changes that have immensely enhanced the play experience for the golfers. Some changes include widening the playing corridors, adding more teeing areas, adding more waste bunkers, and reshaping some fairways. The results of the enhancements saw the course stretch to 7,072 yards. Apart from being more exciting and challenging, you will enjoy a perfect view of the desert.
The Boulders Golf Club
This is the perfect place to get away from the busy city life. The desert wildlife, coupled with breathtaking scenery, makes it one of the most relaxing golf resorts in the U.S. While playing golf, chances are pretty high that you’ll encounter natural desert terrain, compelling you to be accurate while placing your tee shots if you want to increase your chances of hitting the greens. The main attraction at the Boulders Golf Club is the South Course, which features impeccable evergreen fairways.
Legend Trail Golf Club
This golf club offers 72 beautifully manicured courses meandering through the stunning Sonoran Desert, giving you some of the finest panoramic vistas in Scottsdale, including the breathtaking views of Pinnacle Peak. Regardless of the level of your skills, you’ll appreciate the challenge and diversity of this amazing course. Additionally, the course is among the top 100 facilities in the country in the list compiled by Golf Magazine and is often ranked among the best golf courses in Arizona.
The Phoenician Golf Club
The Phoenician Golf Club prides itself on being one of Scottsdale’s most popular and preferred golf destinations. It’s home to 3 courses: The Canyon Nine, Oasis Nine, and Desert Nine. Desert Nine’s unique layout, dramatic elevation changes, and awesome desert views make it the most popular course. On the other hand, Oasis Nine is a more traditional kind of golf course with serene water features and tree-lined fairways. The Canyon Nine is the lushest of the three golf courses and is located on the southern slope of Camelback Mountain. It also offers picturesque views of desert-landscaped terrain and the city.
Eagle Mountain Golf Club
Eagle Mountain Golf Club is located along the scenic McDowell Mountain in the Fountain Hills community. Measuring 6,800 yards, the course’s layout passes through mountain peaks and shaded box canyons, allowing you to experience the most scenic views of the beautiful Sonoran Desert. The golf course’s layout also gifts you with some of the most breathtaking views of the Valley. Though fair, the course is challenging and offers something for every skill level.
Shopping is one of the fun things to do in Scottsdale, AZ, a city that boasts amazing shopping destinations all year round. Whether you’re looking for a uniquely Arizona gift or the latest piece from your favorite designer, chances are you’ll find it in Scottsdale. Some popular shopping points within Scottsdale include Scottsdale Fashion Square, Fifth Avenue Shops, Old Town Scottsdale, and Hilton Village. Let’s now have a look at each of these shopping points and what unique features they offer.
Scottsdale Fashion Square
This is Southwest’s premier dining, shopping, and entertainment spot. It is also the largest shopping spot in the Southwest and boasts more than 225 retailers, which include Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Dillard’s. Exclusive retailers at Scottsdale Fashion Square include Burberry, Boss Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Sephora, MaxMara, Tiffany & Co., and St. John Boutique. It also has five restaurants and more than 15 specialty food selections. To make life easier for shoppers, there are Valet parking, limo, taxi services, and a roving concierge for assisting shoppers.
The Scottsdale Quarter is a shopping center located in north central Scottsdale. It’s not only urban and chic but also decidedly hip. It is characterized by water features, towering palm trees, and more than 350,000 square feet of retail space. It has dozens of upscale boutiques, making it the perfect destination for fashionistas and enthusiastic shoppers. Among the retail shops at Scottsdale Quarter include Calvin Klein, Apple, Bath & Body Works, Free People, Express, Kendra Scott, Calypso St. Barth, Drybar, Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Elan Style, Sephora, Swimspot, Dr Martens, West Elm and Verde Maison. This shopping spot is also home to the best eateries in town, including Brio Tuscan Grille, True Food Kitchen, TK’s Urban Tavern, Zinburger, Eddie V’s, and Stingray Sushi.
5th Avenue Shops of Scottsdale
Fifth Avenue features many specialty boutiques, jewelry shops, art galleries, and more than 35 restaurants. It’s one of the busiest and most photographed spots in town and is a perfect place to shop for souvenirs. If you’re after souvenirs, you should stop by Kactus Jock, a boutique specializing in gifts and souvenirs. Stones Gifts and Collectibles would be another perfect place to stop by and buy unique and rarely-found desert gifts.
The Scottsdale Waterfront is located at the edges of Old Town Scottsdale and features retail, restaurant, office, and high-rise residential buildings. Retailers within Scottsdale Waterfront include Urban Outfitters, David’s Bridal, High Point, Primp & Blow, Verizon Wireless and Polished the Dental Spa. The place also has amazing restaurants where you can have your meal after shopping, including Zoes Kitchen, Culinary Dropout, P.F. Chang’s, and Olive & Ivy.
Kierland Commons is an edgy, fun-flavored, city-inspired shopping village with palm-lit streets, high-energy bars and restaurants, and splashing fountains. It boasts a sophisticated and eclectic mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment, such as Crate and Barrel, Sur La Table, J. Crew, and Barnes and Noble. If you’re after something truly personal, Kierland Commons Concierge is the perfect place to stop between Etch Salon and Tommy Bahama. The concierge offers personal shopping, printing of boarding passes, and dinner reservations, among other essentials you’ll need while on the property.
El Pedregal Festival Marketplace
Sitting beneath a natural rock formation against the desert backdrop, El Pedregal Festival Marketplace is a perfect replica of a Moroccan market. It houses 35 stores and restaurants surrounding a courtyard and an amphitheater. You should visit this marketplace if you’re a fan of art, clothing, and gifts with the Southwest flavor. You will find upscale apparel and accessories, local art, and hand-crafted leather goods that will leave you wanting more. To add a touch of high culture to a busy day of commercialism is the Heard Museum North, a satellite branch of the Native American Museum located in Phoenix.
The Pavilions at Scottsdale is a perfect shopping destination in case you’re near the Salt River Indian Reservation. It features a mix of big-game retailers and restaurants. Some stores and restaurants include Petco, Hobby Lobby, Goodwill, Sprint Wireless, Guitar Center, Chipotle, Buffalo Wind Wings & Bar, and Mountainside Fitness Center. Additionally, the Pavilion is home to Burlington Coat Factory, Conn’s Home Plus, and 99 Cents Store. It’s also set to add new entertainment features to make it more appealing to locals and visitors.
Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale boasts many specialty shops, an identity for this amazing shopping destination. It has high-quality Native American and Mexican jewelry, skillfully-made crafts, and wallet-friendly souvenirs. The Old Town Scottsdale is a must-see for any visitor and is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir.
The SHOPS Gainey Village
The Shops at Gainey Village is where you can get casual upscale shopping, entertainment, and dining. If you’re looking for the latest exclusive boutique or shopping for unique souvenirs that remind you of your Scottsdale vacation, the perfect place would be The SHOPS Gainey Village. Casual cafes, fine dining, and a full-service spa add the icing on the cake at this deluxe shopping point. Do not miss the Sips & Sounds Evening Concert Series held every first Thursday of the month.
The Hilton Village is on Scottsdale Road, a few meters from the Hilton Resort. Hilton Village is a busy, upscale casual shopping joint with a perfect mix of popular big-name retailers and specialty boutiques. Hilton Village highlights include Lindsay Lou’s Boutique, Cupcakes, Diva Plus Size Shop, The Linen Tree, and the Chocolate Shop. Newer additions include Sylvia’s Designer Shop, Urban and Chico’s. This is a perfect place if you’re looking for a joint to enjoy lunch and dinner after your shopping spree. The main cafes at Hilton Village are Bink’s Scottsdale, an organic café serving gourmet treats, and Vaneto Trattoria café, which serves traditional Northern Italy dishes.
10 Great Dining Spots in Scottsdale
Apart from Arizona adventures led by the best providers, Desert Wolf Tours, and other fun things to do in Scottsdale, this vibrant city boasts a blooming culinary scene comprising more than 400 restaurants. The Scottsdale restaurant arena is a melting pot of the best chefs and innovative cuisines. As home to one of the best-rated culinary schools, Le Cordon Bleu, Scottsdale dining scene enjoys a good population of young talent experimenting with culinary fusion and bold flavors. Finding a perfect dining spot shouldn’t be hard after enjoying Scottsdale tours, including the best ATV tours from Desert Wolf Tours. To help you with that, let’s look at some of the best restaurants in Scottsdale, including Virtu, EVO, FnB, and BLT Steak.
Virtu Honest Craft
Virtu is one charming café in the Bespoke Inn in Old Town Scottsdale and boasts a world-class menu. Virtu appeared in Esquire Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in the US after being in operation for only a few months. Virtu’s menu includes Mediterranean flavors with Southwestern zeal. Try grilled octopus cooked tender and served with lemon chick peas, arugula, fennel, and calabrese chili butter. There’s also a hand-crafted cocktail menu in case you like something different. Make reservations at the Virtu dining room because the seats are in high demand.
EVO is one the best vintage-inspired Italian restaurants in Scottsdale and is committed to providing timeless Italian cuisines and quality drinks in a stylish and inviting setting. You’ll find fresh appetizers, delicious specialty pizzas, fish and meat dishes, house-made pasta, and luscious desserts at EVO. You’ll also find an extensive drink menu, including handcrafted cocktails, draft spirits, draft beers, beer on tap, bottled beer, and wine by glass. If you want a refreshing summery drink, go with a Grapefruit Basil cocktail made with lime, grapefruit, fresh basil, and olives citrus vodka.
FnB boasts of being the latest culinary darling at Scottsdale and has its menu based on seasonal ingredients mainly sourced from farms and local vendors. The fresh ingredients from the farms are carefully selected to create delightful pairings. AT FnB, you will find succulent combos such as brussel sprouts with Meyer lemon, leeks, and grilled broccoli and roasted beets with yogurt, cilantro, oil-cured olives, and chili. You’ll also realize that artful plates are always served with locally-made beer and native Arizona wine.
Are you looking for a sun-drenched patio where you can enjoy late morning breakfast while enjoying the stunning views of monarch butterflies flittering at a distance? If that’s the case, I bet Café Monarch is just the place to be. However, the menu is small and comprises two main options: Sweet or Savory; the dishes are hand-crafted, fresh, and utterly delightful. French toast, frittatas, and other breakfast specialties are skillfully prepared by the owner, chef, and server, Chris. Chris is an all-round culinary expert, and you can be assured that he will make you feel at home.
The Mission is the perfect dining spot if you’re looking for a perfect place to enjoy a sophisticated dinner under the flicker of candlelight. The Mission specializes mainly in modern Latin cuisine prepared by Chef Matt Carter. Chef Matt uses a traditional “plancha” grill to produce the best dishes. Different options include Crispy Cola Pork, Pork Shoulder tacos, and Chorizo Porchetta. Crispy Cola Pork is pork belly infused with lime, cola, peanut, chiltepin, gem lettuce, and pickled red onion. At the same time, Pork Shoulder tacos feature cilantro, house pineapple glaze, corn tortillas, and red onions. Dishes at The Mission are infused with the classic essence of mesquite wood and pecan and feature creative fusions of Latin American and Spanish flavors.
Taggia is located at FireSky Resort & Spa and brings fresh and tasty Italian cuisines to the Sonoran Desert. The tasty fresh seafood is flown in daily, while the seasonal salads feature locally sourced organic ingredients. Gourmet pizzas are ever soft, chewy, and bubbling with freshly made tasty sauce from the restaurant’s wood-fired ovens. Depending on your preference, you can enjoy your meal under the green palms in the cozy outdoor patio or in the sleek dining room. Taggia is open throughout the day and is the perfect place for a special night with friends or date night.
Roaring Fork is Scottsdale’s favorite gathering spot for lunch crowds in Scottsdale due to its classic American cuisine and wood-fired cooking. Roaring Fork’s design pays homage to the essence and history of the Old West and seeks to not only recapture but also celebrate the bold flavors of wood-fired cuisine and the simplicity of open-fire cooking. You’ll have much to choose from, including beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and fresh fish entrees, all perfectly cooked using a fire grill, wood fire rotisserie, or traditional wood oven roasting.
Citizen Public House
Though thoroughly contemporary and upscale, Citizen Public House retains the cozy charm of a conventional public house. Citizen Public House has made a name for itself in Old Town Scottsdale by serving classic and contemporary cocktails, craft beers, and an extensive menu of gastropub cuisine. If you’re looking for a cool night spot, a cozy patio, and a semi-private dining alcove can accommodate 12 seats. Stainless steel-topped bars, mahogany accents, and leather booths blend old and new elements to produce a stylish, modern look.
Lon’s at the Hermosa
Lon’s at the Hermosa pays homage to Arizona’s rustic Southwestern cowboy history in the most graceful ways. The décor suggests cowboy while the staff dress up in a strikingly elegant way, giving the whole restaurant an air of luxury. You might find breast duck with jalapeno and cranberry glaze or two-pepper roasted tenderloin on the menu. Most menu items also feature fresh ingredients harvested directly from Lon’s garden.
At BLT Steak, you will enjoy the cozy and adobe-inspired interior and be greeted by the spectacular views of the Camelback Mountains. A menu of American cuisine features seafood and steaks, all immaculately prepared and served by experienced and skilled staff. Some options at BLT Steak include bone-in sirloin, braised short ribs, and broiled Maine lobster. The restaurant’s comfy setting is ideal for savoring a bottle from the diverse wine list that offers something special for every preference. If you like to have some delightful dessert, you should go with crepe soufflé. BLT Steak’s perfect blend of food and atmosphere is one trait that makes the restaurant one of the best dining spots in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Nightlife and Entertainment
While Scottsdale is yet to achieve nightlife reputation of New York or L.A., it’s only fair to say the vibrant city has a reputation of being among those with the busiest nightlives in the West. The setting of the sun over the Valley brings Scottsdale’s more than 80 clubs, wine bars and lounges to life, offering you plenty of fun places to party like a rock star. Whether you’re in a club to dance or drink, Scottsdale offers sufficient late-night distractions that will keep you going until sunrise. It’s pretty clear that you can never run short of fun stuff to do in Scottsdale. After your Arizona ATV tours and adventures, here are some of the best places to enjoy yourself all night long in Scottsdale.
Livewire is the centerpiece of live music in the southern part of Scottsdale and can accommodate more than 1,100 music and dance enthusiasts. The state-of-the-art club was master designed right from its foundation and has the most advanced sound and video technology. Livewire plays host to acclaimed club DJs from different parts of the world, touring national acts as well as comedy performers. The club features a built-in stage, spacious dance floor, VIP Lounge, wrap-around LED screen and a green room. Its grand staircase, tufted seating and crystal chandelier lend Livewire the vintage glam touch that no other entertainment spot in the entire Scottsdale can claim to enjoy.
Rogue Bar is characterized by a great pool, big comfy booths, greasy bar food and live music. Rogue Bar’s dance floor is a perfect place to boogie down after a long and tiresome week. Saturdays often have a DJ spinning records while revelers enjoy themselves on the main dance floor. The live music calendar is characterized by upcoming rock and indie acts, making it one of the perfect places to catch a superstar in the making.
After you’re done with enjoying yourself on the dance floors of different Scottsdale nightclubs, the Goodwood Tavern located in Old Town will be waiting for you. It is a perfect place to cool off with warm, vintage style and elevated bar bites that comes with hand-crafted cocktails. Goodwood Tavern features sprawling patio seating, cushy booths and open front. This is the perfect place to watch people as they go about their daily activities in Old Town. The spot is also famous for its delicious cocktails and amazing food menu. Do not miss the delicious, hot and salty pretzels. If you’re a fan of bourbon, this joint is one of the best places in Old Town where you can find the finest selections of bourbons.
AZ88 Bar & Restaurant
AZ88 Bar & Restaurant is famous for its sandwiches, burgers and “galettes”. A “galette” is a flat bread topped with olives, cheese, onions and bacon. When you visit this nightlife joint expect to be impressed by plentiful sides, fresh ingredients as well as uniquely grilled big hamburgers. Located in Old Town Scottsdale’s Civic Center Mall, the AZ88 Bar & Restaurant offers rich ambience with picturesque views of green spaces and fountains.
The Beverly is Old Town Scottsdale’s nightlife gem boasting old-school glamour and sophistication. The mahogany wood bar, exposed brick walls and leather booths give it a warm and intimate feel. The Beverly’s menu is full of delicious cocktails and comfort food favorites, including mac and cheese, gourmet sliders, deviled eggs, flatbreads and truffle fries. The Beverly has a happy hour that happens daily between 4pm and 7pm.
Kazimierz World Wine Bar
Kazimierz World Wine Bar’s subdued lighting, wine casks lining its walls and softly-playing jazz gives it a subterranean feel that makes it standout from most of the nightlife spots in Scottsdale. At Kazimierz World Wine Bar, you’ll have more than 1,500 varieties of wine to choose from. Luckily, you won’t have to go through a hard time trying to identify the best wine because the management has made a list of top 50 brands and the servers can as well guide you if you can’t seem to settle on one specific brand.
Maya Day & Nightclub
Maya Day and Nightclub is famous for spinning illusions and is one of the most famous dance clubs in Scottsdale. It you’re looking for a joint where you can see fire breathers, dancers swinging from the rafters and other high-octane tricks, all you’ve got to do is drop by this amazing nightlife spot. The crowd at Maya Day and Nightclub always dress to impress and is young and energetic. It usually hosts different celebrities every year and attracts many A-list DJs from all over the world. Additionally, Maya Day and Nightclub often holds special events that attract large number of revelers.
The Mint is among the finest and most glamorous spots to dance the night away in Scottsdale. The Mint is designed to stimulate the Hollywood Regency style. The DJs at The Mint play extensive pop and house music. It also has a 4,500 square ft. of al fresco drinking and mingling, which features resort-style cabanas. In case you want to be in a less crowded place you can book one of the VIP’s wine and dining rooms. Additionally, The Mint has a luxurious 30-ft bar, specialty champagne bar and custom dynamic LED installation.
A laid-back restaurant, bar and nightclub, Wasted Grain has something special for everyone. If you want to play a few rounds of corn hole with your friends while enjoying your favorite beer or you want to enjoy yourself on the dance floor, then you should not pass on a chance to spend some worthwhile time at Wasted Grain. Wasted Grain is also a great choice if all you want is a place where you can relax on a patio while enjoying cocktails with friends.
Rockbar Inc. is one of the best rock-n-roll spots in Scottsdale. It features live music, rock DJs as well as exclusive performances from both local and national acts. It is a home to one of the famous rooftop bars in the city and is the perfect spot to soak in the glittering downtown Scottsdale lights. The bar is opened every day of the week at 4pm.