Visit Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale Travel Guide

Located in the panoramic Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale is one of America’s most popular vacation, convention, and group travel destinations. Over seven million people visit and vacation in the Scottsdale, Arizona area every year.

Custom-made for tourists of all styles: family, romantic, and high-energy vacationers. Scottsdale AZ is an urban flair conjoined with the Old West. Jaw-dropping nightlife and resort spas that will dazzle the senses. Over 50 golf courses in the Scottsdale area and more than 200 in the Valley of the Sun. A mecca of world-class shopping. Fine dining restaurants and the thrill of casino action. Six refreshing lakes trail into the Sonoran Desert and hiking up Camelback Mountain that rewards with incredible panoramic views.

Homes of North Scottsdale
Homes of North Scottsdale by Travis Estell

Scottsdale boasts an internationally renowned art center, and cultural scene with theatre, museums, and art galleries. And the weather is year-round ideal for a myriad of outdoor recreation and adventure including off-road jeep and Hummer tours. Hike, rock climb, horseback ride, go hot air ballooning, raft, float the Salt River, or hop aboard scenic sightseeing tours to destinations all across Arizona. Take a scenic train ride to the Grand Canyon or take a helicopter tour high above the diverse Arizona landscape.

Resort Capital of America

The core center of activity. Famous Fifth Avenue of galleries and boutique shops. The Waterfront, an ancient Indian canal system is a hub of pedestrian activity and things to do. On any given weekend night, more than 30,000 visitors converge upon SouthBridge to enjoy lounges, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and trendy boutiques. From the historic old town, along the Camelback Corridor to the elegance of North Scottsdale that stretches to Carefree, you will discover why Scottsdale, Arizona is such an enticing vacation and travel destination. You don’t have to go far to find an almost limitless array of attractions and things to do.

Scottsdale Vacation Guide

Fast Facts about Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a city of just over 215,000 people with an annual growth rate of approximately 6%. The average median temperature is 70.3 degrees Fahrenheit with the average number of sunny days coming in at 86%. Of the residents living in Scottsdale, 22% of them are over the age of 60, and 52% are between the age range of 25 and 59, according to US Census data from the year 2000. Median household income stands at $58,000 with an average of 2.22 people per household.

Best Time to visit Scottsdale

Tourists will enjoy the most ideal weather from September to May. The hot summer months of June, July, and August are the offseason when you will find amazingly low discounts on vacation packages and hotel fees. This is the most affordable time of the year to plan a vacation to Scottsdale, AZ.

Scottsdale Hotels, Resorts & Lodging

Choose your style of lodging. Hotels in Scottsdale range from budget motels to full-service luxury. Resorts and Spas feature incredible amenities. Families and groups often find vacation home rentals more affordable and convenient with multiple rooms and baths. If you prefer a hotel near the Phoenix Airport, Scottsdale AZ is only about 10 miles from Sky Harbor Airport.

Luxury Stays

For those searching for a truly luxurious experience in Scottsdale, The Phoenician Resort is the perfect choice. Boasting deluxe amenities like ten acclaimed restaurants, two championship golf courses, and a spa, this property offers an unparalleled level of comfort and convenience. If you’re looking for a first-class stay with unmatched views, look no further than The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician.

Phoenician Resort from Camelback Mountain
Phoenician Resort from Camelback Mountain by Al_HikesAZ

Boutique Hotels

If you’re looking for more intimate accommodation, consider staying at one of Scottsdale’s boutique hotels. Hotel Adeline is a stylish retreat that features chic interiors and lush outdoor spaces. This property is perfect for travelers looking for a one-of-a-kind stay featuring modern amenities like a fully equipped fitness center and poolside cabanas.

Budget Accommodations

Those on a budget don’t have to sacrifice comfort when visiting Scottsdale. The Comfort Inn North is an ideal choice for those seeking quality accommodations without breaking the bank. Featuring contemporary guestrooms and complimentary breakfast, this value hotel is the perfect home away from home.

Best Scottsdale Restaurants

Scottsdale has as many dining options as it has sunny days and it is guaranteed no one will be disappointed in the options. Whether fast food or five-star cuisine is desired, there is always a great choice nearby. Come hungry, but expect to wait at least fifteen minutes if sit-down is the chosen destination. In some of the best-known restaurants, an hour-and-a-half weekend wait is not uncommon, so plan ahead and make reservations whenever possible. With just a little patience comes the reward of an excellent meal.

A few of the local options include the Avanti Restaurant, Café Crew, and Fleming’s. The Avanti is a staple for pasta in Scottsdale. For over thirty years, they have offered the finest in Italian cuisine. “The Crew” at the Café Crew mixes it up a bit with Shrimp in a Box, exceptional Key Lime pie, and a martini bar offering a Loud Mouth Soup or Fuzzy Goose. It is an excellent choice for lunch or dinner. And, when the steak is the only thing that will do, Fleming’s is the place to go. With a big city atmosphere and superb service, Fleming’s is great for a night out on the town.

Upscale Restaurants

For those looking for a luxurious evening out, there’s no better option than The Mission. This contemporary American restaurant offers up a sophisticated menu of gastronomic dishes influenced by Latin and Mediterranean flavors. With its chic atmosphere and inventive cuisine, it’s the perfect spot for a special occasion.

The Mission Restaurant Scottsdale
image via

Casual Dining

If you’re looking for a laid-back evening out with friends or family, El Palomar Mexican Restaurant has got you covered. Offering up tasty traditional recipes prepared with fresh ingredients, this restaurant is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Plus, their famous margaritas are sure to go down a treat!

Fine Dining

If you’re after a more formal dining experience, then Atlas Bistro is your best bet. With its sleek interior and modern European cuisine, this upscale eatery will make you feel like you’re dining in a five-star restaurant. Their menu includes an array of seafood options, as well as a range of desserts that will entice even the most discerning taste buds.

Local Favorites

For the best of local dining, head over to Don & Charlie’s. This classic American steakhouse has been serving up generous portions and delicious dishes for generations. Whether you’re craving sticky ribs or juicy steaks, their extensive menu is guaranteed to satisfy even the most hearty of appetites.

To experience the ‘Old West’, don’t miss El Chorro. This is one of Scottsdale’s oldest restaurants and its longevity is a result of its classic offerings. Country-fried steak and other hard-to-find favorites are still in abundance at the Lodge. Enjoy an evening on the patio with a view of the desert stars or escape into the ambiance of the outdoor fireplace. The young and old alike will return again and again for the food, the service, and the atmosphere.

Scottsdale Communities

Outsiders often think of Scottsdale as nothing more than wealthy residents and expensive golf resorts. While it is true that Scottsdale is home to some of the most beautiful and sprawling resorts in the US and there is quite a bit of wealth in the city, there are also numerous middle-class neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods have a family in every home and are considered very tight-knit.

Walking Path at the Villages
Walking Path at the Villages by Dru Bloomfield – At Home in Scottsdale

Scottsdale also sports master-planned communities where all the necessities are provided in one neighborhood. Bike paths, activity centers, parks, community centers, libraries, elementary schools, and city centers can be literally down the street or around the corner. Neighborhood activities are common with wine and cheese fundraisers, craft activities, parents’ clubs, and singles clubs, to name a few.

Scottsdale has a reputation for quality and it is exemplified in its communities. Such dedication not only keeps home values high but also makes its residents always want to come back home again. Scottsdale is unique in its ability to offer communities where residents combine small-town friendliness with upscale savvy to produce warm sophistication that can turn any visitor into a resident.

Golf communities are abundant in Arizona and Scottsdale is no exception. Whether the desired effect is lush and expansive with locked gates and private golf privileges or close-knit and private views of the course, Scottsdale can offer everything in between. These communities do not cater to the specific markets and a suitable environment can be had for retired individuals or those raising a family.

Things To Do in Scottsdale

Plenty to do in Scottsdale, Arizona. Choose your interest. Scottsdale golf is the most popular outdoor attraction. But there is so much more. Hike Camelback Mountain. Go boating on a lake nearby Scottsdale. Consider an adventurous tour into the Sonoran Desert. Take a hot air balloon ride. Perhaps a trip to Sedona. A Scottsdale museum, an annual event. See Scottsdale Attractions for more.

Jump on the Free Scottsdale Trolley and travel to almost every notable spot in the downtown, old town, and waterfront district. the trolley is completely free and runs every 15 minutes, Monday through Sunday.

Love people watching? Downtown is the place. Window shop, visit the art galleries, the Scottsdale Historical Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, or the events at the Center of the Arts.

Outdoor Explorations

Hike, walk, boat, or climb. The most popular urban mountain climb in America is Camelback Mountain where hikers are rewarded with incredible views across The Valley of the Sun. Piestewa Peak is another popular climb and is less strenuous than Camelback Mountain. Consider strolling the meandering trail around Tempe Town Lake where you can also fish, or rent a paddleboat. Tempe, Arizona located on the southern border of Scottsdale AZ.

Camelback Mountain from Echo Canyon Trailhead
Climbing Camelback Mountain from Echo Canyon Trailhead by Al_HikesAZ is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Arts and Entertainment

For art enthusiasts, there are plenty of galleries to explore, such as the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Shemer Art Center & Museum. If you’re looking to catch a show while visiting, check out the lineup at the Musical Instrument Museum or the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Shopping and Spas

Go shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square or The Canal Shops, where you can find everything from boutique items to high-end designer brands. Afterward, treat yourself to pampering at one of the area’s luxury spas with massages and facials.

Downtown Scottsdale Arts District

The Scottsdale Arts District is in Downtown Scottsdale and includes the area along Main Street and Marshall Way. It’s located west of Scottsdale Road from Main Street to 3rd Avenue. Some would say that the district also includes parts of Old Town Scottsdale.

Downtown Scottsdale Arts District
Scottsdale Arizona by Swedish Saguaro

The Arts District in Scottsdale AZ has a very high concentration of art galleries and is home to the Thursday Night Scottsdale ArtWalk, a 30-year tradition. You will discover some of the best galleries showcasing Western and Southwestern works of art including Native American crafts, jewelry, and hand-woven rugs. Art enthusiasts will find every imaginable piece of art from unique and traditional to contemporary.

Main Street is the heart of original Scottsdale, Arizona with nostalgic charm. It features an eclectic collection of stores and galleries that showcase art, Indian jewelry, antiques, and bookstores.

Marshall Way is a newer, more contemporary area of the Arts District. It is also a host of more galleries and renowned jewelry stores. Combined, the Arts District of Scottsdale entices art collectors, enthusiasts, and those who just like to window shop and admire paintings, sculptures, glass art, watercolors, authentic Indian-made crafts, and a wide array of unique interior decor, photographic art, and wearable art.

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