Scottsdale, Arizona offers travellers an indulgent getaway that promises relaxation, excitement and discovery in the heart of the lush Sonoran Desert.
With over 330 days of sunshine annually and an average year-round median temperature of 72.6° Fahrenheit (22.5° C), Scottsdale offers visitors a cosmopolitan desert retreat with the luxury of space and plenty of room to roam. Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert location also means visitors can enjoy an array of outdoor excursions. Examples include a serene hot air balloon flight at sunrise, an off-road UTV/ATV tour, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, rafting and more.
Scottsdale is home to over 70 hotels (with more being added each year) offering you a wide collection of luxury hotels, boutique desert hideaways and hip, urban hotels. Wherever you stay, you’re surrounded by world-class golf, acclaimed spas inspired by desert botanicals with unique wellness experiences, art and culture, outdoor recreation and an endless variety of shopping and dining.
There’s plenty to do in the walkable Old Town, which serves up a wide array of luxury shops, local boutiques, souvenir shops, award-winning restaurants, dozens of art galleries, culturally rich museums and nightlife – from bottle service with headlining DJs, to country western bars with live country music, to wine tasting rooms featuring Arizona wine and everything in between.
Whether visitors are looking to charge up or relax, Scottsdale leaves visitors feeling effortlessly revitalized.
When to visit
Every Scottsdale season has its own special charm. And with 330 days of sunshine every year and plenty of outdoor playtime, any season is a great time to visit. Spring tends to be Scottsdale’s busiest season and summer is a great value season with exclusive rates and experiences.
Scottsdale has more spas per capita than any other city in the country, including more than 50 premier resort and day spas.
There are six lakes within a 75-minute drive from Scottsdale, perfect for boating, water sports like kayaking and rafting, and even tubing.
Old Town Scottsdale
Scottsdale’s city centre, Old Town Scottsdale, is comprised of nine easily walkable neighbourhoods. Old Town Scottsdale is home to an impressive roster of chef-driven restaurants (most with airy, sun-dappled patios), wine bars featuring Arizona-made wine, and nightclubs, with hundreds of additional options available citywide. There are also local boutiques, luxury shopping, public art installations, museums – such as Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, art galleries and more. Plus, there’s free parking year-round, all day and night.
Tour legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and studio, Taliesin West. It is Scottsdale's only National Historic Landmark as well as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and serves as a prime example of Wright’s organic architecture in that the structures are built of the rocks and sand of the Sonoran Desert and melds to the lower McDowell Mountains. Choose between a self-guided audio tour or 60-minute guided Insights Tour.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Be sure to check out Scottsdale’s award-winning Public Art programme which includes renowned installations like “Knight Rise,” a James Turrell Skyspace at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Cosanti Bridge & Plaza, designed by the late Paolo Soleri. Bonus: Paolo Soleri also designed and built Cosanti in nearby Paradise Valley where his famous bronze windbells are still made and sold.
World’s Finest Golf Destination
Scottsdale has been called the “World’s Finest Golf Destination,” and with more than 200 courses in the city and surrounding area it’s easy to see why. A round on one of Scottsdale’s thrilling desert target-style courses is a can’t-miss experience for golfers. Leading courses include Troon North, Grayhawk, Boulders Golf Course, and TPC Scottsdale – home of the iconic Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Al fresco dining
Scottsdale offers al fresco dining at most of Scottsdale's acclaimed restaurants such as The House Brasserie, located in the city’s second-oldest home; Olive & Ivy along the Scottsdale Waterfront; or Old Town Tortilla Factory’s patio shaded by 100-year-old pecan trees.
Old Town Scottsdale is home to tasting rooms from several of Arizona’s most acclaimed vineyards, including LDV Winery, Aridus Wine Company, Carlson Creek Vineyards, Salvatore Vineyards, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards and Merkin Vineyards.
The Rusty Spur
The Rusty Spur is undeniably a Scottsdale institution. Tucked away in Historic Old Town Scottsdale in an old bank, the saloon has been a hotspot for live country music, dancing, and cold drinks for more than 70 years.
Arizona is a place where it’s easy to combine outdoor exploration and urban culture.
Experienced adventure companies and outfitters can escort groups to some of Arizona’s most beautiful places—from Jeep tours in Sedona to float trips on the Colorado River to horseback treks in Monument Valley. Such photogenic endeavours can be seamlessly augmented by museum visits and memorable meals in the cosmopolitan centres of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson.
Arizona also caters to lovers of wine, golf, astronomy, Old West history, professional sports, luxury spas and shopping. Aficionados of the latter can peruse fashion centres, designer outlets, art galleries and vintage boutiques.
So, sure, the Grand Canyon—one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World—is something no visitor to Arizona should miss. But it’s far from the only thing that makes Arizona grand.