Probably one of the most well-known cities in Arizona, Scottsdale is dubbed the west’s most western town. Located just east of Phoenix, Scottsdale is a popular tourist destination. Scottsdale can be divided into 4 sections:
- South Scottsdale
- Old Town
- North Scottsdale
South Scottsdale is an older part of town. It is also the major nightlife and art center of the area. The San Francisco Giants practice at Scottsdale Stadium in downtown Scottsdale for baseball’s spring training season.
Old Town is the cultural district for Scottsdale and has a walkable downtown area. There is a free trolley ride you can take as well to get from one destination to another within Old Town. This area is home to the high end Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and western art galleries evoking an old cowboy era.
Downtown “Old Scottsdale” has the most old west feel to it. This area is prime real estate for new condos and hotels. The city holds the annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show and the Scottsdale Jaycees Parada del Sol/Rode.
Central Scottsdale is home to many of Scottsdale’s premiere resorts. Scottsdale is home to over 70 resorts, second only to New York City as having more AAA Five-Diamond hotels and resorts than any other city in the USA.
Top Things to do in Scottsdale
Scottsdale is home to over 240,000 people and north Scottsdale is where most of the new development is taking place right now. Many corporations have made north Scottsdale home as well. As this area builds up they have several good nightclubs and some nice shopping here as well.
Ever since Frank Lloyd Wright decided to create his winter home here in the 1930’s, his architectural influence can be seen throughout the Phoenix area. Taliesin West is a top tourist attraction and a must see if visiting Scottsdale.
See the largest aquarium in the southwest. We were so excited when Phoenix finally had an aquarium to visit. OdySea Aquarium has over 50 exhibits with marine life. Don’t miss out on the Living Sea Carousel. The Living Sea Carousel is a cool experience, essentially you sit in a theatre and the seats rotate you through the ocean exhibits. See the sea turtles, sharks and sea lions.
Just behind the aquarium you can step into the a rainforest and butterfly wonderland. A fun place to take the kids to. You can watch the process of a butterfly metamorphosis live.
Then head into the rainforest area to see hundreds of butterflies in the plants, flying around or if you’re lucky one might even land on you.
Visit the World’s Largest Harley Dealership
If you like bikes this is a really cool Harley dealership. Not only will you find a large selection of bikes here, there is also an indoor theatre, a tattoo parlor and even a wedding chapel here.
See a Concert at BLK Live
We love this outdoor bar and music venue. In the summer the BLK Live pool is open and you can hang out in the pool while you listen to your favorite bands.
Cosanti Wind Bells
If you enjoy the arts, you will love a visit to Cosanti. See an outdoor gallery of the famous Paolo Soleri’s Windbells. They are beautiful. Scottsdale is home to more than 125 professional art galleries and studios.
Tucked away in a residential area, you might almost miss this little gem just outside Scottsdale in Paradise Valley.
Paolo Soleri was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and has designed these works of art. Paolo Soleri creates beautiful ceramic and bronze wind bells. Preferably visit on a day with a slight breeze, so you can walk around the grounds and listen to the beautiful chimes. It truly is a magical place to stop for a bit. You can walk around the grounds, enjoy the sounds of the hundreds of wind bells, watch as they are crafted, and of course you can purchase them. The bells range from around $30 on up to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The The PGA’s tour Waste Management Open Golf Tournament is held each January in Scottsdale and attracts thousands of golfers and fans. Golf lovers can choose from hundreds of golf courses just in Scottsdale alone, even more if they head out to the greater Phoenix Metro area.
After a day of watching golf you can see a concert at the Phoenix Birds Nest.
The Musical Instrument Museum
Love music? The Muscial Instrument Museum in Scottsdale has many hands-on exhibits dedicated to music. It is home to a collection of over 10,000 musical instruments.
Entertain the Kids
Most resorts in Scottsdale offer kid friendly programs. McCormick Stillman Park offers a lot of fun for the younger kids. Cracker Jax Amusement Park is fun for the whole family.
Attend a Festival at WestWorld
Nearly every weekend you can visit one of the many festivals or shows held at WestWorld in Scottsdale. If you like cars check out the Good Guys car show held annual in Scottsdale.
Arizona Bike Week is held every spring and a great time of year to see one of the many concerts.
See a 500-foot Water Fountain
Have a picnic in nearby Fountain Hills at the nations second tallest fountain. The fountain is a landmark and shoots water over 500 feet into the air. Fountain Hills is a town about 15 minutes east of Scottsdale.