Things to Do in Scottsdale, Arizona: Scottsdale, Arizona is a beautiful desert city known for its stunning landscapes, incredible weather, and vibrant culture. With so much to see and do in Scottsdale, it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this guide will provide you with some of the best things to do in Scottsdale.
25 Exciting Things to Do in Scottsdale, Arizona
- Visit the Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is one of the top attractions in Scottsdale and for good reason. The garden is home to over 50,000 desert plants, including many rare and endangered species. Visitors can explore the five themed trails that wind through the garden and learn about the unique flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. The garden also hosts many events throughout the year, such as the popular Las Noches de las Luminarias during the holiday season.
- Hike Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is a popular hiking destination in Scottsdale, and it’s easy to see why. The mountain offers breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape, and the challenging trails are a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the scenery. The Echo Canyon Trail is the most popular trail, but it’s also the most challenging. The Cholla Trail is a bit easier but still offers great views.
- Explore Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale is a historic district filled with art galleries, shops, restaurants, and more. Visitors can stroll down the quaint streets and admire the adobe buildings, or check out one of the many art galleries featuring works by local artists. Old Town Scottsdale is also home to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, which showcases modern and contemporary art from around the world.
- Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Seeing Scottsdale from above is an unforgettable experience, and a hot air balloon ride is the perfect way to do it. Visitors can soar over the desert landscape and watch the sunrise or sunset from high above. There are several companies in Scottsdale that offer hot air balloon rides, so visitors can choose the one that best fits their needs and budget.
- Visit Taliesin West
Taliesin West is a must-visit for architecture and design enthusiasts. The building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and served as his winter home and studio. Visitors can take a guided tour of the property and learn about Wright’s design principles and the history of the building. Taliesin West also hosts many events throughout the year, such as the annual Wright Plus house walk.
- Relax at a Spa
Scottsdale is known for its luxurious spas, and a visit to one is a great way to relax and unwind. Many of the spas in Scottsdale offer unique treatments that incorporate local ingredients such as cactus and desert herbs. Visitors can choose from a wide range of spa services, from massages and facials to body wraps and hydrotherapy.
- Go Shopping at Fashion Square
Scottsdale Fashion Square is the largest shopping mall in Arizona, and it’s a great place to go shopping or just window shopping. The mall is home to over 200 stores, including high-end luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Prada. Visitors can also grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and cafes located within the mall.
- Visit the Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum is a unique and fascinating attraction in Scottsdale. The museum houses over 15,000 musical instruments from around the world, and visitors can listen to the instruments being played through a high-tech audio system. The museum also features exhibits on the history of music and musical instruments, as well as live performances and events.
- Take a Day Trip to Sedona
Sedona is a beautiful city located about two hours north of Scottsdale, Arizona is a city filled with a rich history and cultural experiences. With its scenic views and plethora of outdoor activities, Scottsdale is the perfect destination for those looking to explore and experience the beauty of the American Southwest.
- Experience Western Culture at Rawhide Western Town
For a taste of the Old West, head to Rawhide Western Town. This themed attraction offers a variety of Western-themed experiences, including horseback riding, gunfights, and stagecoach rides. Visitors can also enjoy live entertainment and dining options, including BBQ and steak dinners.
- See the Wildlife at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating native wildlife. Visitors can take a guided tour of the center and see animals such as coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions up close. The center also offers educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.
- Visit the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a fun and educational attraction for visitors of all ages. The park features a museum dedicated to the history of railroads in Arizona, as well as a miniature train ride and a carousel. Visitors can also take a stroll through the park’s beautiful gardens and picnic areas.
- Go Horseback Riding in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a beautiful desert landscape that is perfect for horseback riding. Visitors can explore the preserve’s many trails and enjoy the scenic views of the surrounding mountains and desert. There are several stables in Scottsdale that offer guided horseback rides through the preserve.
- Visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is a cultural hub that offers a variety of performances and events throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy theater productions, musical performances, and dance shows, as well as art exhibits and workshops.
- Explore the Scottsdale ArtWalk
The Scottsdale ArtWalk is a weekly event that takes place every Thursday evening in Old Town Scottsdale. The event features over 100 art galleries and studios, as well as live music and entertainment. Visitors can browse through the galleries and shops, meet local artists, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the event.
- Take a Segway Tour of Scottsdale
For a unique and fun way to explore the city, consider taking a Segway tour of Scottsdale. Visitors can glide through the city’s streets and alleys while learning about its history and culture. There are several Segway tour companies in Scottsdale that offer guided tours of the city.
- Enjoy the Scottsdale Farmers Market
The Scottsdale Farmers Market is a weekly event that takes place every Saturday morning. Visitors can browse through the stalls and booths of local vendors selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal products. The market also features live music and entertainment, as well as food and beverage vendors.
- Visit the OdySea Aquarium
The OdySea Aquarium is a fun and educational attraction for visitors of all ages. The aquarium features a variety of exhibits showcasing marine life from around the world, including sharks, sea turtles, and penguins. Visitors can also enjoy interactive experiences such as a touch tank and a 3D theater.
- Take a Tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is a must-see attraction for architecture enthusiasts. The building served as Wright’s winter home and studio and features many of his signature design elements, such as organic architecture and the use of local materials. Visitors can take a guided tour of the property and learn about Wright’s life and work.
- Go Wine Tasting in the Arizona Wine Country
Arizona Wine Country is located just a short drive from Scottsdale and offers a unique wine-tasting experience. The region is home to several award-winning wineries and vineyards, including the Alcantara Vineyards and Winery and the Page Springs Cellars. Visitors can take a tour of the wineries, sample their wines, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding countryside.
- Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
A hot air balloon ride is a thrilling way to experience the beauty of Scottsdale from above. Several companies in Scottsdale offer hot air balloon rides, which typically last for about an hour and provide stunning views of the desert landscape and mountains.
- Visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is a must-visit attraction for art lovers. The museum features a variety of exhibits showcasing contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. Visitors can also attend events and workshops hosted by the museum.
- Go Rock Climbing at Pinnacle Peak Park
Pinnacle Peak Park is a popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. The park features a variety of climbing routes suitable for climbers of all skill levels and provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains and desert. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing at the park.
- Relax at a Spa
Scottsdale is known for its luxury spas and wellness centers, which offer a range of treatments and services to help visitors relax and rejuvenate. Some of the top spas in Scottsdale include the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa and the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.
- Go Golfing
Scottsdale is a golfer’s paradise, with over 200 golf courses in the surrounding area. Some of the top courses in Scottsdale include the TPC Scottsdale and the Grayhawk Golf Club. Visitors can enjoy a round of golf while taking in the stunning desert scenery.
In conclusion, Scottsdale, Arizona is a city filled with a variety of fun and exciting activities for visitors of all ages. From exploring the city’s rich history and culture to enjoying its natural beauty and outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone in Scottsdale. Whether you are interested in art, architecture, wine tasting, or simply relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery, Scottsdale is the perfect destination for your next vacation.