12 Best Things to Do in Scottsdale, AZ


As it is without doubt one of the wealthier elements of the Greater Phoenix Area, Scottsdale is usually referred to as ‘The Beverly Hills of the Desert’. With numerous high-end accommodations, gourmand eating places and golf programs, the town has far more going for it and is a well-liked vacation spot thanks to its year-round heat climate and wealth of vacationer sights.

Billing itself as ‘The West’s Most Western Town’, it has numerous museums, ranches and historic parks relating to its American West identification, in addition to an atmospheric, if touristy, Old Town. In addition to its glorious artwork galleries and fascinating architectural marvels, there may be additionally some excellent upscale purchasing, eating and nightlife to be had in the town.

On high of all of this stuff to do in Scottsdale, the chic surroundings and landscapes of the Sonoran Desert lie on its northern outskirts, do you have to need to escape the middle of city for a bit and benefit from the nice outside.

12. Penske Racing Museum

Penske Racing Museum

Home to an unbelievable assortment of shiny automobiles, trophies and racing memorabilia, the exceptional Penske Racing Museum lies simply twenty minutes’ drive north of downtown. Its artifacts and reveals supply a captivating look into the origins, evolution and achievements of one of the profitable sporting dynasties round.

Opened in 2002, its superb set of twenty or so automobiles, innumerable engines and items of kit occupy a glowing showroom that’s a part of a colossal complicated of automotive dealerships. Here you’ll be able to delve into Team Penske’s greater than fifty years of racing expertise, which impressively contains over 500 main race wins and forty hard-fought championships.

Besides seeing its historic profitable automobiles, you can too peruse artworks and reveals on the crew or purchase some merchandise from its retailer.

11. Cosanti


Nestled away in Paradise Valley you will discover the completely distinctive and imaginative concrete constructions of Cosanti; the previous gallery, studio and residential of famend architect Paolo Soleri. The uncommon but intriguing structure acted because the prototype for the experimental Arcosanti village he later created in the desolate excessive desert to the north of Scottsdale.

The former pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright, Soleri first began testing his revolutionary ‘earth-casting’ approach in 1956 alongside different hand-crafted artworks. At the sprawling Cosanti website, friends can discover his delightfully designed buildings and be taught in regards to the philosophy and practices behind his work.

Hanging up are lots of of his distinctive bronze and ceramic bells with excursions taking you across the authentic ‘Earth House’ and its surrounding out of doors studios, efficiency areas and pool.

10. MacDonald’s Ranch

MacDonald's Ranch

If you’re after the good outside and horseback driving, you then’ll actually need to head to MacDonald’s Ranch. Situated in the Sonoran Desert, simply to the north of Scottsdale, the sizeable secure has all types of enjoyable ‘Wild West’ experiences and cowboy-related actions for guests to get pleasure from.

Since first opening to the general public in 1970, the ranch has been wildly common with households, thanks to its epic horseback rides by way of the scenic desert. Nowadays, it additionally presents enjoyable hayrides and thrilling stagecoach rides, whereas its scrumptious cowboy cookouts have tasty steaks and succulent corn on the cob. Young ones can discover its pumpkin patch and petting zoo or pan for gold and play on the pedal automobiles.

9. OdySea Aquarium

OdySea Aquarium

The largest aquarium in the southwest, OdySea boasts a staggering array of sea creatures with big shoals of shimmering fish additionally on show. Located simply ten minutes’ drive north of the middle, it has an entire host of monumental aquaria and fascinating instructional reveals to take a look at with interactive animal encounters additionally on supply.

In whole, greater than 6,000 animals reside inside its tanks and swimming pools with the state-of-the-art aquarium solely having opened in 2016. Among its 370 species are sharks and stingrays, otters and penguins with even two-toed sloths and tropical birds being on present.

Besides seeing superb marine animals from throughout the globe, you’ll be able to meet playful penguins and stroke peaceable rays or check out the unforgettable Voyager – ‘the world’s solely rotating aquarium expertise’.

8. Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly Wonderland

Just across the nook from the aquarium is yet one more of the town’s main vacationer sights: the idyllic and aptly-named Butterfly Wonderland. Also set on the land of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, its intensive indoor rainforest accommodates hundreds of lovely butterflies in addition to steamy sections devoted to bugs, reptiles and tropical fish.

Impressively sufficient, it’s the largest butterfly conservatory in the nation with greater than seventy species to be noticed sipping nectar, basking in the solar or fluttering about among the many lush foliage and dense vegetation. At the positioning, friends can be taught all in regards to the colourful creatures, see them emerge from their cocoons and watch a magical ‘Flight of the Butterflies’ movie in its 3D theater.

7. Museum of the West

Museum of the West

Lying proper in the guts of Old Town Scottsdale, the Museum of the West celebrates and showcases the wealthy historical past, tradition and nature of the American West. A captivating place to discover, its galleries are jam-packed with awe-inspiring artifacts, artworks and reveals that shine a light-weight on the heritage of 19 completely different states, together with each Alaska and Hawaii.

Since opening in 2015, the museum has attracted droves of holiday makers thanks to its glossy design, well-presented shows and complete assortment of every little thing to do with the West. You can see unbelievable Hopi pottery and historic work and pictures laid out subsequent to cowboy hats, saddles, spurs and lassos.

In addition, there may be additionally a courtyard stuffed with excellent sculptures to see and a multi-sensory, multimedia theatre that places on exhibits and performances by Western artists.

6. McDoeffectively Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

After having learnt all there may be to know in regards to the American West, you’ll virtually actually need to enterprise out and discover a few of its famously harsh and unforgiving landscapes your self. One of the perfect locations to go to is the magnificent McDoeffectively Sonoran Preserve that lies on the northeastern outskirts of the town, simply half an hour’s drive from the middle.

The largest city nature reserve in the States, it sprawls throughout an enormous space with its desolate desert setting encompassing rugged rock formations, low-lying mountains and huge tracts of prickly cacti. In whole, it remarkably has almost 180 miles of tantalizing trails to hike, bike or horseback trip together with working, mountain climbing and wildlife watching additionally being common pastimes.

5. Fashion Square

Fashion Square

Consistently ranked among the many largest and greatest malls in the nation, the large, upscale Fashion Square will be discovered proper in the town heart. One of the perfect spots to store, dine and exit in city, it has over 240 specialty shops and eating places for you to check out with a large movie show additionally being situated on-site.

Very common with locals and vacationers alike, Arizona’s largest purchasing heart was first opened again in 1961 with quite a few expansions and renovations having taken place over time. Anchored by Nordstrum, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s, amongst others, its sleekly designed outlets promote every little thing you may ever need, from house decor objects and sweetness merchandise to excessive trend, telephones and footwear.

After having shopped til you drop, you’ll be able to cease off for a espresso or meal at certainly one of its cafes and eating places or stroll previous the beautiful murals and sculptures of its Art Walk.

4. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Just 5 minutes’ drive additional north from Fashion Square you will discover the enjoyable and family-friendly McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Aside from its interactive museum and dealing gauge railway, it has playgrounds, picnic areas and beautiful inexperienced areas, with every little thing relating to trains, tracks and transportation.

Originally known as the ‘Paradise & Pacific Railroad’, its slim gauge railway duplicate was first opened up to friends in 1971 with many extra sights and reveals bobbing up in the next many years. While driving on classic steam locomotives continues to be the park’s major spotlight, it additionally has large mannequin railway units and all types of previous trains, artifacts and shows on the historical past of the railroad to take a look at.

3. Pinnacle Peak Park

Pinnacle Peak Park

Home to beautiful landscapes, Pinnacle Peak rises up dramatically above the Sonoran Desert. Now protected as a part of a park, the mighty mount lies half an hour’s drive north of downtown. Its rugged, rocky confines supply up some excellent out of doors actions and divine views over Scottsdale.

Reaching 3,169 ft in top, the conical-shaped peak has quite a few trails to hike alongside that weave their manner right here and there in regards to the boulder-strewn mountainside. While navigating the steepish, sun-scorched paths, hold an eye fixed out for native wildlife; coyotes, mountain lions, snakes and reptiles all reside throughout the park. Besides mountain climbing and rappelling up and down its craggy cliff face, guests can cease off for a picnic or bask in the breathtaking panoramas from its summit.

2. Taliesin West


Once the winter house, studio and even college of Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West supplies a superb perception into the genius of the famend architect. Now a National Historical Monument, the charming complicated of buildings is located in a scenic spot amid the foothills of the McDoeffectively Range, surrounded by the desolate Sonoran Desert.

Built between 1937 and 1940, the sprawling campus and the distinctive design of its buildings have been impressed by their pure environment. An excellent instance of natural structure, they incorporate numerous pure gentle and native supplies, in addition to shapes and constructions discovered in the desert.

As it’s nonetheless a working college and the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin West can solely be visited as a part of a tour round his personal residence, the Music Pavilion and Cabaret Theater amongst different websites.

1. Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale

Packed with outlets, eating places, bars and artwork galleries, Old Town Scottsdale is actually the guts and soul of life in the town. Located proper in the middle of city, the atmospheric Wild West-themed space has a full of life but laid again really feel with its innumerable sights and institutions virtually sure to attraction to everybody.

While some fascinating sights and historic buildings are dotted about, most of its saloons, memento outlets and eating places play on Scottsdale’s billing as ‘The West’s Most Western Town’. Besides all its cowboy-themed eateries and Native American artwork galleries, you’ll be able to, nonetheless, discover stylish boutiques and stylish nightclubs with a unbelievable weekly farmers’ market additionally happening.

In addition, it hosts the pleasant Scottsdale Artwalk with a number of sculptures and artwork installations being scattered about its bustling streets.

Map of Things to Do in Scottsdale, AZ

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