Whether you're a fan of cowboy culture, enjoy warm climates and are looking for an exciting adventure in the West, mosey on over to Scottsdale.
This Arizona city is bordered by Phoenix and Paradise Valley to the west, Carefree to the north, Tempe to the south and Fountain Hills to the east. Scottsdale features an arid climate with hot summers and mild winters. If you're traveling from somewhere with frigid winters, come to Scottsdale during the cold months to enjoy some welcoming warmth and sunlight.
Scottsdale is often divided into four areas: South Scottsdale, Shea Corridor, North Scottsdale and Old Town Scottsdale, where you can find many of the area's shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and art galleries. The city is a great place to experience a variety of cultural experiences where you can learn about the history of the city, see some unique art and discover more about Scottsdale. It's also a top spot for enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, rock climbing and other recreational activities.
Things to Do in Scottsdale
- Camelback Mountain: Outdoor enthusiasts will love a trip to Camelback Mountain. Its name comes from its shape, which looks like the head and hump of a kneeling camel. Two hiking trails cover 1,280 feet to the top of the mountain and are perfect for avid hikers looking for an adventure. If you enjoy rock climbing, check out The Praying Monk, a red sandstone formation, located on the northern slope.
- Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art: If you're hoping to see modern works of art during your trip, you'll find it at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. It's Arizona's only permanent space dedicated solely to modern art and is located in Old Town. You can wander through five main galleries as well as an outdoor sculpture garden where you'll see pieces from the permanent collection as well as traveling exhibitions.
- McCormick Stillman Railroad Park: The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a 40-acre space featuring a 15" gauge railroad, a Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive, a museum, three model railroad clubs and a 7.5-inch gauge live steam railroad. Paradise & Pacific Railroad is the first and oldest attraction in the park. There's also the Charro Carrousel and playgrounds for the kids.
- Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West: Architecture lovers and fans of Frank Lloyd Wright won't want to miss a visit to Taliesin West. This place was Wright's winter home from 1937 until he died in 1959. Today it's the main campus for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. It's open for public tours, so make sure you stop by.
- Desert Botanical Garden: With such a warm climate, you'll certainly want to spend as much time as you can outside. You can visit the Desert Botanical Garden and enjoy the outdoors following five thematic trails. You'll see thousands of arid-land plants from not only Arizona, but all around the world. The garden also features different events during the year like the butterfly exhibit, the Music in the Garden concert series and Las Noches de las Luminarias.
- Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park: Step back in time and learn about Native American Hohokam culture. The museum centers around the ruins of a 1,500-year-old Hohokam village. You can explore art, lifestyle and the canal system. Get hands-on with the Explore Archeology exhibit, see workshops, take a tour and experience true Native American culture.
- Rawhide Western Town: Step into the old West with Rawhide Western Town, a Western-themed attraction with an acclaimed steakhouse. Listen to cowboy tunes at Rawhide's Saloon while you challenge other patrons to a game of pool. See live-action stunt shows and shoot outs with the Arizona Roughriders, or enjoy trick roping and fancy riding by Texas Kate.
Shopping and Dining
- Kierland Commons: Kierland Commons was the first lifestyle center in Arizona, and it's centered around a main street with mostly outdoor shopping. It features nearly 75 stores and restaurants, so there's plenty to peruse and something for everyone. Enjoy some window shopping, pick up some souvenirs and enjoy a delicious lunch or a quick snack to refuel.
- Scottsdale Fashion Mall: The Scottsdale Fashion Mall is the largest mall in not only Arizona, but all of the Southwest with around two million square feet of retail space for you to explore. This is the perfect place to do some serious retail therapy. The mall features a variety of store options, from high-end retailers to local, unique shops to suit all of your needs and wants. After shopping 'til you drop, enjoy a fantastic meal at one of the mall's eateries like Kona Grill, Paradise Bakery or Yard House.