Things to Do in Scottsdale

Getty Images

Channel your inner Cirque du Soleil performer for this off-the-floor yoga class at the Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa. Stretchy fabric hammocks... Read More

Yee-haw! Pull on your boots, grab your hat and learn the in’s and out’s of cowboyin’. From horseback riding to roping and shoeing, this working cattle... Read More

Explore the Southwest’s rich natural and cultural history, from sparkly minerals and prehistoric fossils to a reconstructed Native American village and... Read More

Located in the neighboring city of Mesa, this kid-friendly museum explores the Arizona’s natural and cultural history with plenty of hands-on,... Read More

In January, serious car collectors descend upon the WestWorld complex in North Scottsdale for one of the best-attended auto auctions in the world. Even... Read More

Bentley’s beautifully curated paintings, sculptures and photographs make it one of Southwest’s best contemporary art galleries. Its impressive roster of... Read More

This midcentury landmark opened in 1960s, and it’s still one Phoenix’s favorite shopping destinations. Residents love to stroll the outdoor mall’s... Read More

Now this is one view of the desert that few experience: suspended from the side of a boulder 75 feet off the ground. Rock climbing instructors at the... Read More

For the ultimate golf instruction, book a lesson at the Boulders Golf Academy. The school offer a variety programs to upgrade your game, from 30-minutes... Read More

The largest butterfly pavilion in the country, this indoor zoo features a global collection of colorful monarchs, gold banded foresters and mountain... Read More

The kneeling camel profile of this red sandstone and granite mountain is the city’s most beloved icon—and a challenging, must-climb destination for... Read More

Even if you’re not a hiker, this Valley of the Sun icon is a must-see landmark. Those who are in shape, though, should scale the popular Echo Canyon... Read More

First settled by ranchers and miners in the 1870s, the town of Cave Creek just north of Scottsdale fervently maintains its Old West character: old... Read More

For an out-of-mall shopping experience, head north to the small desert enclave of Cave Creek. The town’s main street is lined with retail options that... Read More

The desert community of Cave Creek, on the northern edge of Scottsdale, has long been loved by mountain bikers, but the main road leading up to the town... Read More

Former Taliesin West student Paolo Soleri was one of Southwest’s most innovative architects. His organic style merged Frank Lloyd Wright’s teachings... Read More

Science nerds will love the experience at Cool Clubs as much as golfers. Rooms, specially outfitted with multiple cameras, sensors and even Doppler... Read More

This 47-acre park in Northwest Phoenix preserves some 1,500 petroglyphs, ranging from abstract symbols and shapes to animal and human figures. For more... Read More

The beautifully curated Desert Botanical Garden has one of the most impressive plant collections in the world, and the transition from day to night... Read More

With some 50,000 cacti, succulents, agaves, shrubs, and trees, the Desert Botanical Garden may be the world’s finest collection of desert plants. Try to... Read More

Scottsdale Stadium is right in the heart of the city’s Old Town and entertainment districts, a pedestrian-friendly area with dozens of great restaurants... Read More

Arizona’s premier outdoor tour operator offers some of the best adventures in the state, including guided hiking and biking treks, and multiday... Read More

This 30,000-square-foot preserve protects some of Sonoran Desert’s most beautiful and pristine landscapes, including the McDowell Mountains. Hike or... Read More

Fore-Max may be the ultimate training program for golfers, combining traditional instruction and with a personalized workout regimen that targets... Read More

This gallery specializes in abstracted work by contemporary artists, with paintings, sculpture and photography that leverage shape, color, light and... Read More

Treat your companion to turquoise and silver pieces at this high-end jewelry and art store. Within this sandstone shop, the inventory includes authentic... Read More

How to fill up your day before games? Book an early morning tee time at one of Scottsdale world-class golf facilities. Desert courses such as Troon... Read More

This isn’t your grandfather’s golf club. The rockin’ 36-hole desert course in North Scottsdale caters to a diverse crowd, playing tunes from the Stones... Read More

Founded in 1994, Grayhawk Golf Club is considered one of the best day-fee golf clubs in the Southwest. The club offers two 18-hole courses: the Talon,... Read More

The Southwest’s premier center for indigenous people, the Heard exhibits a vast collection of Native American art and cultural artifacts, including... Read More

The Heard provides a meaningful overview of the Southwest’s native people. Exhibits range from Barry Goldwater’s collection of 437 Hopi kachina dolls to... Read More

This Phoenix-Scottsdale landmark is one of Arizona’s great natural wonders. From a distance you can clearly make out Camelback’s sandstone head and... Read More

The hike is tough—but, boy, are the views are incredible. For those looking to combine a great workout with an only-in-Arizona experience, a climb up... Read More

Imagine what life used to be like traveling through the desert before cars. This Cave Creek ranch, located on the site of an 1870s gold mine, offers... Read More

Blame it on Hollywood Westerns. There’s something about the desert that demands exploration from the back of a horse. Windwalker Expeditions can help... Read More

It’s hard to beat the exceptional instruction at this golf school at SunRidge Canyon Golf Club. The enthusiastic and unfailing patient instructors offer... Read More

You’ll never want to leave this Moroccan-themed complex and its Hammam-style facilities. In between treatments, enjoy the rooftop pool terrace with... Read More

Deep under the desert floor in southeastern Arizona is the state’s most recent addition to a roster of superstar geological wonders: Kartchner Caverns.... Read More

Yes, kayaking in the desert. Paddle along the banks of the lower Salt River, where you’ll spot a surprising mix of wildlife, including sunning lizards,... Read More

Hidden behind a door marked “The Truth Is Inside,” this speakeasy meets European wine cellar is located in downtown Scottsdale. Established... Read More

Two big developments vie for shoppers in North Scottsdale. One is Kierland Commons, which features an “urban village” of small gardens, restaurants with... Read More

This exceptional gallery not only showcases Native American pottery, but it successfully manages to elevate the underappreciated art form beyond the... Read More

My favorite “Scottsdale” gallery now has a sleek new home in a re-imagined midcentury building in Phoenix. The white-on-white setting provides a... Read More

This 1,300-acre ranch in North Scottsdale is a family-friendly bit of Western fun: horseback rides, hayrides and cowboy cookouts and stagecoach rides.... Read More

You can’t come all the way to cowboy country and not experience a bit of the Old West. Practice your roping, take a hayride through the desert and enjoy... Read More

There’s something about a train that no kid (or adult) can resist. Ride the scale reproduction of a Colorado narrow gauge railroad throughout this... Read More

With more than 100 miles of trails, this 30,000-acre preserve offers a variety of hiking experiences. Trailside volunteers can help you select from the... Read More

To see the Sonoran Desert at its most beautiful, visit one of the five trailheads at this 30,000-acre refuge in northern Scottsdale. You’ll be... Read More

Mountain bikers love exploring the pristine desert of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Beginners should stick to the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead, where... Read More

This 30,000-acre preserve in north Scottsdale protects some of the region’s most beautiful desert. Jog, hike, bike, or horseback-ride the 120 miles of... Read More

One many of the great aspects of Spring Training is the easy access to MLB’s biggest players. Get to the games early, and stand behind the rail near the... Read More

This five-story pueblo is of the best-preserved and most impressive cliff-side dwellings in North America. From about 1250 to the 1400s, the 20-room... Read More

Music lovers of all ages enjoy the MIM, a sweeping multimedia tour that spans continents and centuries, from primitive African drums and Highland pipes... Read More

For a more holistic spa experience, try the naturopathic services at the luxurious, Moroccan-themed Joya Spa. On the menu (besides dozens of massages... Read More

Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter residence in Scottsdale is a masterpiece of desert design. For a more intimate look at the home and architectural school,... Read More

This is the next level in Jeep safaris. Desert Wolf uses military vehicles for guided tours of the desert. If you’re feeling adventurous, drive your own... Read More

Hispanic and Yaqui Indian families constructed Scottsdale’s first Catholic church in 1933. The white-stucco façade and domed bell tower of the Spanish... Read More

The covered walkways and Old West façades in this pedestrian-friendly quarter  serve as a fitting backdrop to Southwest souvenir hunting. Try on a... Read More

This rounded, red-hued butte is a Phoenix landmark—though the real treat comes with a short, easy trek up the sandstone formation. The mountain unique ... Read More

Papago’s sandstone buttes and desert parkland are particularly fun to explore from a mountain bike. Beginning riders—especially those just learning the... Read More

A natural refuge in the middle of the city, Papago Park is one of the city’s great playgrounds, with paved trails, small lakes, a baseball stadium and... Read More

Two ambitious expansions have transformed the museum into a showpiece of Desert Modernism. Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the architects behind the new... Read More

The sprawling park in northern Phoenix is a bit of the Sonoran desert smack dab in the middle of the city. The moderately easy main trail, No. 100,... Read More

This is one of the most popular hiking spots among Phoenicians. The moderately difficult trek up Piestewa’s Summit Trail takes less than hour and... Read More

The unique granite formations of Pinnacle Peak in north Scottsdale make this one of the area’s most picturesque hikes—not to mention the towering... Read More

See where Phoenix got its start. The Hohokam first settled at Pueblo Grande around 450 AD, and over the next thousand years, the village grew to as many... Read More

Rawhide doesn’t just flirt with touristy kitsch, it surrenders completely to the fun. This 1880s-themed town stages stunt shows on its dusty streets... Read More

White oak floors, a pressed-tin ceiling and lots of natural light help this modern shop selling Native American artwork and artifacts avoid the tourist... Read More

Scottsdale’s mountains and massive rock formations attract climbers from the around the world. Experienced climbers (and beginners) will appreciate the... Read More

Things haven’t changed much since John Wayne and Clint Eastwood made stops at this small, no-frills watering hole, which offers cold beer and live music... Read More

Founded in 1927, when customers still rode up to the store on horseback, Saba's has become an Arizona institution, thanks to its unparalleled selection... Read More

For more than 85 years, “Arizona’s original Western store” has been outfitting real-life cowboys with leather goods, hats and buckles the size of a... Read More

There’s more to the Sonoran Desert than mountains and cacti. The Salt River runs through the Valley of the Sun, and this critical waterway provides a... Read More

Founded in 1692, the “white dove of the desert” is considered one of the finest mission cathedrals in the American Southwest. Its white-stucco exterior,... Read More

A chic makeover transformed this 1960s “tennis ranch” into a modernist Zen retreat, complete with relaxation lounges that overlook a reflecting pond and... Read More

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite experiences in Arizona: sitting with a cocktail in hand on the patio of the resort’s Jade Bar and watching... Read More

Arizona is cowboy country, and we’re serious about our horses. The 60-year-old Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show features some 2,000 Arabian horses at... Read More

This popular arts festival in March gathers 200 jury-selected artists at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. The three-day event includes live music,... Read More

Ready to step behind the plate yourself? Former MLB player Chad Moeller’s Scottsdale Batting Cages can satisfy that urge, with six batting tunnels and... Read More

Scottsdale is serious about food, so it’s little wonder that this annual culinary festival in April entices 35,000 people to eat, drink and party. Taste... Read More

This colossal mall is the 800-pound gorilla of Scottsdale shopping, with 250 stores and restaurants covering some 2 million square feet—and it’s still... Read More

It’s amazing what a little makeover can do. Desert modernist architect Will Bruder masterfully transformed this former movie theater into a sleek home... Read More

An oasis of modern art in cowboy country, SMoCA delivers an ever-changing lineup of stellar contemporary exhibitions, beautifully curated in a series of... Read More

Inspired by the deep, narrow ravines of Arizona’s slot canyons, this outpost of the Scottsdale Public Library looks as though it emerged fully formed... Read More

Contrasting against a brilliant blue sky and evergreen pines, the red sandstone buttes of Sedona create one of the world’s most stunning landscapes.... Read More

This 16,000-acre park in south Phoenix is a mountain-biking paradise, with some of the toughest and most interesting trails in the region,... Read More

The Spa at Camelback Inn sits at the base of Mummy Mountain, with sweeping views of Camelback Mountain, Paradise Valley and the downtown... Read More

The Scottsdale Hyatt Regency’s spa seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor relaxation spaces. Glass walls slide away in the separate men’s and women’s... Read More

Instead of a poolside lounge or round of golf, visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s former studio and retreat (now home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation... Read More

Known as one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces, Taliesin West was built in 1937 as Wright's winter home. Still inhabited by... Read More

Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home set the bar for bold, innovative design that complemented rather than fought its desert environment. Wright employed a... Read More

Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home is a towering landmark of modern desert design. The architect literally built his still-operating architecture school... Read More

Conveniently located next to Salt River Fields, Talking Stick Resort makes for a terrific home base or post-game destination. The AAA Four Diamond... Read More

Magazines regularly rank the 36-hole as one of the best golf resorts in the country. A real desert course, don’t be surprised to see rabbits, coyotes,... Read More

Dubbed “the greatest show on grass,” the open is the largest tournament on the PGA Tour, attracting tens of thousands of spectators and past winners... Read More

Scottsdale’s “greatest show on grass” is the largest event on the PGA Tour, attracting big-game golfers like Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson—and more than... Read More

These legendary boomtowns helped define the Old West. Visit Tombstone’s famous O.K. Corral, Bird Cage Saloon and graveyard, and learn why its dusty... Read More

Part driving range, part bowling alley, part Scottsdale lounge, Topgolf is a new kind of golf experience. The entertainment complex is built around... Read More

Any delusions that the Sonoran Desert is a lifeless dustbowl will be swept away by this 50,000-plus collection of colorful plants, from hundreds of... Read More

Surrounded by the McDowell Mountain range, TPC Scottsdale (also known as The Club) offers public access to two par-71 tournament courses. Tee off from... Read More

Play like the pros—or at least play the golf course of the pros. Tee off at the Phoenix Open’s Stadium Course, also designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay... Read More

For a survey of Western and Native American art, stop in at Trailside, which sells a diverse lineup of artwork, from wildlife scenes and expansive... Read More

Troon North Golf Club offers two award-winning golf courses designed by Tom Weiskopf, The Pinnacle and The Monument, ranked 21st and 44th in the nation,... Read More

Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish partnered to create a masterpiece desert golf course design at Troon North. Rolling greens meander through unspoiled... Read More

The 33,000-square-foot spa at The Boulders resort infuses Native American traditions and the Southwestern desert landscape into its one-of-a-kind... Read More

For an exceptional desert golf experience, reserve a tee time at We-Ko-Pa, a stunning tour de force that stretches across the Fort McDowell Yavapai... Read More

Prepare to be awed. The spa at the Scottsdale Princess resort is a massive, beautifully designed tour de force. Select from a customizable menu of... Read More

The museum’s highlight: James Turrell’s “Knight Rise,” an outdoor art installation that frames the changing colors of Scottsdal’s sky through an oculus... Read More

Back To Top