Scottsdale Travel Guide

Scottsdale Travel Guide

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Scottsdale, Arizona, is a city of contrasts as stark as the Sonoran Desert landscape it occupies. Founded adjacent to Phoenix as suburban ranchland, ... Read More

Scottsdale, Arizona, is a city of contrasts as stark as the Sonoran Desert landscape it occupies. Founded adjacent to Phoenix as suburban ranchland, the city has become a sporty yet laid-back resort destination famed for its posh properties, lush golf courses, and indulgent spas. Visitors can choose from a wealth of activities and landscapes. Go for morning hikes along greenbelts and canals, take a horseback ride past Arizona’s famous saguaro cacti in the foothills of the red rock mountains, spend the afternoons exploring art galleries and rustic Western outfitters in Old Town, and indulge in the city’s stylish dining before an evening of club and barhopping in the nearby Entertainment District.

No travel to Scottsdale would be complete without some sort of extravagant pampering, considering the city has more spas per capita than anywhere else in the country. Many opt to spend the day lounging by some of the most lavish swimming pool complexes ever imagined. For those who crave relaxation, the resorts on the northern end of town will fit the bill, but to experience the full vibrancy of Scottsdale, head to Old Town, which is known for its architectural mix of Western frontier and Frank Lloyd Wright–influenced Midcentury Modern architecture. You’ll also find the city’s cultural institutions as well as its unique blend of cosmopolitan and cowboy charm there.

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Visit Scottsdale

Best Time To Go

Most visitors arrive during high season—after New Year’s and before Memorial Day—when baseball spring training is in full swing. As a result, hotel prices tend to skyrocket. In the sizzling summers, when the snowbird population heads back north, resort prices drop drastically and you’ll rarely need reservations at some of the most popular eateries.


Scottsdale is a 20-minute drive from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Old Town is easily navigable on foot, and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. the free Scottsdale trolley shuttles visitors around the downtown area. At night, you can hop from venue to venue in oversize street-legal golf carts equipped with LEDs and sound systems, where the drivers work for tips. If you’re staying in one of the resorts north of Old Town, you’ll want to rent a car in order to explore.


The main weather consideration is the desert city’s boiling-hot summers. For those who don’t want to get caught in the heat, avoid the months of June, July, and August, when temperatures can climb higher than 110°F (43°C). Temperatures in the fall and winter months often range from 45°F (7°C) to 80°F (27°C), so be sure to pack both a jacket and shorts.

Know Before You Go

The city experiences dry heat, but take heed: in the summers, Scottsdale does not cool off appreciably at night. Stay hydrated year-round.




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