From the stirring beauty of the lush Sonoran Desert to the luxury resorts, chef-driven restaurants and exciting activities and attractions, Scottsdale is bursting at the seams with the makings of a memorable getaway. One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive is the breathtaking beauty of the Sonoran Desert scenery. The remarkable clarity of light, exotic cactus blossoms and lush desert landscape create an environment that will leave you inspired. It’s the perfect place to breathe a little deeper, let go of everyday worries and settle into an easier pace. That’s when you’re ready for some Scottsdale-style adventure and exploration. Options include guided hikes, river rafting excursions, horseback rides, hot air balloon flights, as well as top attractions from aquariums and architectural wonders to botanical gardens, wine tasting rooms and award-winning museums.
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Scottsdale is home to a number of well loved family attractions and couple’s activities. Visitors can take a guided tour through world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter retreat and studio, which exemplifies the principles of design he was famous for. Families can make their way through the OdySea Aquarium, the only one in the Southwest, providing an interactive, educational and entertaining experience for guests of all ages by combining theme-park style amusement with highly engaging presentations of aquatic life. Not too far off is the Phoenix Zoo, one of the largest non-profit zoos in the county, caring for more than 3,000 animals including nearly 400 unique species. Families and their young children can also head over to the Butterfly Wonderland, an Indoor, interactive rainforest habitat, housing thousands of butterflies.
Scottsdale is also known for it’s great outdoors with sunny skies and lush Sonoran Desert it creates the perfect backdrop for outdoor activities and adventures like hiking, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, off-road tours, river rafting and more.
Visitors can also head to Old Town Scottsdale for some fun with excellent restaurants and dining dining experiences, there is something for everyone.
Things To Do
Families can travel to the OdySea Aquarium for more than 65 exhibits to explore, 370 species, the world’s only Russian Sturgeon touch exhibit as well as 2 Stingray touch exhibits and a tide touch pool. OdySea is also home to Voyager, where guests take their seats in a stadium-seating style theater with 46 ft. viewing windows for the “world’s only revolving aquarium experience. Plus, there are a series of encounters and tours available, including educational sloth experiences and opportunities to meet African black-footed penguins.This multi-level, state-of-the-art facility holds more than 2 million gallons of water and is the largest aquarium in Arizona. Phoenix Zoo-goers can get up close to the animals through a series of educational programs, which includes giraffe encounters and interactive stingray experiences.
Outdoor enthusiasts should take a trip to Pinnacle Peak Park featuring a moderate out-and-back trail through the pristine Sonoran Desert environment. Hiking enthusiasts should also be sure to stop bu Tom’s Thumb Trailhead hosting several walking trails and offering tons of information about the surrounding rock climbing areas, day hikes and desert knowledge about the flora and fauna. The outdoor fun doesn’t stop there, as McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trail is nearby and is an accessible nature trail with a granite surface looping 0.5-miles from a welcome station, and has than 30,500 contiguous acres and more than 200 miles of trails.
For the culturally driven and foodie inspired travelers, Old Town includes the Arts District, Entertainment District,(clubs, live entertainment), shopping (boutiques, wild west souvenirs, art work, jewelry) and Scottsdale Fashion Square. Bring your walking shoes, rent a bike, Segway tour or hop on a trolly to see the beauty of Old Town. Close to resorts, golf courses, civic center, museums, spring training ball fields and Arizona State University.
Food & Culture
With more than 800 restaurants in Scottsdale from which to choose, finding your next bucket-list dining experience is an easy feat. Scottsdale has been blessed with an influx of passionate chefs who have embraced the southwest climate and unique access to fresh produce. A year round abundance of sunshine results in an ability to produce a plethora of diverse flavors, from vibrant tomatoes to robust ancient grains and beans, and chefs are spoilt with a bounteous variety of ingredients at their disposal. Don’t forget to head to Gertrude’s idyllic location in the Desert Botanical Garden and sip on a Garden ‘Rita, which combines Tanteo Jalapeño tequila with orange liqueur, lime syrup, blood orange juice, and cilantro. Take note of the option to “spice it up” with fresno pepper puree or sweet-tart prickly pear nectar made from cactus fruit harvested on-site.
The Scottsdale arts scene vibrates with a creative energy all its own. Experience art-driven events like the free weekly ArtWalk, Canal Convergence and Scottsdale Contemporary Month. Catch Broadway shows at our performing arts theaters. Take a walking tour of public art installations in Old Town.
Travelers can visit the Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum Of The West, as this highly rated attraction located in Old Town Scottsdale featuring regularly changing and ongoing exhibits of Western and Native American art, rare artifacts and cultural treasures on loan from some of the world’s foremost collectors and institutions.
Art lovers should also visit Bonner David Galleries, a premier destination in Scottsdale for its dual-gallery concept; Bonner David embraces the continuum of art within its traditional and contemporary galleries.
However you’d like to indulge your creative muse, you can do it in Scottsdale!