10 Best Attractions and Activities in Scottsdale



Visitors to Scottsdale come for some of the Southwest’s best shopping, dining, art galleries, architecture, and of course, adventurous excursions into the vast Sonoran Desert. 

Whether you come to take a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert studio at Taliesin West, or want to live out your cowboy dreams with an early morning horseback ride at the historic MacDonald’s Ranch, Scottsdale beckons visitors with great weather, luxurious amenities, and the natural beauty of the surrounding desert terrain.

There's no better introduction to the city than with a stroll through Old Town Scottsdale, a hub of shops, boutiques, cafes, and galleries. This pedestrian-friendly area features a free local trolley that makes it easy for visitors to navigate downtown.

Art lovers will want to visit the dozens of galleries located in the Marshall Way Arts District. This section of downtown hosts a popular art walk every Thursday night, one of the oldest in the country. Art lovers should also make time for a visit to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Southwest's premier destination for modern art.

For history buffs, the Museum of the West offers a great introduction into the history and culture of the American West. The museum's historical artifacts and storytelling events help bring the West to life. 

 

Northeast of downtown, Butterfly Wonderland is a popular family attraction with a collection of thousands of butterflies from around the world.

Golf enthusiasts will want to head to north Scottsdale for a visit to Troon North, one of the most beautiful championship golf courses in the Southwest. 




Five galleries and a sculpture garden make up the nucleus of this facility. Additional exhibits of interest include displays of international art, architecture and design, with a predominant focus on hometown attributes. The focus of the SMoCA...  Read More




Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale is an unique facility featuring an indoor rain forest environment that is home to the largest butterfly pavilion in America. The museum features a 3D theater, butterfly emergence gallery, conservatory, a live...  Read More


McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park


McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a train-lover's haven located in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona. The park offers train and carousel rides for all ages, open green space for family picnics, historic Arizona railroad artifacts, model...  Read More




MacDonald's Ranch is the Valley of the Sun's premier horseback riding stable. Located in beautiful North Scottsdale, MacDonald's Ranch offers guided horseback rides, hayrides, stagecoach rides, cowboy cookouts, and live entertainment. No matter...  Read More




The McDowell Sonoran Preserve protects more than 30,000 acres of pristine desert in north Scottsdale. This is a hiker's paradise, with more than 115 miles of trails, including more than 60 miles of shared-use trails. Trailhead gates are open...  Read More




Scottsdale's new Museum of the West celebrates the spirit, history and culture of the American West. The museum calls itself a "study in the west," featuring Western art, storytelling, and historical artifacts that help convey the story and...  Read More


Troon North Golf Club


Known as Scottsdale's "crown jewel," Troon North Golf Club offers players an unrivaled Scottsdale desert golf experience. The two 18-hole courses wind through scenic foothills and natural ravines in the cool shadows of Pinnacle Peak. The rugged...  Read More


Marshall Way Arts District


Scottsdale may be associated with cowboy art and an Old West aesthetic, but this district nestled in the heart of downtown possesses a thriving contemporary arts scene. Intimate galleries showcase a broad spectrum of art media, including...  Read More


Taliesin West


Located in northeast Scottsdale on the beautiful foothills of the McDowell Mountains, Taliesin West is Frank Lloyd Wright's desert masterpiece. This was the architectural master's personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. Public...  Read More




Old Town Scottsdale is the heart of the city, boasting sparkling fountains, green lawns, and outdoor sculptures celebrating the city's Old West heritage. Art galleries, museums, boutiques, and cafes line the streets of Old Town, offering both...  Read More


Map

Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia

comments powered by Disqus

Build your own lists that you can easily reference or share stories with your friends.

Login ×

Forgot login/password?
Don't have an account? Create Your Account!

Enter your username or email in the box below and click
"Remind Me".

Remind Me ×
Create Account ×
Create Account ×

Already have an account?

Add to List ×
Save ×

Go to Lists Close Window ×

×