Scottsdale for Two: 10 Romantic Things to Do in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is famous for great golf, high-end shopping, chic resorts, and trendy nightlife. But did you know Scottsdale is also one of Arizona's best destinations for Instagram-worthy romantic adventures? You don't have to book a room at one of the city's top luxury resorts to spark the flames of love, either (although that certainly never hurts). 

If you're looking for romantic things to do in Scottsdale in the city's urban heart, head to Old Town Scottsdale, where people-watching and window-shopping are at a premium. Twinkling lights, lively bars and restaurants, and quirky boutiques make it an excellent spot to explore as a couple.  

Of course, be sure to head to the Civic Center Mall in downtown Scottsdale for a romantic photo op next to Robert Indiana's iconic LOVE sculpture. The famous outdoor sculpture is part of Scottsdale's public art program, and has become a local landmark for lovers of art – and lots of engagement photo sessions. 

For a memorable, nature-inspired outing, take your date to Butterfly Wonderland, the country's largest indoor butterfly atrium. Butterflies of all colors flutter and fly overhead in a simulated rain forest environment. If wonder and enchantment is your idea of romance, you'll find it here in spades. 

Build up a sweat with your sweetie with a hike at one of Scottsdale's most popular natural attractions. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve features 115 miles of open trailways, while Pinnacle Peak Park offers a rigorous but rewarding hike up one of the city's most notable natural landmarks. 

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

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 offers a nice glimpse of the city's contemporary arts scene. Intimate galleries showcase a broad spectrum of art media,...  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

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

When you want an up-close experience with the majestic beauty of the desert, head to Pinnacle Peak Park in Scottsdale. Pinnacle Peak is one of the Valley's most iconic natural landmarks and a popular destination for local hikers and visitors....  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

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

Located in Papago Park, this garden features one of the world's largest outdoor desert plant collection. A vast array of colorful wildflowers has been strategically placed to create a colorful display and delight visitors in the springtime, and...  Read More

Scottsdale Civic Center Mall features almost three acres of well-groomed public space. The park is located in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, running eastward from Brown Avenue to 75th Street, and then southward from 1st Avenue to 2nd Street....  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


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