Scottsdale is a sightseer's delight. The unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert serves as a backdrop for exploring the city, which manages to be at once both highly cosmopolitan and ruggedly Western. Even better, you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the city.
Take a stroll around Old Town, Scottsdale's historic city center, which gives visitors a sense of the city's cowboy heritage while showcasing its modern eclectic array of restaurants, bars, art galleries, and shops. While you're in Old Town, stop in at the Scottsdale Historical Museum, located inside the city's first school house. The museum is small but provides insight into the lives of the city's founder and early settlers.
For families, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is an excellent free attraction that will entertain kids of all ages. Older visitors too will enjoy the park's model train displays as well as the retired locomotives now parked on the grounds of the railroad park.
Scottsdale has a thriving, internationally ranked art scene. If you're in town on a Thursday night, set aside some time for the city's popular art walk, which traverses downtown's Marshall Way Arts District.
For a great photo opportunity, don't forget to take a stroll along Scottsdale's Civic Center Mall, home to downtown's most popular outdoor art, including the famous "Love" sculpture.