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10 Best Shopping Destinations in Scottsdale: Serious Retail Therapy in the Desert



In Scottsdale, retail therapy is elevated to high art, where specialty couture and nationally-recognized retailers come together in the name of serious shopping. Whether you’re shopping for the latest piece from a top-name designer, or hunting for a uniquely Arizona gift, chances are you will find it in Scottsdale. 

For serious Scottsdale shoppers, the obvious starting point is Scottsdale Fashion Square, one of the region’s largest shopping malls. This luxurious fashion park features a Macy’s, Barney’s of New York, Armani, Louis Vuitton, and other exclusive shops.

For Southwestern and cowgirl chic finds, head to the Fifth Avenue Shops in downtown Scottsdale, where Gilbert Ortega and an assortment of galleries and boutiques offer a trove of Arizona gifts and treasures.

If you want to pick up the perfect Scottsdale souvenir, take a stroll around Old Town Scottsdale. It's full of specialty boutiques where you can pick up a jar of prickly pear jam or desert honey, authentic Native American jewelry and even a funny t-shirt for the folks back home.

If you're staying at the Hilton Resort, plan to shop and lunch at the Hilton Village. This shopping village has a great mix of clothing boutiques and a roster of award-winning, locally owned cafes.


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Hilton Village


The Hilton Village is located on Scottsdale Road, just a stone's throw away from the Hilton Resort. This busy, upscale casual shopping destination features a fun mix of specialty boutiques and popular big-name retailers. Some of the highlights here include the popular Cupcakes, Lindsay Lou's Boutique, the Diva Plus Size shop, the Chocolate Shop, Houston's, The Linen Tree, and more. Newer additions include Chico's, Urbayn, Slyvia's Designer Shop, and a new consignment shop is expected to open soon. The village is also a great place to enjoy lunch or dinner. Bink's Scottsdale is an organic cafe dishing out gourmet treats. And Veneto Trattoria is a popular cafe specializing in the traditional dishes of Northern Italy.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Hilton Village is an excellent midtown Scottsdale destination for men's and women's apparel.

Patricia's expert tip: In the spring, the village hosts a farmer's market from 9am to 1pm every Tuesday. Look for the umbrellas.

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The Shops Gainey Village


The Shops at Gainey Village provide casual upscale shopping, dining, and entertaining, with an emphasis on specialty shops and boutiques. This is a great spot to find the latest exclusive boutique, or shop for a unique souvenir to remember your Scottsdale vacation. Casual, fine dining, cafes, and a full-service spa round out the offerings at this deluxe shopping village. Don't miss the Sips & Sounds Evening Concert Series, which is held on the first Thursday of every month.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Shops at Gainey Village offers a broad selection of specialty shops in a convenient midtown location.

Patricia's expert tip: Stop by the first Thursday of each month from 6 to 8:30 pm for the free concert series – Sips & Sounds. Guests enjoy 15 percent off featured restaurants before each concert.

Read more about The Shops Gainey Village →


Old Town Scottsdale
Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art


Many of this district's buildings date from the 1920s and have been renovated to house an appealing collection of specialty shops, which the neighborhood is known for today. Top-notch Native American and Mexican jewelry and crafts sit alongside wallet-friendly souvenirs in many shops, offering a little Old Town magic for all budgets. Over 150 stores and restaurants inhabit the area, so you're ensured of a great meal to conclude a day of shopping. Scottsdale Historical Museum offers an enticing break from the many stores. The Old Town Scottsdale shopping district is a must-see for visitors, as well as a great place to pick up a souvenir.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Old Town Scottsdale is packed full of unique, Arizona-themed shops and boutiques.

Patricia's expert tip: Art lovers will want to stop by Old Town on Thursday evenings for the popular Scottsdale ArtWalk.

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The Pavilions at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale is the newest shopping destination located on the Salt River Indian Reservation on the east side of town. The sprawling plaza features a mix of restaurants and big-name retailers. Stores and restaurants include Hobby Lobby, Petco, Goodwill, Guitar Center, Sprint Wireless, Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, Chipotle, and Mountainside Fitness Center, the largest locally-owned health club in Arizona. The Pavilions is also home to a brand-new Burlington Coat Factory, 99 Cents Store, and Conn's Home Plus. There shopping center is adding new entertainment features, too. Adrenaline junkies will want to make the trek to this side of town just to visit the Octane Speedway, a new indoor and outdoor racing track.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Scottsdale Pavilions is the newest big shopping destination in Scottsdale, located conveniently off the 101 freeway on the eastern edge of the city.

Patricia's expert tip: Vintage car buffs will want to stop by on Saturday afternoons for the weekly McDonald's Rock 'n Roll car show.

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This replication of a Moroccan market sits beneath a stunning natural rock formation against a gorgeous desert backdrop. Two levels house 35 stores and restaurants that encircle a courtyard and amphitheater. Gifts, art, and clothing with the distinct flavor of the Southwest can be found in many boutiques and shops. The Heard Museum North, a satellite of the Native American crafts museum in Phoenix, adds a touch of high culture to a day of commercialism. Free concerts are given on summer Thursday nights. Whether you're shopping for upscale apparel and accessories, hand-crafted leather goods or local art, El Pedregal shops have something for you.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The stores at El Pedregal celebrate Arizona's desert landscape and diverse culture with locally made, upscale offerings.

Patricia's expert tip: In the fall, El Pedegral offers a weekly wine and jazz series.

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Kierland Commons


Kierland Commons is one of North Scottsdale's most urban and urbane shopping destinations. The edgy and fun flavor of this big city-inspired shopping village features dynamic, palm-lit streets, splashing fountains, and high energy bars and restaurants. This posh shopping destination boasts an eclectic and sophisticated mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment, including a Crate and Barrel, J. Crew, Sur La Table, Barnes and Noble, and more. For a truly personal touch, stop by the Kierland Commons Concierge, located between Tommy Bahama and Etch Salon on the northwest side of the shopping center. The concierge offers many services to visiting shoppers, including personal shopping, making dinner reservations, printing of boarding passes, directions and complimentary strollers for use on the property.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Kierland Commons is a sleek, modern shopping center with a nice mix of big-name retailers and small boutiques.

Patricia's expert tip: Present your out-of-state ID at the Concierge Office for a complimentary Shopping & Dining Visitor Rewards book and a complimentary visitor guide.

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Scottsdale Waterfront


The Scottsdale Waterfront is a 1.1 million-square-foot project located at the edges of Old Town Scottsdale. This modern mixed-use development features retail, office, restaurant and high-rise residential buildings. Retailers include Urban Outfitters, High Point, David's Bridal, Primp & Blow, Polished the Dental Spa and Verizon Wireless. Restaurants at the Scottsdale Waterfront include Zoes Kitchen, P.F. Chang's, Culinary Dropout, Olive & Ivy, Wildfish and Sauce. The Waterfront district features pedestrian-only areas and a bridge to the nearby Fifth Avenue and Southbridge districts. Access to tranquil walking paths makes this a great place to take a breather from the buzz of Old Town Scottsdale.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Scottsdale Waterfront is a pedestrian-friendly shopping district conveniently situated in downtown.

Patricia's expert tip: Use the pedestrian-only bridge to connect to the surrounding Southbridge and Scottsdale Fifth Avenue Shopping districts.

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5th Avenue Shops of Scottsdale


Fifth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale is a popular destination for tourists and locals. The avenue features dozens of specialty boutiques, art galleries, jewelry shops, and over 35 restaurants within a short walk of the famous Bob Parks 5th Avenue Horse Fountain. This is one of the busiest and most photographed spots around town, and the perfect place to take an evening stroll during your downtown Scottsdale excursion. For the perfect Arizona souvenir, stop by Kactus Jock, a boutique specializing in Arizona-themed gifts and souvenirs. Stones Gifts and Collectibles is another good place to stop by and shop for unique and hard-to-find desert gifts.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The 5th Avenue Shops of Scottsdale is one of downtown's most popular shopping destinations, offering shoppers an eclectic mix of locally owned boutiques and galleries.

Patricia's expert tip: Most Fifth Avenue shops open late, so plan accordingly.

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Scottsdale Quarter


The Scottsdale Quarter is a mixed-use shopping center in north central Scottsdale that's urban, chic and decidedly hip. Towering palm trees, water features and more than 370,000 square feet of retail space. Upscale boutiques make this a destination for fashionistas and serious shoppers. Some of the retail shops at the Quarter include Apple, Calvin Klein, Bath & Body Works, Express, Free People, Kendra Scott, Drybar, Calypso St. Barth, Pottery Barn, Urban Outfitters, Sephora, Elan Style, Dr. Martens, Swimspot, Verde Maison, and West Elm. The Scottsdale Quarter is also home to some of the hippest eateries in town, including True Food Kitchen, Brio Tuscan Grille, TK's Urban Tavern, Eddie V's, Stingray Sushi, and Zinburger. There's also a spa (Dolce Salon & Spa), so you can treat yourself to some pampering in between browsing.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: The Scottsdale Quarter features a stylish high-end mix of national retail chains and smaller specialty shops.

Patricia's expert tip: Don't forget to check out The Quad, a park-like space featuring the largest pop-jet fountain in the region.

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Scottsdale Fashion Square


Scottsdale Fashion Square is the Southwest's premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination. This is the largest shopping destination in the Southwest, boasting more than 225 retailers, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, the newest Macy's, and the largest Dillard's in the country. Exclusive retailers include Boss Hugo Boss, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, MaxMara, Sephora, St. John Boutique and Tiffany & Co. Scottsdale Fashion Square also features five restaurants and 18 specialty food selections. Valet parking, taxi and limo service, and a roving concierge are also available to assist shoppers. Entertainment and dining options include a Harkins 7-Plex Cinema, Johnny Rockets, Kona Grill, Z Tejas Grill, Yard House and the Neiman Marcus Cafe.

Recommended for Best Shopping because: Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the largest and most upscale shopping malls in the entire Southwestern United States.

Patricia's expert tip: Shoppers can use their cell phones in the center to call Peter, the mall's roving concierge, or Ernie, the concierge supervisor and staff from anywhere in the center for assistance in making their shopping experiences hassle-free. Shoppers can simply look for the phone numbers posted throughout the mall.

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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega works as a writer and editor in Phoenix.

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