Scottsdale's Art District and Old Town, Phoenix
The town has done a nice job of restoring the downtown to draw people to the large number of shops and places to eat in the old town sector. They have the area split up into sectors. A free trolley ride takes you to various places desired. I guess there may be 150+ shops and maybe 25+ eating places in the sector of old town, plus a museum in the Red School House, and and old blacksmith and livery to visit.
This should really be under Tourist Trap. If you've got money, some of the galleries are pretty interesting and a short walk around the area might be nice, but for the most part it caters to tourists and doens't have too much to get excited about.
This gallery in Old Town Scottsdale is one of the largest, right on the southwest corner of Scottsdale Rd. & Main St. Most of the other galleries all seemed to carry local emerging artists and southwestern art whereas this gallery featured well known masters like Warhol, Picasso, and Renoir! Their collection is spectacular and the gallery itself is welcoming with a wonderful ambience. What surprised us most about the gallery is that the works are approachable in price. We were able to get an original Picasso for our collection, at a very reasonable price. They have private viewing rooms where you can make final decisions privately. Our International Art Consultant seemed to know everything about the artists and works they had and was exceptionally polite, not at all like a pushy salesman, he was a wealth of knowledge and helped us make the right decision for our art collection. I would recommend this gallery to anyone who is looking to start or build their fine art collection, diversify their portfolio, or even just to look! I saw a wider and better collection at this gallery than I have seen in many museums I've been to all over the world. While in Old Town we also walked down Main St. to the park by the Contemporary Art Museum (as recommended by our Art Consultant at American Fine Art) it was so peaceful and relaxing. Scottsdale is such a beautiful and sunny environment, we are thinking of getting a second home their.
The town itself is not as old as the name implies. The town is just over 50 years old and the oldest building dates back to 1908. In this area you will see buildings which give this area an old western feel. You can find over 100 art galleries housing work by famous and yet to be famous artist. Many shops line the streets. Many sell Native American Jewelry and crafts. Many restaurants are in this area as well. In fact, Scottsdale has its own culinary institute on 5th Ave and Scottsdale road.
Old Town Scottsdale has the charm of any historic old town, although it is only about 50 years old. Old Town Scottsdale has a western flare to it, with many intersting shops, art galleries and places to eat.
From the official guide...
"Hitching posts and wood-front shops are reminiscent of the days when sheep were herded down Scottsdale Road, and the surrounding areas were still open space. Those open spaces have since evolved into a string of shops and entertainment hubs."
Although most of the buildings date from the 1920s, the old town district of the "wests most western town" features authentic looking buildings. You will find shops full of western jewelry, clothing, knicknacks, and art. There are also great bars and restaurants so come planning to eat.
I highly recommend Old Town Tortilla Factory.
Pick up a walking tour map at the Scottsdale Historical Museum (The Little Red Schoolhouse), built in 1909. It's at 7333 E. Scottsdale Mall in the Civic Center complex, just east of the intersection of Brown Ave. and Main St. http://www.scottsdalemuseum.com/
The Scottsdale trolley runs through here from November through May.
The official guide says...
"Art lovers will enjoy the Main Street Arts District in Scottsdale. The street has blocks of galleries that feature different styles of arts, including contemporary, Western realism, American Indian, and traditional. Antiques shops are also in the Main Street Arts District. Visitors will find antiques ranging from china to Oriental rugs."
This is the heart of the art scene in Phoenix. There are two main art streets in Scottsdale, Marshall Way and Main street. Scottsdale's art district is filled with winding streets, amazing restaurants, bars and clubs, and of course art.
At certain times of the year everything stays open late for a Thursday night "Art Walk".
Park your car at Scottsdale Fashion Square and take the trolley. Or park on 2nd street and have a beautiful walk, especially in the spring, winter, and fall.
See the following map...
And the following article...
There are many art shops up and down the streets of Scottsdale. Also, the Scottsdale outdoor Art Show is not to be missed. It usually is about the second weekend in March.
Old Town Scottsdale has many art galleries. Even around town you will find various interesting sculptures.