Scottsdale Things to Do

  • Front of building on 2nd St
    Front of building on 2nd St
    by BruceDunning
  • The Heard Museum North Scottsdale, AZ
    The Heard Museum North Scottsdale, AZ
    by jumpingnorman
  • One of the over 25 resort and day spas, Scottsdale
    One of the over 25 resort and day spas,...
    by jumpingnorman

Most Recent Things to Do in Scottsdale

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    Carriage Rides in Old Scottsdale

    by starship Updated Nov 5, 2014

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    KC's Classic Carriage Company offers carriage rides throughout Old Downtown Scottsdale, the Arts District, and several other areas for those interesting in seeing this part of town in a more leisurely way. Narration by the driver gives facts and history of what you're seeing. In Summer, I probably would pick a time other than in the mid-afternoon due to the heat and out of consideration for the horses and driver. Pricing depends on the number of passengers.

    Nice carriages and well-taken care of horses make it a pleasurable way to see some of the town. Carriages stop & pick up at Brown & Main Streets and are generally available on a walk-up basis. If you desire a specific time & date, however, reservations are suggested. Call 480-855-3810 to make sure you aren't disappointed. Carriages are also available for special occasions and events (weddings, parties, etc.) so call the same number for pricing and pick of carriages.

    Ask about the Scottsdale Livery and Antique Carriage Museum which displays a variety of vintage carriages, etc. This small museum is open only part of the year.

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    Rawhide ~ For Little Cowpokes

    by starship Updated Nov 5, 2014

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    This tip should really be listed in "Off the Beaten Track" tips but the first time we visited Arizona and stayed in Scottsdale, we were told about "Rawhide" and thought it would be a good place to take the "youngens" (young ones) who were 8 and 6 yrs. old at the time; and, it was, as they say, right "up the road a piece" and in Scottsdale.

    This Western theme park was constructed to look like an old 1880's Western town. Rawhide had its own dusty main street bordered on either side by old, Western-style wooden-plank buildings and wooden-plank sidewalks. Tucked in here and there were the shootin' gallery (my son's favorite and I liked it too), shops, a saloon, the steakhouse and other buildings you might find in an old Western town. I remember best the Wild West shootout show where the good guys wearing white hats quickly dispatched the bad guys wearing black hats. It was quite an action show -- especially for the little cowpokes. The shows are the heart & soul of Rawhide's character, but extras add a lot to the atmosphere.

    Today Rawhide has moved from its original location in Scottsdale to a new location: Wildhorse Pass on the Gila River Indian Community in Chandler, AZ. They've added lots of new attractions such as stagecoach and burro rides, gold panning, a petting ranch, rock climbing, card shark shows, a mechanical bull ride machine, and lots more.

    If all this activity has literally whetted your appetite look no further than the Main Street. The "Rawhide Steakhouse" still serves up a big Western meal and even features live entertainment. The menu lists items you won't find in 'normal' places: Rocky Mountain oysters (don't ask), and fried rattlesnake for instance. For normal people, there's barbecue ribs, USDA Choice steaks, barbecue chicken, baby-back ribs, prime rib, served with side dishes including cowboy beans, corn cobbette, and their green chili cornbread. ( $16.95 to $28.95) Leave room for dessert--they all sound good. Ask for a child's menu for the little ones ($7 assorted selections includes steak fries, beverage and a BADGE!!).

    "Belle's Saloon" is now located inside the Rawhide Steakhouse. It's designed like an 1880's Saloon and features a 25 ft. bar. They serve a variety of cocktails & draught craft beers. You can also enjoy a variety of appetizers or dinner right in the saloon itself.
    Belle’s Saloon Hours: Wednesday – Saturday 5:00pm – 9:30pm, Sunday 5:00pm – 8:30pm
    Monday-Tuesday Closed.

    There are several new food venues in Rawhide such as the "Tres Amigos Tacos y Tequila" which serves authentic Mexican food such as the tacos, burritos and even a specialty drinik, the "3 Amigos Tequila." Or visit %v"Margarita's the Worlds Smallest Honkytonk", at only 240 sq. ft. The kids might like "THE TOWN GRILL" on the Main Street where this rodeo bar and grill serves char-grilled burgers and hotdogs. There's a place for everyone's tastes.

    Rawhide can be a fun day for the whole family and since we visited, Rawhide certainly seems to have added lots of new attractions, country music, and new places to eat! This would be a great place for kids' birthday parties or just a fun family night out!

    Parking & admission to Rawhide is free; however and BUT, attractions, special events, games and shows require a fee. Check the ticket booth for more info. & prices.
    PLEASE, check the website for opening dates and hours!!

    The shootin' gallery Fantastic sculpture Steakhouse ~ 1998 prices
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    • Family Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

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    Fountains

    by blueskyjohn Written Apr 26, 2014

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    At the Scottsdale Mall and Civic Center, there are several fountains that are very relaxing. There is seating nearby each and is a very peaceful setting. I went one morning and enjoyed a cup of green tea and a muffin. The weather was perfect and I had the place all to my self.

    At Sunset
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    • Arts and Culture
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    Scottsdale Mall

    by blueskyjohn Written Apr 25, 2014

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    The Scottsdale Mall is a park of sorts. Located in the Old Town area, it is home to the Civic Center, the Scottsdale Historic Museum and several stores and restaurants. There are also several gardens with beautiful flowers and several fountain areas.

    I first went here in the evening, at dusk time. I found it a wonderful relaxing area and I was surprise how quiet and hardly any people around. So peaceful I decided to return the next morning after breakfast. Again, hardly any people here. You can really enjoy the gardens and fountains.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Seniors

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    Do as the Sun Devils

    by HELEN Written Apr 30, 2012

    Go to an ASU football game. Start by tailgating either the old fashion way, in the parking lot or going to bars near the stadium. There are several bars to choose from and they all have a great crowd and drink specials. It's a SCENE! Since I went to college without a football team, I love to partake in the Sun Devils shenanigans when I'm in town.

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    Hike Cammelback Mountain

    by HELEN Written Apr 30, 2012

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    A great workout with a fabulous view of Phoenix. There are many stops along the way and you can turn around at any point, or you can get a really good workout and go to the top. The trail was a good challenge ranging from an uphill walk to climbing up rocks.
    It's steep and rocky, so please be careful if you are not an experienced hiker. The trail is very popular and because of the AZ heat, people like to go in the mornings. But, even early in the morning, parking is an issue, pretty busy... be prepared to deal with that, but the views from the top are worth it

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    Orangedale

    by Maria250 Updated Aug 2, 2011

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    Scottsdale's Old Town provids with an awesome southwestern flair in the valley of the sun and at the same time with art galleries, specialty retail, upscale dining, active nightlife and museums. Scottsdale's Old Town is at the heart of the city's art scene, with Contemporary and Western Art, Theatre 4301, and a wide variety of outdoor sculptures set amid the lush green lawns and sparkling fountains of Civic Center Mall. Scottsdale's Arts District is home to a high concentration of galleries showcasing some of the best Western and Southwestern art in the country. Shopkeepers sell quality Native American crafts, offering everything from hand woven Navajo rugs to Zuni silver jewelry.

    Scottsdale Scottsdale Scottsdale Scottsdale
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    Galleries Galore!

    by Yaqui Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    There are so many wonderful and beautiful galleries to stroll along and see in the old downtown area. Parking along here is not bad at all and not far from the galleries are places to eat at. Hours vary from gallery to gallery, but many are open at night too.

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    Cosanti

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 28, 2010

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    WE did not get up to the site to see the art works being made-but did get one to take home-a windbell which is the icon of artist works. Paolo Soleri came to USA in 1919, ,and still alive as of today. He started Cosanti, a eco friendly landscape of earthworks in various shapes of red/grey/brown colors of concrete structures.
    The windbells are made here under his supervision, and many come to purchase and see the structures.
    Equally as impressive is Arcosanti, another Soleri project about 65 miles north of Phoenix. This is a composite of concrete earthtone structures being built to eventually house 5,000 people and have it be a living/working community. It started in 1970, and has gone SLOW-only 200 people live there and much is left to do. Entry price is $10, and many architects come here to take in the arcology.

    Brochure of the Cosanti Windbells on the landscape
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    Tempe Mill Ave area

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 28, 2010

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    This is a range of about 6 blocks that has hundreds of shops, galleries and easting places. We visited during the Southwest arts festival; a fantastic show of great works. Tempe Beach Park is an anchor to the north end of Mill Ave and the lake is used by many to boat and other activities. There are en estimated 200+ shops to buy treasures and souvenirs.

    Brochure showing the layout of Mill Ave and lake Tempe Butte Tempe Lake People flock to the art festival
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    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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    Camelback Office Buildings

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 28, 2010

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    Why show this? Well, it makes up so much of the territory of the city to the west and north of town, and this is where I visited many years ago, when only a couple were built, so I wanted to see the change. It is loaded with office buildings, and this is where the high end jobs, and people able to afford the residential homes thrive. It is a maze of buildings, and many are along Camelback

    Typical shining glass building A row of architectural styles
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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    Contemporary Art Museum

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 28, 2010

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    This is located in the Civic Center Mall area, in a more than unusual modern/contemporary structure. The exhibits are small and few, and of local type artists also trying to sell their wares. There are three gallery wings, but all small. Price to enter is $7 and not worth the visit.

    Front of building on 2nd St Inside of gallery entry Civic Center side of entrance
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    Old Town-Adobe Mission

    by BruceDunning Written Dec 28, 2010

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    The mission church was built in 1933 to serve the needs of Mexicans in the barrio there and the Catholic settlers. The building is made up of 14,000 adobe (mud) bricks weighing 50 pounds each. The mission became run down by 1950-60's, and not until 2005 when a volunteer group bought it, did is see revival. It is now again an active church, and many dollars late, looks like as in the old days. Repair costs exceeded $ 1million, and even all the stained glass was reworked.
    It is

    Front of the white wahsed building Inside of pews and alter Stained glass and frescoe of Mary BAckdro of stained glass window
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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Photography

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    Old Town Museum District

    by BruceDunning Written Dec 28, 2010

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    The Little Red School House is the Scottsdale Museum. Besides that, they have close by the Cavellier's blacksmith shop and still working inside, and a livery stable (closed when we were there). The history of Scottsdale rest in these sites.
    The school was built in 1909, and expanded when more Mexican children of laborers came to farm crops. The building was the Chamber, and became museum in 1971. It is open Wednesday-Sunday 10-5(2PM in summer)
    Cavellier family were the main founders of the town expansion and this blacksmith shop is from 1920. It has third generation working today.
    The town did not incorporate until 1951, and one of the newest in the US.

    Entry to Old Town area on Brown Rd Front of the blacksmith shop on Brown Rd Little Red School House-Museum Red School House Museum exhibit Park at Civic Center mall area
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    Old Town Shopping

    by BruceDunning Updated Dec 28, 2010

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    Yes-they have them and hundreds. according to the web site, there are 320 shops and 90 places to eat. I did not see that many, but saw and counted maybe half that. We did not go into every one since only had 2 days. It is a very nice area to stroll around and see the shops, and decor, as well as find a nice restaurant or bar to relax. The area is a revival of what was a run down/devastated region and needed much fix up to bring back to restored condition.
    We found some real bargins among the other tourist type "junk" in that business has been slow, so we loaded up of 3 years gifts of jewelery and trinkets for the children to savor. Some places are going out of business, while others being maintained by "foreign" families are hanging on because labor is cheap.
    The main thrust is Southwestern jewelery of turquoise mostly, and thousands on display. Check for authenticity and quality before buying. Many are of lesser grade and most do not know how to determine this.

    Map of the old town district Typical row of shops 5th Ave district fountain Main St shops Upscle high end shops
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture

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