Scottsdale Travel Guide

  • Scottsdale
    by jhome259
  • 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

Scottsdale Highlights

  • Pro
    spartan profile photo

    spartan says…

     Arts and Crafts, Golf and Cambleback Mountain 

  • Con
    Yaqui profile photo

    Yaqui says…

     A little pricey at times! 

  • In a nutshell
    KenBel profile photo

    KenBel says…

     If you're gonna stay anywhere in the valley, this probably the safer and prettier place to do it and you won't have trouble finding a decent place to eat at night or to shop for souvenirs during the... 

Scottsdale Things to Do

  • Do as the Sun Devils

    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.

  • Hike Cammelback Mountain

    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...

  • Orangedale

    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...


Scottsdale Hotels

Scottsdale Restaurants

  • Worth trying to find

    Located in the Scottsdale Mall there are signs throughout the mall pointing the direction to Cool. Good thing because I never would have found it. Very small place. Some indoor and outdoor seating. I had the chocolate gelato. It was excellent. I stopped in around 7:30pm and there was hardly anyone there. Very relaxing to sit by a fountain and eat...

  • Great burger place

    Cool name for an excellent burger place. The burgers are on the extreme side. They come in two sizes, Rehab (10oz) and Relapse (5oz). I order the chili burger and a pretzel bun. It comes with options for sides. I had the sweet potato tots and a side of chipotle aioli. I was glad I ordered the relapse burger because it was loaded with chili. So much...

  • Great ice cream desserts!

    This is a nice place for ice cream. They specialize in ice cream floats and banana splits. All the seating in the restaurant is pink. There is also a small game room for the children to play and burn off some of that sugar from the ice cream.I stopped in after dinner one evening. Friendly staff but not many ice cream flavor options. I had the dutch...


Scottsdale Nightlife

  • Good Drinks/Music, Friendly Staff

    The Social Tap is right next door to DJ's but to me is a much better choice. They were playing decent rock and roll and the staff was much nicer. Unfortunately, my favorite waitress there, Heidi, is leaving. Still a decent choice for getting a few good drinks. They have food too.

  • Not My Cup of Tea

    Of the four bars I went to in Scottsdale, DJ's would rank last. It seemed to have plenty of people drinking there but neither the crowd, nor the bartender was particularly friendly. There are plenty of other choices in the Entertainment District.

  • Voted Best Bar for Daytime Drinking

    This is my favorite bar in the Entertainment District or anywhere else in Scottsdale. They played excellent 70s and 80s rock and roll and the décor was very cool. Love the Harley (see photo 2). Caters to bikers but a variety of people come here. They also offer a free daily buffet, and the waitresses are quite cute wearing tops that show a lot of...


Scottsdale Transportation

  • The Downtown Trolley

    The trolley is a wonderful way to get around the historical downtown area. It's free and prompt. It runs 7 days a week from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, every 10 minutes. The Trolley visits the most significant places to sightsee, so you can hop off wherever you'd like and hop back on as you please. Very convenient!

  • Old Town CArriage Rides

    A tourist adventure to take the horse drawn carriage. I do not know the cost since we did not do that "touristy" thing-not my style, but imagine it is $30 for 1/2 hour rides around the center of old town.

  • Trolley Shuttle

    The best way to get around the old town Scottsdale and see the different art districts is the shuttle. It is prompt, coming around every 10-15 minutes, and not crowded when we were there. They have a number of drop off points, to hop on and off to see all the sites.


Scottsdale Shopping

  • South of Camelback

    Soca means South of Camelback and South of the (Arizona) Canal, the gallery includes a boutique store called Vircille. Soca Gallery is a two-level art boutique with jewelry, antiques, rugs and other decorative furnishings to buy. A portion of the sales go to children's charities for the arts. Inside the gallery, gold walls frame such paintings as...

  • Old Town shops

    Though I'm not that much of that shopping type of person, I did like shopping through those western shops pretty much. Very interesting the days of the Old West. One can find there Native American art/crafts, hats, caps, boots, collectibles, souvenirs, and much, much more. For those interested in "The Finest in Native American Art, Katsina Dolls,...

  • Something from Everywhere

    The Mexican Imports store is a jumble of items ranging from t-shirts, mass-produced souvenirs, postcards, Mexican clay pots, and ropes of dried chili peppers, to Southwest keepsakes and lots more. This small store has only 2 narrow aisles but is piled high with mostly inexpensive items. I came here to see if they still carried the tiny...


Scottsdale Local Customs

  • Biking Around old town and Tempe

    Be aware of thew bikes that may be on the streets. They have the rights of way in most spots, and will take advantage of that.

  • Phoenix First Fridays

    A downtown phenomenon. The first Friday of every month (except in summer) there is a downtown art walk. Mostly unknown artists display their stuff, from paintings, photographs, sculptures, multimedia, etc. It makes one feel as if they've found some authentic culture in my city. If you are in town in the fall, check it out.

  • Fun Centerpiece!

    Okay, I don't know if this is a local custom, but I just loved this little cactus centerpiece. Too cute!!!


Scottsdale Warnings and Dangers

  • The Desert Cottontails Need Therapy

    There is a game that the locals play, although I sense that it's not by choice: Dodge The Desert Cottontail. Here's how it works: the rabbits will dart out of the roadside shrubbery and bramble just as a car approaches. The car is then obliged to do one of two things: 1) Run over the cute little bunny, or 2) Swerve.It's all very sad. Paranoid...

  • Watch your wallet

    One of the salesreps with my company had his wallet with $500 in cash stolen from his room. Okay, I don't know why anyone would leave something like this in their room, but you would expect better security from a high-class Marriott resort like this one.

  • The most dangerous cacti

    When you are in Arizona, you will see some cute pretty cacti... you might brush against them. Be very very careful because that pretty cactus has barbs, that can get caught on your hands/legs, and imbed into your skin. The hooks are like porcupine quills, fish hooks, any of those nasty barbs that get in and don't come out without a lot of pain and...


Scottsdale Tourist Traps

  • Salt River Tubing can be dangerous!

    If you're unfamiliar with salt river tubing don't be fooled in to thinking it's not risky by the pics on the ads that tell you it's fun and cool. The exits are not well planned and if you end up getting off your tube for any reason there is a huge chance that the fast flowing water can take you. If you're a great swimmer you will survive but if...

  • Celebrity Charity Events during Super...

    OK, so it seems every 6 years Arizona is honored to host the Super Bowl, which is the sports parties of parties(maybe except for the World Cup). Anyway, there is always a ton of special events associated with it where cover charge is something crazy like 500-1,000.00 us dollars (worth less every second). This particular event was hosted by Pamela...

  • Like most popular tourist...

    Like most popular tourist destinations, Scottsdale is overpriced and has a lot of overly expensive souvenir shops. Better to get indian jewelry in less expensive area of town.Also don't flash money or be too trusting. Just behave as you would in any tourist destination where unscrupulous people could be watching for naive tourists!


Scottsdale What to Pack

  • Don't forget Sunblock and Sunglasses

    You are going to the desert, during the summer it's scorching hot, during the winter it's freezing cold. But, the sun is almost always shining, so you'll want your sunglasses and sun-block at all times.

  • sunglasses and suncreen a must year...

    Although Phoenix/Scottsdale boast year round weather it does get cold in the winter months. Jan through March can get quite cool. Be prepared when visting during these months. Days are cool and nights can get cold. A light jacket or sweater will do. Summer is monsoon season so be prepared to get caught in one of the sudden unexpected storms. Good...

  • Layers!

    Bring a big one! Bring layers of all kinds of clothing if travelling in Winter. Temps varied between the 30's and 70's while I was there. Lotion, lotion, lotion! The desert air makes your skin dry! Be sure to be able to capture all the colors and brilliant sunshine Can't tell ya - I don't camp. Whatever makes ya happy....


Scottsdale Off The Beaten Path

  • Arizona family road trip

    Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Sedona offer a diverse range of activities for the whole family. Start in the Valley of the Sun and explore downtown Phoenix’s museums and parks. Then, head north to Sedona for a series of outdoor adventures before making your way back to Scottsdale’s resorts and Old West fun.

  • The Apache Trail ~ A Rugged Experience

    During our first visit to Scottsdale quite a few years ago, we learned about the Apache Trail. Beginning just on the edge of Scottsdale at Apache Junction, the famed Apache Trail ( US Rt. 88) takes you on a 41 + mile loop deep into the" Superstition Mountains" and around the "Tonto National Forest". This road once served as an old stage coach...

  • Bronze Horse Fountain

    This particular fountain is probably the most photograph sculpture in Scottsdale and rightly so. It is absolutely beautiful. It crowns this section of the shopping district so proudly. Sculpted by Bob Parks 1989 and located in the traffic circle at E. 5th Ave & N. Marshall Way.


Scottsdale Sports & Outdoors

  • Spring Training

    If you are a baseball fan, spring training in Scottsdale is the place to be. Before the office baseball season begins, all teams from the west side of the country come to Arizona for "training". It's a social scene along with great baseball watching.

  • Hike Cammelback Mountain

    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...

  • Piestewa Peak-Summit Trail

    This hike was nearly as challenging as Camelback. Summit Trail-It is 1 1/4 miles one way, but elevation gain of 1200 feet at 60 degree angle makes it equal to about 2 miles one way. The trail is rocky nearly all the way and they are rough, jagged and uneven. Some flat path is part of the trail, but there is also slick rock to climb. The trail wraps...


Scottsdale Favorites

  • Sunrise/Sunset for the People

    The scenery during the rising and evening hours is fantastic. I got some, but not the best pictures during the trip. Many come here to see the serenity daily.

  • Budweiser - King of all Beers?

    Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being abroad is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. In America it wasn’t really that hard to find the brand we liked, it was clearly Budweiser, popularly referred to as Bud.Budweiser is a lager made with a proportion of rice as a...

  • Arts Festival

    With so many art galleries, Scottsdale is an art lover's Mecca. Items range from cheap and common in the tourist shops to many thousands of dollars in the galleries selling original art. With so much variety a person can spend the entire day browsing.Also, the city has an arts festival every year on the same weekend as the Phoenix St. Patrick's Day...


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Comments (1)

  • toddecus's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    I am really wondering if Devil's Martini is still the hotspot for 30 somethings.

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