Scottsdale, Arizona, affectionately known as ‘The Beverly Hills of the Desert’, boasts a fusion of luxury, cultural heritage, and year-round sunshine. Its diverse attractions invite exploration and adventure, offering a blend of Old West nostalgia and modern delights. Here are the top 12 must-visit spots that make Scottsdale an unforgettable destination.
Location: 6433 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
Escape into architect Paolo Soleri’s world at Cosanti, a captivating display of imaginative concrete structures. Explore the former home and studio of Soleri, who experimented with ‘earth-casting’ techniques here. The site, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, showcases bronze bells, art, and architectural marvels, offering a unique glimpse into Soleri’s visionary mind.
Location: 26540 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Saddle up for Wild West adventures at MacDonald’s Ranch, nestled in the scenic Sonoran Desert. Families revel in horseback rides, hayrides, and cowboy cookouts, while the ranch’s pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and gold panning add to the fun. It’s a delightful escapade into the Western spirit for visitors of all ages.
Location: 9500 E Via de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Dive into an aquatic wonderland at OdySea Aquarium, the Southwest’s largest. Encounter over 6,000 marine creatures across expansive tanks and immersive exhibits. The aquarium, opened in 2016, entices visitors with educational encounters, including playful penguins and the unforgettable Voyager – the world’s only rotating aquarium experience.
Location: 9500 E Via de Ventura F100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Discover a paradise of fluttering beauty at Butterfly Wonderland, the country’s largest butterfly conservatory. Wander through lush rainforest habitats and marvel at 70+ butterfly species in their natural habitat. The wonderland extends beyond butterflies, housing captivating exhibits featuring insects, reptiles, and tropical fish.
Museum of the West
Location: 3830 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Journey through the captivating history of the American West at the Museum of the West. Delve into 19 states’ heritage, including Alaska and Hawaii, through an extensive collection of artifacts, art, and exhibits. The museum’s multimedia theater and courtyard filled with stunning sculptures offer a multisensory experience celebrating the West’s rich culture.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Location: 18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Escape to the vastness of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the largest urban nature reserve in the United States. Traverse 180 miles of scenic trails offering hiking, biking, and horseback riding opportunities. The rugged desert terrain, featuring breathtaking vistas and diverse wildlife, invites outdoor enthusiasts to explore its expansive landscapes.
Fashion Square Mall
Location: 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Indulge in retail therapy at Fashion Square, Arizona’s premier shopping destination. With over 240 specialty stores, including flagship brands like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, it’s a paradise for fashion enthusiasts. After a day of shopping, unwind at one of its cafes or restaurants or catch a movie at the onsite theater.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Location: 7301 E Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250
All aboard the fun train at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, a delightful destination for train aficionados. Enjoy rides on vintage steam locomotives, explore model railway displays, and discover the park’s interactive museum. This family-friendly park offers picnic spots and engaging exhibits detailing the history of the railroad.
Location: 12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259
Embark on a journey into architectural brilliance at Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and studio. Explore this National Historical Monument set amidst the McDowell Range foothills, featuring organic architecture blending seamlessly with the desert landscape. Guided tours offer insights into Wright’s innovative designs and his enduring legacy.
Old Town Scottsdale
Location: Old Town, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Discover the beating heart of Scottsdale at Old Town, a vibrant district brimming with history and contemporary allure. Wander through the Wild West-themed area, boasting quaint shops, eclectic galleries, and vibrant restaurants. Dive into its chic boutiques, Native American art galleries, and trendy nightlife while immersing yourself in the lively Scottsdale Artwalk.
Scottsdale’s diverse attractions promise an immersive journey through the Old West’s heritage and modern luxuries. Explore, discover, and relish the unique charm and experiences that make Scottsdale a top-notch travel destination.