8 Amazing Places to Visit in Scottsdale Arizona

8 Amazing Places to Visit in Scottsdale Arizona. Scottsdale Arizona boasts an array of cultural attractions and shopping to suit everyone’s taste. From Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West to an Amphibious Seaplane tour, there are so many amazing places to discover in this vibrant city!

Old Town Scottsdale is a historic downtown with boutique shopping, restaurants, and bars. It’s also known for the Scottsdale ArtWalk –a self-guided tour through galleries and local shops.

8 Amazing Places to Visit in Scottsdale Arizona

4 amazing places to visit in Scottsdale Arizona

1. Taliesin West

Scottsdale Arizona, known as ‘The West’s Most Western Town,’ provides visitors with a host of cultural attractions and tourist activities that make it an exciting destination. No matter if you want to admire Scottsdale’s impressive architectural wonders or enjoy some upscale shopping and dining, Scottsdale has something for everyone.

Taliesin West, an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright UNESCO site and National Historic Landmark located in Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains, is one of the must-visits. Surrounded by the lush Sonoran Desert on all sides, this complex provides visitors with a truly unforgettable experience.

Taliesin West
Taliesin West

In addition to its stunning architecture, the campus also features both traveling and permanent exhibits that will surely enchant art lovers. Popular attractions include the Sculpture Courtyard with rotating sculptures set against a picturesque desert landscape.

Other popular attractions include the Art Museum, which features four galleries devoted to design, art, and architecture. Here visitors are sure to be inspired by a wide range of paintings, sculptures, murals, and fabric artwork on display.

At the Museum of Contemporary Art, there are plenty of events throughout the year to enjoy, such as art walks and live music performances. ArtWalk is an excellent opportunity to take in the local art scene and engage with gallery owners.

Another thrilling activity in Scottsdale is hiking the Bajada Nature Trail. This scenic trek passes through saguaro cacti and other desert plants to provide breathtaking views of the region. Suitable for all ages, this enjoyable hike takes you through stunning desert landscapes.

You can either choose to walk the whole trail independently or join a guided tour. This is ideal for those with limited time or who want a more in-depth view of the natural splendor found within the Sonoran Desert.

Don’t miss the Desert Botanical Garden, an inspiring oasis of plants sure to inspire you. It’s the ideal spot for a picnic or simply taking in the natural splendor of the area.

2. Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale Arizona

Old Town Scottsdale Arizona, once the center of Scottsdale’s economic activity, is a vibrant fusion of history and modernity. Here you’ll find pedestrian-friendly streets lined with cute tourist shops, luxurious condos, public monuments, and world-class art galleries.

The City of Scottsdale provides free walking tours that cover the history and various points of interest in this historic district. They’re an excellent way to get acquainted with this part of town.

The Rusty Spur Saloon is an exciting restaurant to visit if you’re in search of authentic cowboy decor and live music from local talent. They serve delicious Tex-Mex cuisine with classic Old West hospitality.

Bischoff’s Gallery is an outstanding destination to browse for Native American art and crafts. Here you’ll find pieces made by various Southwestern tribes such as Hopi Kachina dolls and Navajo rugs, plus jewelry, paintings, and a vast array of ceramics and paintings.

If you’re a foodie, Old Town Scottsdale has plenty of restaurants to choose from. Plus, many offer discounts for groups on certain nights or weekends!

You’ll also find plenty of restaurants that are family-friendly and welcome pets. For fresh, organic produce grown locally, don’t miss the Old Town Farmers Market.

No trip to Scottsdale would be complete without exploring the many wine-tasting rooms along the Scottsdale Wine Trail. This route connects six tasting rooms, providing visitors with an opportunity to sample some of Arizona’s finest wines.

Once your wine tour is over, be sure to visit some of the Old Town restaurants for some of the best cuisines the area has to offer. Some iconic establishments include The Sugar Bowl – a Scottsdale institution since 1958; Rusty Spur Saloon; an inviting and historic restaurant offering delectable Tex-Mex fare; and MacDonald’s Ranch, perfect for families or larger groups.

3. Scottsdale Fashion Square

Scottsdale Fashion Square
Scottsdale Fashion Square

Scottsdale Fashion Square, situated in Scottsdale, Arizona, is an incredible destination to visit. It is a massive luxury shopping center featuring top brands and restaurants – plus there’s even a movie theater for the kids to enjoy! So if you’re looking for somewhere fun to spend the day with kids in tow, Scottsdale Fashion Square is perfect!

This mall features some of the top stores in Arizona, such as Gucci, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus. Plus you’ll find plenty of other great sales and discounts at these stores too!

When you’re not shopping, why not join a guided chocolate tour of the city’s main chocolatiers? Along the way, you’ll get to taste some delectable delicatessen chocolates and learn some interesting information about each chocolatier.

This is a fantastic way to explore all of the chocolate shops in the city and gain insight into their histories. Plus, you can bring home all of those delectable treats in a bag!

In addition to the chocolate tour, there is also Wonderspaces amusement park. This is an engaging destination for everyone with several interactive exhibits engaging all of your senses.

Enjoy an array of animals, including some rare ones, at this free park! With so much to explore and do – and best of all? It’s free!

Families will enjoy this area, especially during the weekdays when it’s less crowded. There are numerous restaurants and a playground for the kids to enjoy.

Once you’re done shopping, take a break at one of the many restaurants inside or visit the movie theater. Plus, there are still plenty of shops outside if you need more inspiration for your purchases.

Stay at a hotel right in the middle of shopping? Motel 6 Old Town Scottsdale Fashion Square provides affordable accommodations with free WiFi, an indoor pool, and a hot breakfast.

4. MacDonald’s Ranch

MacDonald’s Ranch
MacDonald’s Ranch

MacDonald’s Ranch, situated in North Scottsdale, provides visitors with a taste of life in the American West. They offer horseback riding, stagecoach rides, a petting zoo, and a pumpkin patch in October that are sure to please any family.

For the more adventurous, there’s also a rock collection and museum filled with artifacts from the past. If fossils are your thing, this is the place to be as there are hundreds of dinosaur bones on display. Additionally, visitors can examine a full-size skeleton of a dinosaur at this museum.

The ranch itself has been running since the late 1950s. Originally a cattle and horse ranch, it’s been in the McDonald family for generations and is currently managed by Alex and Cheryl. They still maintain several herds of horses, cows, and sheep that are raised solely for food production purposes.

They’re an excellent place to explore the history of agriculture in America and see some unique fossils and minerals that cannot be found elsewhere. You’ll find everything from petrified wood to angelwing agate and thundereggs!

Enjoy the stunning natural splendor of the area by joining one of their guided horseback tours, available both in groups or privately. Your knowledgeable guide will show you the best route to take, provide helpful tips about riding, and ensure that you have an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy an educational tour of Arizona’s history and culture at the same time! This free tour is offered to everyone, providing a wonderful opportunity to learn about Arizona’s fascinating past while enjoying some quality horseback riding in the process!

They offer a wide range of real estate choices to choose from, such as single-family homes ranging in price from luxurious to more budget-friendly. Duplex villas can also be an attractive alternative to single-family residences.

5. Wonderspaces Arizona

Wonderspaces Arizona
Wonderspaces Arizona

In 2018, Wonderspaces gallery opened in Scottsdale Fashion Square. Designed by afoam, their mission is to connect artists and audiences through immersive art experiences. Here, visitors will have the chance to interact with interactive installations by artists from around the world.

At Wonderspaces gallery, you’ll have the unique chance to view a range of artworks that will leave an unforgettable impact on your family. For instance, walk through 8,000 lights that change colors and illuminate the environment around you. Plus, play a game that allows you to “paint” with infrared light on your body!

Wonderspaces may offer some unusual exhibitions, but they remain captivating and enjoyable for all ages. Adults enjoy visiting this space just as much, while kids especially love its various activities.

Aside from the Wonderspaces museum, Scottsdale offers several other thrilling activities. There’s a wildlife preserve, hiking trails, world-class museums, and shopping centers to explore.

Are you searching for a unique way to experience the desert? McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is an ideal destination. This natural preserve boasts miles of trails that can be hiked, providing plenty of chances to get outside and exercise in the fresh air.

Another must-visit in Scottsdale is Taliesin West, a museum dedicated to Frank Lloyd Wright’s design and architecture. Open daily with various tours available at no charge, this attraction offers plenty of reasons why visitors should stop by.

Scottsdale is not only home to world-class museums and galleries, but it also boasts some stunning gardens. Take a leisurely walk through Xeriscape Garden for a true taste of desert living, or head over to Butterfly Wonderland and witness thousands of butterflies that call this sanctuary home.

6. McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is a local non-profit organization committed to conserving and enhancing natural open space through Science, Education, and Stewardship. For over three decades they have been diligent stewards of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve by organizing events in the preserve so everyone can enjoy this living treasure.

The preserve offers a unique opportunity to observe desert vegetation and fauna up close. It boasts numerous plants, animals, geological features, and human history that make it truly remarkable. The Fender visitor center provides an informative tour of these diverse families of plants and animals – many rare to the Sonoran Desert!

In the preserve, there are plenty of trails for hikers and mountain bikers to enjoy. The most popular trailhead is Gateway trailhead west of Scottsdale; it boasts a 4.5-mile loop trail that attracts early-morning hikers and mountain bikers alike.

Other trailheads in the preserve include Brown’s Ranch, Lost Dog Wash, and Sunrise. At all of these trailheads, Pathfinders are on duty most mornings to assist visitors to plan their day and find a route suitable for their ability level and goals.

In addition to the existing trailheads, a brand-new trailhead opened in late 2019 in the northeast section of the preserve called Fraesfield Trailhead. This facility was designed and built to offer safe access to 130 miles of trails within the preserve; it includes a building for trail users, restrooms, educational space, and an outpost for volunteer stewards.

Another wonderful feature of the preserve is Parsons Field Institute, a research center of McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. Here, citizen scientists, principal investigators, and volunteers conduct research in the preserve. The outcomes are used for long-term resource management strategies as well as education initiatives.

No matter the size of a preserve, it’s possible to enjoy all its amenities. There are hundreds of miles of hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing trails within its boundaries that are accessible for everyone; even Bajada Nature Trail has been designed with ADA accessibility in mind; offering an interpretive loop that teaches about Sonoran Desert plants.

7. Titus House

Titus House

Scottsdale is an idyllic haven in the Sonoran Desert with plenty to see and do for visitors. It boasts miles of trails, an idyllic climate, shopping centers, museums, as well as a wildlife preserve. Scottsdale truly has it all!

The Titus House, constructed in the 1800s by railroad engineer Frank Titus, now stands as a private residence. While it contains many interesting historical items to discover inside, visitors are welcome to come and explore.

Originally, the house served as a train station; today it serves as a museum that chronicles Frank Titus’ passion for trains. Visitors can experience several activities at the house like riding on the 1950 Charro Carousel, visiting the Railroad Museum, or taking photos with an Antique Railroad Bell.

This is an enjoyable spot for families and adults looking to escape the summer heat! Plus, you can take a tour of the house and learn all about its history.

Another fantastic activity in the area is visiting McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and taking a ride on an authentic narrow-gauge train! This activity promises to be fun for everyone throughout the day!

Golf enthusiasts mustn’t miss Topgolf, where you can play all your favorite games. This is an ideal destination to visit with friends and family; you can even book birthday parties here!

If you’re in search of some of the finest dining in the area, there are plenty of top-notch restaurants that you should check out. From steaks and crab legs to lobster legs and other delectable delicacies – if you haven’t had a chance to sample these yet, now is your chance! Don’t wait any longer; treat yourself today!

When searching for a hotel to stay in in this charming city, there are plenty of options to choose from. Some offer luxury resorts while others cater more to budget travelers. No matter which option you opt for, you’re sure to have an amazing time exploring this fascinating destination.

8. Scottsdale Museum of the West

Scottsdale Museum of the West

The Scottsdale Museum of the West is a must-stop for anyone interested in American history. Their exhibits, educational programs, and entertaining events bring Western heritage to life. As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, this museum has been named “Best Western Museum” in America (True West magazine) since 2015.

The museum is conveniently situated in Downtown Scottsdale’s arts district, only steps away from numerous art galleries and restaurants as well as Old Town Scottsdale. Open Thursday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., admission is free to the public.

They host a range of special events throughout the year, such as ballets, dance performances, concerts, plays, and speakers. These make for a wonderful afternoon activity whether you’re with family or traveling solo – making it an ideal destination to spend quality time.

Are you curious to explore Native American culture? Look no further than this museum, which boasts an impressive collection of artwork from multiple tribes.

On display are works by renowned master potters such as Nampeyo of Hano and her descendants, plus pieces from Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Maynard Dixon that should not be missed.

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