Top Scottsdale AZ Tourist Attractions: Must-Visit Destinations

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Welcome to Scottsdale, Arizona, a city known for its beautiful natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and luxurious resorts. If you’re planning a trip to Scottsdale, you’re in for a treat! This guide will provide you with an overview of the top Scottsdale AZ, tourist attractions, ensuring you don’t miss out on any must-visit destinations during your stay.

Key Takeaways

Explore the Beauty of Scottsdale AZ

Scottsdale is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. With its stunning desert landscapes and beautiful mountain vistas, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in this paradise. Here are just a few of the top activities to experience during your visit:

1. Hiking Trails

Scottsdale boasts some of the most picturesque hiking trails in the country, with an extensive network of trails to choose from. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is one of the most popular spots, offering over 200 miles of trails to explore. Camelback Mountain and Pinnacle Peak Park are also must-visit destinations for hikers.

2. Golf Courses

Scottsdale is home to over 200 golf courses, some of which are among the best in the world. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice, these fairways offer an unparalleled golfing experience.

3. Wildlife Spotting

The Sonoran Desert is home to an array of wildlife, including coyotes, rattlesnakes, and roadrunners. In addition, Scottsdale boasts several birding hotspots, such as the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area and the Desert Botanical Garden.

4. Horseback Riding

Experience the beautiful desert landscape on horseback by booking a trail ride with one of Scottsdale’s many stables. Ranches like the MacDonald’s Ranch, Spur Cross Stables, and Fort McDowell Adventures offer guided tours through stunning desert terrain.

5. Hot Air Balloon Rides

Rise above the desert landscape and take in the views from a hot air balloon. Several companies offer scenic flights over Scottsdale and the surrounding areas, providing a unique and unforgettable perspective of the city.

No matter what your outdoor passion is, Scottsdale is sure to provide an amazing experience.

Uncover Scottsdale’s Rich Cultural Heritage

Discover the fascinating cultural heritage of Scottsdale AZ, a city rich in history and architectural wonders. From iconic landmarks to pioneering artists, there is so much to explore in this vibrant city that celebrates its past while looking towards the future.

One must-see attraction is Old Town Scottsdale, a charming district that transports visitors back to the Wild West era. With its wooden buildings, quirky shops, and vibrant nightlife, Old Town is a hub of creativity and entertainment.

Taliesin West is another architectural marvel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and now a National Historic Landmark. This extraordinary complex showcases Wright’s visionary ideas and is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is a world-class institution that presents cutting-edge exhibitions and installations. With a focus on contemporary art that explores social and political themes, this museum is a thought-provoking experience not to be missed.

Other cultural landmarks in Scottsdale AZ include the Heard Museum, which showcases Native American art and culture, and the Cosanti Foundation, an offbeat architectural wonder that blends ecology and art.

Discover Scottsdale’s Vibrant Arts Scene

If you’re a fan of the arts, Scottsdale is the place to be. The city is home to a thriving arts scene that attracts visitors from all over the world. From art galleries to public art installations, there’s no shortage of creative expression in Scottsdale.

One of the most popular events is the annual Scottsdale Arts Festival, which showcases the work of over 200 artists from around the country. The festival also features live music and entertainment, making it a fun-filled weekend for everyone.

Art Galleries

If you’re looking to explore the local art scene, be sure to visit one of the many galleries in Scottsdale. The city is home to numerous galleries that feature a wide range of art, from contemporary to traditional. Some of the most popular galleries include the Bentley Gallery and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Public Art Installations

Scottsdale is also known for its impressive public art installations. These pieces can be found throughout the city, from parks to streetscapes. Some of the most notable installations include Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture and Paolo Soleri’s “The Bridge” at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Art Institutions

For those interested in a more structured art experience, Scottsdale is home to several renowned art institutions. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, from dance to theater. Meanwhile, the Heard Museum showcases the art and culture of Native Americans from around the country.

Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or simply appreciate creative expression, Scottsdale’s arts scene is not to be missed. From galleries to public installations to institutions, there’s something for everyone.

Experience Luxury and Relaxation in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a popular vacation destination known for its luxurious resorts, spas, and golf courses. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Scottsdale has something for everyone.

Scottsdale is home to some of the most upscale resorts in the country, offering an indulgent and relaxing getaway. From award-winning spas to world-class golf courses, these resorts provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The PhoenicianChampionship golf course, eight pools, luxurious spa
The Canyon Suites at The PhoenicianPrivate infinity pool, personal concierge
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick RanchFive pools, tennis courts, award-winning restaurant

If you’re looking for an upscale shopping experience, Scottsdale has plenty of options. Head to Scottsdale Fashion Square for high-end designer shops or check out Kierland Commons for a more laid-back outdoor shopping experience.

When it comes to dining, Scottsdale offers a diverse culinary scene. From local Southwestern flavors to international dishes, there’s something for every palate. Don’t miss dining hotspots like the Scottsdale Waterfront and Fifth Avenue.

Overall, Scottsdale is the perfect destination for those seeking a luxurious and relaxing vacation. With its world-class resorts, indulgent spas, and upscale shopping and dining, you’re sure to have a memorable and rejuvenating experience.

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with a vast array of recreational activities to choose from. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping adventures or a leisurely day in the sun, Scottsdale has something for everyone.

Hit the Water

Escape the desert heat and explore the Salt River by kayak, canoe or tube. Take in the scenic river views and enjoy a relaxing day on the water. For those seeking a bit more excitement, try your hand at paddleboarding or jet skiing.

Kayaking/CanoeingSalt River
TubingLower Salt River
PaddleboardingTempe Town Lake
Jet SkiingSaguaro Lake

Explore the Mountains

Scottsdale’s spectacular mountain ranges offer hiking, biking, and climbing opportunities for adventurers of all skill levels. Take in the breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert from atop Camelback Mountain, or venture out to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for a scenic hike.

Mountain RangeActivity
Camelback MountainHiking
McDowell Sonoran PreserveHiking/Biking
Pinnacle Peak ParkHiking
Rock ClimbingPhoenix Mountains Preserve

Get Active

For those seeking a more active experience, Scottsdale offers a variety of recreational opportunities. Tee off at one of the city’s world-renowned golf courses or saddle up for a horseback riding adventure through the desert. For a unique adventure, take to the skies with a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert.

GolfTPC Scottsdale
Horseback RidingMacDonald’s Ranch
Hot Air Balloon RidesScottsdale Balloon Rides
ATV ToursOff-Road Rentals

With so many outdoor activities to choose from, Scottsdale is the perfect destination for adventure seekers. Be sure to pack your sunscreen and get ready for an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors.

Delight in Scottsdale’s Culinary Scene

One of the best things about visiting Scottsdale is the diverse culinary scene. Whether you’re in the mood for classic Southwestern flavors or international cuisine, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds.

Head to the Scottsdale Waterfront for a beautiful outdoor dining experience with a view of the canal. Here you can find some of the city’s most popular restaurants, such as Olive & Ivy and The Mission. If you’re looking for a lively atmosphere, head to Fifth Avenue for some of the best nightlife in the city.

For a unique culinary experience, check out the food trucks and local pop-up events. Scottsdale hosts a variety of food festivals throughout the year, such as the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Arizona Taco Festival. You can also take a food tour and discover some of the hidden gems in the city.

Don’t leave Scottsdale without trying some of the local specialties, such as prickly pear margaritas and Sonoran-style hot dogs. And if you’re a wine lover, be sure to check out some of the local wineries and tasting rooms in the area.

No matter what your taste, Scottsdale’s culinary scene is sure to impress and leave you craving more.

Explore Surrounding Areas and Day Trips from Scottsdale

While Scottsdale has plenty to offer, there are also several nearby destinations that make for great day trips. Here are some suggestions:

DestinationDistance from ScottsdaleRecommended Activity
Sedona~2 hoursExplore the stunning red rock formations and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.
Grand Canyon~4 hoursTake a scenic drive to one of the world’s most famous natural wonders.
Sonoran Desert~30 minutesTake a guided tour of this unique desert ecosystem and see desert wildlife up close.

Transportation options include renting a car, booking a guided tour, or taking public transportation. Keep in mind that some destinations may require a full day trip, so plan accordingly.


Congratulations! You now have a comprehensive guide to the top Scottsdale AZ tourist attractions and must-visit destinations. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, thriving arts scene, luxurious resorts, diverse culinary options, and endless outdoor recreational activities, Scottsdale truly has something for everyone.

We hope this article has inspired you to plan your perfect getaway to Scottsdale, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today and experience all that Scottsdale has to offer!


Q: What are the top Scottsdale AZ tourist attractions?

A: The top Scottsdale AZ tourist attractions include the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Camelback Mountain, Pinnacle Peak Park, Old Town Scottsdale, Taliesin West, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Arts Festival, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Heard Museum, upscale shopping areas like Scottsdale Fashion Square and Kierland Commons, Salt River, Silverleaf Golf Club, WestWorld of Scottsdale, and the diverse culinary scene found in Scottsdale.

Q: What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Scottsdale AZ?

A: In Scottsdale, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Camelback Mountain, exploring Pinnacle Peak Park, horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, and outdoor sports at WestWorld of Scottsdale, and relaxing along the Salt River.

Q: What are some cultural attractions and landmarks in Scottsdale AZ?

A: Scottsdale AZ offers cultural attractions and landmarks such as Old Town Scottsdale, Taliesin West, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Q: What is Scottsdale’s arts scene like?

A: Scottsdale has a vibrant arts scene with numerous art galleries, public art installations, and annual events like the Scottsdale Arts Festival. Renowned art institutions include the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and the Heard Museum.

Q: Where can I experience luxury and relaxation in Scottsdale?

A: In Scottsdale, you can experience luxury and relaxation at luxurious resorts, spas, and golf courses. Upscale shopping areas like Scottsdale Fashion Square and Kierland Commons are also popular spots for indulgence.

Q: What is Scottsdale’s culinary scene like?

A: Scottsdale offers a diverse culinary scene with a variety of cuisines, from local Southwestern flavors to international dishes. Dining hotspots include the Scottsdale Waterfront and Fifth Avenue.

Q: Are there any day trips or nearby attractions from Scottsdale AZ?

A: Yes, there are several day trips and nearby attractions from Scottsdale. Some popular options include visiting Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and the Sonoran Desert. There are transportation options available, and guided tours can provide a memorable experience.

About the Author
Justin Abbate

Justin Abbate is a passionate traveler and explorer, having journeyed to diverse destinations from the historic streets of Italy and Greece to the breathtaking landscapes of Australia. Born in Scottsdale, Arizona, his wanderlust has taken him to hidden gems like Nice, France, where he spent a summer, and to renowned spots in Switzerland, Germany, London, and beyond. As the Account Director at Single Origin, Justin combines his love for travel with his expertise in digital strategy. Dive into his articles as he shares captivating tales and insights from his global adventures.