Scottsdale over the years has evolved into a resort destination for visitors that are looking for great food and a variety of activities to try. Located northeast of Phoenix, this city has something for everyone. Within Scottsdale, you will find plenty of golf courses, hotels, spas, restaurants, art boutiques, and many more.
In addition, the city host events like the Phoenix Open golf tournament, Barret Jackson auction, Spring Training for baseball, and many other food or art events. The city has so much to offer, so here is your quick local guide on what to see, eat or do, while visiting Scottsdale.
Best Time To Visit
If you want high prices and crowds then visit during our high season, which is January to May. During this time, we have many events that occur. Some examples are the Gold Open, Barrett Jackson, and Spring Training. The weather is great during this time, but you will pay for it.
If your planning on visiting during the high season then make sure to book ahead for good price. It’s always good to check the official Experience Scottsdale website for any events or other information.
For the other people who have leeway on travel dates and don’t want to experience the crowds, then head down during September to November. The weather is still nice for outdoor patios and there are a few events you may want to participate in. Check out the Fall Arizona Restaurant Week, Taco Festival, The State Fair, Rainbows Festival, and ArtFest.
Here you will find a modern latin cuisine in a building that looks like a mission. Once you step inside, you will be greeted by a relaxing atmosphere in the smaller space. Their outdoor patio is wonderful to sit in when the weather is enjoyable.
With homemade tortillas and sauces everyday, you can never go wrong. Try the Grilled Street Corn and especially the tacos. Honestly, they are so good I refused to share with my wife and she has come to expect it. Don’t forget the drinks, since they do have some amazing Margaritas.
Located in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, the La Hacienda is considered the best Mexican restaurant in Arizona. Along with outstanding food options, they also have an impressive Tequila bar. Come here for the ambiance and delicious food.
If your looking for a place with various options for beers and amazing pizza, then head here. They make their own mozzarella and bread. Located in a small space, so come early or make reservations for a table, when it is busy.
So this one is a local favorite when it comes to wanting desert. After exploring the shops and restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale, you will want to head here. You will find a few food options on the menu, but your not here for that, your here for the ice cream. Since 1958, this place has been serving tourist and locals sweet tooth cravings. Just look for the pink building.
Bars & Clubs
If your looking for a nightlife filled with live music, then make sure to check this place out. Downstairs is where the live music plays as well as the main bar. During the summer months, head up to the roof top portion for some views and drinks. This bar can be considered as more of a grunge bar. If your an Eagles fan then this is the bar for you on game days.
This place you can’t miss. The outside is covered in Christmas lights everywhere. With no food options, make sure to eat beforehand. This is a relaxed dive bar, with reasonable prices, so it can get crowded on busy nights.
Another option if you want to drink and dance, is the Dakota, which is situated in Old Town. During the day you can enjoy some food and drinks on the large patio. This place delivers on a beautiful patio, which is important to us locals. We love our sunsets and being outside when we can.
As night comes, the music will get louder and you will see people on the dance floor. Like most places in Scottsdale, expect to pay higher prices for your drinks.
Charlie’s or The Cash for LGBTQ
For the LGBTQ community, you only really have two choices for a club and they are not in Scottsdale. Lucky, we don’t have heavy traffic in Phoenix, so it is an easy ride to hop over to one. Charlie’s is considered the Gay club for the city.
Oh did I mention it was more of a country club? You will see not only men but women here as well on busy nights. For the women, try The Cash, which has recently moved. Certain nights, there will be no cover charge for ladies.
Nestled within Camelback Mountain, this is considered one of the top destinations spa in the country. The grounds are beautiful with indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. As you look through the amenities and offerings at the spa, you will see an Asian inspired theme.
This boutique spa and hotel has amazing food as well with outstanding views. This spa will run on the higher side, but we think it’s worth it. Another thing to consider is your right by Camelback Mountains Cholla Trail, so if you want a view then try this hike. The top will give you a perfect view of the city.
Another breathtaking spa to try is Omni, which is also located at the base of Camelback Mountain. Here you will find their Joya spa is inspired by a Moroccan theme and their food is a delectable combination of Mexican and Spanish flavors.
Old Town Farmers Market
Most people would not think that the desert can grow so many varieties of food, but we do. That’s why you should check out the farmers market on the corner of Brown and 1st Street. As you walk through the stalls, you will find homemade foods, vegetables, and fruits. They do close for the summer season due to heat.
The Scottsdale Trolley is perfect for getting around during the day. It’s free and goes around the downtown area. Hours of operation are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Great alternate for viewing Old Town Scottsdale.
Towards the evening, you will see LED golf carts roaming around. For a tip, they will cart you around to different bars or back to your hotel after a long night. If you are in a group of people, this is a great alternative for everyone to stay together as you explore Scottsdale.
Scooter or Bike
All around town you will find yellow or green bicycles that you can rent to ride. The green bikes are GRiD, which will cost you about 12 cent per min. Other bike options are the LimeBike, Ofo Bikes, and the Spin Bikes. For all you will need to download the app and each has their own payment plans. If you’re a student then make sure to grab a LimeBike, since they give discounts for students.
As you explore Scottsdale, you will notice electronic scooters as well. These are another great option on getting yourselves around town. Some of the scooter programs you will find are Lyft, Uber, Bird, and Lime. Be cautious if you’re drinking, you still can get a DUI if your impaired and riding one. We have some really tough laws when it comes to DUI.
Here is your guide to the 15 best free things to do in the Phoenix, Arizona area when visiting. From hiking, art, and beer, you can experience it here.
Don’t Forget To Pin For Later!
Have you visited Scottsdale, Arizona? Did you enjoy yourself and is there anything you would recommend? Have any other activities or places we should see, let us know in the comments section. From Phoenix? Hi neighbored! Thanks for taking a look at our site and don’t forget to subscribe for future articles and tips.
The information on this website has come from research and by experiencing it ourselves. Opening hours, closures, prices, etc. are always subject to change. We try to keep up to date on any new information, or tips to help make your adventure more enjoyable.