Scottsdale is located in the eastern part of Arizona, not far from Phoenix. With its hot summers and mild winters, this historical city is a great place to bring your family. If you’re looking for a vacation destination that offers a wide variety of activities, Scottsdale is the place to visit. There’s something for everybody with attractions that range from museums to outdoor hiking to old-fashioned shopping.
Image from Heard.org.
This extensive museum has two locations: a main campus in Phoenix and a community branch in Scottsdale. Exhibits include authentic American Indian artwork and an “Interpretive Garden” filled with native plants. Stop by the museum shop for a unique souvenir on your way out.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Explore five galleries of modern and contemporary art, architecture and design in this former movie theater. Redesigned into a unique minimalist building, the structure now houses art from around the world and offers educational programs and audio-guided tours.
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Easily accessible from anywhere in Scottsdale, this expansive mall includes dozens of shops and restaurants. You’ll recognize some while others offer new experiences to shoppers of all ages. Die-hard mall buffs will enjoy spending an afternoon or a whole day in this contemporary retail environment.
Old Town Scottsdale
For a mellower shopping experience, visit this section of Scottsdale, known for its specialty shops that offer everything from silly t-shirts to handmade jewelry. Stroll between the shops on foot or take a trolley from one end of town to the other to get the full “old town” experience.
You can’t miss this 1.1 million-square-foot retail, office and restaurant area located right on the canal in downtown Scottsdale. Spend an afternoon shopping at stores such as Urban Outfitters and High Point, or take a walk along the pedestrian bridge to visit other shops in Scottsdale’s Fifth Avenue district.
Image from ScottsdaleAZ.gov
Pinnacle Peak Park
Open every day from 6:45am to 6pm, this park features a 1.75-mile hiking trail that takes visitors through stunning Arizona mountain scenery. Experienced rock climbers can enjoy the stunning views offered by the unique perspective of peaks as tall as 2,889 feet.
This 5.5-acre garden is a great place to get away for a private walk. Boasting over 7,000 plants across 200 species, this expansive garden includes identification markers to help you learn more about the native flora of the Scottsdale area. The garden is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of water conservation and sustainable landscaping.
Take a trip to a 10,000-square-foot “indoor rainforest” where you and you kids can watch in amazement as thousands of butterflies flutter through the air. Don’t forget to stop by and watch the ants hard at work in the live ant colony and let the kids marvel over the bees busy in their glass-walled beehive.
Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
Featuring a rehabilitation center and accredited sanctuary for injured, orphaned and abandoned animals, this nonprofit organization offers educational tours. Take the kids and explore the nature center to get more information on and try to catch a glimpse of animals such as Mexican gray wolves, mule deer, great horned owls and mountain lions.
Saddle up the little cowpokes and bring them to the beautiful Sonoran Desert for an afternoon of horseback riding, hayrides, trail rides and more. Let your kids get up close and personal with animals at the petting zoo or enjoy a stage coach ride that will make them feel like they’re in the Old West.
Billed as “new American vegetarian,” Green dishes up classic American fare with a vegan twist. From burgers and chili to soft serve “ice cream,” this is the place to go if you want to convince your friends and family that going meatless can, in fact, be tasty.
Taste the difference that gourmet ingredients such as bittersweet Belgian chocolate and fresh fruit can make in a cupcake. With over two dozen flavors, including gluten-free and vegan varieties, the signature cupcakes from Sprinkles will delight your taste buds. Different flavors are featured on different days, so be sure to go back to try something new.
Sauce Pizza & Wine
Offering freshly made pizzas, pasta dishes and other Italian delights, Sauce is a great place to take your family or spend an evening with your significant other enjoying fresh food and good drinks. Located on the Scottsdale waterfront, this restaurant also offers gluten free options for sensitive diners.
These are just a few of the attractions you’ll find when visiting the beautiful Scottsdale area. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, shopping maven or art and history buff, there’s sure to be something for you to enjoy. Take a solo visit or bring the family and enjoy the diverse activities that Scottsdale has to offer.