Long before the West was even wild, between the years 600 and 1450, an ancient group of peoples known as the Hohokam brought life to the Arizona desert with an intricate canal system. Parts of it are still in use today, but, instead of providing water for crops and sustenance, they serve as recreational spots. In downtown Scottsdale, the Arizona Canal runs through two of the area’s most popular districts – Scottsdale Waterfront and SouthBridge. Shop for sleek western finds at J. Gilbert footwear or sweet and sassy children’s threads from the Garage. Brunch at the Herb Box is a local favorite (red velvet pancakes!) and, around the corner, Culinary Dropout draws a trendy crowd with its gastro-pub fare and cocktail list. Art lovers should roam the Arizona Canal to take in the city’s free public installations, especially the Soleri Bridge and Plaza. A first from Italian architect Paolo Soleri, the structure marks annual solar events and evokes his fascination for planetary movement.