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Explore the Cool Side of Scottsdale
You may already know about Scottsdale’s famous golf courses, its sunny year-round weather, and nearby natural wonders. What may come as a surprise, however, is that this desert destination has a decidedly cool vibe too, with trendy restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. Here’s an itinerary for those looking to experience some of Scottsdale’s stylish spots.
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    Day 1
    Arrive in Scottsdale
    Make your way to one of Scottsdale’s happening hotels, like the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa or the W Scottsdale.

    The Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa combines mid-century minimalism with chic Southwestern touches in 185 guest bungalows scattered across a desert landscape. Décor includes local artwork, and the landscape will inspire you to discover your inner artist through an Artist in Residence workshop on the property.

    Activity here revolves around the Turquoise Pool, where you can spend your time alternating between two refreshing options: a dip in the pool or drinks at the Turquoise Pool Bar. You’ll also want to book an appointment at the Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary, which boasts a design and treatment menu inspired by the Sonoran Desert.

    Or consider staying at the trendy W Scottsdale, which sits in the heart of the Old Town Scottsdale. Here you’ll find a mecca of nightlife, shopping, and culinary districts. Before you head out to explore the neighborhood, spend some time hanging out poolside, where you can sip artisanal cocktails at Shade Lounge while listening to playlists curated by the DJ—or find peace and quiet in the Zen Garden.

    After you have settled into your room, head out for dinner at Starlite BBQ. The new restaurant from Chef Walter Stirling opened earlier this year and has already become a local favorite with its take on Arizona barbeque—meats are grilled with pecan and mesquite. The beer-garden tables on the outdoor patio create a casual, welcoming vibe. For after-dinner entertainment, consider the Rusty Spur Saloon for live country music and Old West vibes; for a trendier tavern, head to AZ/88, where you’ll find modern art installations and innovative cocktails.
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    Photo By An Pham for Experience Scottsdale
    Day 2
    Artful Scottsdale
    Start your day by visiting one of the most distinctive works of architecture not just in Scottsdale, but in the United States: Taliesin West. The winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright from 1937 until his death in 1959, every detail of its design was carefully overseen by the master architect. The complex of buildings today houses a school that continues Wright’s legacy of designing architecture that blends seamlessly with its natural environment.

    In the afternoon, a visit to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will provide an opportunity to see the works of emerging contemporary artists. The museum is open late Thursdays to Saturdays and offers a robust calendar of special events that you’ll want to check out before visiting. Activities like trivia nights, opening parties, and competitive yard games offer a refreshingly unpretentious approach for an art museum.

    After some time back at your hotel, dine at Citizen Public House, a stylish reimagining of the steakhouse with barrel-aged cocktails and elevated American comfort food. Afterwards, Old Town Scottsdale’s Entertainment District offers a range of nightlife options that go beyond Old West vibes. Consider The Mint Ultra Lounge, where you can mingle at a huge outdoor patio in a space that was converted from a former bank. The Mint still retains the original vault door!
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    Photo By City of Scottsdale
    Day 3
    Shop in Scottsdale’s Unique Boutiques
    After your late night, you deserve a morning lounging by the pool or indulging in a treatment at your hotel’s spa. In the afternoon, spend some time exploring Scottsdale’s vintage and indie stores in search of one-of-a-kind souvenirs of your getaway. Leela Market and Carmen, both on Fifth Avenue, are known for their tastefully curated selections of clothes, accessories, and home wares, featuring goods from local artists and designers. If you want to take some of Scottsdale’s Western vibe back to your own home, Buffalo Collection has items with a rustic appeal while Bungalow Furniture has an eclectic mix of old and new finds.

    For your final dinner in Scottsdale, dine at The Mission, with its Latin-inspired menu. The duck carnitas empanadas, the selection of tacos (from brussels sprouts to mahi mahi) and the grilled meats are sure to satisfy, while the design—which features a Himalayan salt block wall—will give you a warm and glowing feeling.
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    Day 4
    Depart Scottsdale
    Hopefully you’ll have a late flight home today so you’ll have time to hit a few more shops or, for one last hurrah, you can visit the Maya Day + Nightclub, which offers Arizona’s largest Vegas-style pool party. And remember that with new artsy hotspots opening regularly and adding to the arts and nightlife options of Scottsdale, you’ll just have to come back for another inspiring visit soon.