The Perfect Weekend in Scottsdale
Collected by Katarina Kovacevic , AFAR Local Expert
It’s easy to lose count of the days in Scottsdale with so many things to choose from, so if you’re limited to three days, don't waste a second of it. Scottsdale is the perfect place to explore the inspiring Arizona landscape. Here's what to do if you only have 3 days: Visit the home of world famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and take in the breathtaking views of Scottsdale and Camelback Mountain. When you need an energy boost after a sunny day, take advantage of the many culinary hotspots.
12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA
The city’s most famous snowbird, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, spent winters at his home and architecture school in the Sonoran Desert. Taliesin West brings the horizontal lines and organic materials of Prairie School design to the desert...
Brown & Stetson Business, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
The owners of FnB—James Beard Award semifinalist chef Charleen Badman and front-of-house manager Pavle Milic—were earlychampions of Arizona wine and produce, curating a wine list that includes lots of Grand Canyon Statevintages to accompany their...
Old Town Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Who says nothing grows in the desert? Local flavor is fresh and on display Saturday mornings during cooler weather at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market, where Arizona-grown oranges and peppers are sold alongside homemade tamales and...
18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
In 1995, Scottsdale residents voted to set aside a large parcelof undeveloped city land asprotectedopen space. Today, the roughly 30,000-acre McDowell Sonoran Preserve provides an opportunity for adventure. Hike, bike, and rock climb, or take to...
7111 E 5th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
A contemporary take on a traditional pub, Citizen Public House is known for its craft beers, classic and modern cocktails, and interesting pub grub. Snacks include bacon-fat popcorn and a beer fondue made with the local Kilt Lifter brew. Main...
3701 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
As its name suggests, the Bespoke Inn is one of the more eccentric accommodations in downtown Scottsdale. This compact bed-and-breakfast, opened in 2013, has just 10 rooms. Each is decorated with homey, eclectic details that reflect the creativity...
Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, AZ 85018, USA
With two hiking trails ascending 1,280 feet to its peak, Camelback Mountain is a great option for nature-fiends who like a challenge. Both the Echo Canyon and Cholla trails exceed a mile in length and are accented with steep grades. Average hiking...
6939 E 1st Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Café Monarch is to dining what the monologue is to theater, meaning a one-man show. Chef Chris is the guy who will cook your food. He’s also the guy who will take your reservation, field your order, and, quite possibly, bus your table. It’s a...
7575 E Princess Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
Opened in 1987, the relatively youthful Fairmont Scottsdale Princess may not have the history of some of its neighboring resorts, but the North Scottsdale spot—with its fountained plazas, Mexican colonial–style architecture, and 65 scenic acres—...
2534 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257, USA
The flavor and Spanish Colonial charm of San Miguel de Allende come to life at Los Sombreros, where the atmosphere is as enchanting as the satiny mole Poblano sauce. If you travel with a friend, try the 10-course tasting menu. For $75, it serves...
47801 N Black Canyon Hwy, New River, AZ 85087, USA
Originally developed by the Israeli Defense Forces special operations unit, the Tomcar is one badass all-terrain vehicle. With Desert Wolf Tours or Green Zebra Adventures, you can take to the desert in a self-driven, off-road romp though Arizona...
4949 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Confusion. I think that’s what some people feel when they first lay eyes on the Montelucia Resort & Spa. With its ornate entryways and floral squares, the resort looks more like a charming European village than an Arizona resort. But, you know...
5700 E McDonald Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
5402 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa became the brand’s first resort property in 1967. Rumored to be J. Willard Marriott’s favorite gem in his crown of hotels (hence the Camelback Inn’s name), the desert retreat drew the likes of Clark Gable and...
7374 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
The museum's collection and calendar of exhibits is a little more daring than you might imagine, but the permanent installation of James Turrell's Knight Rise presents visitors with the biggest art jolt of all. The work, open to the public for...
4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA
Don a headset, approach an exhibit, and wirelessly listen to African thumb piano or Mongolian throat singing at the vast Musical Instrument Museum. Besides browsing some 15,000 artifacts that represent different musical genres, visitors can catch...
10600 E Crescent Moon Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
This is my favorite Scottsdale resort because it gets Southwestern style down without being kitschy or over-done. There are no cheesy dream catchers or Kokopelli statues here – just a color palette as bright and breathtaking as a desert sunset....
5700 E McDonald Dr, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, USA
Jade Bar regularly tops the local “Best Of” lists for places to drink. It’s a modern, cocktail-focused bar with sips like the Old Fashioned Whiskey, bourbon, simple syrup, bitters and citrus oils, and the Honeydew Liverthump made from gin, fresh...
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