Scottsdale: A Desert Wonderland
Collected by Lindsey E Keeler , AFAR Local Expert
Scottsdale, Arizona is a toasty wonderland in the Sonoran Desert. This vibrant city welcomes visitors year round and has plenty of activities to keep families, business travelers and weekend getaway takers busy. Whether it's a cocktail on the patio taking in an outstanding Arizona sunset, a day by the pool with your family or a round of golf in the sunshine, Scottsdale always warmly greets visitors with a wealth of options for just about any taste.
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...
17025 N Scottsdale Rd #140, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
Thankfully I worked in North Scottsdale so I had plenty of great options for an adult refreshment after a long, hard day at work. Uncorked is in a bit of an obscure location compared to other Scottsdale standouts. It offers a nice low-key vibe...
Kierland Commons, Phoenix, AZ 85254, USA
Across the street from Scottsdale Quarter is another outdoor mall called Kierland Commons, a Main Street-like promenade known for its high-end stores like 42 Saint, Harari, and Juicy Couture. If you’re not into the fancy-name brands, cruise into...
7555 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, USA
If you can imagine baseball heaven—a lush green field nestled between mountaintops and perpetual sunshine—Salt River Fields just might be what it looks like. Spring training season offers a high concentration of the best American baseball teams...
7011 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Tis the season to be jolly! If you’re feeling festive around the holidays or perhaps you want to keep Christmas going all year long, then a visit to the Coach House should be on your holiday wish list. When the holiday season approaches, ...
15257 N Scottsdale Rd #160, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
Finding ways to keep kids and adults entertained at the same time can be a challenge on vacation. Make Meaning in the Scottsdale Quarter provides a bright and colorful space where young and old alike can get their hands dirty together, crafting up...
17020 N Hayden Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
Unlike other sporting events, Waste Management Open professional golf tournament never sells out of tickets and is relatively affordable. With plenty of public parking and a convenient and easy-to-navigate shuttle system to the...
6902 East Greenway Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
If you're simply a local in need of a relaxing night out, the Muddle Bar at Deseo is just what the doctor ordered. Arrive during "descansar," the relaxing hour, to catch a glimpse of Cuban artist Nelson Garcia-Mirando. Every week he shares his...
15301 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
15024 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
NoRTH Italian Farmhouse is a delicious and modern local treat with a casual family feel. Good for a night out or a family meal, NoRTH has something for everyone. I can only hope that my kitchen feels as warm and inviting as the one at North....
15191 N Scottsdale Rd #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
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...
4701 N 20th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
Food trucks have been taking over the Phoenix street food world by storm and it's continued to trickle into the Scottsdale food scene. The Phoenix Street Food Coalition puts on events all over the area almost every night of the week. The best time...
15257 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
iPic isn't your typical movie theater. Does your average movie theater have a lounge, upscale restaurant and reclining seats? Probably not. This luxury theater is geared toward an adult audience with sleek design, lounge music bumping in the...
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...
15323 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
They offer a fresh take on modern, simple Mexican cuisine. It seems one can't go wrong with an order of the naked guacamole or the chorizo and mushrooms con queso to start. The taco flight or the taco vampiro are delicious, but watch out for the...
15205 N Kierland Blvd Suite 150, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
The Queen Creek Olive Mill is a local, sustainable farm that produces some of Arizona’s best olive oil. Oils &Olives by Queen Creek, situated in Kierland Commons, allows you to shop local when you visit the region. Sample itssignature...
15147 N Scottsdale Rd #102, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA
For not being a huge coffee drinker, I sure find myself in coffee shops a lot. With Starbucks and Coffee Beans on every corner, it's nice to see more and more local coffee houses popping up in the area. If being voted Best Cup of Coffee in Arizona...
15034 N Scottsdale Rd #140, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, USA
3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
You will want reservations to get into this place. The Mission Restaurant and Lounge serves modern Latin cuisine in a fantastic bar restaurant with a wonderful outdoor back patio (seen here). The chef is Matthew Carter, also known for the House...
6335 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
I've been going to Richardson's as my favorite neighborhood local since they opened over 20 years ago. Great southwestern food, seafood and margaritas. They opened a sister restaurant a few blocks away called Rokerij a few years ago. It was really...
7299 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Roka Akor has a small selection of maki rolls, but really it’s a sashimi-lover’s dream with fresh big eye tuna, yellowtail, sweet shrimp and more. Sashimi can obviously get a bit pricey, so I’d recommend supplementing your order with plenty of...
Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Spring is a fabulous time to explore the trails around Scottsdale (as is any time of year). The desert plants are bursting to life all around you, their fragrant aires invigorate the soul. Hummingbirds and Cactus Wrens bound around an ecosystem...
6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
This Scottsdale megaresort opened in 1988 as an Americanized vision of European style, which explains the white marble in the lobby, the mother-of-pearl tiles lining one of the pools, and the 11 Steinway pianos (including one in each of the four...
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