Scottsdale, Arizona is a great year-round destination and there are plenty of unique and fun activities for travelers to enjoy.
Canal running through Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona, is an underrated travel destination for both domestic and international travelers. Within the US there are very affordable flights to Arizona. International travelers may overlook Scottsdale in favor of nearby attractions like the Grand Canyon, the capital city of Phoenix, or a weekend getaway in Tucson.
However, Scottsdale boasts beautiful weather year-round (often more comfortable during the “winter” when the days are cooler) and many exciting activities to try. Here are some of the top things to do for a unique visit to Scottsdale, Arizona.
10/10 Visit the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
Animal lovers can visit the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale to learn about the initiative to rescue and rehabilitate these beautiful creatures.
The center was established in 1994 and primarily focuses on reducing native wild animals in the area that have lost their homes or been injured. The ultimate goal is to get them back into the wild.
However, animals deemed unable to survive in the wild alone are kept safe and well taken care of at this sanctuary.
9/10 Taliesin West
Taliesin West is the original home of Frank Lloyd Wright and is known for its impressive architecture. The Scottsdale landmark was his winter home from 1937 until 1959 when he died at the age of 91.
Today’s travelers can take tours of the property to admire the cool design elements.
8/10 Discover the ancient city
Old Town Scottsdale is undeniably charming and travelers should definitely take some time during their visit to the city to wander the streets at a leisurely pace.
There are plenty of cute shops to explore and cozy cafes and bars where they can grab a drink and people watch.
7/10 Go horse riding
Take a horseback riding excursion with Fort McDowell Adventures for a chance to see the desert outside of Scottsdale.
Riding through the landscape is a peaceful experience and tends to be the highlight of a trip to Arizona. Trail riding through this company is suitable for any age.
6/10 Scottsdale by Segway
The same company, Fort McDowell Adventures, offers desert highway tours. The unique tour takes on Native American Land, providing travelers with an opportunity to learn about Native American culture and the history of the Yavapai Nation.
This is an important part of Scottsdale and Arizona’s history that people who make a commitment to visit the city miss. This mini bike tour is an excellent opportunity to dig a little deeper.
5/10 Visit the Desert Botanical Garden
Scottsdale’s natural scenery and wildlife are part of what makes visiting this part of the country so unique and memorable.
Learn about flora and fauna and take some beautiful pictures of the plant life at the Desert Botanical Garden. This site is 140 acres of beauty in Papago Park.
4/10 McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The Gateway Trailhead – McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a must-visit attraction in Scottsdale. It is a permanently protected Sonoran Desert area with hiking trails on 30,500 acres.
As the largest urban park in the United States, it brings the beauty of nature to the doorstep of the people who live in and visit the vibrant city of Scottsdale.
3/10 Watch a show at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Art lovers will appreciate the opportunity to visit Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and take in a show. This theater seats 853 people and hosts shows across a range of genres, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
Travelers will want to check the center’s website before visiting to check what is running during their stay. It is best to book tickets in advance to guarantee seats.
2/10 Have a spa day
After all the exciting activities to enjoy in Scottsdale, a spa day as part of a visit to the city is much needed. Consider spending a day at The Phoenician, a luxury resort and spa.
If staying here is on the budget, it’s possible to spend just one day enjoying the rooftop pool, trying out a motion studio, or undergoing wellness treatments like hydrotherapy.
The Phoenician Spa Boutique is another component of the experience that includes everything from wellness to skincare to jewelry. This is a complete wellness experience that can be packed into one day.
1/10 Visit Western Spirit
The Museum of the West, Western Spirit, is a unique Scottsdale attraction that will take travelers back in time to the Wild West. Located in Old Town Scottsdale, on the site of the old Loloma Transit Station, the museum first opened its doors in 2015.
It teaches visitors the history and culture of the American West and Mexico. This is a great educational trip option for families with children or simply for adults who want to learn more about the interesting history of North America, specifically the Far West.