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15 Fun-Filled Things to Do in Scottsdale, AZ if You’re New to the City


Nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale, Arizona is a vibrant and dynamic city with a unique blend of natural beauty and urban sophistication. Living in Scottsdale means being surrounded by breathtaking desert landscapes, world-class golf courses, and a thriving arts and culture scene. From the renowned Scottsdale Artwalk to the vibrant nightlife of Old Town, there’s always something exciting to explore.

So whether you’re searching for apartments in Scottsdale, homes for sale, or are already a local, this Redfin article will be your guide. Here is Redfin’s list of the top 15 things to do in Scottsdale, for both newcomers and long-time locals alike.

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1. Explore Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale is a charming and vibrant district filled with art galleries, boutiques, and delicious restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll down the streets lined with Southwestern-style buildings and discover unique shops and local artisans. Don’t miss the Scottsdale ArtWalk, where you can browse through a wide variety of art pieces and meet the talented artists behind them. The area also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, so be sure to check the calendar for any upcoming happenings.

2. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the desert at the Desert Botanical Garden. This stunning attraction showcases a diverse collection of desert plants from around the world, set against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert. Take a peaceful walk along the garden’s trails and marvel at the unique flora, including towering cacti, vibrant wildflowers, and other desert-adapted plants. The garden also hosts special events and exhibitions, providing visitors with an enriching and educational experience.

3. Experience the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Art lovers will delight in the contemporary masterpieces housed at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. This cutting-edge museum features a diverse collection of modern art, including thought-provoking exhibitions and interactive installations. Explore the thoughtfully curated galleries and immerse yourself in the world of contemporary art, with works that challenge and inspire. The museum also offers engaging programs and events, making it a dynamic and enriching cultural destination in Scottsdale.

4. Enjoy outdoor adventures at McDowell Sonoran Preserve

For outdoor enthusiasts, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a paradise waiting to be explored. This expansive desert preserve offers a network of scenic trails that wind through the rugged landscape, providing opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing. With its breathtaking vistas and diverse ecosystems, the preserve is a haven for nature lovers seeking adventure and tranquility.

5. Indulge in culinary delights at Scottsdale’s dining scene

Scottsdale boasts a thriving culinary scene, with an array of restaurants and eateries offering diverse and delectable cuisine. From upscale fine dining establishments to cozy cafes and trendy food trucks, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Sample Southwestern-inspired dishes, savor international flavors, or enjoy farm-to-table creations made with locally sourced ingredients. With its vibrant and dynamic dining landscape, Scottsdale is a paradise for food enthusiasts seeking unforgettable gastronomic experiences.

6. Discover the History of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of the American West at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. This captivating museum showcases a diverse collection of Western art, artifacts, and exhibits that celebrate the spirit of the West. From Native American art and cowboy culture to the stories of pioneering settlers, the museum offers a fascinating journey through the region’s past. Engage with interactive displays, attend engaging lectures, and gain a deeper understanding of the Western frontier at this cultural gem in Scottsdale.

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7. Relax and rejuvenate at Scottsdale’s luxury spas

Scottsdale is renowned for its luxurious spas and wellness retreats, offering a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation. Treat yourself to a pampering spa day at one of the city’s world-class resorts, where you can indulge in a variety of rejuvenating treatments and therapies. From soothing massages to invigorating facials and holistic wellness experiences, Scottsdale’s spas provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

8. Experience the thriving arts scene at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. This dynamic venue hosts a diverse array of performances, including music concerts, dance recitals, theater productions, and more. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, contemporary dance, or avant-garde theater, the center offers an eclectic lineup of events that cater to all artistic tastes.

9. Tee off at world-class golf courses

Scottsdale is a golfer’s paradise, boasting an impressive selection of championship golf courses set against breathtaking desert landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a novice looking to improve your game, the city’s renowned courses offer an unparalleled golfing experience. Enjoy meticulously manicured fairways, challenging holes, and stunning views of the surrounding desert terrain. With its perfect weather and top-tier golf facilities, Scottsdale is a premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable round on the links.

10. Shop and dine at Scottsdale Fashion Square

Indulge in a day of upscale shopping and dining at Scottsdale Fashion Square, one of the largest and most luxurious shopping destinations in the Southwest. Explore a vast array of high-end retailers, from designer boutiques to luxury department stores, and discover the latest fashion trends and accessories. After a day of retail therapy, savor a delectable meal at one of the mall’s acclaimed restaurants, offering a diverse selection of culinary delights.

11. Discover the beauty of Taliesin West

Step into the world of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, his former winter home and architectural masterpiece. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers guided tours that provide insight into Wright’s innovative design principles and his deep connection to the desert landscape. Explore the stunning desert estate, which showcases Wright’s visionary approach to organic architecture and his enduring legacy.

12. Embark on a hot air balloon adventure

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Scottsdale from a unique vantage point with a hot air balloon ride. Drift peacefully over the Sonoran Desert and marvel at the panoramic views of the rugged terrain and the city below. As the sun rises or sets, the desert landscape comes alive with vibrant colors, creating a truly magical and unforgettable experience.

13. Attend the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show

Immerse yourself in the elegance and grace of the Arabian horse at the renowned Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. This prestigious equestrian event showcases the beauty and athleticism of Arabian horses through a series of competitions, exhibitions, and breed showcases. Witness the majesty of these magnificent creatures as they compete in various disciplines, from dressage and show jumping to native costume presentations.

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14. Explore the Scottsdale Waterfront

Discover a vibrant mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment at the Scottsdale Waterfront, a bustling destination along the picturesque Arizona Canal. Stroll along the scenic promenade and take in the stunning views of the waterfront, with its charming bridges and lush landscaping. Indulge in a diverse culinary scene, with a variety of restaurants offering al fresco dining and scenic views of the canal. The area also hosts a range of events and festivals, providing a lively and engaging atmosphere for visitors of all ages.

15. Experience the excitement of Scottsdale’s nightlife

As the sun sets, Scottsdale comes alive with a vibrant and diverse nightlife scene, offering an array of entertainment options for every taste. From trendy rooftop bars and chic lounges to lively nightclubs and live music venues, the city’s nightlife caters to a variety of preferences. Enjoy handcrafted cocktails, live performances, and energetic dance floors as you immerse yourself in the electric atmosphere of Scottsdale after dark.



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