If you are heading to Scottsdale and looking for things to do, I have you covered with this travel guide to Scottsdale Arizona. My husband and I love traveling to Arizona. This is our third visit and there is always something new to discover.
What is not to love between the warm temperature (okay sometimes extremely hot but it’s a dry heat), the mountains, and the cactus! This is my Scottsdale AZ travel guide to all the places we visited on our recent trip to Arizona Scottsdale.
If you have time you might enjoy hiking in Scottsdale, there are so many great hikes. There are also some great hiking trails in Sedona.
Top Things To Do Around Scottsdale Arizona
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- ✈️ Find the best flights to Arizona with Sky Scanner
- 💸 Get reliable travel insurance from World Nomads
- 🏨 Find the best accommodations on Booking.com
- 🧔🏻 If you’d like a tour, here’s an awesome Hot Air Balloon Ride
- 🍷 If you love wine, join the Sedona Small-Group Wine Tour
- ⛰️ If you love adventure, book your Antelope Canyon Tour
- 🚗 To rent a car to drive around Arizona get great deals on Auto Europe
- 👟 A great pair of comfy shoes are always a must
- 🎒 Pack an anti-theft backpack, a universal adapter, and a power bank
- 📚 Read Arizona Day Trips and Frommer’s Arizona and Grand Canyon
- 🇺🇸 Read more about the Antelope Canyons
Where to Stay in Scottsdale Arizona
The Hermosa Inn is a small luxury boutique hotel located in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley. Lon Magargee, a Western artist, originally built the Inn as a home and studio.
The once western studio was transformed into a luxury Inn of 43 rooms and an award-winning restaurant Lons. It is located just a short drive from Scottsdale.
The Hotel Valley Ho has a wonderful classic mid-century modern design, stepping into this hotel feels like stepping back in time. So many celebrities in the past retreated to this hideaway such as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner.
It was known as the most western town that the paparazzi couldn’t easily get to. Hotel Valley Ho is in Downtown Scottsdale and just 15 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Check here for the best prices.
The Mountain Shadows is an amazing hotel with amazing views. From the moment you walk through those front doors and see that wall of glass that frames the mountains, you know this is one special hotel.
Located in the upscale neighborhood of Paradise Valley nestled between Camelback mountains and Mummy mountains, this resort offers the most amazing majestic views from every angle. Click here for the latest prices.
9 Places to Eat in Scottsdale Arizona
One thing that we love about traveling is trying all the different cuisine. We had the opportunity to dine at some of the popular and delicious Scottsdale local restaurants.
Whenever we travel, we always get asked where to eat. I am listing some of the best places to eat in Scottsdale AZ.
1. LON’s Restaurant
LON’s at The Hermosa Inn is rated as one of Paradise Valley’s top restaurants. They use the region’s freshest ingredients and prepare them with age-old cooking traditions—roasting, smoking, wood-grilled—combined with cutting-edge trends.
We loved the popular Himalayan Salt Seared Ahi Tuna, served with cilantro, pickled onion, and ceviche sauce. They offer a new Chef’s Tasting Menu each week, and their expert sommelier is always on-hand to recommend the perfect wine pairings.
2. Hash Kitchen
We decided to head to Hash Kitchen, Arizona’s largest Bloody Mary Bar…….sold!! I ordered the custom Bloody Mary where you add your own toppings over 40 craft toppings for you to create the ultimate bloody mary.
I ordered the HUEVOS RANCHERO HASH with black beans, crispy hash potatoes, cotija, crispy tortilla, fried eggs, avocado, cilantro, charred carne asada and red chili sauce. The Bloody Mary was a meal on its own!
3. ZuZu Restaurant
ZuZu restaurant is located in the Hotel Valley Ho. The cuisine you are about to enjoy is dedicated to “ZuZu”, a beloved mother and grandmother as well as a fantastic cook. She believed in the concept that food is better when it’s shared with the people you love.
4. Růže Cake House
Růže Cake House is a mother/daughter collaborative effort and is best known for its fresh and innovative designs and commitment to smaller-batch desserts.
I love that they use local and sustainable ingredients. Of course, we had to try some of the macaroons and the specialty chai tea latte. You can’t go wrong with anything you order and it’s very instagramable, if you’re into that kind of thing 🙂
5. Citizen Public House
We dined at Citizen Public House, located in Old Town Scottsdale AZ, a short 2-minute drive from our hotel. Citizen Public House is a very popular restaurant, and the most popular dish on their menu is the Chopped Salad of smoked salmon, couscous, arugula, Asiago cheese, currants, pepitas, dried super sweet corn, marinated tomatoes, buttermilk herb dressing.
It sounds like an unusual combination but once combined with the creamy dressing, it was the most delicious salad I have ever had. I was pretty much done after that. We also had the creamy Burrata with roasted cauliflower romesco, oven-dried tomatoes, smoked paprika almonds, and ciabatta.
Some delicious menu items we tried are the Fair-trade short ribs with local coffee-rubbed boneless short ribs, parsnip purée, dried cherry bbq sauce, sautéed greens. Gypsy Pork Shank with smoked & salt cured Tender Belly pork shank, Hungarian paprika, sour cream, caraway fingerling potatoes.
Everything was so delicious. We ended our dinner with dessert (because there is always room for dessert). The Cherry Sammy is a cherry vanilla ice cream sandwich with double chocolate chip cookies and cherry crumble with cherry compote. It was just as delicious as it sounds.
6. Carlson Creek Winery
A winery in Arizona? That is exactly what I thought so we had to see it for ourselves. Carlson Creek Vineyard is a family-owned vineyard and winery established in 2009 in Willcox, Arizona and is now the third-largest vineyard in the state.
They have a 280-acre vineyard that is located 4200 feet above sea level, similar in terroir to that of Rhone, France, allowing for the perfect balance of warm Arizona sun combined with crisp, cool evenings.
The wine varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Rosé, and Mourvedre, with Chenin Blanc and Merlot varietals being locally sourced.
We visited the tasting room in Scottsdale to sample some of the wines. We were pleasantly surprised with the wines. They were all wonderful and full of flavor. My favorite was the Merlot and my husband enjoyed the fuller bodied Malbec.
After some wine tasting, we headed to the famous Mission for some Modern Latin Cuisine. The interior is surrounded by the breathtaking glow of the Himalayan salt block wall and candlelight.
If you love tacos and freshly made tableside guacamole, then this is a must stop. You must order a margarita.
8. Farm & Craft
We enjoyed lunch at the Farm & Craft. Farm & Craft is focused on healthy and sustainable food in a community-style atmosphere.
They offer a seasonal wellness menu where they provide sustainable, gluten-free, organic and hormone-free ingredients. I had to try the watermelon squeeze, it was so refreshing.
Watermelon Squeeze Ketel Citroen, Watermelon Juice, Lemon Juice and Agave Nectar
RUSTIC SALMON BOWL
Sustainable Faroe island salmon, cauliflower, baby carrot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, quinoa, basil kale pesto & sunflower seeds
TOCOA STEAK BOWL
Grass-fed steak, organic farro, fresh corn, baby tomato, sweet potato, black bean,cilantro-jicama slaw & avocado. Healthy meals don’t have to be boring.
Farm and Craft make these healthy meals extremely delicious, healthy doesn’t mean boring!
9. Tru Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen is a healthy, seasonal food restaurant.
I love their philosophy that food should make you feel better — not worse — and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice taste to live a healthier lifestyle. This is another very popular restaurant in Scottsdale and I can see why. Healthy food never tasted this good.
I had the Grilled Chicken salad with Medjool date, dried cranberry, jicama, apple, manchego, farro, Marcona almond, champagne vinaigrette. This was as delicious as it sounds.
Visit a Spa in Scottsdale AZ
When I think of Scottsdale, I think of desert (of course because that’s where it is) wellness and spas. We visited two spas during our visit. We visited Revive Spa in the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa and the Spa at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa. Both resorts and spas are located in very scenic settings. Check for the best rates here.
Must Things to Do in Scottsdale AZ
There are so many wonderful things to do in and around Scottsdale, Arizona. If you love hiking, there are so many great hiking trails. Take flight in a hot air balloon, visit the desert botanical gardens, and so much more.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Gardens are such an unexpected surprise in the middle of the desert. I didn’t realize how large the botanical gardens are and how much there is to see. If you are a bird watcher then you will be in heaven as this is a birding sanctuary.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
We had an amazing experience with a hot air balloon ride. It was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend it. See Arizona from an entirely new perspective.
I would recommend booking the hot air balloon ride before your visit as it is extremely popular.
When I saw photos of Antelope Canyon I knew we had to go. We booked our tour through Detours of the West and would highly recommend this tour on your visit.
It’s something you have to see with your own eyes. The Antelope Canyon is very high on the USA travel bucket list.
How beautiful is Horseshoe Bend! I can’t believe we didn’t visit one of our previous trips. This was also part of the tour with Detours of the West. There is so much natural beauty in Arizona, you can even do a trip to Havasu Falls it looks so beautiful.
Scottsdale AZ is one of those places people choose to live for quality of life and it has all of that. We love to visit Scottsdale AZ for its incredible natural beauty, excellent weather, and of course all the amazing resorts and restaurants!
There is so much to see and do that you have to visit multiple times and that makes it so exciting as we always look forward to. our next visit We love everything about Scottsdale and I’m sure anyone who visits for the first time will love it too!
It is hard to stay healthy while traveling but Arizona is a destination where you will always be active.
Click here to search for hotels in Scottsdale.
A huge thanks to Experience Scottsdale for hosting us on this press trip. As always, reviews and opinions are entirely my own. Visit their website here for more info on what to do and see.
If you are planning a trip to Arizona you may enjoy these related Arizona posts:
- Top Must-Do Hikes in Sedona
- Upper vs Lower Antelope Canyon
- Hot Air Balloon Arizona
- Top 5 Things to Do in Tempe Arizona
- Mountain Shadows Resort
- Hotel Valley Ho
- JW Marriott Scottsdale Spa
- The Hermosa Inn
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Monday 9th of July 2018
This sounds so good! I've always wanted to visit arizona for a short weekend trip. It'd be so nice to escape the rain during the winter time. Will save this post for the future!
Wednesday 18th of July 2018
We love Arizona. It would make a wonderful weekend trip.