Scottsdale Nightlife

By local contributor
Scott McGinty

No matter what your style, there’s plenty to see and do in Scottsdale after dark.

Dance All Night

Ready to hit the dance floor? Scottsdale has plenty of options. On the 14th floor of Talking Stick Resort sits Degree 270, a premier dance club with stunning views of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert. Here, live entertainment is the perfect companion to regular drink specials and a sophisticated lounge atmosphere.

For a more traditional club experience, head to downtown Scottsdale’s Entertainment District where you’ll find hot spots like Maya Day + NightclubBottled Blonde and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row.

Kick Back & Relax

When you’re ready for some laid-back fun, these come-as-you-are bars are sure to please. For artisan pizzas and local craft beer, head to downtown’s Craft 64. Grab a table on the tree-shaded patio, order a gourmet pie loaded with local organic ingredients, and sample any of the 35+ Arizona beers available on tap.

Also in downtown, Brat Haüs offers local ales and imported brews from as far away as Belgium and Germany. They’re the perfect pairing for hearty fare like house-made pretzels, brats and pork schnitzel.

And for the ultimate come-as-you-are experience, nothing beats Coach House. This downtown landmark has been around for more than 50 years and is known for its inexpensive drinks, friendly bartenders and an annual Christmas light display that must be seen to be believed.

Visit the Wild, Wild West

Housed in what was Scottsdale’s first bank, the Rusty Spur is one of the city’s most popular Western watering holes. Celebs like the late John Wayne and Vince Vaughn have knocked back some suds and enjoyed the live music that plays at the Spur every day and night.

If line dancing is what you seek, mosey on over to Handlebar J Restaurant & Saloon. There’s live country music six nights week with the acclaimed Herndon Brothers Band taking the stage Wednesday through Sunday. And if your dance moves need some refining, Handlebar J offers free dance lessons every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

Listen Live

Scottsdale shines the spotlight on live entertainment at numerous venues around town. Musical expressions from around the world are on tap at Center Stage Bar at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. From Southern harmony to edgy folk and acoustic soul, listen to it all in a whimsical setting of cascading fountains and glowing fireplaces.

There’s something very “Frank Sinatra” about the nightlife experience at Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse. Take your pick from the long list of specialty martinis and settle in for an evening of masterful piano sounds. For a slightly edgier scene, check out Scottsdale Waterfront’s Culinary Dropout, which offers live music by local talent every Friday and Saturday night.

You’ll also find seasonal live concerts under the stars at a variety of Scottsdale venues, including the Desert Botanical Garden (fall and spring), Kierland Commons (summer) and McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park (summer).

Explore Cocktail Culture

If you’re looking for a cocktail-driven experience, these are the hot spots to try. Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain’s stylish jade bar is the perfect place to enjoy breathtaking views and exotic drinks. Here, cocktails are art in motion with handcrafted concoctions like the Jade Rum Punch – a blend of Mount Gay rum, brown sugar syrup, Angostura bitters, lime juice and fresh mint.

Over at Second Story Liquor Bar, Old School meets New School thanks to mixologists John Christie and JT Tillman. Try an Old Fashioned exactly the way it was made in the 1800s or, for something more modern, order The Only Word, which features Buzz Button flower dust on the rim of the glass. You’ll love it, but you might have to wait a few minutes until your tongue isn’t numb to tell anyone about it. Other master mixologists making cocktail magic around town include Michelle Jacob at Gertrude’s, Mari Howe at Cowboy Ciao and Brian Goodwin at citizen public house.