Walkable Downtown

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Scottsdale’s perennially sunny skies mean the weather is almost always perfect for a walking tour of downtown. From monumental art installations and historic sites to fine chocolates and the inside scoop on locals’ favorite restaurants, these tours will show you some of the best downtown Scottsdale has to offer.

On the self-guided Public Art Walking Tour, you’ll discover 10 of the city’s most-celebrated public art works. Your tour starts at the “Soleri Bridge & Plaza,” designed by the late Italian architect Paolo Soleri. At Donald Lipski’s “The Doors,” you’ll discover what it’s like to stand inside a giant kaleidoscope. And at “Knight Rise,” a James Turrell skyspace, you’ll witness the changing light of the desert sky. You can complete this tour in 60 minutes at a comfortable pace, but with all the enticing boutiques, galleries and restaurants you’ll see along the way, we recommend adding in some time for browsing.

Get a glimpse into Scottsdale’s past with the Historic Old Town Walking Tour. Another self-guided adventure, this tour takes you to colorful stops like Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop, Rusty Spur Saloon, Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor and the Little Red Schoolhouse, home of the Scottsdale Historical Museum. Plan to spend about 60 minutes on this tour, depending on how many stops you make along the way.

For a tasty tour, join the experts from Arizona Food Tours for “A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale.” Choose between the mid-day or dinner tour options, then get ready for a three-hour gastronomic romp through downtown. You’ll sample specialty dishes from half a dozen or so restaurants, with additional stops along the way to learn about the area’s history and heritage. Our best advice for this tour? Come hungry – you won’t want to miss a bite!

Truffles, cupcakes and gelato – oh, my! If you have a sweet tooth, Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale is the one for you. This two and half hour stroll takes you to some of downtown’s most “chocolicious” shops. Along the way you’ll learn fun facts about chocolate and have the opportunity to sample it in its various forms, from candy and baked goods to ice cream and hot chocolate. It’s a chocoholic’s dream!