Each Scottsdale season offers its own unique activities and adventures! Here are a few highlights to consider when making your plans:
Discover your Scottsdale Resort Style, then find the perfect accommodations on our Places to Stay page.
Scottsdale’s style is casual and laid-back. For spring and summer, shorts, capris, light shirts and blouses, sundresses, sandals and swimwear are all good choices. Toss in a light sweater since air conditioning can get chilly. For cooler seasons, slacks, jeans, warmer shirts and blouses, dresses, sweaters, boots and a light layer of outerwear are all you need. A handful of restaurants do require jackets and ties for men, so keep your evening plans in mind as you pack. And don’t forget your bathing suit – most of our pools are heated year-round, so swimming is always in season!
Most visitors arrive at Sky Harbor International Airport, located 10 miles west of Old Town Scottsdale. Sky Harbor is the main airport serving the area and offers non-stop service to and from more than 100 cities worldwide. Private and corporate jets use Scottsdale Airport, which offers award-winning service and a central-city location close to all our resorts and attractions. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, 30 miles east of Scottsdale, is a regional airport offering service via Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit airlines.
Summers in the Sonoran Desert are definitely warm, with highs that frequently top the century mark. But don’t let that keep you from visiting! Scottsdale also enjoys very low humidity, which makes the air temperature feel cooler than it is. And with an abundance of gorgeous resort pools and water parks, eight nearby lakes and rivers, and air conditioning in all our indoor spaces, it’s easy to stay cool all summer long. Check out our weather page for more details on Scottsdale’s year-round sunny weather.
Absolutely! Scottsdale’s 330 days of annual sunshine and heated hotel and resort pools make swimming an option whenever you visit.
Thanks to free Old Town Trolley service and easy walkability, Old Town Scottsdale is a great choice for guests choosing not to rent a car. Accommodations range from full-service resorts to family-friendly hotels. Attractions in Old Town include the Scottsdale Arts District, Fifth Avenue Shopping District, Old Town, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale Historical Museum and nearly 100 restaurants, bars and lounges.
However, if you plan to explore our entire city and visit our renowned attractions and natural wonders, we strongly recommend that you rent a car, as public transportation in Scottsdale is very limited.
The Grand Canyon‘s popular South Rim is an easy four-hour drive from Scottsdale. Sedona is just two hours north of Scottsdale by car. Air and ground tours from Scottsdale to both the Grand Canyon and Sedona are available year-round.
The world-renowned Heard Museum in Phoenix provides a fascinating introduction to the Native American cultures of the Southwest. The Heard Museum also offers popular annual events including the World Hoop Dance Championship in February and its Indian Fair and Market in March. Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park is centered on a prehistoric Hohokam Indian ruin and also features fascinating exhibits on Hohokam culture, archaeology and art. Over at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa, the Native American Learning Center showcases art and exhibits about Hopi culture. The resort also offers free Native American dance performances every Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. And at the Cultural Center at Talking Stick Resort, located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, you’ll find art and exhibits reflecting Pima and Maricopa ancestry as well as seasonal dance performances.
No. Rattlesnake sightings in areas frequented by visitors (hotels and resorts, attractions, Old Town and other high-traffic areas) are very rare. If you plan to explore our Sonoran Desert, following a few simple guidelines will minimize your chances of an unexpected encounter with snakes:
To learn more about Scottsdale’s amazing Sonoran Desert and all the exciting ways you can explore it, check out our Sonoran Desert Discovery Guide.
Yes – Scottsdale Trailer Corral, just south of Old Town, offers nightly, weekly and monthly spaces as well as mobile home rentals.
Scottsdale, like all of Arizona, is in the Mountain Standard Time (MST) zone. Please note that with the exception of the Navajo Nation in the northeastern corner of the state, Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
Sales Tax 7.95%
Hotel/Resort Check-out Tax 13.92%
*Rates are for Scottsdale only; sales and hotel/resort check-out tax rates in neighboring communities will vary.
If you have a few hours on an extended layover, head for Old Town Scottsdale! It’s an easy 15-minute drive from Sky Harbor and offers a wide variety of shops, art galleries and restaurants. Click here for more ideas for things to do in Scottsdale if you only have a limited amount of time.
The US Dollar is the currency of the United States.
In Phoenix/Scottsdale, currency can be exchanged at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in two locations within Terminal 4 . One location is on Level 3, pre-security, just outside the B checkpoint. The other location in Terminal 4 is located past security next to gate B-15. Rates may differ compared to what you’ll pay at a bank, so be sure to ask about fees and surcharges first.
Most banks in large cities (like Scottsdale or Phoenix) offer currency exchange, but banks in rural areas may not.
Click here for Scottsdale's average temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius
Foreign nationals entering the U.S. are generally required to present a passport and valid visa issued by a U.S. Consular Official, unless they are a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), or are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or a citizen of Canada.
If You Do Not Qualify for the Visa Waiver Program
A visitor visa (B-2, non-immigrant visa) is needed for leisure travel to the United States if you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. For information on how to apply, click here. Find general information on visitor visas here.
If You Do Qualify for the Visa Waiver Program
For a list of countries eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, click here.
In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is required prior to boarding a U.S. bound air or sea carrier.
Visit the ESTA webpage on the Customs and Border Patrol website for more detailed information, to apply for ESTA and pay the fee.
Whether you are a visitor to the United States or a U.S. citizen, each individual arriving into the United States must complete one or more of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) entry forms.
Every traveler must complete the CBP Declaration Form 6059B. This form provides CBP with basic information about who you are and what you are bringing into the country, such as agriculture products, and whether or not you have visited a farm prior to traveling to the United States. If you are traveling with other immediate family members, you can complete one form for your entire family. CBP recently expanded the definition of family. Please refer to this article for more information.
Some travelers will need to complete a paper CBP Form I-94 (Department of Homeland Security Arrival/Departure Record). Those travelers may include refugees, asylees or individuals with parole documents.
If you have questions about your form, ask a CBP officer for help.
We highly recommend that international travelers carry their passports at all times while visiting Arizona as this is the only form of picture ID that will be accepted. You may be asked to show a photo ID when using a credit card, purchasing alcohol, renting a car or other similar transactions.
Everyone arriving at a port of entry to the U.S. is subject to inspection by Customs and Border Protection officers for compliance with immigration, customs and agriculture regulations.
As a routine matter, U.S. Customs and Border Protection may search your belongings even if you don’t declare anything. The full list of customs rules can be found at www.cbp.gov http://www.cbp.gov/, but some frequently asked questions include:
The United States customary system (also called the American system or, sometimes, “English units”) is the most commonly used system of measurement in the United States.
Some common U.S. measurements are as follows:
For a list of more common U.S. measurements, click here.
Arizona is in the Mountain Standard Time Zone and, with the exception of the Navajo Nation, does not observe daylight savings time.
Many major cell phone carriers offer affordable plans for international travelers visiting the U.S. Most websites offer a country look-up, providing you with calling and messaging rates. Check out these plans from major carriers:
For some helpful tips on how to make international calls, click here.
If you have a few hours on an extended layover, head for Old Town Scottsdale! It’s an easy 15-minute drive from Sky Harbor and offers a wide variety of shops, art galleries and restaurants. Click here for more ideas for things to do in Scottsdale if you only have a limited amount of time..
Sales tax varies by state and county; taxes vary by city. Duty-free shopping is available for international travelers in Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Please visit the Duty Free Americas website for more information.
Tipping is customary for most services and should only be withheld in cases of extraordinarily bad service.
For more etiquette on tipping, click here
Yes – it’s highly recommended that you carry at least one credit card, if only for emergencies. Major credit cards are almost universally accepted. In fact, it could be hard to rent a car or make phone reservations without one (though some airlines require your credit card billing address to be in the USA).
If you’re looking for recommendations and places to visit during your stay, try out these common online review sites: