If this is your first time visiting Scottsdale, we have something exceptional in store for you! It all begins with the remarkable clarity of light and verdant landscape of our beautiful Sonoran Desert – it’s a setting that will have you breathing deeper and letting go of everyday worries in no time at all. Then, you’ll be ready to enjoy some Scottsdale-style adventure and exploration. Here are our top suggestions for signature Scottsdale experiences no first-time visitor should miss!
The Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale
Check into your well-appointed casita at The Boulders, then check out the resort’s many offerings, which include spacious pool complexes, two championship golf courses, the award-winning Spa at the Boulders, and outstanding dining at any of the property’s five restaurants, including Palo Verde.
Hotel Valley Ho
Known for its celebrity clientele (both past and present!), the historic Hotel Valley Ho brings a chic, retro ambiance to Old Town Scottsdale. Chill with a cocktail by the pool, relax with a treatment at VH Spa or take a short walk to explore the renowned galleries and restaurants in the Scottsdale Arts District.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa
Perched on the side of Camelback Mountain, Sanctuary offers a setting of refined luxury as well as stunning city and desert views. Enjoy Asian-inspired spa treatments like the Coconut Sumatra Body Ritual, an expansive infinity-edge pool, craft cocktails at Jade Bar and farm-fresh cuisine by Food Network star Chef Beau MacMillan at elements.
Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve
This urban preserve boasts more than 225 miles of scenic shared-use trails in the McDowell Mountain foothills for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The Gateway, one of the Preserve’s seven trailheads, offers access to numerous paths, ranging from the ADA accessible Bajada Nature Trail to the challenging Windgate Pass Trail.
Old Town Scottsdale
For the most fun you can have in one square mile, head for Old Town! Here, you can browse one-off boutiques and galleries, view cutting-edge exhibitions at SMoCA, cowboy-up at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, sip your way along the Scottsdale Wine or Ale trail, and dine at some of the city’s best restaurants – and that’s just for starters.
Guided Desert Adventures
Scottsdale’s lush Sonoran Desert is the ideal playground for outdoor enthusiasts – no matter what your skill level! Let our professional adventure outfitters take you on an exciting off-road tour of the desert’s most pristine expanses, saddle up for a horseback ride along saguaro-studded paths or view it all from above in a hot air balloon.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright was so captivated by the Sonoran Desert’s natural beauty and sunny climate that he chose Scottsdale as the location for his winter home and architectural school, Taliesin West. Daily tours offer guests an insider’s look into Wright’s ingenious designs and his ability to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces.
Scottsdale tees up exciting play on some 200 area courses, including high-caliber desert tracks like those at TPC Scottsdale, Troon North and Grayhawk. With target-style greens, wide expanses of open Sonoran Desert in place of manicured fairways, and stunning views at every turn, Scottsdale desert golf all but guarantees you the round of a lifetime.
Chef Matt Carter’s menu of modern Latin cuisine at this Old Town landmark includes favorites like the 12-ingredient tableside guacamole, roasted pork shoulder tacos and Linz bone-in ribeye with a sherry glaze. Enjoy the cozy glow of the salt brick wall inside or request a table on either of The Mission’s shaded patios.
Virtú Honest Craft
Located on property at Old Town’s Bespoke Inn, Virtú boasts an acclaimed menu of contemporary Mediterranean cuisine that changes weekly to feature only the freshest seasonal ingredients. Chef Gio Osso’s talents shine on specialties like hazelnut-crusted scallops and Moroccan spiced lamb with smashed chickpeas and minted eggplant.
Nestled between Camelback and Mummy mountains, El Chorro serves up classic fare and breathtaking sunset views from its spacious patio. This longtime local favorite is known for comfort food dishes like grilled filet mignon and old-fashioned broaster fried chicken, as well as its irresistible sticky buns.