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Scottsdale Stories

8 Best Places to Take Pictures in Scottsdale

When you’re in a setting as visually stunning as the Sonoran Desert, every moment seems ripe for a photoshoot. To help you create Insta-worthy works of art, here are eight of the city's most beautiful places to take pictures.


Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve View

Towering saguaro cacti, colossal boulders, rolling desert foothills and lush riparian washes are just a few of the photo ops that await you along more than 225 miles of hiking trails in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. To capture a Technicolor desert sunset, make sure you’re close to the trailhead as the sun starts to dip below the horizon, then pause and wait for the show. You’ll be rewarded with the vibrant glow of backlit cholla, dramatic shadows cast by large saguaro cacti and flushes of rich desert color. If nature photography is your jam, the Preserve is a must-see on your itinerary!


Elements at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain

elements patio

Perched on the side of Camelback Mountain overlooking Paradise Valley, elements restaurant is sleek and stylish with a lovely patio outside and floor-to-ceiling windows framing spectacular views inside – both perfect for a romantic photo opp, particularly at sunset. Be sure to capture the Praying Monk, Camelback Mountain's iconic figure, in your photo.


Taliesin West

Taliesin West View

Another one of the best photoshoot locations in Arizona is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Stunning architecture, whimsical art and expansive desert views delight both novice and experienced photographers alike. Visit in the late afternoon or book the 2-hour Night Lights tour and watch as Wright’s buildings and the surrounding desert take on a luminous, jewel-like quality at sunset. A variety of guided and self-guided public tours are offered daily year-round.


Scottsdale Civic Center

Love Statue

From public art and lush landscaping to unique architecture, Scottsdale Civic Center is a photographer’s paradise. Don’t miss Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture and James Turrell's "Knight Rise" skyspace at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. 


Canopy by Hilton Scottsdale Old Town

Outrider Rooftop Lounge

One of Scottsdale’s newest hotels has a surprise in store for you. Located on the top floor of the Canopy by Hilton, Outrider Rooftop Lounge overlooks Old Town Scottsdale and its landmark mountains. Gather with friends in any number of relaxing outdoor alcoves to enjoy spirited craft cocktails, small bites and take advantage of snapping those elevated sights!


Desert Botanical Garden


The Desert Botanical Garden is home to thousands of lush arid-land plants, making it one of the most beautiful places to take pictures in Arizona. Located at the base of the rust-colored Papago Buttes just a few minutes west of Scottsdale, the Garden gives you easy access to spindly ocotillos, colorful wildflowers, paddle-shaped prickly pear cacti and more along its five thematic trails.


Pinnacle Peak Park

Pinnacle Peak View

When it comes to nice places to take pictures in Scottsdale, Pinnacle Peak is one of our favorites. The wide, clear summit trail rewards hearty hikers with expansive views of Scottsdale and the surrounding Sonoran Desert. Even if you stay close to the trailhead, you’ll find plenty of nature-inspired photo ops, from seasonal wildflowers and massive saguaro cacti to craggy boulder formations.



Best Places to Catch a Sunset Talking Stick

This chic restaurant on the 15th floor of Talking Stick Resort boasts unparalleled views of Scottsdale’s signature McDowell Mountains, iconic Camelback Mountain and the surrounding Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community – all of which are particularly dramatic at sunset. In addition to its jaw-dropping views, Orange Sky is known for a superb menu built on the principle of food sovereignty, which prioritizes local, sustainable, and culturally rooted choices around growing and preparing food.