If you’re anything like me, the feeling of giving the perfect gift and seeing the smile on a loved one’s face as they open it, is priceless. So, whether it’s a tasty treat, a memorable experience or something hand-crafted, this list of uniquely Scottsdale finds can help with checking off everyone on your list.
FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS IT ALL
Forget a new kitchen or grill gadget, give the gift of an Exceptional Scottsdale Experience instead! This collection of expertly curated experiences will introduce you to Scottsdale like you’ve never seen it before. From the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright and the flavors of Arizona wines to the region’s unique history and vibrant Native American cultures, these immersive tours and workshops will give you unparalleled access to Scottsdale’s most popular local businesses and attractions. Each experience is one you’ll remember for a lifetime!
FOR THE ANIMAL LOVER
Coyotes, javelina and bears, oh my! For the animal lover in your life, book a Walk with Wildlife tour at Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. It’s a great way to get up-close and personal with some of the Sonoran Desert’s most iconic residents, including mountain lions, black bears, foxes, coyotes and more. During the two-hour guided tour, your animal-loving friend will learn the individual stories of the animals who live at Southwest Wildlife's sanctuary and how important wildlife is to the Sonoran Desert's ecosystem!
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
Make a day of it at Arizona Boardwalk. The campus is home to the OdySea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland, Pangaea Land of the Dinosaurs, a Laser + Mirror Maze and more to keep the kiddos entertained for hours. Combo tickets permit visitors into multiple attractions at a savings, so the family can stay engaged and entertained all day!
FOR THE ADVENTURER
In a landscape as panoramic as the Sonoran Desert, there’s no better way to soak it all in than on a hot air balloon flight with Hot Air Expeditions or Rainbow Ryders. Guests drift along with the breeze as their pilot guides the balloon high into the air for expansive scenic views or dips close to the ground for a glimpse of wildlife and native vegetation. Every ride ends with a commemorative champagne toast, and many include a catered breakfast in the desert.
Gift the oenophile on your list with the rich flavors of the local terroir. Old Town Scottsdale is home to tasting rooms from several of Arizona's most acclaimed vineyards, including LDV Winery, Carlson Creek Vineyards, Salvatore Vineyards, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards and Merkin Vineyards. Stop in for a tasting and let the experts help you select the perfect bottle for the wine lover in your life.
Bring a little slice of Arizona to a loved one this holiday season by picking up adorable cactus- or desert-themed goodies at Carmen on 5th. Options include tea towels, coffee mugs, ceramics, t-shirts and onesies (for the littlest ones on your list!). Whatever you choose, your gift will provide a cute reminder of the Southwest.
Let a friend or family member experience the sweet taste of Scottsdale with delicious farm-direct Medjool dates, dried fruits and nuts or locally-crafted pantry goods from Sphinx Date Co. Sphinx Date Co. has been an Arizona institution since 1951 by offering the freshest locally-sourced dates, edible gifts and Arizona wines, with a traditional family approach.
CLEAN IT UP
Is your significant other on the nice list? WE DO MEN®, a locally owned spa designed and tailored for men, has a stand-out retail store chock-full of products just for men (okay yes, and for women too!). Browse delightful items like The Boss Lady Candle, Basecamp Balm, stone bracelets, fragrance and skincare items, and more.
PRICKLY PEAR CACTUS CANDY
Take a stroll through Old Town to find the best Arizona gift – cactus candy. Prickly pear-flavored gummy treats can be found at Bischoff’s Shades of the West, as well as many other Old Town shops. Most shops that carry the candy also sell prickly pear syrup – the perfect addition to lemonade and margaritas or served over waffles or ice cream.
ARIZONA-MADE ARTS & CRAFTS
The best gifts are the ones you can’t get just anywhere. At The Merchantile of Scottsdale in Old Town, you’ll find unique items handcrafted by dozens of Arizona artisans. Whether you’re looking for made-to-impress gifts like handstitched leather bags and jewelry or whimsical stocking stuffers such as cactus flower body soap and Arizona monsoon candles, you’ll find just what you need at The Merchantile.
To plan your Scottsdale holiday getaway, click here!