Scottsdale's Top 10 Hidden Gems for Meeting Planners

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

While there is no shortage of state-of-the-art ballrooms in Scottsdale, we’ve also got plenty of unique venues that will delight and surprise your meeting attendees. From a Smithsonian Affiliate museum to a cowboy bar in Old Town that keeps its liquor in a vault, you’ll want to consider these incredible venues that will make your next program truly memorable!

 


The Rusty Spur Saloon

The Rusty Spur Saloon

Scottsdale’s oldest cowboy saloon is housed in the former Farmer’s State Bank of Scottsdale building, which was built in Old Town in 1921. Today, the vault holds liquor instead of money. The bar can hold up to 100 for a reception and is within walking distance of award-winning restaurants that can host a private dinner for groups.

 


The Clayton House

The Clayton House

One of Old Town’s newest event venues, the spacious Clayton House features chic industrial architecture and can accommodate up to 700 guests across three spaces for an indoor cocktail reception. For even larger groups, an additional 180 people can be accommodated in the outdoor space. Clayton House has built-in AV and offers in-house catering.

 


LON’s at The Hermosa Inn

Lon's at Hermosa Inn

This four-diamond restaurant is named after artist Lon Megargee whose iconic painting “The Last Drop” is featured on the satin lining of every authentic Stetson cowboy hat. Located at the historic Hermosa Inn, Lon’s offers unparalleled views of Camelback Mountain from its cozy outdoor space. Small groups can book the rustic Wine Cellar, which accommodates up to 12 for private, candlelit dinners

 


Musical Instrument Museum

MIM Musical Instrument Museum

MIM is the world’s only global musical instrument museum. Boasting a total of 9 indoor and outdoor spaces, the MIM has a theater than can accommodate nearly 300 attendees. Guests will delight in roaming the museum to explore music and instruments from virtually every country in the world.

 


Los Cedros

Los Cedros

This pristine Arabian horse facility is modeled after a Moroccan citadel and features a Throne Room filled with authentic cultural art and artifacts. What makes this venue so unique is its ability to host groups of all sizes (from 10 to 1,000), while providing opportunities for all attendees to interact with the legendary Arabian horses

 


Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West

Western Spirit, which debuted in Old Town in 2015, is the only certified Smithsonian Affiliate museum in Scottsdale. It’s also one of the youngest institutions anywhere to have earned that honor. An indoor theater room can be left as-is or transformed into a space for receptions and banquets. Boutique, outdoor spaces are thoughtfully designed to capture the spirit of the West.

 


The Desert Belle

The Desert Belle

Originally launched in 1964, the Desert Belle, a double-decker paddleboat, has been cruising the waters of Saguaro Lake for more than 50 years. Guided tours and charters introduce guests to the scenic Sonoran Desert. The boat can accommodate up to 50 on a private charter and also offers private indoor and outdoor space.

 


Penske Racing Museum

Penske Racing Museum

Penske is a legendary name in automobile racing circles. This Scottsdale museum houses many team Penske racecars, including a 1963 Pontiac Catalina driven to victory by family patriarch Roger Penske. As an added bonus, Penske shares space with Land Rover, so a track driving experience can be incorporated directly into your event without having to move locations.

 


Scottsdale Wine Trail

Scottsdale Wine Trail

Move over, Napa! Arizona wines are winning over oenophiles worldwide. Taste what all the buzz is about along the Old Town Scottsdale Wine Trail, featuring tasting rooms from six acclaimed Arizona wineries. Many offer private spaces or buyouts for groups.

 


Octane Raceway

Octane Raceway

As if indoor electric go-karting isn’t exciting enough, Octane also offers Velocity VR virtual reality games so your group can battle zombies or save an orbiting space station when they’re not doing business. There are six rooms available and the space can accommodate up to 500 people.