Top 10 Guided Tours in Scottsdale

By local contributor
JoAnne Zeterberg

Experience Scottsdale and the state from an insider’s point of view! From Frank Lloyd Wright’s private living quarters and the city’s trendiest new restaurants to the rim of the Grand Canyon, these tours give you special access to the Scottsdale area’s most popular sights and attractions.


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright was so enamored with Scottsdale’s desert landscape that he chose the McDowell Mountain foothills as the site for his winter home and architectural school. Taliesin West was built in the late 1930s using colorful rocks and sand from the desert. Today, a variety of public tours showcase Wright’s ability to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces. Favorites include the 90-minute Insights and two-hour Night Lights tours.


Flavors of Scottsdale

Take a handful of Scottsdale’s buzz-worthy restaurants out for a test drive on an Old Town culinary tour. Each three-hour walking tour includes small bites and beverages at five to six different restaurants. A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale offers lunch, happy hour and progressive dinner tours, while Taste it Food Tours offers a lunchtime trolley food tour and a Sunday evening foodie feast.


Off-Road Adventures

Experience the rugged beauty of the Sonoran Desert on an off-road tour by Jeep, Hummer or Tomcar. The desert is your playground as you bounce along rough-and-tumble trails and sandy desert washes. Keep your eyes open and you might spot desert wildlife like javelina, Gambel’s Quail, wild horses and birds of prey. Tour options can include night-vision excursions, cowboy cookouts and combo adventures that tack on activities like hiking, river rafting or horseback riding.


Art Behind the Scenes

Love art? Let the experts at Ultimate Art & Cultural Tours take you behind the scenes at Scottsdale’s finest museums, galleries and artist studios. You also can join them on the free, monthly Art & Cultural Trolley Tour of Old Town, or sign up for the Magical History Tour at Hotel Valley Ho and learn about the hotel’s fascinating architecture and Hollywood past.


Old Town Tour with JoyRidesAZ

JoyRidesAZ takes golf cart transportation to a whole new level with a variety guided tours. Options include the 30-minute JoyRide, a perfect intro to Old Town’s unique neighborhoods of shops, galleries and restaurants; the sunset Twinkle Tour; and the Instagram Wall Tour.


VIP Tour at MIM

On the VIP tour at the Musical Instrument Museum a specially trained guide takes you on a one-hour tour through parts of the museum not accessible to the general public. You’ll learn what goes on backstage at the MIM Music Theater, discover how exhibits are created, and explore the unique storage needs required for MIM’s extraordinary collection of instruments and cultural artifacts.



Enjoy bike tours with a boost! Phat Rides USA and Pedego Scottsdale offer guided and self-guided tours on electric bikes, so you can pedal as much or as little as you’d like. Tours vary by company and include destinations such as Old Town Scottsdale, Papago Park and the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt.



For the most excitement you can have standing up, try a Segway tour! It might take a few minutes to master the lean – the movement that makes these two-wheeled fun machines go – but anyone can do it under the guidance of Segway of Scottsdale or Scottsdale Segway Tour guides. They’ll have you rolling through Old Town in no time.



Looking for a fun way to tour with a bunch of your closest friends and family? Take a pub crawl on the Arizona Party Bike! This 15-passenger merrymaking machine cruises around Old Town on pedal power (yours), and with all the festivity on board, you can almost always hear it coming before you see it.


Colors and Canyons Tour with DETOURS

Scottsdale’s central-Arizona location means you’re an easy day trip from the state’s most popular attractions, including the Grand Canyon. On DETOURS’ Colors and Canyons tour, you’ll “get your kicks on Route 66,” enjoy a 45-minute helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, and explore the scenic vistas, shops and galleries on the Canyon’s South Rim. DETOURS also offers guided day-trips to Sedona’s red-rock country, the historic mining town-turned-artist-haven of Jerome, legendary Tombstone and scenic Antelope Canyon.