Trip Ideas

Old Town

Welcome to downtown Scottsdale, the vibrant heart of our city. This is where U.S. Army Chaplain Winfield Scott put down his farming roots in 1888 and where Scottsdale residents and businesses thrived in the decades that followed. Today, the various walkable “neighborhoods” of downtown Scottsdale are hubs for the city’s arts and cultural scene, nearly 100 fabulous dining and nightlife options, and highly favored shopping and lifestyle destinations.


Discover downtown through the eyes of our local experts! From guided food tours and gallery excursions to Segway rides and a pub crawl on a 14-passenger party bike, these tours will show you the best that downtown has to offer. If you prefer to explore on your own, self-guided tours can be downloaded by clicking here. Options include the Public Art Walking Tour, Historic Old Town Walking Tour, Scottsdale Ale Trail and Scottsdale Wine Trail.

clockTimeframe: 2 to 4 hours


For a free and easy way to get around downtown, hop aboard the Downtown Trolley! Trollies run daily from 10 a.m .to 9 p.m. with stops throughout downtown. Riding the Trolley is a great way to scope out all the downtown districts and decide where you want to spend more time walking and browsing.

clockTimeframe: At your own pace


The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art celebrates modern art, architecture and design through thought-provoking, changing exhibitions. The museum, an ingenious renovation of an old movie theater by architect Will Bruder, also is home to “Knight Rise,” a James Turrell skyspace that allows you to track the sun’s colorful path across the desert sky.

clockTimeframe: 1 to 2 hours


Scottsdale’s renowned public art program encompasses more than 70 magnificent installations throughout the city, including more than 10 in downtown alone. Download your free copy of the downtown Public Art Walking Tour and discover some of the most celebrated art works the city has to offer, including the Soleri Bridge (Paolo Soleri), “Knight Rise” (James Turrell) and “Jack Knife” (Ed Mell).

clockTimeframe: 1 hour for the Public Art Walking Tour


Scottsdale Fashion Square is the Southwest’s largest shopping destination, boasting more than 250 retailers including anchors Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Dillard’s. In 2018, Fashion Square will debut its new luxury wing which will feature an Escada flagship store and other upscale retailers such as Jimmy Choo, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. You’ll also find outstanding shopping along Scottsdale’s famed Fifth Avenue, on the quaint streets of Old Town and in the historic Arts District.

clockTimeframe: At your own pace


Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West celebrates the spirit of the American West through changing exhibitions of fine art, rare historic artifacts and cultural treasures like Texas Ranger badges, hand-tooled saddles and Native American pottery.

clockTimeframe: 2 to 3 hours


The galleries of the Scottsdale Arts District stay open late every Thursday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for ArtWalk, a Scottsdale tradition for more than 40 years. Special exhibits, artist receptions and live entertainment create a festive atmosphere for exploring art in a variety of genres by national and international artists.

clockTimeframe: 2.5 hours


Downtown is home to several of Scottsdale’s most acclaimed restaurants. Enjoy award-winning farm-to-table cuisine by Chef Charleen Badman and an outstanding Arizona wine list at FnB. Over at Virtú Honest Craft, Chef Gio Osso delights diners with a seasonally changing menu of Mediterranean specialties. And at The Mission, spice things up with contemporary Latin cuisine by Chef Matt Carter. Other local favorites in downtown include AZ 88, Craft 64, The House Brasserie, Old Town Tortilla Factory and Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse.

clockTimeframe: At your own pace


The barely contained daytime energy of the Entertainment District explodes after dark. From Hip Hop and House to the cutting edge of Country, the music at downtown’s upscale nightclubs pulses with a beat all its own. Popular stops include Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, El Hefe Supermacho Taqueria, HiFi Kitchen & Cocktails and The Mint Ultra Lounge.

clockTimeframe: At your own pace


It’s well past dinner hour and you’re hungry – what do you do? Head downtown where late-night dining is an art form. Three to try are RNR, serving elevated gastropub cuisine until 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; ZuZu Lounge at the iconic Hotel Valley Ho for upscale American fare until at least midnight; and AZ88, dishing up their classic Hell's Fire Chips (complete with blue cheese and hot sauce) plus other favorites until 12:30 a.m. daily. Bonus: If it’s really late, pick up some street tacos from Mr. Mesquite Taqueria, a local favorite taco stand on the edge of the Entertainment District (open until 3 a.m.).

clockTimeframe: At your own pace

For more information on these and other Scottsdale adventures, contact our destination experts at