The Ultimate Scottsdale Visitor’s Guide: Your Gateway to Luxury and Adventure

Scottsdale Visitor's Guide

Scottsdale, Arizona. The Jewel of the Desert. Nestled among the captivating Sonoran landscape, Scottsdale beckons travelers with its allure of luxury and adventure. From upscale shopping districts to world-renowned golf courses; from relaxing desert retreats to exhilarating outdoor excursions, Scottsdale offers a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered. 

If you’re looking to travel to Arizona, this Ultimate Scottsdale Visitor’s Guide will help you in planning your trip so you can experience all Scottsdale has to offer.

Table of Contents – A Quick Guide to Scottsdale 

Local Transportation and Getting Around

Scottsdale Visitor's Guide

Navigating Scottsdale is a breeze thanks to its many transportation options. 

Travelers arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport have easy access to rental cars, taxis, and rideshare services, providing flexibility and convenience for exploring the city and its surrounding areas. 

For those opting not to drive, Scottsdale also offers a reliable public transportation system, including buses and trolleys, making it effortless to navigate the city’s bustling streets and vibrant neighborhoods. Obviously the traditional Ride Share companies like Uber and Lyft services are always an option. Additionally, many hotels and resorts in Scottsdale offer complimentary shuttle services to popular attractions, ensuring that visitors can effortlessly experience all that the city has to offer. 

Whether you choose to explore by car, public transit, or shuttle, getting around Scottsdale is a seamless experience, allowing you to focus on enjoying the sights and sounds of this desert paradise.

When your Scottsdale trip comes to an end, be sure to keep an eye on Sky Harbor’s Flight Status page to be aware of delayed, canceled and diverted flights.

Luxury Accommodations: Where to Stay in Scottsdale

(HÓZHÓ Main Estate)

Hotels and AirBnBs are a dime a dozen in Scottsdale, but true luxury can be found by renting a HÓZHÓ Scottsdale property. There are a variety of features that sets these rentals apart from others.

Unmatched Amenities

As if staying at a Hozho property wasn’t luxurious enough, here are some of the amenities that can find amongst HÓZHÓ Scottsdale properties:

  • Lazy Rivers & Outdoor Oasis Areas
  • Indoor/Outdoor Hot Tubs
  • Pool Slides
  • Bowling Alley
  • Game Rooms
  • Meeting & Board Rooms
  • Private Tennis Courts
  • Private Pickleball Courts
  • Basketball Courts
  • Swim Up Bars
  • Movie Theaters
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Updated Appliances
  • Putting Greens
  • … and many more!

For more information on these amenities, read our article about the 21 Luxury Amenities of HÓZHÓ Scottsdale properties.

Privacy and Intimacy

From private backyard oasis amenities to secluded and gated estates, HÓZHÓ Scottsdale properties are designed to host your small family gathering or corporate retreats. Quite simply your HÓZHÓ Scottsdale experience has it all!

Custom Concierge Services

(HÓZHÓ Estate on the River)

Guests of HÓZHÓ Scottsdale have the opportunity to experience their Luxury Concierge Services. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Catering Services
  • Private Chefs
  • Luxury Transportation
  • Personal Massage & Spa Services
  • Grocery Pre-Delivery Options
  • Golf Packages & Tee Times

Custom options are also available. If you need a special service, your property manager can likely make it happen!

To view our full portfolio of available rentals, check out our blog on 22 Luxury Rental Homes in Scottsdale, AZ.

Scottsdale Attractions and Activities

When it comes to entertainment and adventure, Scottsdale has made a name for itself as a place that offers something for everyone’s tastes.

Whether you love nature, art, fashion, sports, or entertainment—or maybe someone seeking a bit of everything—Scottsdale has what you’re looking for. Keep reading to find out what Scottsdale has to offer.

Explore Old Town Scottsdale

(Photo courtesy of Old Town Scottsdale)

Ready for a quick lesson in Scottsdale culture? Visit Old Town Scottsdale, the place where the Old West meets modern shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The best part? 

You can find all of these things located in large rows and lines on streets or take a walk down the Scottsdale waterfront along the Arizona Canal.

For a complete list of shops, restaurants and events, visit Old Town Scottsdale’s website.

Visit Scottsdale Art Galleries

(Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Gallery Association – Contemporary Art Shown in Bonner David Galleries)

The Scottsdale Arts District is a must-visit, and it’s home to 21 galleries and studios that showcase a wide range of diverse contemporary artwork.

Check out the interactive map of locations at Scottsdale ArtWalk’s homepage. Any art enthusiast would love to visit these galleries:

Go on Outdoor Adventures 

Want to see something beautiful? Lace up your boots, grab a bike, and take a guided tour! Scottsdale’s outdoor scenes are breathtaking and perfect for those looking for something to see. 

In fact, there are actually 102 Scottsdale hiking trails, and you can even take a hot air balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders or Hot Air Expeditions to get a better view of the area.

Go Golfing in Scottsdale’s World-Renowned Courses

(Photo courtesy of We-Ko-Pa)

Golf courses have made a name for themselves in Scottsdale. Plus, they have a beautiful view of the Sonoran Desert’s landscape, which is why professional and average, casual golfers can’t resist playing a few holes.

Here are the most popular golf courses you should visit in Scottsdale:

To learn more about the golf course in Scottsdale, check out our article on 21 Scottsdale Golf Courses You Have to Play

If you’re interested in playing a few rounds, let us help you build your golf package and set your tee time. 

Relax with Spa and Wellness Experiences

(HÓZHÓ Estate on Harmony – In-home Spa Rooms Available for Guests)

Indulge your senses at one of Scottsdale’s luxurious spas, where relaxation and wellness take center stage. From soothing massages to rejuvenating facials, these havens of tranquility promise to melt away stress. Slip into a hot tub, close your eyes, and let the desert serenity wash over you. You can book a Spa visit at any of these Scottsdale locations:

Explore Family-Friendly Activities

Scottsdale isn’t just for adults; it’s a haven for families seeking memorable experiences. 

Head to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, where little ones can ride the antique carousel or explore the model railroad exhibits. 

Butterfly Wonderland is another family favorite, offering an immersive experience with thousands of butterflies in a lush (un-Arizona-like) rainforest habitat. 

For outdoor adventures, consider horseback riding at MacDonald’s Ranch or paddleboarding on the calm waters of the Salt River.

There are endless family friendly and kids activities in Scottsdale

Attend Sports and Recreation Events

While they don’t maintain a Scottsdale address per say, there are 4 Major sports teams within a short driving distance. Arizona has a team for any sports fan!

  • NFL’s Arizona Cardinals
  • NBA’s Phoenix Suns
  • MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks
  • NHL’s Arizona Coyotes

WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury

One of the 8 original WNBA franchises resides in Phoenix. The women’s basketball team has won 3 WNBA championships and attracts fans from all over the state.

MLB Spring Training

The Cactus Leas season starts in the spring and is also a great place to see Major League Baseball teams warm up for the upcoming season.

NCAA Bowl Games

Home to the annual Playstation Fiesta Bowl & Cheeze-It Bowl, college football fans come from around the world to attend these games.

PGA Tour Tournaments

Held in late January/early February, the PGA Tour hosts the WM Phoenix Open each year. Golf fans can view some of the greatest golfers to play the game as they work to qualify for the Masters.

Take in Cultural Experiences

Scottsdale’s cultural tapestry extends far beyond traditional art scenes. Immerse yourself in the rich Native American heritage at the Heard Museum, where exhibits and events celebrate the art and traditions of Indigenous peoples. 

The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts hosts an array of cultural performances, ranging from captivating theater and dance to soul-stirring music and enlightening lectures. Dive into the city’s diverse cultural offerings by attending local festivals like the Scottsdale International Film Festival where every experience unfolds a unique chapter of Scottsdale’s rich cultural history.

Dining and Nightlife: Where Good Eats Meet Fun Nights

Scottsdale, Arizona, is not just about cacti and desert landscapes; it’s also a foodie’s paradise with a nightlife scene that’ll keep you entertained long after the sun sets. 

Fine Dining Gems: Treat Yourself Right

If you’re feeling a bit bougie and want to get away from traditional chain restaurants, check out our top 25 Scottsdale restaurants to try. 

Trendy Bars and Nightlife: Scottsdale’s Evening Scene

Scottsdale’s nights are full of life. Head to The Beverly for cool vibes, craft cocktails, and live tunes. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the unique bars under the Barter & Shake Creative Hospitality umbrella—each with its own style and drink menu. 

And if you just want a chill spot to hang out, hit up Bottled Blonde for sports, rooftop views, and a relaxed atmosphere. 

Discover Scottsdale’s Shopping Delights

Looking for elegance and fashion? Take a leisurely stroll through the vibrant shopping scene in Scottsdale, where you’ll discover a variety of upscale stores.

The centerpiece of Arizona’s shopping is the Scottsdale Fashion Square, a haven for shoppers interested in a blend of luxurious brands and charming designer boutiques. 

Scottsdale Fashion Square: Style Meets Comfort

(Photo Courtesy of Fashion Square)

If you imagine luxury shopping without pretentiousness, you get the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

Although you can browse through familiar favorites like Neiman Marcus, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton, the mall isn’t just about shopping—it’s a place to soak in the trends, grab a bite to eat, and appreciate some art while you’re at it.

Hidden Treasures: Specialty Stores and More

The Scottsdale Waterfront is your go-to spot for a more laid-back shopping experience. 

Check out the specialty stores showcasing local artists’ talents, with everything from handmade jewelry to artsy home decor. It’s a waterfront stroll paired with retail therapy—a win-win.

Not to be missed is Kierland Commons—nestled near the McDowell Mountains. It’s like a mini town within the city, offering a blend of outdoor spaces and upscale stores.

Anthropologie, Michael Kors, and Crate & Barrel are just a few of the highlights, making it a perfect destination for fashion, beauty, and home goods.

Day Trips and Excursions: Unveiling Scottsdale’s Natural Wonders

Get ready to spice up your Scottsdale visit with some exciting day trips and adventures that take you beyond the city limits. These escapes promise a break from the usual hustle and bustle, offering a taste of nature’s wonders and a dash of adrenaline. 

Grand Canyon Getaway: A Must-See Marvel

No Scottsdale trip is complete without checking out the Grand Canyon. It’s a bit of a drive, but trust us, it’s worth it. 

The Grand Canyon National Park is like Mother Nature showing off her best work – towering cliffs, deep canyons, and views that will make your jaw drop. You can hike along the rim, hop on a helicopter for a bird’s-eye view, or just soak in the breathtaking sunset. The Grand Canyon is the kind of place that sticks with you—one that you remember—that’s for sure.

Sedona Day Trip: Red Rocks and Relaxation 

Take a breather with a day trip to Sedona, famous for its stunning red rock formations. 

The drive itself is an adventure as you wind through the sandstone marvels. Once there, you can hike, relax at a spa, or explore the artsy downtown vibe. Sedona offers a nice mix of chill and thrills, making it an ideal day trip.

Desert Tours and Excursions: Exploring Scottsdale’s Backyard

For a taste of the desert life, check out the various tours and excursions nearby. 

Get your heart pumping with an ATV tour, tearing through the rugged desert terrain, or float above the cacti in a hot air balloon. Either way, you’re bound to catch a glimpse of the desert’s beauty, especially during sunset. 

These tours also give you a closer look at the unique desert plant life. If you’re interested, here are a few places that offer excursions: 

Discover the Best of Scottsdale: A Mix of Fun and Flavor

Scottsdale is not just a place; it’s an experience of events and festivals that make each visit unforgettable. Throughout the year, this city offers a variety of gatherings that cater to everyone.

Here’s a sneak peek into some of the major events that can add a bit of extra to your Scottsdale extra journey.

Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction: Start the Year in Style

(Photo courtesy of Barrett-Jackson)

If you’re kicking off your Scottsdale journey in January, you can visit the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction

It’s a global event of automotive culture that brings together classic cars, rare collectibles, and high-performance vehicles to create an atmosphere that appeals to both avid collectors, casual enthusiasts, and individuals looking for entertainment.

For everything you need to know about this event, check out our article: “Barrett Jackson Auto Auction 101: Everything You Need to Know“.

WM Phoenix Open

(Photo courtesy of WM Phoenix Open)

Visiting during February? Why not attend one of the most well-known golf tournaments of the year? 

The WM Phoenix Open is home to the most iconic hole on the PGA TOUR—the famed 16th hole Coliseum. This is an event you definitely want to plan in advance for, and one you do not want to miss.

Arabian Horse Show at WestWorld

(Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show)

For equestrian fans, the annual Arabian Horse Show at WestWorld showcases the grace and beauty of the majestic creatures accomplishing incredible feats. Sound interesting? That’s because it is!

Check out our article “A Travel Guide for the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show” for more details!

Scottsdale Adventure Insider: Real Tips for Fun & Comfort

To get the most out of your time in Scottsdale, it’s important to consider planning your trip during the fall or spring. Here are a few tips to help it go smoothly.

Consider Events and Locations

Scottsdale hosts several events throughout the year—all of which deserve their own individual attention. Make sure to research all the events and locations you want to visit while being in Scottsdale.

Think of it this way: a beach vacation trip would be nothing without actually going to the beach, and going to Scottsdale, without attending its events or iconic locations, means missing out on a large portion of your trip.

Weather Considerations

Having the best weather possible is important for all vacations, and visiting Scottsdale is no different. You want to make sure the weather is perfect for the time you’re visiting. Here’s what you should know:

Scottsdale’s climate is pretty straightforward – hot in summer and mild in winter. If you’re visiting in the summer, be ready for scorching temperatures, which means: pack light, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated. Winters, on the other hand, are more comfortable, though evenings can get chilly, so bring a light jacket—just in case. 

Ultimately, the best time to visit Scottsdale is between October and April because the weather is just right. 

 (Photo courtesy of

Respect the Environment

To those that live in Scottsdale, the environment is extremely important. The environment gives Scottsdales its natural beauty, and the people of Scottsdale see it that way too, so make sure you treat it the same.

In other words, If you’re going to hike on one of Scottsdales trails, make sure you stay on the trail and be mindful of the animals and plantlife. Doing so can keep you safe from getting lost and also from the potential wild animals in the area.

Respect Local Culture

When visiting Scottsdale, it’s just as—or if not more—important to respect the local culture. You see, Scottsdale is preserved by the rich cultural history in the area, a history created by the indigenous families who live there. 

Therefore, when you decide to visit the area, you should familiarize yourself with the local customs and etiquette in Scottsdale, and be respectful of all of indigenous cultures and traditions as well.

Stay Hydrated

As mentioned before, depending on when you visit, Scottsdale—like all areas in Arizona—can get hot! The best way to stay cool is by staying hydrated. In fact, the sun can be just as hot in the streets of Old Town Scottsdale as it is on the hiking trails, so make sure to carry a water bottle with you everywhere, and drink plenty of water while you’re out in the sun. 

Book with HÓZHÓ

When visiting Scottsdale there’s a ton of things to plan and consider. Utilizing HÓZHÓ’s Luxury Concierge Services can help take the guesswork out of planning. From major things like lining up transportation to details like having groceries delivered and ready for your arrival, your HÓZHÓ property manager will be ready to make your trip a success.

Your Ultimate Scottsdale Getaway

As we wrap up our Scottsdale Visitor’s Guide, we hope you see that Scottsdale isn’t just a spot on the map—it’s a fantastic getaway experience full of high-end shopping and outdoor cultural thrills.

Quite frankly, Scottsdale has it all!

If you’re looking to visit this great city, book a stay at one of our vacation rental homes, where comfort meets convenience, seamlessly.

Just remember: it’s not a vacation rental—it’s a home away from home.