Bucket List: Top 12 Best Things to See and Do in Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Known as the home of classy and luxurious destinations in Arizona is the desert city of Scottsdale. It is located on the eastern side of Phoenix, where it is much closer to several natural features such as evergreen forests, majestic mountains, desert, and more! That’s why you’re more likely to meet lovely wildlife here at Scottsdale compared to its neighboring cities.
One of the city’s main attractions is the classic Old Town Scottsdale which carries a lot of the city’s rich culture and history. More than its beautiful natural wonders and rich history, Scottsdale is ultimately known as a haven for upperclassmen. Why? Well, it’s because Scottsdale is the home of many high-end brands, boutiques, and vehicles. Several luxurious resorts, bars, restaurants, and championship golf courses are lying around the city! But don’t get me wrong! Despite the higher cost of living in Scottsdale, it is still absolutely a must-visit city in the US because of its countless beautiful attractions.
So, are you ready? I sure hope you are! Join me as we both discover the 12 Best Things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona!
Visit the Famous Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Scottsdale has a unique art culture greatly valued by the city, and you definitely shouldn’t miss it! Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as SMoCA, is a must-visit tourist destination where you can explore a huge collection of modern and contemporary art around the globe.
Everything about SMoCA is definitely worth seeing. From the minimalist building designed by world-renowned Architect Will Bruder to the public Skyspace that lets visitors enjoy the desert sky, the museum certainly offers unlimited memory-making activities for the whole family.
Be Closer to the Lovely Animals of Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
Another great institution in Scottsdale is the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. SWCC is a beautiful sanctuary established in 1994 for all wildlife animals hurt, injured, or struck with sickness. Many lovely animals here, such as the Black Bear, Coyote, Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Mexican Gray Wolf, and more!
SWCC has absolutely no intentions of breeding and selling these beautiful creatures. They only work to save and prolong the animals’ lives and even save the endangered ones.
Spend your Day in Butterfly Wonderland
A one-of-a-kind experience awaits you here at the one and only Butterfly Wonderland! It is the largest butterfly conservatory in the United States. People of all ages can watch, admire, and interact with beautiful butterflies and other animals like rainforest birds, reptiles, and insects.
Butterfly Wonderland has tons of attractions to offer, and you should definitely explore each and every one of them! There’s the Butterfly Emergence Gallery, Edible Insect Station, Rainforest Birds, and many, many more.
Explore the Scottsdale Fashion Square
You’ve got it right! Scottsdale isn’t only about museums and conservatories, because it is also known for its great sense of fashion! There’s a huge mall in Scottsdale that houses more than 240 specialty stores and restaurants that I know you’d definitely enjoy.
Scottsdale Fashion Square is actually the largest shopping mall in the entire state of Arizona, covering a massive area of 2,000,000 square feet. With iconic stores such as Macy’s, Apple, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and more situated inside, I guess you can’t just help but to shop ’til you drop!
Score Great Deals on Singh Farms
Scottsdale made sure to check every box on the list, eh? Well, aside from the city’s excellent art culture, fashion style, rich wildlife, and irresistible attractions, it also boasts of an incredibly healthy attraction that everyone must visit!
The iconic Singh Farms is truly a haven for fresh produce where you can find organic vegetables, fresh eggs, freshly-baked bread, herbs, jams, jellies, the list goes on and on! It’s the perfect place to hang out to go and try some delicious food in Arizona!
Oh, and you shouldn’t miss the local cook who makes breakfast outside a café every Saturday. Really good!
Get Competitive at Octane Raceway!
Alright, alright. For adrenaline junkies out there who are hungry for competition, suit yourselves because this is where it gets real in Scottsdale. Get ready to have the best time of your life at the Octane Raceway! They have a one-third-mile-long race track, the only full-time indoor/outdoor track in the entire United States! Imagine that!
There’s really no other place on the planet where you can enjoy Kart Racing as much as Octane Raceway allows you to! Moreover, they also have other unique attractions such as the Velocity VR, Full Arcade Games, Mini Bowling, and more!
Visit the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve is a piece of heaven located in a desert in Scottsdale. This huge, protected, and sustainable desert habitat covers a massive area of 30,500 acres where visitors are allowed to explore, trail, and hike on dedicated areas.
The Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve offers people a wonderful chance of experiencing the beauty of nature first-hand and perfectly shows why we have to take care of it. Well, it’s also a perfect location for outdoor lovers!
Discover Taliesin West
Taliesin West is another historical landmark in Scottsdale where Frank Lloyd Wright lived from 1937 to 1959. It was actually a winter home and a school in the middle of the desert where Wright dedicated the eclipse years of his life.
Today, it has become the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation headquarters and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Covering a huge area of 200 hectares, Taliesin West is open for tourists and visitors who want to explore the wonderful world of architecture in Arizona by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Each corner and space in Taliesin West is designed and touched by Architect Wright’s creativity. And you must take your time to witness it!
Discover the Nostalgic Old Town Scottsdale
It’s always a great feeling to seemingly go back in time and appreciate classic buildings and old-school restaurants and cafés, right? You’re just chillin’ out there, sippin’ a cup of freshly-brewed coffee as you stare into the blue skies and wonderful desert of Scottsdale, Arizona. Ah, that absolutely sounds like goals in life!
Well, worry no more because, at Old Town Scottsdale, you finally have the chance to live one of your dreams! Aside from admiring the spectacular ambiance, there are also tons of things to do here, such as joining the Public Art Walking Tour, visiting the Rusty Spur Saloon, going wine-tasting, and of course, eating delicious foods!
Have a Relaxing Adventure on Desert Botanical Garden
The unique beauty of the desert is often overlooked in different parts of the world just because they don’t have them. Well, not here in Scottsdale because the desert is what makes this city unique and beautiful.
The best way to truly explore the desert is by going on one of Scottsdale’s exciting adventures, and it’s here at the Desert Botanical Garden. Feel free to enjoy the ambiance and admire over 50,000 species of desert plants!
Hike Atop the Pinnacle Peak Park
Pinnacle Peak Park is another gem in Scottsdale that’s perfect for outdoor lovers. This park covers an area of 150 acres where tourists can freely hike, rock climb, and even camp all day. It’s also an excellent destination for interactive tours, moonlight walks, and stargazing activities!
It’s also a stunning romantic spot in the city, perfect where you can witness the beautiful panoramic view of the city of Scottsdale over the pristine Sonoran Desert. Simply amazing!
Visit the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Ah, finally. Who here likes trains? The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a 30-acre train park located in Scottsdale, Arizona. This unique tourist destination offers fun and educational activities that people of all ages would surely enjoy!
There’s a fantastic display of little trains and model railroads available at the massive 10,000 square foot Railroad Building! I’m sure that it’ll take you most of the day just to explore the entirety of that. Oh, and there are also countless fun and exciting activities to look forward to, and you shouldn’t miss any of them.
Of course, since we’re here to witness and admire the beauty of trains, visiting the Scottsdale Railroad Museum should absolutely be our number one thing to do!
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