Known for its sunny weather, scenic desert landscape, and abundant golf courses, Scottsdale is a popular tourist destination in Arizona. With its colorful Southwestern culture and thriving art scene, Scottsdale offers visitors plenty to see and do.
Outdoor Activities One of Scottsdale’s biggest appeals is its proximity to beautiful desert scenery and mountains. Go on a hike through one of the many trails at McDowell Sonoran Preserve to spot Native cacti and wildlife. Or ride horses at one of the area’s dude ranches. For water activities, rent a kayak and paddle down the Lower Salt River. When the weather heats up, cool off by tubing down the Salt River or hitting up a nearby lake.
Arts and Culture
Scottsdale is home to a thriving arts community, earning its nickname as the “West’s Most Western Town.” The Old Town district is the cultural heart of the city, with over 100 art galleries, studios, and museums showcasing Southwestern-inspired art, contemporary works, Native American crafts, and more. Every Thursday evening, Old Town hosts the Scottsdale ArtWalk, where over 10,000 visitors browse paintings, pottery, sculptures, jewelry, and other works by local artists. The weekly event is one of the top art walks in the country. In December, the annual Scottsdazzle festival brings holiday lights, live music, food, and art sales to the district.
Onehighlight is the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, known for its compelling rotating exhibits and permanent collections ranging from painting to video installations. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has authentic artifacts spotlighting the Old West, from cowboy gear to Native American art. To see art in an innovative setting, time your visit for the Canal Convergence event each February. The weeklong exhibition transforms the Arizona Canal with spectacular light installations, kinetic sculptures, and performance art over water and along 5 miles of paths. Visitors can rent a bike or take a guided boat tour for a one-of-a-kind perspective of the outdoor event. With its walkable Old Town district, museums showcasing regional art, and annual festivals like Canal Convergence, Scottsdale’s arts scene is an inspiring blend of Southwestern heritage and contemporary culture.
With nearly 200 golf courses in the area, Scottsdale is truly a golfer’s paradise. As one of the top golf destinations in the world, the city boasts courses designed by legends like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, and Jay Moorish. Play a challenging round surrounded by the Sonoran Desert’s natural cacti, mountains, and wildlife. Iconic courses include TPC Scottsdale, host to the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open which draws golf fans from across the country. Troon North Golf Club offers two 18-hole courses with breathtaking scenery of high desert panoramas. At The Boulders Club, you can tackle the South Course’s narrow fairways dotted with natural granite boulders or the North Course’s desert terrain.
Looking for a pro tip or quick tune-up? Sign up for a lesson from the expert golf professionals at the on-site academy at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Not playing a full 18 holes? Stop by Downtown Scottsdale’s golf and entertainment complex, which offers fun for all ages with glow-in-the-dark mini golf, games, and delicious dining. With premier golf courses, elite instruction, stunning desert scenery, and lively entertainment, it’s easy to see why Scottsdale scores a hole-in-one for golf of all kinds.
Instead of staying at a crowded resort, rent a private home in Scottsdale through TravelHomeFinder.com. Enjoy amenities like a backyard, fully-equipped kitchen, and laundry while also having access to a local host in case you need anything. Spend your vacation relaxing in residential neighborhoods instead of touristy hotels. TravelHomeFinder.com connects travelers directly with Scottsdale homeowners to book private home rentals ranging from condos to luxury estates.
With endless sunshine, outdoor activities, cultural attractions, world-class golf, and comfortable lodging options, Scottsdale is the perfect spot for an unforgettable Arizona getaway.