Scottsdale, AZ is a wonderful travel destination with a wealth of activities and attractions. Arizona generally has world-class spas, renowned golf courses, limitless adventure, incredible wildlife sanctuaries, history and more. So it’s no surprise that Scottsdale has an abundance of entertainment options, architectural wonders, botanical gardens and wine tasting rooms, making it the perfect place for a summer vacation. Whether you need some relaxation or just a good old-fashioned adventure, you’ll have no trouble finding it in this city. Nonetheless, here are the top ten things to do on the bucket list in Scottsdale, Arizona.
10 McDowell Sonoran Preserve
If you’re looking to explore the stunning Sonoran Desert in all its glory, then your first stop should be the gateway to this area known as The McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Here visitors will find some of the most diverse environments on earth. Stretching over 30,000 acres, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers travelers plenty of space (over 100 miles of trails and at least six trailheads). There is also a range of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventurers including hiking, mountain biking and wildlife/bird watching.
9 McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Another fun and free activity in Scottsdale is a short trip to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. This city center park is truly a fascinating and unique place. As already mentioned, admission here is free; However, if you wish to travel by train, there is a minimal fee. This is an excellent option for families or anyone who loves trains and all things locomotives. So stop by to see incredible model trains, delightful exhibits, a gauge railroad, a Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive and the legendary model railroad clubs. There is also an interactive railway museum in the park that features fascinating history and artifacts related to the railway industry.
8th Desert Splash adventure
Of course, if you prefer a more exciting tab, Desert Splash Adventures promises visitors an adrenaline-pumping good time and a unique way to see some of the sights in Scottsdale. For those who don’t know, Desert Splash Adventures is seaplane canyoning at its finest. Here passengers can enjoy scenic flights with breathtaking views over Roosevelt Lake, Lake Powell and the Sonoran Desert. Island Air Express is the right choice for an eventful day with experienced bush pilots and a Cessna Caravan Amphibious Seaplane. Overall, this is a really memorable way to have fun in Scottsdale.
7 Fort McDowell Adventures
It seems only fitting that at least some time in Arizona should be spent horseback riding, and Fort McDowell Adventures is an excellent choice for fun desert rides. Not only is this a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, it is also an incredible opportunity to see wild horses, cattle, cacti, mountains and more. Besides, there is nothing quite like crossing a river on horseback. So if you’re ready to feel like a cowgirl or cowboy, here’s your chance.
6 Xeriscape Garden
Nature lovers looking for more foliage and wildlife can also visit the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden. Located in Chaparral Park, this National Wildlife Federation certified wildlife habitat is one of the unique things to do in Scottsdale. Visitors can easily spend the afternoon exploring the 13 acres, marveling at the diverse plant species and appreciating the individual plants that call this area home. Thanks to an underwater reservoir, this garden is lush and healthy – making for some amazing photo opportunities.
5 Downtown Scottsdale
Downtown Scottsdale, also known as Old Town, has so much entertainment, attractions and activities to offer visitors. As well as being steeped in history, this area offers an array of fantastic shops, boutiques, award-winning restaurants, fun bars, art galleries and more. As an added bonus, most of the entertainment you’ll find here is within easy walking distance. So if you have a free day, you should spend the day in the old town. You can explore it all on your own in just a few hours, or sign up for a variety of informative walking tours.
4 Arizona Outdoor Fun ATV’s
Another great outdoor activity here in Scottsdale that’s fun for the whole family is all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and all-terrain vehicle (UTV) tours. Arizona Outdoor Fun is one of the leading companies that you can check out if you are interested. Adventurers can take an exciting desert trip to the beautiful Bradshaw Mountains. Riders can see breathtaking desert views, canyons, the Agua Fria River, Indian ruins and even an old former mining town. Plus, these incredible tours provide educational desert survival information and fascinating facts about the area.
3 Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
For those looking to spend some time indoors, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is a nice way to beat the heat and admire a contemporary art collection. But that’s not all; The SMoCA also has an extensive collection of architecture, exhibits and designs from around the world. This is the perfect fun activity for art lovers, history buffs, and creative types in general. Located in downtown Scottsdale, SMoCA is always trendy. So be sure to check out this incredible museum if you have the time.
2 The spa scene
Scottsdale is known for its world-class spa scene, giving visitors more than a few options to choose from if they’re craving quality pampering. Whether you want to sit back and relax or get zen, there are numerous luxurious spas to accommodate you. Travelers can spend a few hours or even several days at one of these divine spas, retreats, resorts and desert oases. So why not travel, explore, have fun and de-stress at the same time?
1 Scottsdale Wine Trail
Finally, in case you didn’t know, Arizona is famous for a number of reasons, and one of those reasons is its wine. With over 100 amazing wineries, each offering something different, it’s no surprise that the famous Scottsdale Wine Trail was born. The beauty here is that there is a wide range of wines in this part of the world, so you don’t need to be a wine connoisseur to appreciate this surefire good time. Also, there are more than a few craft breweries nearby so you can choose your poison or sample them all.