Something for Everyone Guide to Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale is an amazing place to visit for those that love a unique destination that marries the beautiful desert landscape with a lively, young atmosphere to both relax and play! Scottsdale's proximity to Phoenix and Sedona, allow it to be a great home base for exploring all three areas! The architecture of this area blends so well into the desert and mountain landscape. From the diverse wine region in Sedona/Verde Valley, to the pool parties and excitement in Old town Scottsdale, there is something for everyone!
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Where to stay in Scottsdale, AZ
A luxury hotel in the heart of Scottsdale that offers chic rooms, a trendy bar and a rooftop pool with panoramic city views.
The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale
Tucked into Camelback Mountain, the Phoenician is a lovely modern enclave with a Sonoran feeling.
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Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows
Modern luxury in Scottsdale with contemporary bungalows and suites in the shadows of Camelback Mountain.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
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Things to do in Scottsdale, AZ
AZ Wine Wagon - Highlight of our trip! We spent a day traveling to Verde Valley/Sedona and met some great people, visited 3 unique wineries and had enough time at each place to mingle, sample plenty of wines and explore the properties. We have to shout out Cove Mesa Tasting Room as our favorite stop of the tour - the service was amazing and the wines were the best we tasted by far!
Pool Parties - The W hosts an amazing pool party on the weekends and it is free of charge for guests staying at the hotel. We arrived on Friday after noon and luckily were able to check in. We went straight from unpacking to the pool. You may have some trouble finding chairs in the hotel section, the hotel will allow you to reserve daybeds and cabana ahead of time for a hefty fee. Another popular place just a 5-7 min walk from the hotel is Maya DayClub. It’s a massive pool and lots of seating/bar area surrounding it. The lines were wrapped around the building, but the music and diversity of the crowd was great!
Shopping - We did not get to do as much shopping as we wanted, but there was an amazing strip of shops in Old Town Scottsdale. There were a lot of local native American owned shops that sold handmade items, souvenirs and unique finds from their heritage. There were also boutique clothing stores in that area and 2 major shopping malls close by, so for those that love to shop you will not be disappointed.
Night Life - The W is walking distance…say it with me AGAIN…WALKING DISTANCE - from the main strip of bars and clubs in Scottsdale. Hang a right leaving out the front of the hotel and another right onto N Buckboard Trail. Make a left onto E Indian Plaza and you’ve officially entered the nightlife zone! You can walk down that street until it ends and bounce from place to place!
Places to eat & drink in Scottsdale, AZ
The food was incredible in Scottsdale and Verde Valley. Near the hotel we went to the following places and recommend them:
Toca Madera - upscale Mexican fare - live dj at night on the weekends and amazing vibe. The drinks were great, I really enjoyed the Guava Margarita! Maine Lobster Tacos as a starter were great!
Casa Amigos - El Fuego Burger and Quesadillas are highly recommended! This is great spot for good food and nightlife as well. We went on a Friday afternoon and it was mostly people eating with music and drinks flowing. The crowds come at night and on the weekends.
Orange Sky at Talking Stick Resort - This is a beautiful rooftop restaurant with amazing views of the Scottsdale landscape and awesome food. We drank wine, our waiter made custom drinks for my friend’s birthday and we shared delicious appetizers.
Breakfast Club - Huevos Rancheros is a must! The menu is extensive and from the looks of plates around us, everyone was enjoying their food. Great for lunch as well!
Bottled Blonde - This place is known for nightlife, but is actually an amazing pizzeria as well. We ordered pizzas here and were highly impressed with the quality coming from a bar!
Daily Dose Old Town Bar & Grill - The crabby omelette was one of my favorite meals from this trip!
More Scottsdale Tips
Trying to find a place to vacation can be daunting. I recently struggled with finding a destination to travel to in a short amount of time that met the following criteria: Hot (warm temperatures), Great Pools, Good Vibes.
That was literally my list in finding a place for my friend’s birthday (it ended up being a surprise and I reveled in every minute of it!).
I started searching the typical Caribbean places, but at that time in the year (March) flights had shot up for early summer travel. I had to get creative quickly and so began looking for places in the states….enter Arizona. It had everything I desired, but I just was not sure it would feel like a “vacation”. I was SOOOO WRONG! Scottsdale and surrounding areas (we flew into Phoenix and took a day trip to Sedona/Verde Valley), were breathtaking, weather was great (we are from the humid south), and it was enough balance of party and relaxation that it now rises to the top of my list as an amazing vacation destination!
Hotel and experience there - There were many amazing hotels to choose from in the heart of Scottsdale, and I landed on the W Scottsdale. It was walking distance or a short uber/lyft from plenty of shopping, restaurants, bars and clubs. If you know anything about the W brand, it is geared towards millennials, with an emphasis on sleek decor, live music and their famed wet deck! The W did not disappoint, with an amazing pool party the day we arrived, great food, sizeable rooms and lots of selfie/photo opportunities! They also had an amazing spa for those that need a moment to relax!
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Kayla Zimmerman’s guide, Bachelorette Weekend in Scottsdale, AZ.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Scottsdale.