Trying to decide where to take your next trip in the U.S.? There are a few reasons why Scottsdale, Arizona should be your next Southwest getaway. With access to stunning nature, a plethora of dining options, and a vibrant art scene, Scottsdale is the ultimate weekend getaway.
The rumors are true, Scottsdale is one of the best city breaks in the U.S. It is a consistently top-rated destination for not only golf-focused trips and bachelorette parties but as a city destination. Scottsdale continues to surprise with ridiculously stunning resorts, inviting art exhibits, and a happening downtown.
What makes Scottsdale such a fun place to visit is that you get it all, and all with warm weather. With everything quite close to each other, you can go from sitting down to a fine dining experience to breaking a sweat up the mountains of the Sonoran Desert. It’s never a choice of one or another when in Scottsdale.
So if you’re looking to book your next getaway to Scottsdale, these are the top reasons why you should (soon).
7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Scottsdale, Arizona
*This trip is in partnership with Experience Scottsdale as always, all opinions are own.
**This post contains affiliates which means I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you if you choose to make a purchase. As always, all things recommended are my own opinion, and your support is always appreciated.
1. It’s The Perfect Year-Round Destination
Let’s start with the basics of visiting Scottsdale, Arizona. The most frequently asked question is “when should I visit Scottsdale?”. My answer? Any of the time of year and here’s why: while it does get hot in the summer, it’s not unbearably hot and there are 300+ days of sunshine. You can get out early for a hike, spend time in the pool and at the spa, and take advantage of the plethora of experiences that don’t require full sun.
Scottsdale’s mild temperatures the rest of the year makes it an easy win for any snowbird looking to get some sun and warmer temperature. So you can truly visit any time of the year.
My preference? That perfect shoulder, off-season timing for the best rates. Since it’s an easy weekend away in the U.S., it’s a wonderful last-minute, getaway during the early and later summer months. Think early May and later September when the resorts are a little less full, and the rates are lower.
2. There’s No Shortage of Wonderful Resorts and Hotels
Looking for a bachelorette party with access to a spa and vibey pool? Stay at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows. Want more of a resort stay with amenities for the whole family? Stay at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa.
Scottsdale, Arizona is home to more than 70 hotels and resorts. Each is unique in design, and offerings, and has an opportunity to experience Scottsdale in a different way. With so many choices, it comes down to what kind of experience you’d like.
A few favorites:
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows for a hip, art-focused stay
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa for a family resort getaway
Hotel Valley Ho for a downtown, design getaway
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for an elevated resort with access to golf
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort for a romantic getaway
3. A Mecca for Foodies
If food is your thing, Scottsdale has a long list of restaurants to discover. With a vibrant food scene, there are over 800 restaurants in Scottsdale to enjoy. There are even ongoing food fests you can experience while visiting.
For those looking to experience restaurants with notable chefs, Scottsdale is home to several you may recognize. Stop in at CALA restaurant headed by Chef Beau MacMillan restaurant who has appeared on Food Network several times. Another local favorite is at The Americano and Mora Italian, where iconic Chef Scott Conant leads the menu with his elevated cuisine.
Not sure where to dine first? Explore the 20 best restaurants in Scottsdale to plan your trip.
4. It’s Rich in the Arts and Architecture
While it may be known as a golf or relaxing weekend getaway, many may not know just how incredible the arts are in Scottsdale. The list of art galleries, museums, and architectural gems to visit would easily fill up your itinerary.
When it comes to visiting the museums in Scottsdale, stop into two places: the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Western Spirit: Scottdale’s Museum of the West. SMoCA is known for its modern and contemporary art, home to the very famous “Skyspace” by artist James Turrell. It’s the number one visit for museums in Scottsdale.
The Museum of the West is set in a stunning LEED Gold Certified building and features Western art and artifacts. As an affiliate for The Smithsonian, it’s an opportunity to dive into western history.
A quick drive around Scottsdale gives you a good sense of how incredible the mid-century architecture is. And there’s no better place to experience it, than Taliesin West. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal winter home and school, it’s one of the best architectural destinations in the U.S. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Taliesin offers several tours to walk through and learn the history of the iconic architect’s work and life.
Scottsdale has a rotation of exhibits and art galleries available to explore year-round. One that has remained is the fun and interactive Wonderspaces. Best described as immersive art with a very fun twist, Wonderspaces is a must-see art exhibit while in Scottsdale. The best part? You can do it with a drink in hand from their on-site bar.
5. Scottsdale Has Easy Access to Nature
For those who want to spend their days exploring the outdoors, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the number of options. Scottsdale has even denoted 43% of the land area as “open space.” With a plethora of hiking trails, mountain biking paths, and access to the Sonoran Desert, you really have your pick here.
One stand-out experience that you may want to consider adding to your Scottsdale itinerary is kayaking the Salt River. REI Co-op Adventures offers an immersive kayaking experience that takes you along the Lower Salt River. Along the way, you’ll likely see wild horses and bald eagles, all with incredible views of the Sonoran Desert.
6. A Definite Family-Friendly Destination
Scottsdale was rated one of the best bachelorette party destinations, but did you know it is also one of the top family-friendly destinations? This is what makes Scottsdale such a unique getaway in the Southwest — there is something for everyone. Whether it’s a guys’ weekend away for sports, a romantic getaway, or a family trip, you can make it what you want.
As a family destination, Scottsdale is home to many things to do for the kids like the zoo, museums, outdoor areas, and walkable downtown. There are even several resorts that have bungalows and small kitchenettes like the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. These kinds of amenities make it an easy trip to take with the whole family.
Planning a family vacation to Scottsdale?
Read: The Ultimate Family Travel Guide To Scottsdale, Arizona
7. It’s Easy to Get and Easy to Get Around
Something you can’t discount as a traveler is the ease of getting to a place and around once there. Scottsdale is only a 15-minute drive from the international Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Hundreds of direct flights land at this airport, which means you can get there on a less than 1-stop flight.
Once in Scottsdale, you could completely skip renting a car pending your itinerary (a huge money-save when traveling these days.) Basing yourself in the Old Town area like at Hotel Valley Ho, you can walk to just about everything in that district. Otherwise, hop into a quick and affordable Uber ride or take advantage of the free Scottsdale Trolley that runs along three routes.
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Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
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5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
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6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: