Scottsdale may be known as the finest destination in the world for golf, but its wealth of tourist attractions indicates it has much more to offer than just that.
In fact, whether you’re into history, vehicles, nature, animals, or just good old-fashioned adventure, you’re sure to find something in this city that suits you.
Here are our picks for the best and fun things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona that you should add to your bucket list.
1. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, situated in the center of Scottsdale, is a fascinating, fun, one-of-a-kind location – and it’s also among the free things to do in the city of Scottsdale, Arizona.
(Admission is free, though train rides do invoke a fee.)
It’s one of the most loved points of interest for train and rail aficionados, with numerous models and delightful exhibits scattered in its vicinity.
The Model Railroad Building within the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is home to a 15-inch gauge railroad, a Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive, and an impressive four clubs for model railroads.
The building covers 10,000 square feet of ground and is truly a sight to behold!
Other things you can enjoy while at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park are the interactive railroad museum, which boasts fascinating items from the history of the railroad industry.
This includes the famous Merci Train and the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car!
There is also the Paradise and Pacific Railroad that lets you go for a ride, an antique carousel to hop on, and an expansive park that has picnic areas, playgrounds, and occasionally, live music.
Address: 7301 E Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, United States
2. Butterfly Wonderland
When it comes to Scottsdale attractions, you can’t go wrong with one of its most famous activities: Butterfly Wonderland.
This casual location has a home in the middle of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Within Butterfly Wonderland, you’ll see its pride and joy: a glorious, beautiful glass atrium that serves as a tropical rainforest habitat for all sorts of butterflies, numbering in the thousands, from across the planet!
They freely fly around and may even land on your arm or head.
Marvel at interactive exhibits about all kinds of insects, be wowed by the metamorphosis process in the Butterfly Emergence Gallery, and snap photographs of the gorgeous fluttering butterflies!
Other things you can enjoy at Butterfly Wonderland are the educational 3D movie “Flight of the Butterflies”, laboratories that host community workshops, nature programs, and, of course, a lovely cafe with tasty refreshments.
You can also stop by the gift shop on your way out, or carry on into the rest of the building that Butterfly Wonderland shares with the OdySea attractions.
Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura F100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, United States
3. McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is at the forefront of the Sonoran Desert.
It is a permanently protected desert habitat, designed to be sustainable, and hosts one of the planet’s most diverse animal environments.
At 30,000 acres along the eastern side of Scottsdale, it’s one of the most fun of the city’s places to visit for nature-lovers.
With no admission fee, it’s also among the few free things to do in Scottsdale.
More than 100 miles’ worth of trails, all at varying levels of difficulty to cater to most visitors, stretch throughout the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
There are six trailheads that serve as good starting points through them.
Each one offers beautiful views, particularly of Pinnacle Peak, the Valley, and more.
Mountain biking is also a popular sport for visitors!
Among the trails is the Gateway Loop, a very rocky road that requires the use of poles and good boots to triumph over.
An easier trail is the Browns Ranch, which offers more desert scene views.
For kids, there’s the Bajada Nature Trail, which comes ready with exciting games and events for children to participate in during the trek.
Address: 18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, United States
4. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is a carefully curated, stunning collection of some of the South West’s brightest and most-known modern artists.
A relatively small museum in downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, it offers the eclectic, contemporary visions of numerous paintings, sculptures, murals, fabric art, and more.
All artwork at the Museum of Contemporary Art provides a thought-engaging visual for visitors to delve into.
They’re very much in touch with current trends in design and style, so you get a good look into the current art and architectural influences that are hot topics at the moment.
There are also classes, workshops, art programs, tours, presentations, and lectures that offer educational experiences for people of all ages.
These educational events aren’t just confined to graphic art, either – music, literature, and more are often covered!
Exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art rotate regularly, with nine to twelve of them taking turns showing themselves throughout the year, so there’s always something new no matter when you go to visit.
If you’ve been here before, why not head over this weekend again anyway?
You never know – it could feel completely brand new!
Address: 7374 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
5. Old Town Scottsdale
Termed as one of the top travel destinations, Old Town Scottsdale, also known as the Fifth Avenue Shops, is a hub perfect for immersing yourself in the history of this Arizona city.
Located downtown, the neighborhood is packed with galleries, restaurants, shops, souvenir stores, and unusual locations to peruse.
Vibrant, fun, and running deep with culture, it’s one of the city’s top 10 spots for any tourist to the area.
The area of this historic Old Town is easily walkable, with such old-fashioned attractions as the Rusty Spur Saloon, the Little Red Schoolhouse, and Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop.
Seasonally, different attractions become available, such as the farmer’s market, samples of craft beer and wine, and modern art displays.
No matter when you go, it’s safe to say that a trip here is one of the best things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Address: Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
6. Penske Racing Museum
The Penske Racing Museum is among the places to see in Arizona that is sure to excite and entice car aficionados!
Great for all ages, it is located in the car dealerships of the Penske Automotive Group, with 9,000 square feet across two floors showcasing memorabilia and items that color the history of Penske Racing.
If you’re not in the know, Penske Racing is behind over 400 major wins in the history of racing, and this museum has numerous cars used in winning races and trophies won over the years.
There are so many things to see that you can both learn from and be in awe at, depending on your knowledge of the racing scene.
Huge racing fans may recognize certain replicas, such as one of the 1963 Pontiac Catalina that won the 1963 Riverside 250, driven by Roger Penske himself.
There’s also the 2009 Indy 500 winner, the 2009 Dallara Honda, driven by Helio Castroneves.
Don’t forget Rusty Wallace’s Miller Lite Dodge stock car, which was responsible for his final and 37th win in his racing career!
Address: 7125 E Chauncey Ln, Phoenix, AZ 85054, United States
7. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is one of the city’s prime tourist attractions for live entertainment and performance education.
Over a thousand performances are showcased here on an annual basis, not including education programs and festivals, both of an outdoor and indoor variety.
Over 20,000 people of all ages come to the Center for the Performing Arts yearly!
This Center for the Performing Arts is known not just in Arizona, but across the country for being one of America’s most prestigious halls of its kind.
With acts ranging from music to comedy, from dance to film, and from theater to festivals, there’s little that can’t be enjoyed.
Art displays are all available here, including the Spirit of Camelback, Kana Tanaka’s beautiful glass sculpture.
This center is built in an adobe-inspired structure, built in 1975 by Benne Gonzales, a local architect.
It’s in a convenient location in the artistic district of the city that’s easy to get to.
Hungry while waiting for a show?
Several restaurants are scattered close to the center for an alfresco meal!
Address: 7380 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
8. Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is dedicated to the rehabilitation and rescue of wildlife, offering sanctuary for injured or orphaned animals of all kinds before releasing them back into the wild, if possible.
One of its many additional goals is to educate its visitors about wildlife, nature, their importance, and the best ways human beings can help them.
A wide range of animals can be found at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, including jaguars, black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, porcupines, Mexican grey wolves, coyotes, and so many more.
Some are local to Scottsdale, but many come from father away.
Numerous activities make this one of the fun things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Education programs – including Discovery Day, Walk With Wildlife, Full Moon Tour, and Sunrise Nature Tour – provide exciting and enriching ways to learn more about the animals at the center.
Staff are full of information to share and are always eager to teach!
Address: 27026 N 156th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, United States
9. Pinnacle Peak Park
Pinnacle Peak Park is one of Scottsdale’s most popular spots for hiking and sightseeing.
Strewn with boulders of all sorts and shaped in an imposing cone, Pinnacle Peak Park offers a 1.75-mile trail that leads up the 1,300 feet to the very height of Pinnacle Peak itself.
Not quite ready for such an arduous hike?
You only need to get around a third of the way to the peak to see some beautiful views of Scottsdale, Arizona, and there’s no pressure to climb all the way.
The trail base has some reasons to spend some extra time here, like an information-packed visitor’s center, washrooms, picnic tables, ramadas, and even displays.
As you walk through the park, you’ll see some plaques containing information regarding the animals and plants seen throughout the Sonoran Desert.
You’ll learn about the park’s background, history, and data.
If you really need close parking, come as early in the morning as you can; if not, street parking is easy enough to find once the small parking lot fills up.
Address: 26802 N 102nd Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, United States
10. CrackerJax Family Fun and Sports Park
Looking for what to do while you’re in Scottsdale, Arizona with the whole family, kids included?
It’s smaller than an average amusement park, without any of the intimidating mechanical carnival rides or blood-thumping roller coasters.
Instead, it focuses on outdoor activity-based attractions.
Adults and teenagers alike can enjoy the Go-Karts, Bungy Dome, batting cages, and mini-golf courses.
For children, there is a smaller course on the Go-Karts called the Jax Trax, which is easier to navigate and is level and safer.
Bumper boats fit two kids and an adult if you’re prepared to get splashed!
There is also a special kids’ golf course for miniature golf if your children are the kind to enjoy that!
The fun doesn’t stop at night, either, though you should expect busier hours and weekends to involve some waiting in line.
Do note that admission to this Scottsdale location is free, but individual rides all incur charges!
Address: 16001 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254, United States
11. Scottsdale Historical Museum
The Scottsdale Historical Museum sits in the Little Red Schoolhouse, another one of the points of interest in Old Town Scottsdale, which dates back to 1909.
It’s one of the best ways to get a glimpse into this Arizona city’s past, especially its culture and heritage, as well as what the near areas of the Southwest were like a century ago in general.
Permanent exhibits at the Historical Museum are intriguing to explore.
There’s the One Room Schoolhouse, which shows you how eight-grade one-room schools were operated and appeared between the 1800s and 1900s.
There’s the Winfield Scott Exhibit for those interested in the army veteran’s life and times.
And, of course, there is a plethora of other displays, some that rotate and some that don’t, ranging from artifacts to photographs.
Address: 7333 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
12. Desert Splash Adventures
Desert Splash Adventures is an adrenaline-pumping attraction that offers a unique way to view Scottsdale and parts of Arizona – from above!
The company provides scenic flights with stunning vistas that take you over Roosevelt Lake, Lake Powell, and of course, the Sonoran Desert.
Run by Island Air Express, Desert Splash Adventures makes use of experienced bush pilots, who fly Cessna Caravan Amphibious Seaplanes with luxury for discerning and interested guests.
While you wait for your flight, you’ll get to relax in a lounge draped in opulence before eventually being taken on a tour through the air.
Most interestingly, the plane lands on water as a breathtaking end to this adventure!
Other activities are available at Desert Splash Adventures, including private island gourmet meals, Sonoran rock formation canyoneering, and more.
As the only experience of its kind – that of an Amphibious Seaplane touring adventure – in the state, this is one of the Scottsdale attractions you shouldn’t miss!
Address: 15115 N Airport Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, United States
13. Scottsdale Fashion Square
Scottsdale Fashion Square is a luxury shopping center that boasts all the famous brands you can probably think of.
Gucci, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, and Neiman Marcus, among others, call this mall their home.
There are also anchor stores like Macy’s that offer some great sales and bargains.
With two million square feet of floor space to its name, this retail outlet is nothing short of luxurious and opulent.
It’s actually the biggest mall in Arizona and is among America’s 30 largest ones.
Essentially, if you’re looking for what to see and want to do some shopping, get some comfortable shoes and head over to Fashion Square!
Address: 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
14. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
You’ve probably heard all about the west of America and have seen it featured in movies and other forms of entertainment.
But if you want to know its real history, head down to Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and learn how Arizona factored into the rich and vibrant heritage of the region.
Western Spirit, situated in downtown Scottsdale, was created primarily to look at current, present-day issues through the lens of Western history in an attempt to learn from actions and events of the past.
But how, exactly, does it do so?
Well, it makes use of interactive and interpretive art, exhibits, events, and experiences, including a multi-sensory theater that screens the work of artists of Arizona and the rest of the west.
Spread out over 35,000 square feet, it has 77 artists’ works on display and knowledgeable staff eager to answer questions.
A mix of traveling and permanent exhibits allow for a greater variety of attractions at Western Spirit.
Don’t forget to relax at the Sculpture Courtyard while viewing some of the rotating sculptures on display against the backdrop of the warm, wide desert.
Address: 3830 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
15. MacDonald’s Ranch
Spending a day at MacDonald’s Ranch might be one of the best things to do in Scottsdale today.
The premier horseback riding stable of Scottsdale, Arizona, MacDonald’s Ranch offers fun, family-friendly experiences for those of all skill levels.
With the environment of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert surrounding it, MacDonald’s Ranch is thematically everything you’d imagine a cowboy-type ranch to be.
Plenty of different offerings are available, including a museum, cowboy cookouts, a pumpkin patch, hayrides, stagecoach rides, and of course, horseback rides.
The horses at MacDonald’s Ranch are known for being quite agreeable, which makes the offered lessons with them safe and enriching.
A nice, simple ride, taken casually from the ranch, will show you a lot of the animals and plants that call the Sonoran Desert home!
Address: 26540 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, United States
If you’re looking for more thrill, head over to Flagstaff! Located about 134 miles from MacDonald’s Ranch, here are some fun things to do in Flagstaff!
16. Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale
Looking for stuff to do to sate your sweet tooth?
You’ll love the Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale!
This guided walking tour is one of this Arizona city’s most exciting activities, especially if you can’t resist a treat or two.
On this tour, you’ll be brought across the main chocolate attractions in the downtown portion of the city.
Six different chocolatiers and bakeries are a part of the tour, each one offering delicatessen chocolates that are sure to wow your tastebuds.
Cupcakes, truffles, ice cream, hot chocolates, and more are all awaiting your consumption, and if you can’t finish them, you can use the provided bag to bring them along with you.
It’s not just all eating on the Chocolate Tour – there’s some education, too!
You’ll get to learn a little bit about how each item is made when you meet the owners and makers behind these tasty treats.
Address: 7051 E 5th Ave J, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
17. Parada del Sol Parade
Parada del Sol Parade is not one of Scottsdale’s permanent places to visit, but an annual event that serves as one of the Arizona city’s biggest tourist attractions.
It’s the world’s largest horse-drawn parade, consisting of almost 150 floats, parties, and troupes that make their way down Scottsdale Road each February.
Since 1953, the Parada del Sol has been the city’s joy.
It’s one of many fun events that pepper Western Week, which occurs in winter.
The Arizona Indian Festival, a farmers market, and a food truck festival are all among the other attractions that take place at this time.
But what, exactly, happens at Parada del Sol?
It involves almost the whole city coming down to involve themselves in a huge march across one of the main roads of the town, then flooding a block party known as Trail’s End to put an end to the celebration.
The party showcases Western performances, Native American performances, and Hispanic performances, one after the other.
Numerous other events occur during the Parada del Sol, including Western “gunfights”, games for kids, trick roping.
For children, there’s an area with vendors, games, and more for them to occupy themselves!
Address: Scottsdale Rd &, E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
18. Arizona Outdoor Fun
Arizona Outdoor Fun provides all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and utility terrain vehicle (UTV) tours of some of the best that Scottsdale has to offer.
The desert tour rushes you towards the beautiful Bradshaw Mountains while driving through stunning vistas of the desert, its canyons, and more.
Each tour crosses over the Agua Fria River, through Indian ruins, and even to Tip Top, an old former mining town.
Guides also provide educational information along the way, primarily about desert survival.
With an attentive staff that ensure visitor safety and enjoyment at all times, it’s easy to see that this is one of the top things to do in Scottsdale.
Address: 61112 N, Black Canyon Fwy, New River, AZ 85087, United States
19. Octane Raceway
Looking for cool things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona?
It doesn’t get much cooler than Octane Raceway!
Octane Raceway is an indoor and outdoor racing venue that operates full time, providing a mix of competitive and casual kart racing suitable for many different ages.
As a landmark for tourism and excitement, it’s the only location of its kind in North America.
Octane Raceway boasts a third-mile track, European electric race karts that produce no emissions and reach speeds of 45 mph, and generously provided lap time, few come out of Octane Raceway unsatisfied.
All races are scored with the standard format for Fastest Lap, and the venue is also happy to cater to private events.
Karts are all adjustable to fit multiple body types and sizes and a safety video is available to watch for first-timers.
It’s advisable to book in advance if you want to guarantee yourself a spot in one of the races, which run both during the daytime and at night.
There are other fun things to enjoy, too, like a games arcade, Pit Crew Challenge, billiard center, bowling alley, and the Trackside Bar and Grill.
Address: 9119 E Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, United States
Wonderspaces is a unique and experimental form of art exhibition.
It has multiple iterations across the country, and one of them is in Scottsdale, Arizona, within Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Its unorthodox nature means it’s a draw for people from near and far.
At its core, Wonderspaces is an interactive art exhibit.
It’s founded on the idea that art can and should be for everyone.
Each exhibit here is unusually hands-on, involving all five senses and even virtual reality.
The regular rotation of exhibits here means there’s something new very often, so even more than once, it’s something to add to your list of what to do in Scottsdale!
Address: 7014 E Camelback Rd #584, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
Looking for more thrill? Why not check out Phoenix? Located a little over 13 miles from Wonderspaces, here are some fun things to do in Phoenix!
21. Arizona Cowboy College
The Arizona Cowboy College is jam-packed with all sorts of activities that focus on teaching you how to be a true Scottsdale cowboy.
The Cowboy College opened in 1969 and you might recognize Rocco Wachman, its senior instructor for being a part of the Original Cowboy Series of Country Music Television.
So, what is there to do at Arizona Cowboy College?
You can learn from real ranch cowboys how to ride horses, haul cattle, use a rope in the coolest ways, and ranching techniques.
It’s one of the many family-friendly points of interest in the city, with classes for all ages and a kids’ camp in the summer.
Instructors are always patient and make sure the experience is one you’ll enjoy!
Address: 30208 N 152nd St Lorill Equestrian Center, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, United States
22. Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
The Scottsdale Civic Center Mall is situated in downtown Scottsdale, and it’s a great way to spend some time in Arizona this weekend.
But it’s not among Scottsdale attractions for its shopping alone!
The Civic Center Mall boasts beautiful rose gardens in an open-air space filled with lush greenery, bodies of water peppered with the attention of ducks, and numerous places to sit and simply relax the day away.
One of the more interesting parts of this Arizona mall is the LOVE sculpture, made by the late Robert Indiana.
Other forms of public art are on display for your perusal, if you’re so inclined to take a look.
Don’t forget to also pay attention to the amphitheater at the mall, which sometimes hosts performances!
Address: 2nd Street, Scottsdale, AZ, United States
23. Scottsdale Wine Trail
Arizona is famous for its wine, with over 100 different bonded wineries.
It makes sense, then, that the Scottsdale Wine Trail is a fantastic way to spend your time today, especially if you fancy yourself a wine connoisseur.
Some of the most famous craft breweries and vineyards in Arizona are so close to the Old Town area that it’s almost a crime not to see them!
Four different tasting rooms for wine are a part of this Wine Trail, namely Aridus Wine Company, Carlson Creek, LDV Winery, and Salvatore Vineyards.
Customers with the Wine Trail tour will earn you a special “passport” that gives you discounts and even lets you compete for prizes!
Address: 6951 E 1st St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
24. Scottsdale Stadium
Scottsdale Stadium may not be alive throughout the year, but in March, it becomes a fun haven for baseball-lovers as spring training for Major League Baseball begins!
Cactus League players and professional teams all come together here for games, and the San Francisco Giants use this Arizona stadium for their training.
This stadium has stood and served as a cultural attraction in the city for more than two decades.
It was the original home of the Phoenix Firebirds, now the Fresno Grizzlies, and is now the turf of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The stadium itself is beautiful and has lovely views, so you’ll enjoy chowing down on some hot dogs while you watch games, training, and everything in between.
Address: 7408 E Osborn Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
25. The Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden
The Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden is a Certified Wildlife Habitat of the National Wildlife Federation.
Located at Chaparral Park, it’s one of the city’s most unique things to do.
With a 5.5-acre expanse to its name, it is home to more than 200 different species of flora, with more than 7,000 individual plants, all fed and kept healthy by an underwater reservoir.
The Xeriscape Garden was set up in order to serve as a preservation location for species of plants both local and near to the city.
The garden provides educational resources to visitors, with information about sustainable landscaping, plant species, reducing the use of water, desert landscape care, and the protection of local fauna.
It’s fairly easy to find your way through the Xeriscape Garden.
Simply follow the interactive plant guide or the clear, direct signs situated throughout the grounds.
With desert trees, succulents, cacti, and more, it’s a true sight for sore eyes.
Shady spots allow you to take a break from the heat of the desert while kids get to run around and burn off some energy!
Address: 8111 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, United States
Although Sedona is about 121 miles from the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden, you definitely won’t regret checking it out! Here are some of the best things to do in Sedona!
26. OdySea Mirror Maze
The OdySea Mirror Maze is rather unique among the Arizona city’s places to visit.
It is comprised of an ingenious mirror maze and a laser maze activity all in one, designed to test your brainpower as you attempt to find a way out.
In the Mirror Maze, you’ll attempt to seek out the correct path to the exit as you go across all sorts of cleverly designed locations within the OdySea Mirror Maze.
A rickety bridge overlooks artificial Central American rainforest, with wildlife and forest noises playing over speakers to fully immerse you in the atmosphere.
There are so many things to see within the maze itself, like an ancient Mayan Temple, fake passages, rich “jungle”, and even butterflies!
But what about the Laser Maze?
Well, picture those heart-racing scenes from espionage movies where the protagonist attempts to jump over and beneath lasers from all angles to avoid triggering an alarm.
That’s pretty much what happens here, too!
It’s an exciting experience, with different difficulties for different levels of experience or ability.
Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura #200, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, United States
27. Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream
Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream isn’t one of the typical Scottsdale, Arizona tourist attractions.
It’s a creamery that sells unique and one-of-a-kind flavors of ice cream that will have you realizing just how much you’re ready to leave plain chocolate and vanilla behind.
Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream is known not just in Arizona, but across the country for their delicious, inventive, and fascinating flavors that tantalize the tastebuds.
Some favorites include chocolate orange, honey blue cheese, Sichuan peppercorn, Peaches ‘n Cream, sweet corn, and Arizona Date.
All ice cream at Sweet Republic Artisan Ice Cream is made fresh with natural, locally sourced ingredients.
The shop has been featured in numerous publications and sells, in addition to ice cream, almond toffee, Banoffee Sundaes, waffle baskets, and more!
So if you need a sweet tooth craving filled tonight, this creamery is sure to surprise and delight.
Address: 9160 E Shea Blvd #105, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, United States
28. Scottsdale ArtWalk
The Scottsdale ArtWalk brings you through the Historic Arts District of the city, occurring on Thursday nights with multiple participating artists, performers, and galleries.
It’s one of the best ways to get a glimpse of the cultural scene of this Arizona city, and it certainly helps that there are numerous activities to keep you occupied.
You’ll walk through eccentric galleries, yummy restaurants, and all sorts of stores through Main Street while on the ArtWalk.
Gallery owners are usually waiting to chat with interested visitors and numerous temporary exhibits, from lantern displays to calypso bands, add to the vibrant atmosphere.
Shows will open. Demonstrations will wow the crowd. Artists’ receptions will teach. Art will be available for sale.
It’s all very exciting, and it’s certainly one of the most fun things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Address: E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
29. Taliesin West
Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark that sits in Arizona’s McDowell Mountain foothills, engulfed by the Sonoran Desert of Scottsdale on most sides.
Spanning approximately 600 acres, it once belonged to Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the greatest architects known to the world, who used it as a winter home.
Now, it serves as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
In terms of sightseeing at this Scottsdale, Arizona location, you’re spoiled for choice.
There are eight different ways you can choose to tour the large, expansive property.
A Behind The Scenes tour goes in-depth into what goes on at Taliesin West.
An Insights Tour lets you view the living quarters of Wright and its intricately handbuilt furniture.
A Collections Tour takes you through the vault of archives.
A Garden Tour lets you learn about the surrounding desert.
Numerous different points of fascination make for good entertainment at Taliesin West.
Just pondering each building and structure is enough to have you mulling over Wright’s genius.
At the Garden Room, you can have afternoon tea with hosts who personally knew Wright himself.
All in all, Taliesin West is one of the greatest places to visit in the city!
Address: 12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, United States
30. OdySea Aquarium
OdySea Aquarium is located in central Scottsdale, known officially as the OdySea of the Desert Aquarium.
Spanning 35 acres, it opened its doors in 2016 and showcases approximately 200,000 square feet of exhibits and education.
The facility often lets in thousands of people on a daily basis, and its two floors hold so many options for what to do.
Each trip typically begins with Underwater Giants, a ten-minute “movie” made especially for the aquarium, mainly discussing whale sharks and humpback whales.
You can then carry on to check out all the amazing marine creatures from the different rivers, seas, and oceans of the planet.
Ecosystems range from lakes to coral reefs and from deep oceans to rivers, encompassing both saltwater and freshwater habitats.
Among the draws of the aquarium are its huge globe-like enclosures that hang from the ceiling, where fish swim happily above your heads.
There is also the Tide Touch Pool, which lets you directly touch and interact with tide pool habitat creatures like sea stars, sea snails, sea cucumbers, and hermit crabs.
The Living Sea serves as a viewing gallery for various marine habitats, with the occasional diver swimming by.
Sharks, octopi, seahorses, clownfish, otters, penguins, jellyfish, and more are all waiting to be seen.
OdySea Aquarium also has a wide range of daily events.
Q&A sessions, caretaker interactions, and feedings are all common parts of the itinerary.
At the end of it all, go through a genuine lighthouse into the gift shop and see what souvenirs you’d like to take with you!
The fact that this aquarium is located in a dry, desert region of Scottsdale, Arizona makes it even more attractive to tourists!
Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura Suite A-100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, United States
Located about 120 miles from OdySea Aquarium is the beautiful city of Tucson! If you have more time and can visit the city, here are some fun things to do in Tucson!
Start Planning Your Trip To Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Arizona is full of amazing places to visit!
Hopefully, this guide has helped you put together a good list of the best Scottsdale attractions so you can have as much fun as possible on your trip to this wonderful city, whether you’re going this weekend or in the farther future!