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39 Fun Things to do in Scottsdale, AZ, For a Memorable Family Vacation

Hello adventurers! It’s Nasiba, writing to you from Scottsdale, Arizona, where I’ve started a new life. I came for a vacation, but decided to stay! What can I say, Scottsdale chose me!

So, how did this happen? 

A few weeks ago, I was in my apartment nursing a travel hangover and wondering what I could do to spice up my life. Suddenly a thought came to me!

Why don’t I go and live up my luxurious life dream in Scottsdale? I can live that millionaire lifestyle for all two seconds before exhausting my money, packing my shame in my suitcase, and flying it back to my apartment. 

Come on, don’t tell me that the thought of lush golf courses, luxury spas, and first-class dining is not enticing to you! Mind you I had never golfed in my life, but isn’t golfing just about looking cute in my white outfit and hitting that little ball?

Anyway, that’s how I ended up here. I might or might not have golfed, but what I did for sure was visit the most beautiful resorts I’ve ever seen.

Let’s explore!

You’ve probably heard that Scottsdale is the perfect destination for golfers and luxury spa resorts lovers. Well, this is true.

Take a look for top-rated resorts in Arizona in general, but for your trip we recommend to visit our article of best Scottsdale resorts.

But is this all there is to this city? No. There is more to it than just lush golf courses and spas. Although a massage might be a good idea after you’re done indulging in all the to-do things we have listed for you below.

Scottsdale is often stereotyped as a millionaires’ destination, but it’s a place for anyone. It doesn’t matter what budget you are on. There is something for you. 

Located in Central Arizona, this desert city is an all-year-round vacation destination, thanks to its more than 330 days of sunshine.

As always, we come in to make your vacation as smooth and enjoyable as possible, by taking the burden of trying to figure out where to start you. In this list, we have put together 39 things to do in Scottsdale. You can choose what’s best for you based on your taste and interests.

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, history, museums, art galleries, hiking trails, dining, shopping, or golfing, we have your back.

Now, let’s see what the ‘West’s most western city’ has in store for you. Shall we?

Table of Contents

Things to do in Scottsdale With Kids and Family:

1. McDowell Sonoran Preserve

86Eric_Anthony_Mischke 86©Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.8/5

Address: 18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

There is no charge for parking or access

  • 30,000-acre desert
  • Over 100 miles to trail
  • One of the most diverse wildlife habitats

Why you should visit: Situated at the base of the McDowell Mountains, it is the largest preserve in the nation. It boasts over 100 miles of hiking trails and panoramic views of the scenic Sonoran desert.

This protected habitat with vast wildlife is a dream-come-true for anyone who loves the outdoors and enjoys connecting with nature. 

Things to do: Travel to McDowell Sonoran Preserve and explore the numerous hiking trails. There are over 100 miles of trails with each stretching for at least 5 miles.

You can also choose to go horseback riding and mountain biking. 

2. Salt River

wild horses at Lower Salt River in Arizona©Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.6/5

  • Open all year-round

Why you should visit: If you love a thrilling water adventure, then you should travel to Salt River. It’s Scottsdale’s hidden gem, perfect for adults and children.

Things to do: The most common activity is tubing.

You will experience about 1 to 4 hours of floating on the Salt River. You will also enjoy other activities like boating, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, rafting, and fishing. 

If you are an early riser, you’ll be lucky enough to see the famous Salt River wild horses.

These horses are not owned by anyone. They just roam around without a care in the world.

3. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Model Trains By adventurepatches

Google Review:

Address: 7301 E Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Ride the train and carousel are $3.00/Ticket

  • 40-acre railroad park
  • Perfect for individuals and families
  • Opened in 1975

Why you should visit: This place will take you back in time. You will see train models from past eras and ride in them.

This one-of-a-kind railroad park in Scottsdale has a wide variety of rail cars models, railroads, and steam engines from different eras.

It’s a perfect place to travel to if you love history.

Things to do: Take mini-rides in one of the trains from an era of your choice.

Some of the famous rides include the Scottsdale Charros Carousel, the Arboretum train, and Paradise & Pacific railroad.

Unleash the child in you and enjoy the ride. No one will judge you if you get excited more than the children.

 Learn the history of trains in the Railway Museum. There are picnic tables and playgrounds for children.

4. Scottsdale Historical Museum

Google Review: 4.5/5

Address: 7333 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Admission is free to the public

  • Found in the Little Red Schoolhouse
  • Permanent and changing exhibits

Why you should visit: The next thing you should do in Scottsdale is travel to the Scottsdale Historical Museum.

Here you will find everything you need to know about the past of Scottsdale city and the State of Arizona.

Things to do: Explore both the permanent and changing historical exhibits to understand the evolution of heritage and culture in Arizona.

All this is displayed through artifacts, photographs, and displays.

One of the famous exhibits is the One Room Schoolhouse.

It’s time-travel through the 1800s and 1900s that portrays how a one-room school with eight grade levels looked like then. 

5. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Forever Becoming: Young Phoenix Artists©Facebook

Google Review: 4.3/5

Entry fee: Adults $10, $7 Students, Free for age 4-18

Address: 7374 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

  • An art collection of South West’s renowned modern artists
  • An educational art center
  • 5 galleries

Why you should visit: If your taste for art lies in modern art, then you’ll appreciate the art collection and architecture here.

There is cool artwork from some of the best Arizona artists and international artists.

Things to do: Explore the 5 galleries and feast your eyes on amazing modern trends in architecture, design, and art.

The display is through fabric art, murals, paintings, and sculptures among other forms. 

You can also take part in engaging lectures, workshops, presentations, and classes.

If you are lucky, you might catch a contemporary art festival here and see new artwork before the rest of the world!

6. Old Town Scottsdale

via IG @julius.a.aguilar #OldTownScottsdale

Google Review: 4/5

Address: 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. ScottsdaleAZ 85251

  • Historic old town
  • Winfield Scott, a US Army Chaplain was the first resident
  • The oldest town in Scottsdale

Why you should visit: There is no way Old Town Scottsdale could miss the list of best things to do in Scottsdale. I mean, it is the founding town of Scottsdale city.

This is where this city began its expansion to what it is today. 

Things to do: Explore this vibrant town to see the historical structures ranging from shops, restaurants, schools, museums to resorts and boutiques. 

You can walk, take a carriage or bike around the town.

There’s so much here to learn about Scottsdale’s history, food scene, entertainment, and culture.

It would be a sin to leave such a historical place without a souvenir from one of the gift shops.

7. Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly Wonderland’s Fall Plant / Facebook

Google Review:

Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura F100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Entry fees: $22.95 for adults – $14.95 ages 3-12

  • The largest butterfly conservatory in the nation
  • Perfect for adults and children

Why you should visit: A majority of Americans believe that butterflies signify hope, comfort, transformation, and joy.

Who wouldn’t want all these beautiful things! You can simply achieve them by traveling to Butterfly Wonderland. How exciting!

Things to do: There are thousands of butterflies which you can see by taking a walk around this wonderland.

The walk is calming and serene, surrounded by tropical forest vegetation with butterflies flying over your head. 

Visit the Butterfly Emergence Gallery and watch a short film on the migration of monarch butterflies, which happens annually. 

8. OdySea Aquarium

culture and heritage of our Native American communities

Google Review: 4.5/5

Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura Suite A-100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Entry fee: $34.95 adult, $29.95 students, $24.95 children 3 to 12, free for children 2 and under, $32.95 seniors.

  • Sits on 35 acres of land
  • Arizona’s largest aquarium with over 2 million gallons of water
  • Perfect for both adults and kids

Why you should visit: Apart from being the largest aquarium in Arizona, it is the only revolving aquarium in the world.

You will see over 370 marine species across 13 different sites. 

Things to do: The OdySea Aquarium is both an educational and entertainment tourist destination.

You will see marine species like jellyfish, sharks, seahorses, clownfish, among others, as they go about their lives in the marine habitats specially designed to match their needs. 

Watch the ‘Underwater Giants’ short movie upon entry to learn more about humpback whales and whale sharks. 

One of the most exciting aspects of this tour is taking a walk around the aquarium with fish swimming above your head in huge enclosures.

You will love it!

9. OdySea Mirror Maze


Google Review: 4.2/5

Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura #200, Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Entry fee: Mirror Maze All-Day $9.95, 1 Walkthrough $3.95, Mirror Day Pass & 1 Laser Walkthrough : $12.95

  • A thrilling test for your mind and body

Why you should visit: It’s as exciting as it sounds.

They say ‘It’s okay to get lost once in a while…’, and the OdySea Mirror Maze is the perfect place to get lost. Why? Because you’ll find yourself in no time. Well, I know I just forced that quote to make meaning of this Mirror Maze, but you get the drill, right? 

Things to do: This creative mirror is set to test your body and mind by taking you through ingeniously designed locations that you have to go across as you try to find your way out.

The locations feature jungles, swarms of butterflies, and temples.

There is also a laser maze in which you have to walk over or go under without triggering an alarm, just like they do in movies. Told you it’s exciting!

10. Taliesin West

Hertiage building by Kit Leong©Shutterstock

Google Review:

Address: 12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Entry fee: $40 adults | $30 students | $19 youth (6-12)

  • Former home of world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Open all year-round
  • Built in 1937 
  • Current headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture

Why you should visit: If you love architecture, Taliesin West will quench your architectural thirst, having been designed by one of the greatest architects in the world, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Even if you are not into architecture history, this is a place worth traveling to. 

Things to do: You can opt for a guided tour or a solo tour around the 600-acre farm.

Whatever your choice, you will leave satisfied by the tasteful architecture of the house, the vintage décor and furniture in the house, the various rooms including Frank Lloyd’s bedroom, and the surrounding desert land at the foot of McDowell Mountain.

There is a gift shop on the farm. 

11. Scottsdale Wine Trail

LDV Winery @Facebook

Google Review: 4.2/5

Address: 7134 E Stetson Dr B-110, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Entry fee:  $5.00

  • 5 of Arizona’s 90 wineries found here

Why you should visit: It’s always wine o’clock in Scottsdale! With 5 of Arizona’s best wineries, breweries, and vineyards, Scottsdale Wine Trail is definitely one of the things to do in Scottsdale. 

This is a dream come true for any wine connoisseur. 

Things to do: Explore the vineyards, learn more about the wine industry in Arizona, and go on a wine tasting spree in the wineries, and attend wine tasting events.

12. Scottsdale Artwalk

Art + Literature Trivia Scavenger /

Review: 4.6/5

Entry fee: Free

Address: E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

  • Weekly event – every Thursday
  • Began in 1975
  • Takes place at the Old Town Scottsdale

Why you should visit: This weekly event features the best of Arizona’s visual artists who exhibit their work in the over 100 galleries found in Old Town Scottsdale. 

It’s an exciting event that features amazing street performances by visual artists from all over the State of Arizona. 

Things to do: Wander through the town and admire Scottsdale Artwalk by genius artists.

Dance to the vibrant street music, and dine in the local restaurants as you interact with other tourists and locals. 

You can walk or experience this beautiful event on a trolley ride or horse-drawn carriage like a royal. This festival will indeed be an event to remember. 

13. The Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale

Barry Neal / Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 7051 E 5th Ave J, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Entry Fee: Ages from 8 to 80 = $45

  • Owned by Gwendolyn McKay – a chocolate lover
  • Found in Old Town Scottsdale
  • October – May, every year

Why you should visit: Well, they say if you don’t love chocolate, you’re the problem.

Okay, I just made that up, but seriously, who doesn’t love chocolate! The Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale entails a 2-mile walk in downtown Scottsdale. 

Things to do: Take a walk across the city in what is popularly known as ‘The Amazing Chocolate Race, where participants are rewarded with chocolate delights.

The walk takes about 2 and a half hours, during which you will indulge in delightful chocolate tasting. 

You can also take the tour as a way of learning more about the art and business of chocolate production.

I personally enjoying all cities of Arizona, if you so, then take a chance to check best things to do in Sedona, we update it frequently!

14. Scottsdale Fashion Square

Scottsdale Fashion Square © Facebook

Google Review: 4.5/5

Address: 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States

  • Designer brands shops
  • 2 million sq. ft. of shopping space
  • Biggest mall in Arizona

Why you should visit: The Scottsdale Fashion Square is not only Arizona’s biggest mall but also America’s 30th biggest shopping mall.

The mall boasts of hosting top designer brands, from Louis Vuitton to Nordstrom.

Most of these shops have ongoing sales and offers. You will never leave empty-handed.

Things to do: Go on a shopping spree and reward yourself with a designer item. You are allowed to spoil yourself with something expensive every once in a while. 

The mall is also inhabited by café’s, restaurants where you can dine and have a taste of Scottsdale’s cuisines.

15. Scottsdale Civic Centre

Steve Cukrov © Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.6/5

Address: 3939 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

  • Formerly an agricultural market 
  • 3 acres in size
  • Located in Old Town Scottsdale

Why you should visit: You have probably seen Robert Indiana’s ‘Love’ sculpture online. You will see it live when you travel to Scottsdale Civic Center Mall

Things to do: Among the things to do at the mall is a nature walk around the scenic park.

Its lush greenery and breathtaking gardens make it an ideal place to relax. 

Take beautiful photos with the ‘Love’ sculpture, as well as other famous sculptures spread around the mall. Every sculpture has a story.

Learn the origin of each during your visit.

16. Arizona Food Tours

@nonnascottsdale, Facebook

Google Review: 4.9/5

Address: 7333 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Start at $54.00 per person

  • Scottsdale boasts of over 800 eateries and restaurants
  • Organized private tours
  • No children below 12 years

Why you should visit: This is the best way to explore the State of Arizona’s culinary scene.

The Arizona Food Tours has been the recipient of the Trip Advisor Award of Excellence for the past 12 years.

You will understand why when you travel to Scottsdale. 

Things to do: You will have access to 4-5 eateries and restaurants in the Old Town, in which you will taste some of Arizona’s best cuisines.

This is a walking tour, thus, an opportunity to also explore the town. 

17. Wonderspaces Arizona

by Pierre le Riche. Photo by Amir Abouriche.

Google Review: 4.4/5

Address: 7014 E Camelback Rd #584, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

  • Located in Scottsdale Fashion Square
  • Experimental art exhibition

Why you should visit: Back in 2019, Wonderspaces Arizona brought the Instagram world to a standstill when it opened. Well, almost. Why? With its amazingness! It is art for everyone.

As Wonderplaces president says, this model of exhibition is meant to reach and attract audiences that “didn’t necessarily feel like art institutions were for them.”

Things to do: There are different spaces that exhibit artwork of artists from all over the world. Each offers a different activity.

For example, in the ‘Sewing Machine Orchestra’ space, 12 sewing machines synched with a computer produce an orchestrated rhythm for you to listen to. How cool is that!

18. Scottsdale Stadium

Photographer Steve Cukrov @Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.5/5

Address: 7408 E Osborn Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

  • A 12000 seating capacity
  • Located in Old Town

Why you should visit: If you love sports, especially baseball, the Scottsdale Stadium should be among your things to do in Scottsdale.

Don’t worry if you are not into sports, the stadium itself is a cultural sight to behold, plus there are always events like festivals and concerts happening in the stadium.

Things to do: Catch training sessions by baseball leagues like Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, and the home team, Francisco Giants, who have been training in the stadium since 1984

Attend festivals and concerts hosted on the grounds, depending on the time of your visit.

19. Octane Raceway

Google Review: 4.5/5

Address: 9119 E Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Per race: One race is $20, Two for $38, Three for $50

  • The only Full-time outdoor and indoor track in the USA
  • Perfect for both adults and children
  • Advance booking is highly recommended

Why you should visit: For more fun and adrenaline-filled experience in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Octane Raceway is the perfect destination.

The raceway operates day and night!

Things to do: Participate in high-speed races designed for both juniors and adults on a track of up to 1/3 miles.

Get your adrenaline rush on by using the European electric race karts that get to speeds of 45 m/h

Other things you can do include laser tag games, bowling, virtual reality games, among other outdoor games.

20. Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden

at Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden.

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 8111 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250

  • Sits on 5.5 acres of land
  • Over 200 plant species
  • A certified wildlife habitat

Why you should visit: Apart from its captivating design and beautiful garden, Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden is a paradise for every plant lover and anyone who wants to understand the concept of conserving water by growing drought-tolerant plants. 

Things to do: Take a walk in the garden as you learn more about landscaping, and drought-tolerant plants, including their names.

There is signage throughout the garden to aid you in this. 

This is also a beautiful garden to take a break and enjoy some quiet & peace. 

21. Penske Racing Museum

Facebook @End the month with a trip to the Penske Racing Museum!

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 7125 E Chauncey Ln, Phoenix, AZ 85054

Entry fee: $10 ticket all ages

  • 9000 sq. ft.
  • Located in the Penske Automotive Group car dealership
  • Owned by Roger Penske – retired racing driver

Why you should visit: The Penske Racing Museum made it to our coolest things to do in Scottsdale for being a favorite amongst car race lovers.

The museum houses a range of racing vehicles, memorabilia, and trophies that the company has featured in races over the years. 

Things to do: Explore two floors of race cars and learn the history of each.

You will be excited to see the Miller Lite Dodge Car used by Rusty Wallace on his 37th win. This was also his final race. 

22. Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Round tailed ground squirrel © Charles T. Peden, Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.9/5

Address: 27026 N 156th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85262

  • A wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center

Why you should visit: The noble sanctuary located in Scottsdale, Arizona rescues and cares for wild animals that have been orphaned or sustained injuries.

Once the animals are back on their feet, they are released back into the wild.

If you are passionate about wildlife conservation, you will appreciate traveling to the Southwest Conservation Center.

Things to do: Take a tour of the Center and see all the rescued animals.

Some of the animals you are likely to see include foxes, red-tailed hawks, coyotes, Mexican gray wolves, among others. 

The Center also offers educational sessions, teaching visitors more about the rescued animals. 

23. Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Who is heading to the tournament this weekend? Facebook

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 9051 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Entry fee: $45.95 per person for adults, $35.95 for kids 12 and under (plus tax and a $5 processing fee)

  • One of the only 10 castles in the nation

  • An exciting live theatrical show

Why you should visit: We all love drama, especially when it involves men fighting for a woman.

The famous Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament show will allow you to experience live drama as six knights take the arena and fight each other in the name of protecting the royal bloodline and the queen.

Things to do: The whole affair is set 10 centuries ago.

The queen will invite you to a sumptuous royal dinner, after which you will both proceed to the arena.

Six knights will fight in the arena until only one is left. 

How cool is this! Sounds like being on a set of Spartacus or Game of Thrones. 

24. Scottsdale Center for The Performing Arts

Celebrate National Book Month with the Store @ the Center, Facebook

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 7380 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

  • Over 1000 annual performances
  • Over 250,000 global participants 
  • Built by Benne Gonzales in 1975

Why you should visit: The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is one of the most esteemed halls of its kind in the nation.

It features diverse visual art performances in film, dance, music, and theater.

The performances run throughout the year and attract over 20,000 tourists annually. 

Things to do: Watch an exciting performance that can either be indoor or outdoor.

Visit the Center for an educational program and learn more about different artists and their work.

25. Scottsdale Museum of the West

Steve Cukrov © Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 3830 N Marshall Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

  • 43,000 sq. ft. Museum
  • Located in Old Town Scottsdale

Why you should visit: The Scottsdale Museum of the West’s features unique stories, art, and history of all the States that make up the Old West, including the State of Arizona. 

Things to do: Take a walk around and enjoy featured artworks on the rotating exhibitions.

See historical artifacts collected over the years from the Old West.

Take pictures outside the museum next to the building structure, which is a sight to behold. Watch informative videos and films including “Spirit Is”, an inspirational film.

26. Pinnacle Peak Park

By OceansBeyondPiracy @Pinnacle Peak Park

Google Review: 4.8/5

Address: 26802 N 102nd Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85262

  • One of the most popular hiking grounds in Scottsdale
  • 150-acre park
  • The highest peak is 2,889 ft.
  • Suitable for both beginners and expert hikers
  • 1.75 miles trail

Why you should visit: This Park offers some of the most scenic views of Scottsdale’s Sonoran desert.

Its ability to accommodate hikers of all levels with a reward of beautiful views at every stage is what makes it a renowned tourist destination. 

Things to do: Hiking is the most popular thing to do at Pinnacle Peak Park.

There’s signage spread across the Park teaching hikers about the history, plants, and animals of the Sonoran Desert.

Biking is not allowed in the park.

27. Arizona Cowboy College

Glamping at Arizona Cowboy College @Facebook

Google Review: 4.1/5

Address: 30208 N 152nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85262

  • Opened in 1989
  • Run by Lori Bridwell – wife of the most popular “working ranch cowboy”, the late Lloyd Bridewell
  • Rocco Wachman of the TV show Cowboy U is the senior instructor

Why you should visit: Well, if you want to learn how to be an American cowboy (or cowgirl), then Arizona Cowboy College should be on your plan of things to do in Scottsdale.

The college was founded to teach people ranching and horsemanship skills. 

Things to do: You will learn all the basics of horse handling, from grooming to saddling, and ranching skills. Thereafter, you will take a horseback ride across the desert for practical training. 

This will be the perfect use of your time in Scottsdale. As cowboys say, “No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle” (quote by Winston Churchill).

28. Arizona Outdoor Fun

A happy young African American girl goes down a slide @ Shutterstock

Google Review: 5/5 WOW

Address: 61112 N Black Canyon Fwy New River, AZ 85087

  • The largest number of outdoor vehicles in the State of Arizona

Why you should visit: The number one reason why you should visit the Arizona Outdoor Fun is to tour the beautiful landscape of the Sonoran Desert.

The amazing part is you will explore the desert without getting tired. 

This is ideal for those who don’t like hiking and/or biking as desert tours are done on UTVs/ATVs. Yours is to just sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

Things to do: Have you ever imagined riding in the desert in the rain? It sounds interesting, right? Well, Arizona Outdoor Fun will give you this experience that you didn’t know you needed.

Go on an adventure across the Sonoran desert whether it’s raining or sunny. 

Enjoy the beautiful views of the Bradshaw Mountains, Tip Top (an old mining town), Indian ruins, and the Agua Fria River.

29. MacDonald’s Ranch

2nd Golden Ticket Winner! ??
Congratulations little Hero! @ Facebook

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 26540 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

  • A cow-boy type ranch
  • Perfect for adults and children

Why you should visit: Macdonald’s Ranch is the ideal tourist destination for anyone who wants a horseback riding adventure or a guided horseback riding training session. 

Things to do: The most popular thing to do at the Ranch is horseback riding.

Take a tour of the ranch on a horseback ride, and see various animals and plants.

You can also opt to take a stagecoach ride, hayride, or moonlight ride.

A cowboy cookout session is also on offer.

Children have a variety of things to do on offer; lawn games, a petting zoo, a pedal car and track, and a hay bale maze.

30. Scottsdale with Desert Splash Adventures

@Scottsdale with Desert Splash Adventures

Google Review: 5/5

Address: 15115 N Airport Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

  • Operated by Island Air Express

Why you should visit: This is a thrilling adventure that will give you the most scenic view of Scottsdale from above.

You will be aboard Arizona’s only Cessna Caravan.

Things to do: Take this adrenaline-charged ride across Scottsdale to experience the breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert, Roosevelt Lake, and Lake Powell

The Cessna Caravan is an amphibious seaplane. The highlight of your ride will be the plane landing on the water at the end of your ride. How cool is that!

31. Parada del Sol Parade

Scottsdale Parada del Sol Parade | Kent Ennis
  • A Scottsdale tradition for over 65 years
  • Annual event
  • 0ver 30,000 attendees
  • Suitable for both adults and children
  • World’s longest horse-drawn parade

Why you should go: This is not a place to visit, but an event that takes place every year.

It made it to our list of 39 things to do in Scottsdale because it’s a fun event that entertains, educates, and will allow you to experience the culture, and history of the Old West. 

Things to do: Watch and be entertained by over 100 bands as they march along Scottsdale Road on horses and horse carriages.

After the march, be entertained by live performers as you dine with the locals and enjoy other fun activities.

Children’s activities are also in plenty. 

You can schedule your travel to Scottsdale around the time this festival takes place.

32. Singh Farms

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 1490 E Weber Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

  • Owned by Ken and Lee Singh
  • 20 acres of Farmland

Why you should visit: Scottsdale is called the desert city for a reason.

The idea that you can find a lush green beauty in the middle of a desert is enough reason to make you want to travel here. This beauty is the Singh Farms

This is a farmers’ paradise that grows herbs, vegetables, and exotic plants. 

Things to do: Take a farm tour as you enjoy the cool air and scenic view of the farm.

Be educated on the Singh family’s farming methods. 

Do not leave without enjoying their homemade food, which is prepared using the fresh produce from the farm. It tastes clean and fresh!

33. Golf Courses

Stacey Stout | Shutterstock
  • Over 200 golf courses
  • Scottsdale is the ‘World’s finest golf destination’

Why you should visit: Of course there is no way a golf course visit was going to miss on our list of things to do in Scottsdale.

This is the number one thing the city is famous for! The golf courses are spectacular and will make a lasting impression on you.

Some of the best courses that you should visit are Troon North Golf Club, TPC Scottsdale, and Grayhawk Golf Club.

34. Jalapeno Inferno

jalapeno inferno Facade |

Google Review: 4/5

Address: 23587 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255

  • Southwestern-Mexican Cuisines
  • Opened over 15 years ago
  • Family-owned restaurant
  • Perfect for both dinner and lunch

Why you should visit: Apart from the obvious reason that you need to eat during your trip in Scottsdale, another reason is that Jalapeno Inferno serves the most delicious Sonoran, Tex-Mex, and Mexican cuisines.

You will enjoy their famous creative margaritas, corn tortilla chips, salsa, and their extra fluffy flour.

Things to do: Take a break and dine in this beautiful restaurant.

You’ll be spoilt for choice, with all the delicious dishes on their menu. Interact with the locals as you listen to some old and new Southwestern-Mexican music.

35. FnB Restaurant

FnB Restaurant Scottsdale’s branch | Facebook

Google Review: 4.6/5

Address: 7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Why you should visit: FnB in Scottsdale is an award-winning restaurant that is renowned for its out-of-the-box menus.

It’s a combination of international and Arizona cuisines. 

Things to do: Test the different dishes on the menu and drink from their wide selection of Arizona fine wines. This is also a great opportunity to eat food prepared by an award-winning chef.

36. Glow Putt Mini Golf

Glow Putt Mini Gold | Stagolf

Google Review: 4.7/5

Address: 9160 E Shea Blvd #110, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Entry Fee: $7/person

  • Perfect for adults and children
  • Indoor mini-golf course

Why you should visit: On those days, on vacation, when you feel like you do not want to do any intense activity, a visit to the Glow Putt Mini Golf course is a perfect fix.

It’s like playing golf on a miniature course but indoor.

It comprises dark lights, neon lights, and taking a trip in a jungle of bamboo forests and exotic wildlife.

Things to do: play golf, have fun, and interact with other tourists and locals.

Where to stay in Scottsdale 

37. We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort


Google Review: 4.1/5

Address: 10438 N Fort McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85264

  • Opened in 2020
  • Replaced the Fort McDowell Casino
  • 246-room hotel
  • Located in the Sonoran Desert

Why you should visit: We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is a state-of-the-art resort that opened its doors in 2020.

It is the ideal destination for you who wants to enjoy fine dining, luxury vacationing, and a ton of activities without leaving the comfort of your resort. 

Things to do: Once you book a stay in this resort, you’ll have access to the many services on offer.

Enjoy spa treatments.

Swim in the outdoor pools overlooking the mountainous landscape of the Sonoran desert. Indulge in private and public dining/wining. Participate in world-class gaming. 

38. Grand Canyon National Park

By EliteCustomAdventures | Shutterstock

Google Review: 4.8/5

  • 277 miles long
  • The 2nd most visited park in the United States

Why you should visit: You cannot go to Scottsdale and not travel to Grand Canyon National Park. The park borders Scottsdale on the South rim, which is the most popular area. 

The Grand Canyon is famous for its distinctive shape and colors. 

Things to do: Go on a thrilling adventure and create beautiful memories.

You can hike to the viewpoints and see the breathtaking view of National Park.

Take a walk along the rim. If you are early enough you can catch the golden sunrise.

Bike around the Park and along the rim. 

If you want to feel like you are on top of the world, you can take a helicopter ride and get an aerial view of the entire Park. 

39. Cosanti

Photo Credit: David Blakeman Photography

Google Review: 4.6/5

Address: 6433 E Doubletree Ranch Rd, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

  • Located in Paradise Valley
  • Historic site
  • Famous for hand-poured bronze wind-bells

Why you should visit: This is one of the most visited places in the state of Arizona and couldn’t miss in our list of things to do in Scottsdale.

It was built by the late renowned Italian architect Paolo Soleri.

It doubled as his residence and studio. 

It is now a historic site in Scottsdale that features a gallery and studio that showcases his genius work. Most of his work was experimental.

Things to do: Take a tour of the studio and gallery as you admire Soleri’s work which includes sculptural wind-bells, domes, and other earth-formed structures.

It would be wrong to leave without experiencing the famous bronze pour.

Make your way early in the morning to witness this.

You can shop bells and other gifts in the Cosanti shop.


As you have seen, Scottsdale may be famous for golf, but it has more to offer.

There are unlimited things to do during your visit, depending on your budget.

From tubing in Salt River to learning about how to be an American cowboy in the Arizona Cowboy College, your options are limitless.

It’s the ultimate holiday destination for individuals, families, and children. 

It’s also a paradise for anyone interested in history, arts, architecture, or anyone seeking a thrilling adventure.

There is indeed something for everyone. 

Okay, I might have lied, Scottsdale did not choose me. I’m back in my little humble apartment. I hope you enjoyed the read. 

See you on the next adventure!

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