Admittedly Scottsdale can conjure connotations of being a bit too upscale. But there is a movement afoot dedicated to proving the essence of Scottsdale, to pardon a phrase, is more than skin deep.
Traditions old and new mix among this growing cultural evolution. Yes, there is cowboy art, but there is much more. The Scottsdale Public Art effort is redefining art in the public realm through creative cultural events, exhibitions, and installations — contributing to the community’s creative and cultural evolution.
The question becomes, how much time do you have to spend here? Visitors of all ages can find fun things to do. You can sample cutting-edge Southwest cuisine or indulge in a world-renowned spa. Book at tee time on a championship golf course. Walk under an ocean. Search for American Indian turquoise and silver jewelry. Catch a Cactus League baseball game, or an Arabian Horse Show.
See for yourself how Scottsdale is redefining itself.
Where to Stay
Hotel Valley Ho
6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale / 480.376.2600 /
After receiving an $80 million restoration in 2005, Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho reopened and rededicated itself to its original, classic mid-century design. Originally a hideaway for celebrities, this Downtown Scottsdale treasure features generously sized guest rooms with glass walls opening onto airy patios or balconies.
Hotel Valley Ho can also boast being locally owned and independently managed, which is not the norm for hotels. A boutique hotel like this offers a one-of-a-kind experience you can’t find anywhere else. Ronen Aviram, General Manager, Hotel Valley Ho, is quick to add, “We are also proud to be a member of Local First Arizona and to support their mission of helping local, independent businesses thrive. In addition to keeping more money in the local economy, independent restaurants and boutiques are what excite people about visiting a new city and help create a unique sense of place that helps you connect with where you are.”
Guests and visitors need to avail themselves of ZuZu, the signature restaurant of Hotel Valley Ho. ZuZu is a modern take on the classic all-American restaurant of the 1950s, serving seasonal American fare inside and on the shaded patio. ZuZu’s famous warm Parker House Rolls are worth the trip alone!
What to See
Scottsdale Arts District
Main Street west of Scottsdale Road; Marshall Way north of Indian School Road /
Located in the heart of downtown Scottsdale, the Scottsdale’s Art District is a foot-friendly area home to art galleries and museums. Here you can find everything from paintings by masters such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Norman Rockwell to sculptures by Dave McGary and original works by many locally based artists. Visit on a Thursday night to experience the free ArtWalk gallery crawl.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
12345 N. Taliesin Drive, Scottsdale /
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) frequently wintered on a Scottsdale mountainside. There he directed his apprentices to construct and live in shelters of their own design. Taliesin West was both his residence and laboratory, and today it remains one of five Wright designed structures in Arizona open to the public.
Scottsdale Museum of the West
3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale /
True West Magazine named this Smithsonian Affiliate museum 2017’s Best Western Museum in the nation. You can get your cowboy on here while viewing Western art and Old West & historic Native American artifacts on loan from some of the world’s leading collections and institutions.
9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale /
Where else can you ride a giant submerge escalator deep into the “ocean,” surrounded by thousands of sea creatures, while in the middle of the Sonaran Desert! The OdySea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Southwest, spans two levels and features more than 50 exhibits and 30,000 animals, including sharks, otters, penguins, sea lions and rays. Visitors can also ride the only Live Sea Carousel in the world, and view 3-D movies.