Every day’s a sunny day in Scottsdale… well, almost. 330 days out of the year, you can expect perfect weather for golfing, hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities. And even though Scottsdale could get by on this alone, locals and tourists are constantly inspired and entertained by the city’s multitude of fascinating artistic and cultural attractions.  Scottsdale vacation rentals are just as welcoming and diverse as the city itself. If you have suggestions for our Scottsdale travel guide, please send us tips.

When you're done with our Scottsdale travel guide, read even more about the city (including resort information).

What to Do in Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale Travel Guide GolfIt’s impossible to sum up Scottsdale golf in a few sentences, so make sure to read our in-depth Scottsdale golf guide if you plan to play a round or two! Grayhawk Golf Club and Troon North Golf Club are just a few of the 200+ courses in Scottsdale. If you’re not a golfer, but you still love sports, find out if your favorite team’s playing at the Scottsdale Stadium.

Let’s go off course for a while – while golf is one of the top things to do in Scottsdale, it’s just a small fraction of what this Arizona hotspot (literally and figuratively) has to offer. Chaparral Park, Eldorado Park, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park, and Vista del Camino Park feature acres and acres of hiking trails, lakes, playgrounds, and sports fields. Go for a walk, play Frisbee with the dog, take the boat out, or just soak up the amazing scenery of the Sonoran Desert… Scottsdale is a natural wonderland.

But if you spend all your time outside, you’re liable to get sunburned. While Fiddlesticks Scottsdale, a mini amusement park, is now closed, you can still find family fun of the indoor kind with Crackerjax Scottsdale, where you can play mini golf, baseball, bumper boats, volleyball, and more. Kids also love the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, which boasts an impressive locomotive collection. There’s also the hands-on Arizona Science Center and the Mesa Southwest Museum (featuring interactive dinosaurs) for the little ones and their parents. If dino animatronics don’t cut it, meet real-life animals up close, like monkeys and lions, at the Out of Africa Wildlife Park.

Scottsdale Travel Guide MuseumIf you’re traveling without the kids, there’s even more for you to do on your Scottsdale vacation. In fact, even if you’re outnumbered by the young ones, Scottsdale’s art galleries, museums, and spas are good reason to invest in some child care for a day. The Heard Museum is an oasis for Native American artifacts. The American Buffalo Museum and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art make for worthy stops on your Scottsdale vacation. Taliesin West is the former winter home and studio of the late, great Frank Lloyd Wright; today, it’s an architectural school and is open to tours!

Need more? Scottsdale has well over a hundred galleries and museums, and if you can’t make up your mind about which ones to go to, try strolling through the Marshall Way Arts District in Old Town. Every Thursday, from 7 pm to 10 pm, you can explore the district's galleries for free.

A Scottsdale vacation can be very stimulating, so make sure to schedule some time for pampering. The Scottsdale spa vacation may be just as well-known as the Scottsdale golf vacation! The world-class Willow Stream Spa, and others like it, are here to rejuvinate your mind and body. Discover other great local spas with our Arizona spa guide.

If, for some strange reason, you run out of things to do in Scottsdale, remember that action-packed Phoenix is a quick drive away.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Scottsdale

Scottsdale dining and shopping is just as wondrous as the city’s natural attractions. Restaurants in Scottsdale, AZ range from the laid-back Café Forte to gourmet pizza at Patsy Grimaldi’s to the historic Rusty Spur Saloon. Other popular Scottsdale restaurants include Mi Amigo’s Mexican Grill and Harlow’s Grill. Whether you’re craving hamburgers or pasta, Scottsdale food is whatever you want it to be!

For shopping and general sightseeing, Old Town Scottsdale, Fifth Avenue, Shops at Gainey Village, and Kierland Commons are a must-see. Grab a souvenir that reminds you of the Southwest in Old Town or get a cool top from Banana Republic at Kierland Scottsdale; Arizona shopping districts like these will fulfill all your wants and needs.

Whether it’s the Rusty Spur Saloon or Kierland Scottsdale that you fall in love with, Scottsdale dining and shopping will keep your hunger at bay and your options for retail therapy plentiful.

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What to See in Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale, the Frank Lloyd Wright Tour, and Scottsdale's many natural parks all provide memorable sights to see!

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When to Visit Scottsdale

Scottsdale travel happens throughout the year; after all, thanks to the loyal sunshine, Arizona is one of the nation’s few year-round vacation destinations. But Scottsdale vacation rentals are an especially great idea for winter. Why? You won’t have to deal with the oppressive desert heat of a Scottsdale summer and you’ll still have enough sun for outdoor fun. Think warm days and cool nights, the kind of weather that’s ideal for nearly every form of outdoor recreation, especially golf. 

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What to Bring to Your Scottsdale Vacation Rental

It can get very hot in Scottsdale! So, make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and protective layers. Also, the better idea you have of your Scottsdale vacation itinerary, the more prepared you’ll be for it. Think ahead about your plans – will you spend most of your time touring museums or playing golf? Equip yourself for these activities as best you can. Also, check with your Scottsdale vacation rental owner about what’s included and not included in the rental rate.

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Local Services in Scottsdale

Mega golf shops, boat and tackle shops, babysitting services, pet care – Scottsdale is a top tourist destination and it’s ready for you and your family. Because Scottsdale is a busy location, with or without its out-of-town guests, you can track down miscellaneous services, like tailors and dry cleaners, with ease! If you rent a kid or pet-friendly Scottsdale vacation home, many of your needs will be taken care of from the get-go.

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What to Know About Scottsdale

When it comes to planning your Scottsdale vacation, it’s all in the timing. Since there’s something to do every time of year here, it’s important to pick and choose your activities carefully. If you’re planning a Scottsdale golf trip, spring and winter offer up the best playing conditions, but there are many Scottsdale vacation home deals in the summer. For other outdoor recreation, it’s best to come when the heat’s not so strong, like in the spring or winter. If you’re most interested in leisurely activities like visiting the Heard Museum or taking the Frank Lloyd Wright tour, choose a summer Scottsdale rental and save money – after all, you’re not going to spend as much time outside, so the heat shouldn’t be a big factor in your decision making.

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Getting to Scottsdale, Arizona

You can fly into the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix and then take a rental car, shuttle, or taxi to your Scottsdale vacation rental. The drive should only last twenty to thirty minutes. If you can, invest your money in gas instead of airfare, though! Scottsdale is relatively close to major cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Find out if a road trip is more reasonable and economical before you snag those airline tickets.

Once you’re here, you can rely on the free downtown trolley for sightseeing and the Valley Metro Bus system for more serious traveling. If you really want to get to know the city, though, rent a car. After all, it’s easy to find parking spots in Scottsdale and many are free.

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Why Scottsdale Vacation Homes?

Don’t throw your hard-earned money away on a Scottsdale hotel. Instead, try something different this time – rent one of our lovely Scottsdale vacation homes! Book one near a golf course or a shopping district, stay in a big house or a comfy condo; whatever you plan to do and whoever you plan to go with, we’ve got a luxurious and affordable accommodation for you. To enjoy a city with such engaging people, interesting history, and beautiful natural scenery, you should stay in an equally enchanting Scottsdale vacation rental.

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More Scottsdale Travel Guides

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