Scottsdale (Arizona)

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Scottsdale is a city in the state of Arizona. It is east of Phoenix and is considered to be part of the Phoenix Metro Area.

Understand[edit]

Scottsdale is home to many galleries, high quality resorts, and golf courses. It is also one of the wealthier parts of the Phoenix Metro Area.

High end shopping destinations are one of the primary attractions of the city. For example, the Fashion Square Mall is near downtown Scottsdale and is one of the biggest malls in the United States. The extensive galleries to the west of the downtown also offer upscale shopping and strolling. The galleries in this area display works both from local artists and from around the world.

The view from northwest
Saloons and shops in the Old Town area

The Old Town section of Scottsdale is to the east of the gallery district [1]. It showcases the ironic attempt of Scottsdale to both embody swank upscale style as well as a caricature of the gruff American West. This part of town is undeniably kitschy. Well over half the shops are gift shops. However, it is fun enough for a browse in a Disneyland sort of way.

The Canals[edit]

The valley of the sun has over 130 miles of canals [2]. Most of them were built in the last 100 years to provide water for the irrigation of farm land. However, now that the valley is much less agrarian the canals are primarily used to carry away storm water. Some are also used to generate hydroelectric power.[3]

These often overlooked gems are open to the public. One can take in the beautiful desert scenery and fresh air while strolling along them. They provide walkers, joggers, and bikers with a nice refuge from traffic. But don't try swimming in the canals, aside from being an obvious bad idea because the sides are so steep it is also illegal, along with motorized vehicles [4]

Golf[edit]

Be sure to try one of the 200 golf courses in the Scottsdale area. Although most of the green fees are relatively high during the high season (Nov - Apr) there are a few good courses that can be played year round at a reasonable rate. Green fees are very cheap during the summer ($10 - $50 per round with cart) and if you tee-off early in the morning the heat doesn't become too bad before you finish your round.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The Phoenix metro area has several airports. The biggest and most used is the Sky Harbor Airport which is about a 20 minutes drive away from downtown Scottsdale.

There is also a smaller airport in Northern Scottsdale for smaller planes and private jets. It is also about 20 minutes from downtown Scottsdale.

Alternative Airports[edit]

  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA) +1 480 988-7600 [5] is located east of Phoenix, in neighboring Mesa. It is served mainly by Allegiant Air, although Vision Airlines also offers service. Currently, this is a smaller-sized airport, but is in the process of being redeveloped into a major regional airport.

Get around[edit]

Scottsdale is undoubtedly a car-centric place. Most of the city is too spread out to reasonably walk, far more people use their own cars than ride the bus, and the light rail does not come to Scottsdale.

By car[edit]

Scottsdale is laid out for cars. The roads are large and the parking, even downtown, is usually more than ample.

To keep the speed limits and traffic signals well enforced, the city of Scottsdale extensively uses photo radar. Residents often learn where the cameras are and slow down near them. However, sometimes they slow down a bit abruptly. Drivers are often well served by expecting this from time to time.

There are 3 types of cameras.
  1. Intersection cameras These cameras monitor for both speeding and the running of red lights.
  2. Stationary freeway Cameras These monitor for speeding and are intended to keep the speed reasonable. They generally are triggered 11 mph over the speed limit.
  3. Mobile Van cameras These cameras monitor for speeding from the back of white vans on the side of the road. These are harder to spot because they move locations regularly and park inconspicuously.

Generally it is easiest and safest to simply drive the speed limit and not run red lights.

By foot[edit]

Getting around by walking can take a bit of planning. Not all roads have sidewalks and distances that seem reasonable can become quite uncomfortable in the warmer months. If you have time, messing around with something like Google's street view can be well worth it.

By trolley[edit]

Downtown Scottsdale, and the neighborhood south of downtown, are each served by a trolley. Both are free and usually come by every 15-20 minutes while running.

The downtown trolley can be a nice way to get from the waterfront to old town or the gallery district with minimal effort. Here is route and hour information for the downtown trolley.

See[edit]

Taliesin West
Atrium of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts
  •    LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana3839 N Drinkwater Blvd (outside the Center for Performing Arts). This sculpture, and other versions of it, by Robert Indiana have become iconic symbols of Love. The design was originally made for a Christmas card. It has since been used in a myriad of mediums from stamps to sculpture. Other versions of this statue are in Philadelphia's Love Park, 6th Ave in New York, New Orleans, and outside the incredibly tall Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Scottsdale Art WalkN Marshall Way and E Main St (Gallery District),  +1 480-998-4323, e-mail: . Th 7PM-9PM. The art galleries in downtown Scottsdale have organized a walk on Thursday nights. The galleries stay open into the evening and there can be "music, munchies and more on the streets." Free.

Do[edit]

Old Town Scottsdale
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
  •    McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park7301 E Indian Bend Rd +1 480-312-2312. Hours depend on time of year (9 or 10AM to 5:30 or 7PM). A children's park with playgrounds and a small train that children and parents can ride around the park. Free (admission), $2 (train rides for adults).
  •    Rock and Roll Car and Bike show9175 E Indian Bend Rd (Pavilions Shopping Center W of Hwy 101). Every Saturday night at 4PM. A large classic car show. Free.
  • Salt River Project Canals. The banks of the canals provide nice views and an escape from cars. They are open to the public for running, biking, and other recreational activities. Motorized vehicles and swimming are prohibited.

Tours[edit]

Buy[edit]

  •    Scottsdale Fashion Square7014 E Camelback Rd (Camelback Rd & Scottsdale Rd),  +1 480-945-5495. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. One of the biggest malls in the US, this is an upscale place to fill your wardrobe. It can also be fun just to wander around and see what other people are wearing. free.

Eat[edit]

  •    Eddie V's Prime Seafood15323 N Scottsdale Rd, #E1-160 +1 480-730-4800. Su-Th 4PM-11PM, F-Sa 4PM-12AM. The food is great, and Eddie's has something for everyone, in comparison to the meat-centrism of common steakhouses. Try the Parmesan encrusted sol. Call ahead for a reservation.
  • Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Fleming's is known for its prime steak and elegant, cherry wood atmosphere. Its wine list features over 100 wines available by the glass. This steakhouse also offers bar menu specials until 7PM.
  •    Mastro's Steak House8852 E Pinnacle Peak Rd +1 480-585-9500. Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-11PM; Su brunch 11AM-3PM. Mastro's also has a restaurant in Beverly Hills, with a plethora of well-known visitors that frequent it. Call ahead, as you'll most likely need a reservation.
  •    Old Town Tortilla Factory6910 E Main St +1 480-945-4567fax: +1 480-945-0815, e-mail: . Su-Th 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM. Modern Southwest cooking with Sonoran touches. Try the Red Chile Pork Chop, with an unlikely but tasty ancho-raspberry sauce. Patio seating, heated in winter, misted in summer. Reservations only accepted for groups of 6 or more, so prepare to wait (preferably in the adjacent tequillaria). $30.

Drink[edit]

  • Kazimierz7137 East Stetson Dr +1 480-WINE-004 (9463-004)fax: +1 480-WINE-055. nightly, 2:30PM - 2AM full menu served until 1:45AM. A great nook of a place to drink wine, eat flatbread, and decompress on kooshy couches in their dimly lit main room. The massive (over 2000) wine list is well experienced in their nicely-selected and presented three-wine flights. Add a flatbread (a fancy word for a fancy pizza) and a few friends and it's easy to lose the whole evening in a place like this. It's also easy to run up a big bill ($40-$60 per person) if you don't restrain yourself with the wine menu. $20-$30.
  • Red Bar7353 East Indian School Rd. Located in the Mondrian Scottsdale Hotel.
  • SkyBar7353 East Indian School Rd. Located in the gardens of Mondrian Scottsdale Hotel.

Sleep[edit]

  • Comfort Inn7350 E. Gold Dust Ave (Scottsdale Road & Shea Blvd.),  +1 480-596-6559. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Offers guests a fitness center, an outdoor pool and a deluxe continental breakfast. $70-$200.
  • Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas6333 N. Scottsdale Rd +1 480 948-7750fax: +1 480-948-2232. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 12PM. A fairly typical Hilton hotel, though prettier than most. Quite comfortable, but housekeeping services are erratic. Good business services with $10/day wireless. $99-$120.
  • Mondrian Hotel Scottsdale7353 East Indian School Rd. Similar to its sister hotels in West Hollywood and Miami. It overlooks the Scottsdale Mall gardens in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. On-site restaurant and lounge. The snooty level is off the charts at this property. Be prepared for twenty year-old staff to look down their nose at you. You may or may not have access to the common areas of the hotel depending on the mood of staff.
  • Scottsdale Resort7700 E. McCormick Parkway. The resort is surrounded by a 36 hole golf course, a spa and fitness center, salon services, tennis, and two pools. Resort features 326 spacious guest rooms, casitas and suites.
  • Smoke Tree Resorts & Bungalows7101 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley (Near the intersection of Scottsdale Rd. and Lincoln Dr.),  +1 480-948-7660fax: +1 480-948-7661, e-mail: . "Restaurant REM" is at the resort itself. Families will also be pleased to know it is just a two minute drive away from the Railroad Park (a park with a small train children can ride).
  • Westin Kierland Resort and Spa6902 E. Greenway Parkway +1 480 624-1000. Beautiful property, with a great kids pool area, including a lazy river. They also have an adults-only pool area. Great service. Attached to a golf course and shopping mall.
  • Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Casino10438 North Fort McDowell Rd +1 480 789-5300. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 12PM. Offers amenities including free wireless Internet, fitness center, swimming pool, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, Fort McDowell Casino, Fountain Hills Spa and Salon, and Ahnala Restaurant and Lounge.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Scottsdale North/Perimeter Center8550 East Princess Dr +1 480 515-4944. Located on Scottsdale north side close to Scottsdale airport and several businesses. Enjoy breakfast and dinner at the Great American Grill, free hi-speed Internet access, business center, meeting/banquest facilities, outdoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center and an Unconditional 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.</sleep>
  • Valley Ho6850 E. Main, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 +1 480 248-2000. This modern hotel exceeds expectations for accommodations and food/beverage (don't skip breakfast). Service may vary, especially during high season. This property welcomes pets and goes the extra mile to welcome man's best friend. Green grass and fountains provide a rare desert oasis for you and fido. $175.00.
  • The Hermosa Inn5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley, toll-free: +1-800-241-1210. The Hermosa Inn is a boutique hotel featuring 34 hacienda-style, single-story casitas.

Splurge[edit]

  • Fairmont Scottsdale Princess7575 E. Princess Dr +1 602-585-4848. Hotel/spa with multiple pools, fishing, golf, tennis, The area that surrounds it is also very nice, in close proximity to Mastro's and Eddie V's restaurants. $200-400.
  • The Phoenician6000 East Camelback Rd, toll-free: +1-866-716-8136. Upscale resort with a 27-hole championship course. Nine pools, tennis courts, spa.
  • Resort Suites7677 E. Princess Blvd, toll-free: +1-888-222-1059. Suites with full living and dining areas, private patios, kitchen and free wifi. Four swimming pools, three whirlpools, a fitness center, and a business center.

Camping[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Flooding[edit]

It doesn't rain very frequently in Scottsdale. However, when the rain does come many lakes swell, bike paths are submerged, and roads become impassable.

If there is a notable amount of water on the road, don't drive through it. Drivers frequently become stranded in the middle of flooded washes. Cars can be swept away in a deceptively small amount of water. As you might guess, attempting to drive across such flooded roads is dangerous.

Arizona also has what they like to call a "Stupid Motorist Law." It says that if someone drives around a barricade to enter a flooded road they will be charged for their rescue.

Heat[edit]

In the summer it can get quite hot. Dehydration, heat stroke, and sun stroke become notable risks.

Drink plenty of water and stay indoors in the afternoon, during the hottest parts of the day.

Outdoor activities are usually far more pleasant in the early morning when it is still cool. Because the temperatures in the desert swing so much between night and day, morning temperatures can be quite pleasant even during the height of the summer.

Go next[edit]

  • Downtown Tempe has a lively night life, being a college town
  • There are many museums and other cultural venues in Downtown and Midtown Phoenix
Routes through Scottsdale
GlendalePhoenix/North  W Arizona 101.svg S  TempeChandler


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