weekend in scottsdale

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Weekend In Scottsdale: The Best Things To Do In Scottsdale

Looking To Spend A Weekend In Scottsdale?

If you’re planning a trip to Scottsdale, we’ve got a perfect weekend trip planned for you.

This weekend in Scottsdale itinerary is packed with information on where to eat, what to see and do, and even a couple off the beaten path ideas for you!

Living our lifestyle has allowed us the freedom to travel and explore Arizona in depth and one of our favorite spots is Scottsdale.

With its outdoor recreation, mountains close to town, tasty places for drinks and a bite to eat, along with its rich cultural heritage, it never fails to draw us back time and time again.

From the top attractions like hot air balloon rides over the Sonoran Desert and ATV rides in the desert to some off the beaten path adventures, we’ve got your short trip to Scottsdale all planned for you!

And if you have a longer trip planned for Scottsdale, we have plenty of ideas of things to do in Scottsdale for you too. 

  • ✈️Fly: The best airport for to fly into is Phoenix Sky Harbor, a 7-minute drive to Phoenix. Check KAYAK for tickets! (When booking your ticket be sure to confirm your airport so you don’t end up at the wrong one like we did) 🙄
  • 🚗Car Rental: Discover Cars is a car rental platform that partners with over 500 local car rental companies
  • 🌵When to Go: October through May can be a great time to visit Scottsdale
  • ✅Reservations are a MUST at some of the more popular restaurants; especially on weekends if you have your heart set on a specific location be sure to call ahead to secure your seat!

Who This Scottsdale Weekend Itinerary Is For

We designed this Scottsdale weekend itinerary for visitors to the city who want to pack in as many fun and memorable experiences as possible in a short amount of time.

Regardless of your travel companions, this itinerary is designed to give you a taste of what Scottsdale has to offer and leave you wanting to come back for more.

If you’re a traveler who doesn’t shy away from touristy attractions but also wants to spend plenty of time exploring everything Scottsdale has to offer then this is the weekend in Scottsdale itinerary for you.

Scottsdale Weather


Scottsdale’s is known for hot summers and mild winters, making it a popular year-round destination for outdoor activities.

The city receives a lot of sun in fact about 300 days of sunshine, with clear blue skies and warm temperatures that are perfect for exploring the city’s surroundings.

Getting to Scottsdale

Scottsdale is located in the north-central part of Arizona and is a short 20-30 minute drive away from the Phoenix International Airport.

If you are flying, it’s best to choose the Phoenix International Airport as your destination in Arizona.

Best Time to Visit Scottsdale?

The best time to visit Scottsdale is during the fall (September to November) and spring (March to May) seasons when the temperatures are mild, and the weather is perfect for outdoor activities.

The city can get quite hot in the summer, with temperatures soaring above 100°F, while winters are relatively mild, making it a great escape for those looking to escape the cold weather in other parts of the country.

Insider Tip: Scottsdale is a good destination for those who want to bask in the sun; however, it’s important to know that one of the most popular times to visit Scottsdale is during spring break when people are looking for sunny spring getaways.

After You Have Finished Reading This Check Out Our Other Arizona Guides

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14 Day Trips From Phoenix: The Best Things To Do In Phoenix
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32 Fun Things To Do In Scottsdale At Night (Absolute Best Things To Do In Scottsdale)
4 BEST Phoenix & Scottsdale Hot Air Balloon Rides

Best Weekend Itinerary in Scottsdale

Here is a glance at your perfect weekend in Scottsdale.

Scroll down for all the details including where to go, what to do, and what to eat (aka the most important info you’ll need to know!).

  • Friday
    • Arrive in Scottsdale
    • Transportation to Old Town Scottsdale
    • Hotel Check-in
    • Dinner- Culinary Dropout, Virtu Honest Craft, or Citizen Public House
    • Drinks- Dive bars-The Rusty Spur Saloon, Old Town Tavern, Pattie’s First Ave Lounge, The Coach Classy Cocktails-Olive and Ivy, and Drunk Munk (you’ll find a full list of bars below)
    • Late Night In Scottsdale- The Maya Nightclub (you’ll find a full list of clubs below) or for a more laid back vibe check out Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
  • Saturday
    • Early Morning Hike at Camelback Mountain or Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride
    • Breakfast And Exploring A Bit Of Old Town Scottsdale
    • Mid Afternoon Choose Your Scottsdale Outdoor Activity
    • Relaxation And Regrouping Time (Brewery Or Pool Time)
    • Dinner- The Mission or Barrio Queen
    • Optional: Food Tour and Bike Tour
  • Sunday
    • Early Morning Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride
    • Coffee Time
    • Museums, Art, and Culture
    • Lunch Time- Frank and Lupe’s Old Mexico, Olive and Ivy, Original ChopShop, Grimaldi’s Pizza
    • Wine Tasting- Aridus Wine Company, Carlson Creek Tasting room, LDV winery, Salvatore Vineyards
    • One Last Meal Before Departure- Diego Pops
    • Optional: Spa Day

Friday Evening In Old Town Scottsdale

Friday night in Scottsdale?

Don’t wait until tomorrow to start your adventure -let’s dive right in and experience the city’s electric energy!

After settling into your hotel, it’s time to hit the town “Old Town” that is. With its incredible dining options, entertainment, and drinks, Old Town is the place to be.

1. Dinner In Old Town Scottsdale

Let your taste buds guide you to one of the many top-notch restaurants in Scottsdale.

A good option to try is Culinary Dropout, which offers a unique dining experience with its gastropub fare and lively environment.

Alternatively, you could head to Virtu Honest Craft, which features Mediterranean-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, or Citizen Public House for upscale American cuisine and handcrafted cocktails.

If you go to Citizen Public be sure to try the Pork Belly Pastrami and Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

As I mentioned above in the info box, it is highly recommended to make reservations on weekends at the more popular restaurants in Scottsdale.

In case you are unable to secure a reservation, here are some alternative food options for Old Town Scottsdale

  • Montauk-Where the East coast meets West coast you’ll enjoy some of the best of the East coast in the heart of Scottsdale. And yes, this means lobster rolls!
  • Rehab Burger Therapy-Chill spot that’s super popular among the locals. It’s not the fanciest place, but that’s part of its charm, ya know? They’ve got killer burgers, wings, and pasta, as well as some tasty Belgian-style fries.
  • Starlite BBQ and Whiskey Bar– Casual neighborhood place with a full-service bar, craft beers, and wine. In addition to a wide selection of smoked and grilled meats, Starlite offers vegetarian and vegan choices.

2. Explore Old Town Scottsdale And Get A Drink

After dinner it’s time to take in the lively atmosphere as you stroll through the streets of the Wild West.

Walking down these western streets is not just about shopping and dining – there’s plenty of history to discover too.

For a truly authentic experience, stop by the Rusty Spur Saloon, a historic bar that has been around since 1951.

The western décor, live music, and friendly atmosphere make it the perfect spot to get a drink and immerse yourself in the city’s unique cowboy culture.

Or you can check out the Coach House, a classic dive bar that holds the title of one of the oldest bars in Scottsdale.

Insider Info: Many people don’t know that The Rusty Spur Saloon is an officially registered historical landmark. Back in 1921, the building operated as a Bank until it was closed in 1933.

After renovations in 1951, the space became the Rusty Spur Saloon that we know today.

Interestingly, the original bank vault is still in place and has been repurposed into a refrigerator to store the bar’s valuable assets – beer and liquor!

Here are some of our favorite bars and places to get a drink in Old Town Scottsdale:

  1. Rusty Spur Saloon – A historic western-themed saloon with live music and a lively atmosphere.
  2. Coach House – A true dive bar with an extensive beer and whiskey selection.
  3. Beverly on Main– A retro-inspired lounge with creative cocktails and a fun atmosphere. Try the Sonoran Shrimp tacos if you go
  4. Pattie’s First Avenue Lounge – A classic dive bar with a laid-back atmosphere, pool tables, and dollar bills everywhere.
  5. Second Story Liquor Bar – A speakeasy-style cocktail bar with creative drinks and gourmet small plates.
  6. The Montauk – This casual East coast meets West coast-style bar offers refreshing cocktails and a relaxed atmosphere.
  7. Old Town Tavern-Their motto is “Cold, Beers, Live Music and Good Times”
  8. Giligins– This spot is a total classic – it’s the kind of bar where you’ll see tons of bachelorette and birthday parties rolling in for a round of drinks and shots.

3. Late Night Fun In Scottsdale

Want to keep the party going?

Scottsdale has a vibrant nightlife scene that offers plenty of options for those looking to take their night to the next level.

From high-energy dance clubs to intimate bars and lounges, there’s no shortage of places to see and be seen.

For an unforgettable night out, we hear that hitting up Maya Day and Nightclub, is the place to be.

A popular destination with world-renowned DJs, poolside cabanas, and an electric atmosphere.

Good To Know: If you find that the Maya Day and Nightclub is a bit over the top for your liking (like we did) don’t worry Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row is right around the corner and offers a laid back scene.

Here, you can enjoy delicious food, cocktails, and live music in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

Suggestions of The Best Dance and Night Clubs In Old Town Scottsdale

  1. Maya Day and Nightclub – A popular club with a large dance floor, VIP bottle service, and frequent live music and DJ performances.
  2. Bottled Blonde –By daytime this is a great place to grab some pizza by night it turns into a club with a wide selection of drinks and cocktails.
  3. Riot House – A high-energy club with multiple bars, dance floors, and VIP areas.
  4. The District – A trendy club with a chic atmosphere, a rooftop bar, and a large dance floor.
  5. Cake Nightclub – A popular club with multiple bars, a VIP area, and a rotating lineup of DJs.
  6. El Hefe – A party bar and club with a lively atmosphere and frequent events and promotions.
  7. Pretty Please Lounge – A chic lounge and club with a modern atmosphere, creative cocktails, and live music and DJs.

One of the advantages of the locations listed above is that they are all located in the heart of the Scottsdale entertainment district. Allowing you to easily hop from one place to another.

Dance Clubs Not Your Idea Of Late Night Fun In Scottsdale?

If dance clubs aren’t your idea of a fun late-night experience in Scottsdale, don’t worry.

Instead, head up a few paragraphs and find some of our favorite bars in Old Town Scottsdale.

These bars offer a more relaxed and casual atmosphere.

You can enjoy a drink, socialize with friends, and soak up the ambiance without having to deal with the clubbing scene.

Insider Tip: If you’re looking for a speakeasy head on over to the Kaz Bar, this is one of the first speakeasies in Arizona. Located down an alley and accessible through a nondescript door, this hidden bar is easy to miss but shouldn’t be overlooked.

Inside, you’ll find an intimate vibe, live entertainment, craft cocktails, and other hidden treasures. We’re going to leave it up to you to find this place, because honestly it’s a bit difficult to explain 😉

🌵Scottsdale Vs. Sedona? Which One Is Better For Your Weekend Vacation? Read This

Day 1 Outdoor Adventures and Southwestern Flavors

Outdoor adventures and Southwestern flavors are two of the best experiences that visitors can enjoy in Scottsdale.

With over 30,000 acres of desert landscape, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers a range of hiking trails for all levels of hikers, while Camelback Mountain offers a challenging hike that rewards hikers with panoramic views of the city.

If you managed to get a good night’s sleep, well done! If not, don’t worry, there’s plenty to keep you energized and active today. Remember at the start of this itinerary I did say we’d be cramming in as much as possible.

1. Early Morning Hike at Camelback Mountain

Start your day with an invigorating early morning hike with up Camelback Mountain.

This popular trail is challenging, but the panoramic views from the top are well worth the effort.

The mountain gets its name from its distinct shape, which resembles the hump and head of a camel.

If you prefer a more moderate hike, the Cholla Trail (closest to Old Town Scottsdale) is a good option, with a gentler incline and stunning views of the city below.

For those looking for a challenging climb, the Echo Canyon Trail (closer to Phoenix) is the most popular route, but it can be quite steep and strenuous in places.

Good To Know: Believe me when I say the hike itself can be challenging, we did the Echo Canyon Trail to the top and it has A LOT of steep inclines and rocky boulders to climb over (sometimes using your hands) but the experience of reaching the summit is truly rewarding.

Pro Tip: It’s best to start your hike early in the morning, especially during the hotter months, to avoid the midday heat and the crowds. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy shoes, as the trail can be rocky and slippery in places.

Looking For An Alternative To Camelback Mountain?

If you’re looking for a shorter hike (1.5 hours) with spectacular views that’s a bit easier than Camelback, the Piestewa Peak Summit Trail is a great option.

If you’re not interested in Camelback mountain or Piestewa Peak but still want to get outside, consider visiting the Sonoran Preserve. There, you can explore the half-mile Bajada Nature trail and admire the beautiful desert landscapes and saguaro cacti.

2. Breakfast Time!

After your hike, head back to downtown Scottsdale for a healthy and filling breakfast at Farm and Craft.

This popular restaurant located on the main drag offers a modern twist on classic breakfast dishes with a focus on locally-sourced, organic ingredients.

Try their Harvest Avocado Toast with avocado (of course), marinated tomato, radish sprouts, hemp seeds and a drizzle of spicy honey. Or their hearty “Farmhouse” with eggs, chicken sausage, and sweet potato and squash hash.

Additional Breakfast Places To Check Out

  • Breakfast Club– A great place to get a smoked Salmon Benedict, wrap or sandwich depending on what you’re up for!
  • Daily Dose Old Town Bar and Grill– All your favorite breakfast go-to’s. I recommend getting the breakfast nachos!

3. Explore Old Town Scottsdale During The Day

old town scottsdale

Next, spend a bit of time exploring Old Town Scottsdale in the light of day.

This historic district is filled with art galleries, boutique shops, and charming restaurants you may have missed on Friday night.

As you wander through the streets of Old Town Scottsdale, you’ll be drawn in by the area’s rustic charm and Western-inspired architecture.

This historic district is known for its art and shopping scene, and you’ll see a wide variety of styles.

For those in need of some retail therapy, Old Town is a great spot to fulfill your shopping desires.

The area has an array of options, ranging from high-end boutiques to quirky vintage stores.

Whether you’re seeking handmade leather goods or unique jewelry pieces, the shops in Old Town are sure to have something that catches your eye.

Good To Know: If you’re looking to give your feet a rest after your early morning hike take advantage of the free trolley. Old Town Scottsdale has a free trolley system that runs from 10 am to 9 pm daily. This is a great way to get around without having to worry much.

3. Choose Your Scottsdale Outdoor Activity

Once you’ve spent some time exploring Old Town, it’s time to gear up for your next outdoor adventure. (Remember I did say your weekend in Scottsdale was going to be action packed)

With so many options to choose from it’s important to narrow down your choices based on your preferences.

Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, rock climbing, off-roading, or horseback riding, you’ll find plenty of exciting activities to keep you entertained.

Here are some of the most popular outdoor activities in Scottsdale to consider for your weekend

A. 🚵‍♂️Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is one of our favorite activities to do in Scottsdale.

If you’re new to biking, you can easily rent a bike and venture out on your own.

However, we highly recommend taking a guided biking tour to experience the best of the Sonoran Desert.

This half-day bike tour with a local guide is the perfect way to explore the Scottsdale bike trails and comes with all the necessary gear for a fun and safe experience.

B. ⛰️Hiking

For hikers who want to enjoy the beautiful Sonoran Desert without the pressure of planning and navigating, a Scottsdale hiking tour may be just what you need.

With an expert guide, you can relax and fully immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings, while learning about the history and geology of the area.

C. 🏜️Off-Roading

Off-roading is an exciting adventure that should not be missed during your visit to Scottsdale.

Whether you prefer an ATV or a jeep, Scottsdale has plenty of options for you to choose from.

You can book one of these ATV tours or these jeep tours that will take you out to explore the hidden gems of the desert landscape.

D. 🧗🏿Rock Climbing/Repelling

This is an adventure that you’ll never forget.

You’ll begin by hiking through the scenic Sonoran Desert just outside Scottsdale to an area that’s perfect for rock climbing and repelling

From there, it’s time for the thrilling descent.

With your harness secured, lean back and enjoy the rush as you descend down the rock face, with nothing but the ropes between you and the ground below.

This exhilarating experience will leave you feeling alive and empowered, with memories that will last a lifetime.

E. 🧗🏼‍♂️Canyoneering Adventure in Phoenix (For the REAL Adventure Seeker)

If you’re looking for an all-day adventure that will get your adrenaline pumping, canyoneering is the perfect activity for you.

This extreme sport involves descending down narrow canyons using a variety of techniques, including rappelling, scrambling, and swimming.

4. Relaxation And Regrouping (Brewery Or Pool Time You Pick!)

Ok we’re going to take it down a notch after a full day of exploring I know you have to be wiped out especially if you stayed out late on Friday night.

Take some time and either relax at your hotel’s pool or head to one of the local breweries for some well-deserved downtime.

Our favorite brewery in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale is Goldwater Brewing.

This brewery has a great open environment with a welcoming vibe and of course great beers.

5. Dinner Time

If you’re in the mood to indulge in a really nice high end dining experience, head over to The Mission.

This upscale restaurant is know for its Latin-inspired cuisine and elegant ambiance.

The menu boasts a range of dishes made from locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, including their signature guacamole made table side, wood-fired grilled meats and seafood, and artisanal cocktails.

If you’re looking for something that offers a more laid back and upbeat vibe I recommend heading over to Barrio Queen where you can taste the Southwest flavors.

This restaurant offers a menu filled with delicious Southwest flavors, including tacos, enchiladas, and margaritas.

The atmosphere is fun and lively, with colorful decor and a lively bar scene.

Good To Know: If you’re looking to avoid the crowds at the previously mentioned restaurants, a great option is Los Olivos Mexican Patio. This place serves up delicious Mexican food at a decent price. One of the best things about Los Olivos is their spacious patio, making it a great choice for those who prefer to dine without a reservation.

Things You May Want To Know: Los Olivos is a must-visit Mexican restaurant that has been a part of Old Town for a long time.

The restaurant gets its name from the historic olive trees that were planted along 2nd Street by Winfield Scott, the founder of Scottsdale, in 1896.

So now you know the story behind the restaurant’s name.

Alternate Itinerary For Those Looking For A Less Active Scottsdale Adventure

Weekend in scottsdale

For an alternative weekend itinerary in Scottsdale, you can follow the same itinerary to the one outlined above.

However, this itinerary directly below focuses more on exploring Scottsdale’s vibrant food scene and attractions rather than adventurous activities in Scottsdale.

If you’re feeling a bit sluggish and not up for big adventures, you can still have a fun and fulfilling day in Scottsdale by swapping out some of the more active outdoor activities above for a food, bike or segway tour in Old Town.

A. 🌮 Food Tour

A local food tour is a great way to experience the flavors of Scottsdale at a relaxed and leisurely pace.

There are several food tour companies in Scottsdale that offer guided tours of the city’s culinary scene.

The reason I like this particular tour is because you get to tase food at 6 different restaurants and the guides give you some “local beta” on some of the best places to eat.

B. 🚲 Bike Or Segway Tour

For those who prefer to explore the city on two wheels, there are also several bike and segway tour companies that offer guided rides through Old Town and beyond.

These tours provide a unique perspective on the city’s architecture, history, and culture, with stops at local landmarks and hidden gems along the way.

C. Find The Goofiest Scottsdale Tour Possible

If you’re feeling like taking your Scottsdale tour to the next level of goofiness, there are options for that as well. Check out the reviews here.

Whether you choose to indulge in a food tour, hop on a bike, or simply stroll through the charming streets of Old Town, there’s plenty to see and do in Scottsdale that doesn’t require a high level of physical activity.

So, take it easy, enjoy the local flavors, and soak up the unique atmosphere of this vibrant Arizona city.

Day 2: Cultural Experiences and Desert Views

Scottsdale offers a unique blend of cultural experiences and desert views, making it the perfect destination for travelers seeking a well-rounded and enriching vacation.

From the world-class museums and art galleries to seeing the natural landscapes from above in a Hot Air balloon ride, Scottsdale offers experiences that will satisfy both the adventurous and culturally curious.

1. Early Morning Hot Air Balloon Ride

scottsdale hot air balloon ride

It’s going to be a very early morning start but a hot air balloon ride in Scottsdale is an unforgettable experience that is sure to be the highlight of your trip.

As you ascend into the sky, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert and its landscapes.

From high above, you’ll see the mountains, cacti, and wildlife of the desert in a way that few people ever have.

As the sun begins to rise, the colors of the desert will come alive, creating a truly magical experience.

Your pilot will navigate the balloon as you float effortlessly through the air, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the spectacular surroundings.

After the balloon ride, many companies offer a champagne toast and breakfast, giving you a chance to connect with your fellow passengers and reminisce about your shared experience.

Pro tip: Be prepared for a VERY early morning because flights take off just before sunrise, which means you’ll need to wake up earlier than you might prefer, especially if you had a late night the evening before.

2. Coffee Time

If you need a quick pick-me-up to keep you going through your Scottsdale adventure, there are plenty of great coffee options to choose from.

Try Cartel Coffee Lab or Press Coffee for a locally roasted cup of coffee, or visit Fourtillfour for a unique coffee experience that combines classic cars and caffeine.

3. Museums, Art And Culture

If you’ve read any of our other city guides, you know that we’re big fans of outdoor adventures, food, drinks, and exploring the local area.

However, we also recognize the importance of immersing ourselves in a city’s culture and history.

In Scottsdale, this means checking out some of the city’s museums.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of the West, both located in Old Town, offer unique insights into the artistic and cultural heritage of the area.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art And Museum Of The West

The SMoCA features a wide range of contemporary art exhibits, installations, and events, while the Museum of the West showcases the rich history and culture of the American West through exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs.

Even if museums aren’t typically your thing, we highly recommend giving these places a chance.

You may be surprised by how much you enjoy learning about the local art and history, and how it enhances your overall experience in Scottsdale.

For entry costs and info about SMoCA click here. For info about the Museum of the West click here.

Insider Tip: Did you know that SMoCA is completely free to enter on Thursdays? You’re Welcome!

Wonderspaces At Fashion Square

For those who are looking for one more must-see attraction in Scottsdale, be sure to check out Wonderspaces at Fashion Square.

This immersive and interactive art space features rotating exhibits by artists from around the world, offering a unique and engaging way to experience contemporary art.

MIM, Taliesen West and Desert Botanical Garden

For those willing to take a short drive, the Musical Instrument Museum and Taliesen West are both excellent options.

The Musical Instrument Museum, located in nearby Phoenix, boasts an extensive collection of instruments from around the world, as well as live performances and interactive exhibits.

Taliesen West, located in nearby Scottsdale, is the former home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright and features stunning examples of his work and design philosophy.

If you’re looking for an alternative to museums, the Desert Botanical Garden is a nice attraction in Scottsdale.

Located just a little over 10 minutes from Old Town, this stunning garden features over 50,000 plants from around the world, including many rare and endangered species.

Take a leisurely stroll through the garden’s winding paths and discover the beauty and diversity of the Sonoran Desert.

Along the way, you’ll encounter towering cacti, vibrant wildflowers, and unique desert landscape

4. Lunch Time

If you’ve decided to spend your afternoon in Old Town Scottsdale, there are plenty of fantastic lunch options to choose from.

One great spot is Frank and Lupe’s Old Mexico an authentic Mexican restaurant that serves up delicious tacos, ceviche, carnitas and other tasty dishes.

Olive & Ivy is a great option for those looking for a Mediterranean-inspired dining experience in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Their menu features fresh salads, sandwiches, and more.

For a more casual dining option, check out The Original ChopShop for delicious and healthy bowls, salads, and sandwiches.

And if you’re in the mood for pizza, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria serves up mouth-watering New York-style pies with a variety of toppings to choose from.

5. Wine Tasting on the Scottsdale Wine Trail

Although not typically thought of as a wine destination, Scottsdale and the surrounding areas in Arizona are home to some unique and flavorful wines.

After enjoying a satisfying lunch, take a break from the mid-afternoon sun and explore the Scottsdale Wine Trail.

This wine trail is a great way to sample the local wines that Arizona has to offer.

Each of the seven tasting rooms on the trail has its own unique atmosphere and selection of wines, so there’s sure to be something for every palate.

Some favorite wine tasting rooms include:

If you’re interested in wine tasting, you can either spend an entire afternoon visiting multiple tasting rooms (in which case, you may want to consider the Scottsdale Wine Passport), or you can visit one or two tasting rooms to try out a few different flights or glasses of wine.

6. Enjoy One Last Meal In Scottsdale

Before departing from your weekend in Scottsdale, be sure to grab a Sonoran hot dog at Diego Pops.

This iconic dish is a must-try when visiting Arizona, featuring a hot dog wrapped in bacon and topped with beans, onions, tomatoes, and jalapeño salsa, all served on a soft bun.

It’s the perfect way to end your weekend in Scottsdale and take a bit of the city’s unique flavors with you on your way home.

Alternate Itinerary For Those Looking For A Relaxing Scottsdale Adventure

Just like for day 2 if you’re looking for an alternative weekend itinerary in Scottsdale, you can follow the same itinerary outlined above.

However, if you’re looking for a more relaxing and indulgent experience in Scottsdale, the following itinerary is tailored to those seeking a spa-centric weekend getaway.

Have A Spa Day

If you’re looking for a way to relax and rejuvenate after a busy weekend, a day at a spa can be the perfect solution.

Luckily, Scottsdale, Arizona is home to some of the best spas in the country.

From the Phoenician Spa, located in the heart of Scottsdale, to the Waldorf Astoria Spa at the Arizona Biltmore, you’ll find a wide variety of treatments to choose from, including massages, body wraps, facials, and more.

Many of these spas are inspired by the surrounding Sonoran Desert, offering unique treatments like prickly pear sugar scrubs and hot stone massages.

So take some time to indulge and pamper yourself, you deserve it!

Good To Know: If you want to relax, Scottsdale is the the place to be; it holds the record for the largest number of destination spas per capita in the entire nation.

Free Things To Do In Scottsdale

Want to explore Old Town on a budget without paying for museums and other attractions?

Here’s a couple of ideas.

Self-Guided Art Walking Tour

One option is to take a self-guided walking tour of the many public art installations scattered throughout the Old Town area.

These sculptures, murals, and other works of art are free to see and offer a glimpse into the diverse artistic styles and themes that define Scottsdale’s cultural identity.

🤠Want to know 34 Free Things To Do In Scottsdale? Read This!

The Historic Old Town Walking Tour

The Historic Old Town Walking Tour is a popular option for those who want to see the all the major sites of Old Town without paying for a guided tour

Old Town Trolley

The Old Town Trolley is a free, convenient way to explore the sights of Old Town. The trolley runs in a circular route and offers a 45-minute loop around the area, bringing passengers back to their starting point. It’s a great way to see some of Old Town’s most popular destinations without the worry of getting lost.


SMoCA is a world-renowned museum in Old Town Scottsdale with free admission on Thursdays. It features a constantly changing selection of contemporary art, architecture, and design from around the world.

Explore The Different Districts Of Old Town

Did you know that there are nine different districts within Old Town? There sure is, they exist within a little over a square mile, so be sure to explore each one of them.

  • Arts District
  • Brown and Stetson District
  • Civic Center Park
  • Entertainment District
  • 5th Ave Shopping District
  • Historic Old Town
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square
  • Scottsdale Waterfront
  • Southbridge District

How To Get From The Airport To Old Town Scottsdale

  1. Taxi Or Rideshare: For an easy ride downtown there are Ubers, Lyfts and even Waymo’s Autonomous taxi rides), available at the airport. The ride typically takes around 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic.
  2. Rent A Car: Renting a car can be a convenient option for those planning to explore the Scottsdale area beyond just Old Town.
  3. Shuttle: Many hotels in downtown Scottsdale offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the airport, so it’s worth checking if your hotel provides this service.
  4. Public Transportation: If you’re looking for an affordable option, Valley Metro operates a bus service from the airport to downtown Scottsdale. The route is served by the 72 bus, which runs every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during off-peak hours. The trip takes approximately 45-50 minutes and costs $2 per person.

Get Out And Explore Fun Things To Do in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is an incredible destination for a weekend getaway, with something to offer for every type of traveler. From the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding Sonoran Desert to the vibrant arts and cultural scene of Old Town Scottsdale, this city has it all.

Take in world-class art at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, indulge in delicious Southwestern cuisine at local restaurants, and soak up the sun on one of the many picturesque hiking trails nearby.

With so much to see and do, a weekend in Scottsdale is sure to be a memorable and exciting experience.

How Many Days Is Enough In Scottsdale

The number of days recommended to spend in Scottsdale depends on your interests and the activities you wish to pursue. However, a 3-5 day trip would give you ample time to experience the highlights of the city, such as exploring the Sonoran Desert, visiting museums and art galleries, shopping, dining, and enjoying the nightlife.

Which Is Better Scottsdale Or Phoenix For a Vacation?

Both Scottsdale and Phoenix offer unique experiences for a vacation, and which one is better for you depends on your interests and preferences.
Scottsdale is known for its luxurious spas, high-end shopping experiences, and outdoor activities such as hiking and golfing. It’s also a great base for exploring the Sonoran Desert and nearby attractions such as Sedona and the Grand Canyon.
Phoenix, on the other hand, is a larger city with a vibrant downtown area that offers a wide range of cultural experiences, dining options, and nightlife. It’s also home to many museums and art galleries, as well as beautiful parks and gardens.

Which Is Better Scottsdale Or Sedona?

Sedona and Scottsdale are both beautiful destinations, but they offer very different experiences. Sedona is known for its stunning red rock formations, spiritual energy, and outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking. It is a great destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat. On the other hand, Scottsdale is a luxurious resort town known for its high-end shopping, spas, and beautiful desert landscapes. It’s a great destination for relaxation and outdoor activities, but also offers a vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions.

Is Scottsdale a Walkable City?

While Scottsdale has a walkable downtown area, it is generally not considered a highly walkable city due to its spread-out layout and suburban feel. The downtown area, Old Town Scottsdale, is home to many shops, restaurants, and art galleries that are within walking distance of each other, and there are also several walking and biking trails in the area.

What is Unique About Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a unique city that offers a variety of experiences that set it apart from other destinations. Here are a few things that make Scottsdale unique, Sonoran Desert: One of the most diverse and biologically rich deserts in the world. Art Scene: Many galleries, museums, and public art installations throughout the city.
Luxurious Resorts: World-class spas, golf courses, and pools. Many of the resorts are located in beautiful desert offering stunning views of the landscape. Western History: Scottsdale has a rich history as a western frontier town.
Culinary Scene: Scottsdale has a diverse and innovative culinary scene, with many restaurants offering farm-to-table cuisine, regional Southwestern dishes, and international flavors.

outside nomad jill wheeler author bio
Written by Jill Wheeler

Hi there! I’m Jill, a full-time travel blogger and passionate adventurer. I left the 9-to-5 grind to embrace the nomadic travel lifestyle and have never looked back. I love immersing myself in diverse cultures, and through my stories, photos, and tips, I hope to inspire others to embark on their own adventures. When I’m not exploring the world, you’ll find me skiing, mountain biking, or tasting the culture of breathtaking locations.

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