Scottsdale, Arizona, also known as “The West’s Most Western Town,” is a city where the wild west gently merges with sophistication and class. This gorgeous town is situated in the picturesque Sonoran Desert next to the beautiful McDowell Mountains.
Scottsdale averages 314 days of sun each year, making it one of the sunniest cities in the United States. Talk about a great place for fun outdoor activities!
The area is also known for its luxury shopping, stylish galleries, relaxing spas, and fine dining. When you make Scottsdale your home, you’ll have all the best attractions, adventures, and activities waiting for you right outside your door each day.
Living in Scottsdale
Scottsdale is a great, fun-filled place for young adults and for those who are raising a family. It’s also rated the best city to retire in within the United States. People are flocking to this exciting town because of its safety, family-friendly atmosphere, great schools, weather, and outdoor activities.
The city also has a fantastic job market. In fact, in 2019 and 2020, Scottsdale was named the best city to find a job in the U.S. The city’s economy thrives off the tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and professional and financial industries.
Scottsdale is also in a wonderful location for those who like to venture outside of the city limits. It about 30 minutes from Phoenix, less than an hour from Tonto National Forest, and only a couple hours from Grand Canyon National Park. Many residents enjoy “staycations” or day trips because the area offers so many incredible activities and attractions.
Best Scottsdale Neighborhoods
The city of Scottsdale is one of the best places to live in Arizona for families. One wonderful thing about Scottsdale is that it offers a variety of housing and neighborhood options. Whether you’re looking for affordability or extravagance, you will find it here!
If you’re seeking a prestigious community, check out Ancala. The average price of a home in this beautiful, gated community is $1.29 million. The views and amenities offered here are among some of the best in the state.
Golf enthusiasts might enjoy Troon North, which is a large master-planned golf community. It is situated in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Expect to pay around $900,000 for a home in this gorgeous neighborhood.
Younger couples seeking all the best nightlife might enjoy living in Downtown Scottsdale. With numerous restaurants and shops, this neighborhood is perfect for those who love city life. The median home price in this community is around $499,000.
Are you looking for an affordable, artistic neighborhood? If so, South Scottsdale may be perfect for you! You’ll enjoy living near several art galleries, and there are many job opportunities in this area. The average price for a home in South Scottsdale is $290,000, making it a perfect community for middle-class families.
Things to Do in Scottsdale
Whether you are a shopaholic, outdoor enthusiast, thrill seeker, or an art fanatic, you’ll find activities that you’ll love in Scottsdale!
This breathtaking city has some of the best shopping in Arizona. In fact, Scottsdale offers over 2,500 luxury boutiques, stores, and malls. You’ll find souvenir stores, clothing boutiques, jewelers, Native American markets, and so much more.
Scottsdale is also home to the highest number of luxury and destination spas in the country. Enjoy a day of rest and relaxation in one of these incredible, high-end spas.
If you love the great outdoors or are always looking for your next heart pounding adventure, “The West’s Most Western Town,” has you covered. With the abundant sunshine, there is no reason you should stay indoors! Go hiking to experience the desert up-close and personal. Or perhaps you’d like to enjoy the scenery on horseback or riding a mountain bike. If water sports are more your thing, there is tubing and white-water rafting in the area. There are so many wonderful outdoor activities in Scottsdale that the whole family will love.
Scottsdale boasts around 100 museums and art galleries for those who appreciate the art scene. You’ll find museums that showcase Scottsdale’s history, as well as contemporary and modern art museums and galleries.
Golf in Scottsdale
Some of Arizona’s best golf courses are found in Scottsdale! With over 200 courses, the city is often called “The World's Finest Golf Destination.”
For secluded fairways and a serene golf experience, check out Quintero Golf Club and Course. This course was inspired by some of the world’s most distinguished golf courses, and the semi-private course has some of the smoothest Bentgrass greens in the state.
If you’re looking for awe-inspiring views of the Sonoran Desert and McDowell Mountains, check out The Raptor at Greyhawk Golf Club. You’ll find that this public course boasts strategically placed bunkers and well-maintained fairways and greens.
The We-Ko-Pa Golf Club is unique because you won’t find homes or condos placed next to its two courses. In fact, We-Ko-Pa Golf Club sits on protected land, so this area will never be commercially developed. You’ll experience beautiful, untouched desert views as you play these award-winning courses.
For a walkable golf course, try Talking Stick Golf Club. This 36-hole facility is in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The flat land of the O'odham is perfect for old-school golfers who like to ditch the golf cart. The Piipaash is a shorter course which has more trees and water. Both courses offer tranquility and magnificent mountain vistas.
Troon North Golf Club offers two stunning 18-hole golf courses that meander through the foothills and ravines of Pinnacle Peak. This “Crown Jewel” of North Scottsdale provides impeccable customer service and flawlessly groomed fairways. You’ll love this iconic golf course!
Fun Tours and other Outdoor Adventures
You’ll find countless guided and self-guided tours around Scottsdale. When you live in this area, adventure awaits you around every twist and turn.
Take a tour of Taliesin West! This stunning property was home to Frank Lloyd Wright from 1937 until 1959. Tour his winter home and school and learn about his contributions to the world of architecture.
Visit the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, where you can go mountain biking, hiking, trail running, horseback riding, and rock climbing. Experience 225 miles of beautiful desert land on one of North America’s largest urban preserves. You may even run across one of their Conservancy Stewards, who will be available for information and assistance.
Get a bird’s eye view of Scottsdale when you take a hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions. Imagine the thrills you’ll experience as you float across the gorgeous desert sky. You’ll even enjoy a post-flight champagne toast and catered meal. What a memorable experience!
If you’re looking for even more thrills, go offroading with Desert Dog Offroad Adventures ATV/UTV and Private Jeep Tours. Desert Dog even offers a Private Jeep Sunset and Critter Hunt Tour. Ride across vigorous desert terrain and enjoy the gorgeous Arizona sunset. You never know what kind of nocturnal friends you may see while on your tour!
Restaurants and Nightlife
Scottsdale offers an astonishing 800 restaurants for your enjoyment. You’ll find Mexican, American, Southwestern, Asian, sports bars, bakeries, and more!
Enjoy dinner in an 85-year-old adobe home when you visit Old Town Tortilla Factory. Sip on one of their award-winning margaritas while savoring the flavors of their Mahi Mahi Tacos. This unique restaurant is the perfect mixture of Southwestern flair and timeless charm.
Fogo de Chão Churrascaria offers endless tableside service that is unmatched. Sample 16 signature cuts of meat and all the gourmet salads and sides that come with them. This Brazilian steakhouse creates a dining atmosphere that is unlike any other.
If you’re ready for a fun night out in Scottsdale, you’re in luck! Live music and bars abound in and around the city. You’ll find fancy lounges, bars with a honkytonk vibe, and everything in between.
For a pre-dinner cocktail, be sure to check out Waltz and Weiser Whiskey Bar and Cantina. This unique bar pays homage to Arizona’s mining history and offers an Old West ambiance.
If you’re looking for an upscale bar, try Beverly on Main, which is truly one of Scottsdale’s best kept secrets. Relax on one of their fine leather couches while chatting with friends. What a fun night!
Festivals and Events
Fun festivals and events are everywhere in Scottsdale! You’ll find art celebrations, food fairs, parties, horse shows, and more in this beautiful Sonoran Desert city.
Take in all that the Historic Arts District has to offer with the Scottsdale ArtWalk. The walk takes place each Thursday evening, and it is a fantastic way to browse area art galleries and sample some of the best food and drinks in Scottsdale.
To enjoy even more amazing Scottsdale cuisine, check out the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. You’ll find live music and delicious tastings from over 35 restaurants. Sample dishes from all over the world! Enjoy some of Scottsdale’s best beers, wines, and spirits. The festival even offers culinary demonstrations, in which the chefs showcase useful cooking tips.
The Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show has been around since 1955 and is one of the top events within the Arabian horse world. Over 2,000 horses come to the area to compete, and the event attracts some of the best Arabian owners and trainers in the world.
If you are a taco lover, you won’t want to miss the Arizona Taco Festival! Eleven years ago, the first ever taco festival was created right here in Scottsdale. Attend the Taco Gordo Taco Eating Contest or sample tequila at the Tequila Expo. There’s a Hot Chili Pepper Eating Contest, live music, and even a Chihuahua Beauty Pageant! Experience all things “taco” for two straight days at the Arizona Taco Festival.
Make sure to check out the Scottsdale International Film Festival, which has presented over 700 films in its 20-year history. This annual 10-day destination event connects movie lovers with all different types of films, ranging from Indie films to Academy Award winning movies.
Best Schools in Scottsdale
Scottsdale offers some of highest rated schools in the state. While there is an abundance of incredible schools in the city, check out a few of the top-rated institutions below.
BASIS Scottsdale is rated one of the top public schools in Arizona. It is a charter school with a generous teacher/student ratio of 11:1. An impressive 93% of students are proficient in math, while 91% are proficient in reading.
Another remarkable high school is Great Hearts Academies, which is a state-chartered public school. This school provides an honors level liberal arts curriculum and focuses on preparing students for higher education. Great Hearts has a high participation level in its athletic departments.
BASIS Scottsdale Primary West Campus and East Campus are both top-rated charter schools, and they accommodate grades K-4. They boast an incredible staff that cares deeply about each student.
Lastly, Archway Classical Academy Scottsdale is a top-rated non-profit public charter school that provides a classical liberal arts curriculum for grades K-5. Over 80% of students are proficient in both reading and math.
Scottsdale offers sunny weather year-round, with cloudy skies only appearing around 51 days per year. The temperature in Scottsdale ranges depending on the season. However, winters are mild, and temperatures often rise above 60 degrees.
Late spring is a great time for outdoor activities, as there is minimal rainfall, and the average daytime temperature is usually close to 80 degrees. Summer can get quite warm, but the lack of humidity makes the heat bearable. Late summer and fall usually see more rainy days than the other seasons.
Scottsdale is home to over a quarter million people and is the 85th largest city in the United States by population. Scottsdale’s median age is 47, and more than 50% of adults have earned at least a bachelor’s degree.
The male to female ratio is almost split evenly, with there being a 51% female and 49% male population in Scottsdale. Additionally, over 40% of households make more than $100,000 per year, with most residents working in management or office jobs.
History of Scottsdale
In 1888, an Army chaplain named Winfield Scott purchased 640-acres of land for the purpose of farming. He and his brother George were Scottsdale’s first residents. At that time, the city was named Orangedale. It wasn’t long before schools, a general store, and a post office opened their doors.
However, the area didn’t see very much growth in its population until the development of the Roosevelt and Granite Reef dams. Afterwards, Scottsdale saw a large increase in ranches and farms.
In the 1950s, the town grew to a population of over 10,000 people. By 1990, more than 130,000 people lived in the city. As of 2019, the Scottsdale, AZ, population is 258,000.
10 Unique Facts About the City
Just for fun, check out these neat facts about Scottsdale!
- The city used to be named Orangedale because the area was great for growing citrus trees.
- You can go to school to earn a cowboy degree at Arizona Cowboy College.
- Scottsdale’s fire trucks are Chartreuse (a green/yellow color) instead of the traditional fire engine red.
- Chili has been the city’s official food since 1994.
- Papago Park was POW camp that housed German prisoners during World War II.
- “Wayne’s World” was filmed in Scottsdale.
- Around 40,000 people visit the downtown bars and clubs each week.
- The town was not incorporated until 1951.
- When Winfield Scott purchased the 640-acre lot where Old Town Scottsdale is currently located, it only cost him the equivalent of $92 in today’s money.
- The city has been ranked in the top 5 U.S. cities for luxury homes.
Scottsdale is a magical city that offers authentic wild west experiences, luxurious shopping excursions, fine dining, and so much more. People of all ages and backgrounds enjoy Scottsdale because it truly has so much to offer. This breathtaking Sonoran Desert city is a fabulous place to call home!