A seriously spacious and dynamic desert city in the east of Arizona, Scottsdale promises plenty of alfresco activities and unique adventures - from art walks and world-class golf to superb shopping and seriously scenic hiking in the desert - as well as some utterly exceptional luxury hotels. To help you plan your luxury Scottsdale holiday, here are seven (of many) things to do during your stay.
1. Explore the Old Town
The vibrant heart of the city is Scottsdale Old Town, which beautifully blends urban chic and Old West charm. There's simply so much to see and discover as you stroll through its nine walkable neighbourhoods. You may choose to sample delicious local dishes on a guided food tour or try out renowned Arizona label as you wander the Wine Trail. If museums are your thing, don't miss the super-cool exhibitions at the cutting-edge Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder. The minimalist building includes a public "skyspace" by the acclaimed artist James Turrell (one of only a handful in the world), where you can experience the ever-changing light of the desert sky. Or, head back in time and embrace the spirit of the American West at Scottsdale's Museum of the West. If you tire of walking, historical golf carts can whisk you through the charming Old Town, whilst there's also complimentary parking if you're hiring a car.
2. Marvel at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve
If Scottsdale's bustling Old Town is the city's heart, the Sonoran Desert is its soul. Amid its sprawling red sands, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is dedicated to cherishing the local landscape. Here, enjoy exceptional hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock-climbing and trail running experiences on 225 miles of trails, including the award-winning Bajada Nature Trail.
3. Shop until you drop
For a touch (or more) of retail therapy, there is a duo of upscale open-air shopping centres on either side of Scottsdale Road: Kierland Commons & Scottsdale Quarter. As well as a wealth of designer and boutique stores, there's plenty to keep the whole family busy - from restaurants and day spas to splashpads for the little ones. In Scottsdale Old Town, browse the latest on-trend styles at Scottsdale Fashion Square or the 5th Avenue shops. Over 35 eating establishments and 80 specialty shops are within a five-minute walk of the famous Bob Park's Horse Fountain, one of Arizona's most photographed spots.
4. Tour the Taliesin West architectural school
Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright was so captivated by the Sonoran Desert's natural beauty and sunny climate that he chose Scottsdale as the location for his winter home and architectural school, Taliesin West, back in 1937. This is Scottsdale's only National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It serves as a prime example of Wright's organic architecture, showcasing striking structures that are built of the rocks and sand of the Sonoran Desert and meld to the lower McDowell Mountains. Daily tours (either with an audio or in-person guide) provide an insider's look into Wright's airy, ingenious designs and his ability to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor spaces.
5. Head off-road into the desert
Whether you're an adventure junkie or simply seeking a little southwestern history and culture, no luxury Scottsdale holiday is complete without heading into the depths of the dreamy desert. Hop in a Jeep or Hummer for guided tours into the Sonoran Desert's most remote locales, learning all about the area's fascinating eco-system, geology and cultural history.
6. Enjoy the Scottsdale ArtWalk
If you're an art lover, don't miss the renowned and completely complimentary Scottsdale ArtWalk that takes place each Thursday evening between 7 and 9pm. Browsers and buyers alike are welcomed with live music, artist demonstrations and exhibit openings in the galleries along Main Street and Marshall Way in the Old Town Arts District. As well as the regular evening, special themed events take place throughout the year, including the Summer Spectacular ArtWalk in July and the fabulously festive Scottsdazzle ArtWalk in December.
7. Play at the some of the best golf courses in the world
Golf fanatics will be in pure paradise thanks to the choice of legendary golf courses in Scottsdale - including TPC Scottsdale, Troon North and Grayhawk. Add in stunning Sonoran Desert and mountain views at every turn, impeccably manicured greens and top-notch staff, and you'd be hard pressed to find a more welcoming place to enjoy the round of a lifetime.
Luxury Hotels in Scottsdale
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
South West styling
This hotel has all the fabulous Four Seasons bells and whistles, whilst still maintaining a unique sense of place, keeping very much to the South West style of the property with a modern twist.
The fabulous Funician's Club will keep little ones happily entertained, whilst there's also a Kidzone splash pool area and an athletics club for sports-mad minis.
Canyon Suites at The Phoenician
This intimate 60-room boutique hideaway is part of the larger Phoenician resort. It combines privacy and its own exclusive facilities (including a pool area and cabanas) with the wider resort's amenities (including various restaurants and a spa), whilst also offering access to a car that can take you into the Old Town.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The Willow Stream Spa is easily one of the best in Scottsdale, paying tribute to the Arizona landscape - both in its design and its natural, locally inspired treatments.
Alongside a minimalistic design and unique bungalow architecture, they have a partnership with Cattletrack Arts Compound, a local artist community. They offer experiences with them, as well as featuring their local art throughout the resort.