Most international visitors to the States may overlook Scottsdale. But Scottsdale, Arizona can be the perfect getaway destination for those looking for the perfect mix of hot sunny weather and high society. For a small city in the middle of the desert, Scottsdale packs a lot of culture, gastronomy and swanky leisure activities any jetsetter would enjoy.
Here are 5 uber-fun, exclusive must-do’s that seriously need to be checked off your Scottsdale list!
1. Eat at Cowboy Ciao.
Cowboy Ciao is a marvelous, one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience that’ll have you tipping your hat to the American southwest. With an original blend of Southwest, Mexican and Italian cuisine that has since expanded to other global influences, Cowboy Ciao serves refined Americana comfort food.
Expect classic entrees elegantly garnished with corn, chili and barbecue sauce. Try familiar dishes with a creative twist like the Buffalo Carpaccio “rolled in a red chili/cumin dry rub” or the scallops crusted with corn nuts. The restaurant also boasts a huge wine selection with close to 2000 options. Cowboy Ciao is a unique restaurant with all the southwestern flare that could only exist in swanky Scottsdale, Arizona. Definitely can’t be missed if you’re ever in the area!
2. Visit the Museum of the West.
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is an American history museum like no other. Set in a gorgeous modern space with a bucolic feel, the museum brilliantly showcases the trailblazing culture, art and spirit of the American west. The most exciting collection has to be the original cowboy paraphernalia and gear, including shiny spurs, leather gun slings, ropes, chaps, cowboy hats and revolvers.
Museum of the West also does an amazing job documenting Native American history before, during and after Western settlers encroached on their territory. It has a big collection of breathtaking art, sculptures, textiles and artifacts by Native American tribes in the West.
Museum of the West is an outstanding space that perfectly captures the rugged, revolutionary and resilient spirit that defines the American West, past and present, which visitors must see to understand this extraordinary region of the United States.
3. Scope out the scenery at the Desert Botanical Garden.
The Desert Botanical Garden is a large, curated botanical space that features many of the plant species found in the Sonoran Desert which stretches across Southern Arizona and Mexico. The most distinct plant is the saguaro cactus, the picturesque cactus that grows with many arms, which is only found in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. You’ll see plenty of saguaros dotting the pristine desert landscape all throughout the garden.
Visitors will also see thousands of species of agave, yucca, mesquite and other desert plants as well as exhibitions showcasing the life of desert tribes throughout Arizona and Northern Mexico. The garden is huge with multiple trails extending across 140 acres. Be sure to allow yourself lots of time to see as much as you can and experience the colorful, serene vibes of the Sonoran Desert.
4. Learn about architecture at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West.
Taliesin West is the home Frank Lloyd Wright built in 1937 where he designed many momentous buildings, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The Arizona desert was Wright’s winter home when he wanted to escape the Midwest. It is now the location of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and visitors can tour the property to directly see and learn about the architect’s work.
5. Hit up a pool party at Hotel Valley Ho.
There’s nothing like soaking up the Scottsdale heat with a swinging pool party at Hotel Valley Ho. Hotel Valley Ho is an iconic hotel in the heart of Scottsdale that’s been THE place to getaway for Hollywood stars and high society since the 1950s. Starting in March the hotel throws swanky pool parties at the OHasis pool. Enjoy live music, DJs, cabanas and handcrafted cocktails with Scottsdale’s finest for a getaway you’re unlikely to forget!
Photos: Nadia Cho
What’s your fave thing to do in Scottsdale? Share with us in the comments.