In 1937, famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright placed Scottsdale on the international stage when he set up his winter headquarters, Taliesin West. The architect's influence and presence are visible in buildings that he designed or inspired throughout the region. A major thoroughfare is named in his honor.
Formally incorporated in 1951, Scottsdale lies in the Salt River Valley, an area that is also known as the Valley of the Sun. The city is located in the Sonoran Desert nestled at the base of the McDowell Mountain Range. It is the sixth largest city in Arizona and has an arid climate with mild winters and very hot summers. Summer highs can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Winter lows rarely drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Thousands of tourists visit Scottsdale to enjoy its weather and attractions.
The city is home to several well-known luxury hotels, resorts, and championship golf courses. There is also a large medical community anchored by the internationally renowned Mayo Clinic. Several well-known companies are headquartered in the city, including Go Daddy and P.F. Chang's.
Scottsdale is a center of art, culture, and recreation. The city has more than 125 art galleries and studios, one of the highest per capita concentrations in the country. There are several art, film, and cultural festivals each year. The city plays host to the San Francisco Giants baseball team during spring training and the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. The training facility for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies baseball teams is nearby. Due to its proximity to the mountains, Scottsdale has an active hiking and rock climbing community.
Scottsdale is highly regarded as a top vacation destination and one of the country's most livable cities.
Bandera is a popular restaurant that offers American and Southwestern favorites. Its main attractions include a stadium-style kitchen, a large adobe oven and one of Arizona's most interesting collections of contemporary Native American art.
Bandera is a popular place for locals to mingle because it features a cozy atmosphere that makes eating with friends a joy. You can experience this atmosphere at its peak when you visit Bandera at lunchtime to sample their rotisserie chicken, grilled beef filet and banana cream pie.
The Culinary Dropout:
The Culinary Dropout is a contemporary pub operated by one of Scottsdale's most popular restaurant developers. It is well-known for offering patrons a rustic Southwestern-style atmosphere that is highlighted by richly colored adobe walls and Saltillo tile floors.
The Culinary Dropout's menu features many delicious options that are perfect for a casual lunch or dinner outing. Some of these options include smoked spareribs, oysters Rockefeller and stuffed salmon. Other options include Southwestern favorites including ceviche and carne asada.
The Culinary Dropout also offers many desserts that are the perfect ending to any meal. Some of their most popular deserts include chocolate mousse, baked banana cream custard and treacle tart. Be sure to try one of these desserts with one of the Culinary Dropout™'s coffee drinks to end your meal in style.
Wildfish Seafood Grill:
The Wildfish Seafood Grill™ offers discerning diners high-quality seafood and steaks. It also offers patrons one of Old Town's largest selections of gourmet wines from around the world. It is located north of downtown Scottsdale near several upscale shopping districts.
Old Town Scottsdale in Arizona is located in downtown Scottsdale. It is a great place to do some shopping, check out local galleries, or have a great meal at one of the many ethnic restaurants in the area. Old Town Scottsdale is known in the area as Fifth Avenue Shops. Parking is free in the area and so is the two-hour Scottsdale Trolley Tour. A huge tourist destination, Scottsdale welcomes over 7 million visitors every year. The area has a population of only 200,000 people, but its constant sunniness and broad cultural offerings make it one of the most popular destinations in the Southwest.
Old Town Scottsdale is home to a bounty of galleries and shops. There are dozens of galleries displaying fine arts, such as the Blynn Galleries, Gerbert Contemporary, Gallery Russia, Japanique Gallery, and dozens more. Old Town Scottsdale will fulfill all of your shopping needs, from collectibles to clothing to gardening to jewelry. There are many antique shops in the downtown area for collectors and spectating tourists to explore.
The dining options in Old Town Scottsdale are seemingly limitless. You'll find cuisine from so many different cultures including French, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Italian, and Mexican. There are also plenty of snacking options including ice cream shops to cool you down in the heat and See's Candies to fulfill your chocolate cravings.
Beyond the eating and shopping you will find in Old Town Scottsdale plenty of things to do. There are 50 golf courses in Scottsdale, including some Championship courses. The Phoenix Open is played in Scottsdale each year during the wintertime. The McCormick Stillman Railroad Park has train exhibits and even has a family-friendly train ride. Or you can take a free guided tour on the Scottsdale Trolley. This two-hour tour will give you the lowdown on all the attractions, galleries, dining and shopping in Old Town Scottsdale. Theaters and museums can be found along the landscape of Old Town Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts puts on theatrical events and educational programming. To get into the history and culture of the Scottsdale area, check out the Scottsdale Historical Society and Museum, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, or the House of Broadcasting. You can even see the Fiesta Bowl Museum and Headquarters, home of the Insight Bowl and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl college football games.
Most tourists in Old Town Scottsdale will use a car to get around. There are several rental car agencies in the area. The most convenient option for those flying into Phoenix is to pick up a rental car at the airport when arriving and drop it back off when departing. There is usually no problem with parking in Old Town Scottsdale, though sometimes drivers will need to pay to use a parking lot. Drivers do need to be careful for traffic cameras while they are driving in Scottsdale. These traffic cameras are everywhere in Scottsdale, and a getting a speeding ticket here is an expensive proposition.
Valley Metro runs buses that will transport passengers around Old Town Scottsdale. These buses will also connect passengers to routes that run to the rest of Scottsdale as well as the rest of the Phoenix metro area. The buses are fairly efficient, but it will usually take a transfer to travel any significant distance on the Valley Metro buses.
Scottsdale Trolley is a free trolley service that runs through Old Town Scottsdale. The trolleys arrive at stops every ten minutes, so this is a great way to get around the area. The trolleys are a lot of fun to ride and they offer passengers great views of Old Town.
Many of the shops and tourist attractions that draw tourists to Old Town Scottsdale are within walking distance of each other. However, visitors that are not used to the desert heat of Scottsdale should take it slow and be cautious when walking. Be sure to take water along and to wear plenty of sunblock to protect from the effects of the desert sun.
There are a few bike rental shops in the Old Town area. Getting around by bicycle is a great way to explore this beautiful neighborhood. Be sure to get a sturdy bike lock with the rental and to use it whenever leaving the bike unattended. A bike that is left unlocked for even a few minutes is in danger of being stolen.
Luci's Joyrides is a shop in Old Town Scottsdale that rents visitors scooters and mopeds to explore the area. Rentals are available on an hourly, daily, and weekly basis. This is a really fun way to get around the area, and the weather is so sunny in Scottsdale that there is rarely a danger of getting rained on.
Little Red Schoolhouse
Families with children of all ages will want to pay a visit to the Little Red Schoolhouse in Old Town Scottsdale that is now home to the Scottsdale Historical Museum. The main street of the original townsite ran right in front of the school that contained only two classrooms. Below the first floor is a level formerly used for town meetings and as a church. Large numbers of Mexican children were taught here when their families came to the area to work the cotton fields. In November of 1991, the museum was opened after the structure had been used over the years at various times as a library, City Hall, and Chamber of Commerce headquarters. The museum displays antique furniture originally used by the city's founding fathers. Visitors can also see what it was like to be in school way back then as they view a replica of a schoolroom from 1910.
Cavalliere's Blacksmith Shop
An interesting stop for old and young alike is to visit Cavalliere's Blacksmith Shop. The blacksmith who brought his family to town sometime around 1910 was George Cavalliere. He asked to be allowed to build his shop on Main Street but was told that the only place he could construct it was "out on the edge of town." The structure was first made of tin and then later replaced in 1920 with the adobe building that still stands. The family named Cavalliere still owns the blacksmith shop and is still in business today. Not only do they perform blacksmith operations but also make wrought iron ornamental pieces as well.
Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts
Families always enjoy the wonderful range of entertainment found at Scottsdale Center For The Performing Arts. Ballet, opera, holiday concerts, and dance are all on the menu for audiences all year long. Live performances bring the magic of real entertainment to a virtual world.
Every visitor to the city of Scottsdale absolutely must put on the agenda a trip to view Frank Lloyd Wright's magnificent Taliesin West. Constructed as only Wright could do, this masterpiece was built from rocks that were gathered from the surrounding desert and from sand that was collected from nearby washes. The construction in this manner keeps the design of the building in line with the environment of the region. Wright used the fabulous facility for his personal home and his studio, as well as for a laboratory for his architectural designs.