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Experience Scottsdale like a Local: 6 Must-Do Activities


Welcome to Scottsdale, Arizona – a city known for its luxurious resorts and spas. But did you know there’s more to this desert destination than just pampering? We’re here to show you how to truly experience Scottsdale like a local. From exploring the Sonoran Desert on horseback to indulging in farm-to-table fare, we’ve rounded up 6 must-do activities that will give you a taste of what the locals adore. So, forget the crowded resorts and come with us as we take you off the beaten path to discover the authentic soul of Scottsdale.,

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Explore the Sonoran Desert on Horseback

Horseback Riding Sonoran Desert
Horseback Riding Sonoran Desert

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert is on horseback. Saddle up at one of the many ranches in the area and set off on a guided trail ride that will take you through the stunning landscape of cacti, mesquite trees, and rocky hillsides. As you ride, you’ll have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as jackrabbits, quail, and maybe even a coyote or two.

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Don’t worry if you’re a beginner, most ranches offer rides for all levels of experience, and the guides are knowledgeable and friendly. You’ll learn about the history of the area, the flora and fauna, and maybe even some cowboy lore. And of course, you’ll get to see some of the most breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert that you can’t access by foot.

It’s always a fun thing to do and to take a different perspective on horseback. This is a truly unique experience that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Scottsdale.,

Hike to the Top of Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain - Popular Hiking Spot in Scottsdale
Camelback Mountain – Popular Hiking Spot in Scottsdale

One of the best ways to experience Scottsdale is to hike to the top of Camelback Mountain. If you are up to the task, this strenuous hike is not for the faint of heart, but the reward at the top is worth it – a stunning panoramic view of the city and surrounding mountains. Make sure to bring plenty of water, wear sturdy shoes, and start early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day.

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Once you’ve conquered Camelback Mountain, it’s time to relax and sample some local craft beer and cocktails. Check out one of the many breweries or bars in Old Town Scottsdale, where you can find unique concoctions and a lively atmosphere. Be sure to ask the bartenders for their recommendations – they’re passionate about their craft and always happy to share their knowledge with visitors.,

Sample Local Craft Beer and Cocktails


Check out one of the many breweries or bars in Old Town Scottsdale for a taste of the local craft beer and cocktail scene. With unique concoctions and a lively atmosphere, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. The passionate bartenders are always happy to share their recommendations with visitors, so don’t be afraid to ask. Indulge in a refreshing drink after conquering Camelback Mountain and take in the vibrant culture of Scottsdale.

Once you’ve satisfied your thirst, it’s time to indulge in some farm-to-table fare.,

Indulge in Farm-to-Table Fare

T. Cook's Restaurant Scottsdale at The Royal Palms Resort & Spa
T. Cook’s Restaurant Scottsdale at The Royal Palms Resort & Spa

Scottsdale is not only known for its bustling food and drink scene but also for its commitment to sustainable and locally sourced ingredients. Indulge in some of the best farm-to-table fare the city has to offer by visiting one of its many restaurants that prioritize fresh and seasonal ingredients. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast, a gourmet lunch, or a decadent dinner, you’ll find plenty of options to choose from.

One of the most popular farm-to-table restaurants in Scottsdale is The Mission. This upscale eatery boasts a contemporary Latin American menu that features locally sourced meats, fresh seafood, and seasonal vegetables. Another must-visit spot is FnB, which prides itself on using only Arizona-sourced ingredients and offers an ever-changing menu of innovative dishes.

After indulging in some delicious farm-to-table fare, it’s time to explore Scottsdale’s vibrant arts and culture scene. With a variety of galleries, museums, and performance venues, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to discover the city’s creative side.,

Discover the Arts and Culture Scene


After satiating your appetite with some of Scottsdale’s best farm-to-table cuisine, it’s time to uncover the city’s thriving arts and culture scene. With numerous galleries, museums, and performance venues, there’s no shortage of creative inspiration to be found in Scottsdale.

You could start by visiting the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, which showcases thought-provoking exhibits of contemporary art, design, and architecture. If you’re interested in Native American art, check out the Heard Museum, which features an extensive collection of traditional and contemporary works of art.

For a more interactive experience, head over to the Musical Instrument Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of musical instruments from around the world. You can also catch a live performance at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts a range of shows from comedies to dramas to dance performances.

Exploring Scottsdale’s arts and culture scene is an excellent way to get a sense of the city’s vibrant creative energy. And with so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find something that speaks to you. Next, take a stroll through the charming Old Town district and immerse yourself in Scottsdale’s rich history.,

Stroll Through Old Town


The Old Town district in Scottsdale is a true gem, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history. As you walk along the streets, you’ll notice the unique architecture of the buildings, many of which date back to the early 1900s. The district is home to a plethora of restaurants, shops, and galleries, providing something for everyone.

Old Town Scottsdale Picture
Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town is where the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is located in a beautifully restored movie theater. The museum showcases contemporary and modern art exhibits and installations that are sure to impress art lovers.

After exploring the museum, take a leisurely stroll through Old Town’s Main Street, where you’ll find a variety of shops selling everything from handmade jewelry to southwestern souvenirs. Stop by the Rusty Spur Saloon, a historic bar that has been serving locals and visitors alike since 1951 and is a favorite spot for live country music.

As you continue your walk, make sure to take in the unique Western-themed sculptures and public art installations scattered throughout the district. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a guided horseback ride through the Sonoran Desert, which is just a short distance away.

A stroll through Old Town is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Scottsdale’s vibrant history and culture. After all, it’s not just the food, amenities, or scenery that make a place special- it’s the people, the stories, and the history behind it.,

In conclusion, Scottsdale has a lot more to offer than just luxurious resorts and spas. By exploring the Sonoran Desert on horseback, hiking to the top of Camelback Mountain, sampling local craft beer and cocktails, indulging in farm-to-table cuisine, discovering the arts and culture scene, and strolling through Old Town, you’ll get a taste of what the locals love about this city.

So, next time you visit Scottsdale, step off the beaten path and try something new. As the saying goes, “When in Scottsdale, do as the locals do.”

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