Scottsdale: The Valley’s Most Livable City
Millions of visitors come to Scottsdale yearly for luxury resorts, spas, and world-class golf. While tourism accounts for 40% of the local economy, this East Valley Phoenix suburb is also beloved by residents because it offers abundant amenities that epitomize the Arizona lifestyle. Scottsdale is a city with myriad cultural, outdoor, sports, and many activities, as well as a thriving downtown area with dozens of restaurants and entertainment options.
Scottsdale gives buyers all kinds of reasons to move here, including first-rate health care through a major branch of the famed Mayo Clinic. This city of more than 268,000 residents, with its motto, “The West’s Most Western Town,” is an entity in itself. Let’s take a look at what you can find here.
Things to Do
Residents have three main places to go for activities, dining, shopping, and entertainment, as well as many smaller, local areas that feature specialized events throughout the year.
Downtown Scottsdale has two distinct areas, including the Entertainment District with restaurants and nightlife and Scottsdale Waterfront along the Salt River Canal with an upscale mall, restaurants, and high-end condominiums and apartments. If you love luxury shopping, Scottsdale Fashion Square is adjacent to downtown Scottsdale. This 2-million-square foot retail mall features name brands like Versace, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, and Prada.
Old Town Scottsdale
If you love history, there’s no better place to visit than Old Town Scottsdale. Located just south of Downtown Scottsdale, you’ll find unique historical buildings like the Blacksmith Shop, the little Red Schoolhouse, and the Rusty Spur Saloon. It’s also a great place to stroll, shop the many boutiques, walk through the art galleries, eat at award-winning restaurants and simply enjoy life. Scottsdale Stadium, the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants, is just southeast of Old Town.
In North Scottsdale, Kierland Commons and the adjacent Scottsdale Quarter has a chic collection of shopping, dining, and entertainment. You’ll find a combination of local and chain restaurants, movie theaters, and special events throughout the year.
Foodies will find more than 750 restaurants in Scottsdale, ranging from mom-and-pop eateries and pancake houses, ethnic restaurants, steakhouses, and five-star fine-dining establishments. Talk to ten people, and you’ll get ten different opinions on where to go for the best meals. Among the restaurants with outstanding reputations are:
- Café Monarch – Named one of the best restaurants in the county
- Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
- Goldwater Brewing Co.
- Franco’s Italian Café
- Jalepeno Inferno – Great Mexican
- Grassroots Kitchen and Tap
- Mowry & Cotton
- Rehab Burger Therapy
- Los Olivos – An original for old town Scottsdale
- The Mission – Fantastic Cocktails
Scottsdale is a paradise for those who love to spend time outdoors. The city has an extensive public parks system, with larger facilities like Scottsdale Sports Complex, Sandpiper Park, Cactus Park, El Dorado Park, and Chaparral Park, featuring multiple sports courts, fields, playgrounds, pools, and running/biking paths. Residents often run/bike/walk on the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt. However, the main attractions for outdoor enthusiasts are the McDowell Mountain Preserve, the Phoenix Mountains Preserves, and Cave Buttes Recreation Area, all with multiple trailheads and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Best Scottsdale Golf Courses
Living in Scottsdale wouldn’t be complete without a round or two of golf. According to Golf breaks, the best courses in a city packed with them are:
- We-Ko-Pa Golf Club, in the Sonoran Desert, owned by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
- Troon North, considered Scottsdale’s Crown Jewel
- TPC Scottsdale
- Talking Stick, situated on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community
- Boulders Resort and Spa
- Grayhawk Golf Course
Where to Play Tennis and Pickleball
Virtually all country clubs and resorts have excellent courts, although some have a guest- or members-only policies. Yet, you’ll still find dozens of places to play, including:
- Indian School Park & Tennis Center
- Scottsdale Ranch Park & Tennis Center
- DC Ranch Village Tennis Center
- Seth Korey Tennis Center
- Indian Bend Tennis & Pickleball Center
Popular Neighborhoods in Scottsdale
While Scottsdale has a reputation as a high-end luxury enclave, the reality is buyers can find residences at many different price points ranging from cozy condominiums to multi-million dollar estates and many levels in between. South Scottsdale tends to have more economical neighborhoods, but you can find economical condos and townhomes throughout the community. Among the more popular neighborhoods are the planned communities of McCormick Ranch, Windgate Ranch and Gainey Ranch, downtown Scottsdale for professionals who prefer a more urban setting, and North Scottsdale with its large properties and sense of privacy.
New Scottsdale Businesses
The Wine Collective of Scottsdale, 4020 N. Scottsdale Road, No. 104, 480-912-1746.
This brand-new tasting room offers patrons tastings from established Arizona wineries and emerging winemakers who don’t have their own tasting room. Each flight, ranging from $18 to $24, features four wines and offers the opportunity to learn more about the terroirs, varietals, and winemakers.
Gastromé Market, 7704 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd., Unit 140, 480-656-1327.
Located in the Gainey Ranch Shops Plaza, this new concept combines high-end food markets and a 1,500-square-foot restaurant featuring an ever-changing menu of hot and cold entrees. The 3,500-square-foot market houses specialty shops run by specialists versed in local and imported specialty foods. Among the items shoppers will find are two dedicated cheese shots, cured meats, caviar, olive oils, spices, sauces, pasta, nuts, pastries, and honey and jams.