Conscious Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Scottsdale (Arizona)
Known for its world-class resorts and tranquil desert landscape - Scottsdale is the ultimate retreat for reconnecting with nature while also treating yourself to a little luxury. We put together some of our favorite spots for activities, stays, and eats to take all the planning work out of your next trip to Scottsdale!
Traveling to Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale is just 15 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport so if you're flying, this is the best airport to fly into. We recommend renting a car as the city is spread out and you don't want to be waiting for Uber's when you're trying to beat the crowds (and heat!) at activities.
Best Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona
Did you know Scottsdale is known for being a top resort destination? Our favorite is Andaz Scottsdale - a modern desert oasis resort that is the perfect rejuvenating escape with unmatched amenities and views - just minutes from downtown Scottsdale. Be sure to treat yourself during your stay at their Palo Verde spa, named one of 2021 USA Today's Best Hotel Spas. They also have yoga classes, 3 pools, 24-hour gym access, and more wellness-centered amenities for you to feel your best during your trip!
The best part? Andaz offers Conscious Coconut Cabana Treatments poolside to hydrate and soothe skin after a long day of fun in the sun. Treatments with our Conscious Coconut Oil range from 30 minute foot massages (oh so rejuvenating after a hiking day!) to 90 minute relaxation massages! You’ll even find some Conscious Coconut available in your room to bring along to your adventures to hydrate and soothe skin in the desert heat!
Things to Do in Scottsdale, Arizona
Sunrise Hot Air Ballon Ride: What better way to see Scottsdale and a beautiful sunrise than from colorful hot air balloons? You’ll get amazing views of the mountains, sunrise, and desert! Not a morning person? Some of the companies also offers sunset rides November through mid-March.
Desert Botanical Gardens: Enjoy beautiful trails of desert wildflowers, endless cactus varieties and so much more! It’s a great place to hit in the morning before the heat and then be sure to grab lunch at their restaurant, Gertrude’s!
Cosanti Originals: Whether you’re an art lover or just looking for a unique place to visit - Cosanti Originals is a one-of-a-kind art gallery of Italian-American architect Paolo Soleri. His bronze windbells are known around the world and their unique space showcases a variety of his windbells. Be sure to hit the gift shop after your tour to grab one-of-a-kind pieces for gifts or to bring a piece of your trip home!
Walk around Old Town Scottsdale and do some shopping! From high-end shops to art galleries and family shops - there’s something everyone will enjoy.
Visit the Art Walk: Have some time before dinner or just looking for somewhere to walk with your morning coffee? Head to the heart of Old Town Scottsdale down E Main Street to the ‘Art Walk’ - an area filled with art galleries, statues, and garden courtyards.
Canyon Lake Sunset Steamboat Tour: Just 30 minutes from Scottsdale, book a sunset steamboat tour on the Dolly Steamboat and enjoy the sunset on Canyon Lake! During this 1.5 hour tour of 6 miles of beautiful lake nestled in the canyons - enjoy views of the sunset, desert botanicals, and a variety of animals unique to the area.
Where to Eat in Scottsdale, Arizona
Coffee Shops & Breakfast:
Schmooze: Start your day off with some delicious coffee and bites in a scenic outdoor patio that feels like a garden oasis.
Berdena's: Classic coffee shop loved by locals, named Best Avo Toast in Phoenix.
The Hash Kitchen: A creative eatery with unique menu items and home to the original 'build your own bloody mary’s bar'.
Kaleidoscope Juice: Recharge from travel with some fresh juice or acia bowls to start the day
Olive & Ivy: Mediterranean fare with great views from patio seating along the river canal in the heart of Scottsdale.
Diego Pops: A popular fun spot for Mexican food and drinks, great for lunch or a fun night out.
Virtu: If you’re looking for a special lunch, this restaurant was named ‘Best in America' by Esquire Magazine!
The Mission: A more well-known spots in the area, Mission serves a modern Latin menu in a renovated church. Be sure to book your reservation ahead of time here!
Sel: Named one of the best restaurants in the area - this is a great spot for a special night out!
Francine: Upscale French fare with a beautiful modern interior.
FnB Restaurant: Farm-to-table American fare with fresh seasonal ingredients
Weft and Warp: Located at Andaz Scottsdale, this hidden gem has happy hour from 4:40-6:30PM with $8 drinks and $5 beers. P.S. The patio gives perfect sunset views!
Platform 18: This unique bar is in a Pulllman inspired train car that feels like you're on a real train! The seats slightly vibrate and the large ‘windows’ are screens showing various scenes of traveling through the Rocky Mountains. It’s a super fun spot to hit for some drinks and an experience.
LDV Wine Tasting Room: Local Arizona wine and outdoor seating for enjoying wine flights of their unique flavors.
In need of a sugar-fix? Sugar Bowl is a must on your Scottsdale trip! Built in 1958, this family-run restaurant and ice cream spot has been a tourist attraction and local favorite for decades! Plus, how cute is that retro pink inside and out?
Roadtrip Idea: Sedona, Arizona
About a 2 hour drive, recharge and adventure in beautiful and spiritual Sedona! Sedona is well-known for its vortexes, or special spots on Earth where energy is entering or exiting. It's a great place to reconnect with yourself and nature!
Hiking to Devils Bridge: As one of the most popular trails in Sedona - Devils Bridge is about 4.6 miles round trip. The best times to go are either before 7AM to hit the trail before the crowd or try 4PM when crowds have left for the most part. Plus, you get some beautiful golden lighting for your photos! If you’re coming by car - be sure to get there by 7AM for a spot! There are also shuttle services available that can bring you to the trailhead.
Not looking to hike this trip but still want to adventure? Try the Pink Jeep Tours! With a variety of tour options - you’ll ride with a local guide up rugged, off-road trails for a scenic tour of rock formations, cliffs and more. Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock are two vortexes you may be able to stop by on your hike or tour!