Famous for resorts, an extremely desirable winter climate, and home to the Cactus League, one of the two Major League Baseball spring training leagues, Scottsdale is located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, bordered by Phoenix to the west and the McDowell Mountains to the east.
With a vibrant downtown area featuring more than 90 restaurants, 320 retail shops and 80 art galleries, Scottsdale has earned a reputation as the finest urban center in Arizona. In addition to luxurious resorts, stellar cuisine and several world-class golf courses, Scottsdale’s natural attraction, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, is the largest urban wilderness area in the United States, with more than 60 miles of desert trails.
Must See: Guided tours of the Sonoran Desert provide several ways to experience the landscape, including hiking, bicycling, an off-road tour, a rafting trip, or even by hot-air balloon. Visitors will find unusual wildlife and vegetation, including 2,000 native plant species.
Lodging: Scottsdale is a destination for resort lovers, and several flagship properties of the most luxurious hotel companies are located in the city. Both The Four Seasons Scottsdale and the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch are exceptional, luxury resort properties designed for the most discriminating visitor.
Cuisine: Scottsdale is known for its chili; it’s a hot place with a focus on spice. The restaurants however, particularly in resort destinations, range from casual bistro fare to the highest-end, white-table-cloth service cuisine. Award-winning chefs are now creating bold flavors that please the palate in more than 600 diverse restaurants of the region.
Ground Transportation: After arriving in your private jet, there are plenty of airport shuttles and private ground transportation options in Scottsdale, yet the region is most accessible by car. Guided tours to several nearby attractions are also available.
Packing Tips: Located in a desert, Scottsdale is quite warm all year. Most restaurants, many in resort settings, offer a casual and comfortable atmosphere that requires only preparation of dressing in layers for the changing climate of the day.
Recommended Book: Cactus League: Spring Training, by Susie Steckner, The Mesa Historical Museum. Arizona’s baseball roots run deep, but the star of the show, and a major attraction for visitors, is the Cactus League. The state’s spring training history is filled with social, political, and cultural intrigue, not to mention a roster of baseball greats.
Currency: The U.S. dollar is the local currency.
Calling Code United States: 1
Best Travel Dates: A popular time to travel to Scottsdale is in the winter, when high temperatures reach into the mid 50s and 60s. Scottsdale has earned the title of being the “Sunniest Spot in the Nation” and enjoys about 300 sunny days every year.