3 Days in Scottsdale Itinerary

Tour looks very diverse nowadays relying on where we are from and where we are departing. When it is a matter of a weekend escape destination, the town of Scottsdale is certainly a full package. Scottsdale has very great food and cuisine, and it is intimate to mother nature.

This desert town is artsier than the people think about this place. It is exclusively well recognized for luxurious spas and golfing. There are many more things than just spas and golf.

Many people can find everything of their interest. It is an incredibly artsy city with its numerous art galleries and museums. 

Day 1: Startup the Weekend in Scottsdale’s Old Town 

You will begin your tour in Scottsdale itself. Seek out some of the most remarkable museums, amazing gardens, restaurants, and bars that the town’s main division has to provide.

Breakfast in JoJo Coffee house

You are presumably prepared to hit the ground running on the first day in Scottsdale, but the tour is not perfect until you get the AM cup of coffee or tea. 

Jojo Coffeehouse is provincially famous and a favorite among all because it is a dog-friendly cafe for breakfast! So just sit back and fully enjoy one of the most extraordinary coffee or mimosa flights of Scottsdale.

You may also order another unique item from their enormous bar (open from the morning for the red-eye victors). The breakfast menu card isn’t that considerably gigantic, but their dishes’ taste is just delicious (especially the breakfast bowl) and will set you up for your day in the city!

Walk-through the old city

The old town is the center of Scottsdale city and is famous for joyful walking regions and roads, you would never expect this from a place with that name!

An ordinary weekend in Scottsdale is full of community, perusing the several boutiques and art establishments sprinkled around the town.

With an abundance of local stores, small bakeries, and cafes, and a modicum of museums, I would suggest simply taking the morning to roam around and explore the beautiful town. 

If you are substantial in history, then head to Scottsdale’s Museum of the West to gather more information about the area’s past.

Or, if you would preferably be external then head to the stunning and beautiful Desert Botanical Garden on the city’s outskirts to acquire knowledge of several plants that name the Sonoran Desert home. (Could you say gigantic saguaros?)

Stop by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

scottsdale museum of art exterior

If you have read any of my old city posts, you would conceivably understand that I’m not at all the hugest museum wonk in the world. Once to an extent, though, I would go to a museum that entirely hits my mind.

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art undoubtedly did the thing for me during my stay in the old town. Established in 1999, the museum houses four rotating shows, emphasizing works from internationally famous artists. 

With its popularity and continual experimental components, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is a delicacy for our all senses. When I was there, I got a chance to see an incredible and fascinating sight called “Mutual Reality,” which only uses sensors and cameras coupled with light/gleam and audio displays to allow guests to control the movement and sound installations. That was super cool!

Lunch at Farm & Craft

When you have disbursed the daylight exploring the town, you perhaps have to work up your craving. Fortunately, right in the soul of Old Town, there is a fantastic, panoramic, and completely delicious restaurant called Farm & Craft. As soon as you get inside, you’ll realize what I signify.

Grab some solace during your weekend in Scottsdale. It is crammed with large windows, wall-sized murals, and bar space, it is certainly a perfect place to snatch a great and healthier lunch with an ice-cold soft drink.

They especially serve big bowls with cereals, grains, veggies, proteins, and sauces or graves.

I would certainly recommend ordering one of their signature bowls and with delicious brownie a la mode topping (Yummy…! it’s just delicious, don’t wait too long otherwise, the ice cream will melt!).

Spend the Evening Stargazing  

Tracked down in a dusty and dry desert environment, Scottsdale has some terrific locations for stargazing on the edges of the town. I would certainly like to suggest stargazing someday, eventually during the weekend in Scottsdale.

Some of the parks in Scottsdale are closed in the evenings, but no worries, you can freely drive to the city and begin watching stars quite quickly.

If living in resorts where you can gaze at the stars is vital to you, then I would advise checking in for a night or two at The Boulders Resort or the Four Seasons Scottsdale.

For more information and advice regarding stargazing in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, head towards my companion Valerie’s comprehensive guide to stargazing in Phoenix.

Day 2: Explore the Sonoran Desert

sonoran desert scottsdale arizona

Dissimilar from Day 1, that you spent chiefly indoors in the city, Day 2 will take you through the edges of Scottsdale into the captivating Sonoran Desert.

The Sonoran Desert has plenty of unique and rare flora and fauna species that you would get to feel throughout the day you will spend. The Sonoran Desert is recognized for being the wettest and moistest Desert in the world

Try a Sunrise Hike

sunrise hike

This place is the main destination for all kinds of hiking lovers that offers stunning trails through the desert landscape and amazing views of the Sonoran Desert from above.

There are dozens of unusual hikes in Phoenix and the enclosing areas; rather than these places, there are a couple of most well-known spots to go for a hike in Scottsdale, which can be tried on your next morning in the town.

  • Camelback Mountain: Like one of the most famous hikes in Scottsdale, Camelback Mountain has a few distinct trail alternatives of ranging difficulty for the neophyte and experienced hikers. Citizens tend to suggest initiating this hike in the early morning to catch a sight of the full Scottsdale area as the sun rises. 
  • Pinnacle Peak: If you desire to view some marvelous sights on a relatively challenging track, Pinnacle Peak is a regional favorite convenient to all hikers.
  • McDowell-Sonoran Preserve: This nature sanctuary or preserve on the edges of town has plenty of day-use desert routes which you could explore. As I have only allocated the mornings to accomplish adventure activities, but you can spend the whole day at the Preserve soaking up all it offers. 
Prefer your adventure and exploration: Rock climbing, Horseback Riding, Biking, or Off-Roading. The morning hike is simply the tip of the iceberg.

Afterward, you would be heading towards another outdoor adventure. However, there are many things to do for outdoorsy gangs during the weekend in Scottsdale, so you have to pick and select based on what entertainment you would like to enjoy.

The following is the shortlist of the most famous adventure activities held in Scottsdale:

  •  Mountain Biking- There are tons of mountain biking paths in Scottsdale for bikers of all kinds (and believe me, I am a complete beginner biker, so this is extremely crucial for me). While you just take a bike on rent and blow the ways on your own, I would recommend taking a guided bike trip to catch a glimpse of the best that the Sonoran Desert has. This guided half-day bike tour is an excellent means to explore the Scottsdale bike routes with an expert regional guide and encompasses all of the backpacks you will need. 
  • Rock Climbing- For the adrenaline junkies out there who love to climb and like climbing, Rock Climbing is one of the very well-known activities in the Scottsdale region. 360 Adventures offers half and full-day supervised outdoor rock climbing tours, better for those wanting a certified companion to show them the tremendous rock climbing paths in the region. 
  • Horseback Riding: If you would preferably strike the routes in true ” Wild West” style, then head towards MacDonald’s Ranch for a horseback riding trip. They provide rides through the Desert landscape varying from 1-2 hours. It also includes moonlight riding, especially during the summers! 
  • Off-Roading: Want to strive off-roading in a rocky ATV? Scottsdale has lots of options and choices for you! You can also book the 2-hour guided ATV tour through the adrenaline arousing desert tracks to explore even further wonderful terrain.

Taste the Great Outdoors at Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine

Genuine talk: I have never truly noticed the crossover between outdoor explorations and delicious dining. I understand that hikers need to eat and that food is a crucial factor in travel, but I never imagined getting a real outdoor experience with food. 

The mystic of Cartwright’s is in its ingredients, which comprises greatly foraged components found in the Sonoran Desert. Of course, the cook, Brett Vibber, is an expert in the kitchen and utilizes his ingenious flair to combine the unusual regional ingredients into almost every dish. 

The outcome? A simply outdoor-inspired, explored tasting menu with some of the tastiest veggies, seeds, and meats from simply outdoor to the eatery’s four fences. While the everyday tasting menu was different, I also got to enjoy the local specialties such as foraged carrots and pickled chollas, and coupled.

It is unnecessary to say, but if you finish your day outside with Cartwright’s meal, you will gain a full and awesome outdoor experience in Scottsdale. 

Day 3: Bird’s Eye Views

On your last day in Scottsdale, you will get lots of views of the valley below, snap wildlife and wonderful scenery on the Lower Salt River of Scottsdale. 

Take a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

sunrise hot air balloon

Whether you have experience in a hot air balloon before or not, a hot air balloon ride through the Sonoran Desert is an experience that no one can beat. (And this is showing up by someone who is normally frightened by heights!). I badly suggest taking a sunrise balloon ride if possible to top off your weekend in Scottsdale.

On a hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions over the Desert of Sonoran, you could see small tiny saguaros bumping out of the ground, the curves and turns of the rocky landscape, and breathtaking mount silhouettes in the AM sun. 

There is only one catch: pick-up duration that is as early as 3.30 AM. Yes, that means you have to get to bed early the previous night before the morning. 

I don’t want to spoil all the fun, but here is what you desire to see on a hot air balloon ride in Scottsdale. 

The hot air balloon ride comprises champagne toast and a catered breakfast. After that, the trip guide will drop you back at your respective hotel. 

Kayak Down the Lower Salt River

Once you are done with the hot air balloon, it’s time to whack the water! The Lower Salt River is a fascinating, calm river that winds through the Sonoran Desert.

Here, you can catch a glimpse of bald eagles, wild horses, and several other deserts wildlife. Kayaking it for some time is the best means for exploring this incredible, luxuriant area of desert. 

Ahead of a half-day outing with Arizona Outback Adventures, you will be provided with an inflatable kayak, an oar, and a life vest. They will drop you off at a peaceful area of the river so you can float or swim and paddle through some adorable rock formations and green spaces according to your will and enjoy.

As it is a calming outdoor activity, I tried it during my tour, and I would like to certainly recommend executing this after the hot air balloon ride so that you can enjoy this peacefully while relaxing on the water with a low-key kayaking adventure. 

You may even glimpse some groups of wild horses along the way!

Dinner in Old Town

You will finish off your tour exactly where it began- Old Town’s bustling streets. Take your preference from the various restaurants in the region (some recommendations are given below) for your last dinner in the city.

  • Hula’s Modern Tiki: A delightful Polynesian fusion eatery in Old Town that serves up great fish dishes, including ceviche and barbecued bites.
  • The Mission: It is a Latin original restaurant with amazing cocktails and a variety of great tacos. They are certainly good at catering to dietary impediments, too, and the vegetarians too will have lots of options here. There is no scarcity of choices here.
  • Rehab Burger Therapy: If you are ready or willing to eat a huge burger, Rehab Burger is the place you must visit. They have various burger varieties with different toppings, and wait for a second. Their staff was indeed jovial. 
  • Whenever you choose, don’t skip to snatch a cold one and toast to your joyful weekend in Scottsdale! If it took off anything like a tour, you will possibly already be planning for the next holiday to Scottsdale in no time.
  • Things that should be known before your weekend in Scottsdale:

When to Visit Scottsdale

While there is always something to do all through the year in the Scottsdale region, the best time to visit is generally during fall, winter, and spring, when the weather is favorable.

However, Scottsdale is a BIG visitor destination and could get stuffed during a specific duration of the year, so I would suggest October through December if you want to take advantage of the nicest weather while resisting the populace.   

As for me, I visited Scottsdale in June, which is squarely the sunny summertime there. I will admit that I was terrified. Sometimes, Arizona and sunny sunshine made me concerned about sunburns and heat rashes. Anyways, I had a great time, and the dry climate over there completely made the summer warmth bearable.

While I executed such that I had to begin most of my outdoor activities at sunrise to prevent the heat, the hotel expenses were the lowest of the year, and there were very few tourists around during this period. 

How to Get Around Scottsdale

Learn from the missteps, please- Scottsdale is not an effortless spot to get around very easily through public carriers. I certainly used Uber essentially the whole time I was in the region, but I would necessarily recommend keeping yourself hassle-free and simply renting a car for your weekends in Scottsdale.

Henceforth, the whole Phoenix metropolitan region is extremely spread out. Having a car is the easiest, efficient, and most convenient way to get from one place to another.

I would recommend renting out a car at the airport (I used, and I would suggest Avis ) and using that as a basic means of transportation.

Additionally, if you are only spending three days in Scottsdale, the rental expenses will likely save your money as negated to grabbing taxis/Ubers everywhere. 

Where to Stay in Scottsdale

The stay in Scottsdale is very convenient and pocket-friendly too. I want to recommend Stay With Style Scottsdale for your comfortable stay. The luxurious hotels and resorts are available at affordable prices, adding a good comfort sleep to your whole day’s adventure activities.

Personally, I had a great experience in my booked hotel too. The service was good, the security and safety were also good. The rooms, bathrooms, and several other facilities in the hotel of Scottsdale were quite impressive.

At this decent price range, such good services are surprising. The room services were good overall. The ratings of the hotels here in Scottsdale are decent, good to stay, and will never let down the expectations giving the best experience. 

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