7 Days in Scottsdale
A whole week in Scottsdale – there is just so much to do as here! So, what should you do with your seven days in Scottsdale? Here are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your journey to this desert paradise.
Desert Botanical Gardens
No matter the time of year, or how much time you have in Scottsdale, the Desert Botanical Garden is worth the trip. The Garden has five themed loop trails and you can wander them on your own or take guided tours. Hike to the top of the Sonoran Desert Loop Trail for an amazing view of the surrounding mountains. While you wander through the always changing desert trails, amid the towering cacti and towering rock formations, you can explore and learn about the desert and its unique habitat.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve has over 200 miles of amazing hiking trails through the beautiful Sonoran Desert. The trails vary in degree of hiking ability and fitness level and include several accessible trails. The five major trailheads offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and rock-climbing while experiencing the desert habitat, cacti forests, and desert wildlife up close.
Old Town Scottsdale
Spend an entire day in Scottsdale exploring the historic center of Scottsdale. Try a guided tour; take a Segway or bike tour, or just ride through Old Town on the free trolley. Take a foodie tour, an arts and culture tour, or a wine tasting tour. There is sure to be a tour to fit your tastes. Or just stroll through the city on your own. Old Town is full of art galleries and unique stores. Whether you’re looking for contemporary, Native American, western-themed, fine art or tacky souvenirs, you’ll find it here.
There are enough museums to keep you busy for several days in Scottsdale – a great idea if you’re in town during the hot summer months. Start out with the Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. This museum features exhibits bringing the exciting old west to life. Visit the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum for a look at combat aviation history and a chance to climb aboard an actual WWII bomber. Or head to the Musical Instrument Museum for a look at musical instruments from around the world. These are just a few of the many options!
For some western fun, head on over to MacDonald’s Ranch. They have horseback rides, stagecoach rides, hayrides, and a petting zoo. Horseback and stagecoach rides are offered for private and group experiences, and there is also a lovely moonlight tour option for each. Even if you have never ridden before, or consider yourself a beginner, don’t worry. Your guides will give you the history of the area and educate you on the flora and fauna while you ride through the desert.
Guided Desert Tour
Take a guided tour of the amazing Sonoran Desert. Whether you want to hike, ride mountain bikes or drive ATVs through the desert, there is a tour to match. As you wind your way along desert trails, you’ll experience the desert habitat up close. You’ll see a wide variety of cacti, mesquite, desert lavender, and giant sage tree, and have the opportunity to see many of the creatures that call the desert home: snakes, lizards, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, rabbits, hawks, and quail, just to name a few.
Rising from up from desert terrain as if it was still part of the rocks and sand it’s built on and from, Taliesin West is not just the ultimate trip for an architecture junkie, but also a way for everyone to experience the intermeshing of the built environment and the natural world that Frank Lloyd Wright is famous for. Take the guided tour, or just wander around the house and grounds on your own.