The Ultimate Scottsdale Travel Guide

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I just got back from a trip to Scottsdale and had such a wonderful time. I was visiting for a few days with my management company and other creators that they represent. It was such a lovely trip that was filled with some much needed R&R, delicious food, and quality time with friends. In the midst of a busy work season, this getaway was just what I needed to feel refreshed.

This was actually my first time visiting Scottsdale, and while I had heard great things about it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Truthfully, I spent most of my time on the hotel property (I’m sharing all the details on where I stayed below) so I didn’t have a chance to really explore the surrounding area. For that reason, I tapped Kara—who works on my team and visits this desert city often—to help me put together this Scottsdale travel guide.

Here, we’re sharing all of our top recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do in Scottsdale. I’ll also be putting together a post on everything I packed and wore during my trip, so stay tuned for that!

Scottsdale Travel Guide

Whether you’re planning a girls trip, couples getaway, baby moon, or mother-daughter vacation, Scottsdale is arguably one of the best destinations to visit. It has something special to offer every type of traveler, from active adventures to laid back experiences.

Another perk to this Arizona town is that there are tons of hotels and activities that are suitable for a variety of budgets—you can make your trip as bougie or as low-key as you want. While having a lot of options is certainly a great thing, it can actually make your trip planning process a bit overwhelming.

Below, you’ll find some of the most highly coveted hotels, restaurants, and things to do in Scottsdale. After mapping out your itinerary, just throw some swimsuits and sun dresses in your luggage and you’ll be set.

Best Hotels in Scottsdale

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows

This is the hotel I stayed at during my first-time trip to Scottsdale, and wow, was it a stunner. The luxury resort is set on a 23-acre property, which really makes you feel like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of everyday life. After a very hectic few months, this was exactly the vibe I was looking for.

Because the property is so big, it feels like you have a large slice of it all to yourself. The privacy is appreciated and the grounds were so well maintained. Lodging options include both standard rooms as well as desert-inspired bungalows. I opted for the bungalow and I adored all of the details throughout the space (I also loved the patio!)

This spot would be great for a girls vacay or for a trip with your honey. The spa was so impressive and you really can’t beat the pool setting—highly recommend!

The Scott Resort & Spa

Another popular hotel in AZ is The Scott Resort and Spa. The interior design is desert-appropriate yet elevated and chic, and the amenities are just what you need to accommodate a relaxing and balanced stay. You can tell that the grounds and rooms have recently been updated with more modern touches.

The property also boasts a pretty lobby bar and two sprawling pools, two details that argue that it’s more luxe than the room rates make it.

Book a cabana and spend your day lounging by one of the pools, indulge in a spa treatment, or sweat off some stress in the gym. You can also rent beach cruiser bikes from the hotel so you can wander about the area. Oh, and the proximity this hotel has to restaurants, shops, and bars is truly unmatched.

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

Any Four Seasons hotel location is bucket list-worthy, but I have found this property to be particularly dreamy. For starters, arriving on the grounds will make you feel like you’ve entered a wellness retreat that’s far from the lively Phoenix scene (while still maintaining accessibility to night life.)

The upscale setting and swanky facilities, like tennis courts, golf courses, a fitness center, and walking trails make it tempting to lengthen your stay. While visiting, you can book a guided hike and desert tour, take a workout class, or kick back and get a custom massage.

Stay in a suite or go all out with a casita room, which feature adobe-style design, private balconies or terraces, gas-burning fireplaces, and deep soaking tubs. The romantic and luxurious feel makes this resort the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion, like an anniversary trip, milestone, or birthday.

Scottsdale Four Seasons pool
Scottsdale four seasons trails

Hotel Valley Ho

Quintessential Scottsdale vibes meet elevated amenities at Hotel Valley Ho. The mid-century modern architecture makes a stay here an experience in and of itself. Combined with a contemporary pool, colorful rooms, and patios with brag-worthy views, this spot would be ideal for a girls getaway.

When compared to the other hotels and resorts on this list, Hotel Valley Ho is certainly more affordable. If you’re hoping to find a spot that’s budget-friendly while still maintaining a cool factor, this is it.

The Phoenician

This iconic spot is known as one of Arizona’s most loved luxury resorts. It made its grand debut in 1988 but has been completely renovated since. The pool is one factor that reels guests in—it’s big, well laid out, and has plenty of seating areas so you don’t have to fight for a lounge chair.

Resort happenings like wine tastings, cocktail classes, and bike tours provide plenty to do when you’ve hit your quota on laying out in the sun. They also have an expansive spa, on-property golf course, and a handful of restaurants and bars that serve up delectable eats.

Best Restaurants in Scottsdale

Buck and Rider

If you make a reservation at just one restaurant in Scottsdale, Buck and Rider should be it. Everything from the energetic atmosphere to the unique cocktail options make it a must-visit during an AZ trip. It does get booked fairly quickly, so be sure to reserve a table as soon as you know when you’ll be in town. If you’re open to sitting at the bar, that’s also an option that’s fun (and it’s a good way to get in if you don’t have a res.)

Most of the menu options consist of sushi and seafood, and yes, I know what you’re thinking—sushi in the desert? Just trust me, this is the place to indulge in it.

The Breakfast Club

Is there anything better than a big breakfast spread? Vacation is the perfect time to treat yourself to a decadent brunch, and The Breakfast Club is certainly the place to do it.

Located in Old Town Scottsdale, this restaurant is easy to get to from a variety of hotels, and it’s also a fun area to stroll through afterwards. Many of the menu items are sourced from local growers and ranchers, meaning every bite is as fresh as you can get. People love the mango mozzarella toast, blueberry pancakes, and açaí bowl, but anything you order is sure to impress.

Olive and Ivy

If you’re traveling with other gals, Olive and Ivy will definitely be a hit. The ambiance is so calming and pretty, and the food and drinks are equally as impressive. I love the French Riviera-inspired feel of the restaurant and appreciate that you can visit for brunch, lunch, or dinner. It’s also a good spot to head to if you’re looking for a nightcap or happy hour drink—they make the best spicy margarita.


After kicking back in the sun all day, why not keep the outdoor fun going? Cielo has one of the prettiest patio settings where you can enjoy craft cocktails and a delicious dinner. It’s actually located within the Adero Scottsdale Resort (which is another good hotel option) and offers panoramic views of the desert.

Best Activities in Scottsdale

Craving something active? In the mood to unwind? There’s a reason why Scottsdale is such a popular vacation destination—it has something fun for every person to enjoy. Here’s a list of some of the most loved activities to do while visiting…

– Play golf, tennis, or pickleball

– Go hiking, biking, or rock climbing

– Explore Old Town Scottsdale

– Check out the bustling nightlife scene

– Try hot air ballooning (there are several local companies that offer this)

– Get your retail therapy fix at Scottsdale Fashion Square

– Plan a private dinner event with Cloth and Flame

– Go wine tasting

– Take a cooking class

– Relax at a spa

What to Pack for Scottsdale

Like I mentioned above, I will be putting together a complete packing guide in a separate blog post, but here’s a quick list on what to pack for Scottsdale (for a spring/summer visit.)

– Swimsuits

– Cover-ups

– Sandals

– Denim or linen shorts

– Sun dresses

– White sneakers

– Athleisure/workout clothes

– Sun glasses and a sun hat

– Tote bag (a straw bag would be very on-theme!)

– Strapless tops or tanks for going out

– Jeans or linen pants

– Light layers, like a cardigan or denim jacket

I hope this Scottsdale travel guide helps you plan your dream getaway! If you have any questions or recommendations that I should add to this list, please let me know in the comment section below!

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