Scottsdale is a city in the state of Arizona. It is east of Phoenix and is considered to be part of the Phoenix Metro Area.
The view from Camelback Mountain
Scottsdale is home to many galleries, high quality resorts, and golf courses. It is also one of the wealthier parts of the Phoenix Metro Area.
High end shopping destinations are one of the primary attractions of the city. For example, the Fashion Square Mall is near downtown Scottsdale and is one of the biggest malls in the United States. The extensive galleries to the west of the downtown also offer upscale shopping and strolling. The galleries in this area display works both from local artists and from around the world.
Saloons and plastic cacti for tourists in the Old Town
The Old Town section of Scottsdale is to the east of the gallery district . It showcases the ironic attempt of Scottsdale to both embody swank upscale style as well as a caricature of the gruff American West. This part of town is undeniably kitschy. Well over half the shops are gift shops. However, it is fun enough for a browse in a Disneyland sort of way.
The valley of the sun actually has over 130 miles of canals. Most of them were built in the last 100 or so years and were initially intended to provide water for irrigation. However, as the valley has become less agricultural, the use of the canals has changed. Now many are used to carry away storm drainage and some even generate hydroelectric power.
One can take in the beautiful desert scenery and fresh air along the banks of these often overlooked gems; they are open to the public. The sides of these canals provide walkers, joggers, and bikers with a nice refuge from traffic. Because of their mellow grade, they lend themselves to relaxing strolls. Swimming in the canals and motorized vehicles are prohibited 
Here is a map of the valley's canal network.
The phoenix metro area has several airports. The biggest and most used is the Sky Harbor Airport which is about a 20 minutes drive away from downtown Scottsdale.
There is also a smaller airport in Northern Scottsdale for smaller planes and private jets. It is also about 20 minutes from downtown Scottsdale.
The city of Scottsdale extensively uses photo radar cameras. Over time residents learn where the cameras are. Beware that some drivers will slam on their brakes as they approach the cameras then speed up after they pass the range.
- There are 3 types of cameras.
- Stationary freeway Cameras These are simply to keep the speed reasonable. They generally are triggered 11 mph over the speed limit.
- Intersection cameras These camera's monitor both speed and red light running.
- Mobile Van cameras These cameras are in white vans which park on the side of the road. These are harder to spot because they move locations regularly and park inconspicuously.
Generally it is easiest to simply drive the speed limit and not run red lights. :)
- Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, 12621 North Frank LLoyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, ☎ 490-627-5398, . 9am - 4pm. Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home $32-$60 per person.
- Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA), 7374 East Second Street Scottsdale, AZ 85251, ☎ 480-994-ARTS, . 10-5 Tu, We, Fri, & Saturday; Closed on Mondays; Free and open until 8 on Thursdays. A museum of contemporary art, architecture, and design. $7 adults, $5 students, free for SMOCA members and children under 15.
- LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana, 3839 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ (Outside the Center for Performing Arts). This sculpture, and other versions of it, by Robert Indiana have become iconic symbols of Love. The design was originally made for a Christmas card. It has since been used in a myriad of mediums from stamps to sculpture. Other versions of this statue are in Philadelphia's Love Park, Sixth Av. in New York, and outside the incredibly tall Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan.
- Scottsdale Center for the Arts
- McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85250, ☎ 480-312-2312, . Hours depend on time of year (9 or 10am to 5:30 or 7pm). A children's park with playgrounds and a small train that children and parents can ride around the park. admittance is free; Train rides cost $2 per adult.
- Wander the Rock and Roll Car and Bike show, 9175 E Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85250 (In the pavilions shopping center to the west of the 101 freeway), . Every Saturday night at 4pm. A large classic car show. free.
- Stroll or Bike Along the Canals, . The banks of the canals provide nice views and an escape from cars. They are open to the public, but motorized vehicles and swimming are prohibited.
- Take a hike in the Piestewa Peak area, (Lincoln & 32nd; Shea & 40th;), . 5am to 11pm. A large undeveloped mountainous area close to downtown phoenix and Scottsdale where one can picnic or take a hike. Mountain biking is also allowed. free.
- People Watch at Fashion Square Mall, (Camelback Rd & Scottsdale Rd). One of the biggest malls in the US, the Fashion Square Mall is an upscale place to fill your wardrope. It can also be fun just to wander around and see what other people are wearing. free.
- Desert Storm Hummer Tours, tel: (866) 374-8637, . Since 1995, Desert Storm Hummer has specialized in Sonoran Desert adventures. If you are truly adventurous, experience the dark side of the desert. Night vision tours let you witness desert life after dark!
- Spa at Camelback Inn
- MacDonald's Ranch
- Arizona Desert Mountain Jeep Tours
- Out of Africa Wildlife Park approx. 1 hour north in Camp Verde
- Scottsdale Fashion Square
- Scottsdale Waterfront
- Downtown Scottsdale Arts & Shopping Districts]
- Marshall Way
- Fifth Avenue Shopping District
- Borgata of Scottsdale
- In Celebration of Golf
- Shops at Gainey Village
- Boulders el Pedregal Festival Marketplace
- Heard Museum North
- Asia de Cuba, 7353 East Indian School Road, . Asia de Cuba, overseen by renowned international restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, combines elements of Asian and Cuban cuisine.
- Eddie V's Edgewater Grill, 20875 N. Pima Rd., 480 538 8468. The food is great, and Eddie's has something for everyone, in comparison to the meat-centrism of common steakhouses. Try the Parmesan encrusted sol. Call ahead for a reservation.
- Mastro's Steak House, 8852 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., 480 585 9500. Mastro's also has a restaurant in Beverly Hills, with a plethora of well-known visitors that frequent it. Call ahead, as you'll most likely need a reservation.
- Handlebar-J Restaurant & Saloon
- Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch
- Kazimierz, 7137 East Stetson Drive, ☎ +1 480-WINE-004 (fax: +1 480-WINE-055), . nightly, 2:30 PM - 2:00 AM full menu served until 1:45 AM. A great nook of a place to drink wine, eat flatbread, and decompress on kooshy couches in their dimly lit main room. The massive (over 2000) wine list is well experienced in their nicely-selected and presented three-wine flights. Add a flatbread (a fancy word for a fancy pizza) and a few friends and it's easy to lose the whole evening in a place like this. It's also easy to run up a big bill ($40-$60 per person) if you don't restrain yourself with the wine menu. $20-$30.
- Red Bar, 7353 East Indian School Road, . Located in the Mondrian Scottsdale Hotel.
- Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
- SkyBar, 7353 East Indian School Road, . Located in the gardens of Mondrian Scottsdale Hotel.
- The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, 34631 N Tom Darlington Dr, PO Box 2090 (Carefree, Arizona 85377), ☎ 866-397-6520, . A luxurious natural refuge few minutes from Scottsdale.
- Comfort Suites in Scottsdale, 3275 N. Drinkwater Blvd, Phone: (480) 946-1111, Fax: (480) 874-1641. . The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance to Old Town Scottsdale and the spring training ballpark for the San Francisco Giants.
- Four Seasons Resort At Troon North,10600 East Crescent Moon Drive.
- Smoke Tree Resorts & Bungalows, 7101 East Lincoln Drive Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 (Near the intersection of Scottsdale Rd. and Lincoln Dr.), ☎ 480-948-7660 ([email protected], fax: 480-948-7661), . Rated 4.5 out of 5 on tripadvisor, this resort is proudly owned and operated by the Williams family. It is within walking distance of the stores at the Borgata and many excellent restaurants including "Blanco." "Restaurant REM" is at the resort itself. Families will also be pleased to know it is just a two minute drive away from the Railroad Park (a park with a small train children can ride).
- Fairfield Inn - Downtown, 5101 N Scottsdale Rd, . Within walking distance the historic old town of Scottsdale.
- FireSky Resort & Spa, 4925 N Scottsdale Rd, . A luxury Resort Hotel with full accommodations and spa services.
- Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas, 6333 N. Scottsdale Rd, ☎ +1 480-948-7750 (fax: +1 480-948-2232), . checkin: 4 PM; checkout: 12 PM. A fairly typical Hilton hotel, though prettier than most. Quite comfortable, but housekeeping services are erratic. Good business services with $10/day wireless. $99-$120.
- The Hotel Scottsdale, 5101 North Scottsdale Rd., ☎ +1 866-394-3911, . Affordable boutique hotel for leisure or business travel. Located in close proximity to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, US Airways Center and downtown attractions.
- Hyatt Place Scottsdale/Old Town, 7300 East 3rd Ave, 480 423 9944, [. In the heart of Old Town Scottsdale.
- Mondrian Hotel Scottsdale, 7353 East Indian School Road, . Mondrian Scottsdale, like its sister hotel in West Hollywood, is a world-class, self-contained "Urban Resort” for sophisticated modern people. It overlooks the Scottsdale Mall gardens in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. The hotel will be relaunched in late 2006, opening the legendary Skybar and Jeffrey Chodorow’s Asia de Cuba.
- Orange Tree Golf Resort, 10601 North 56th St +1 480-948-6100, . 160 large, beautifully appointed luxurious suites with patio or terrace.
- Scottsdale Resort 7700 E. McCormick Parkway, . The resort is surrounded by a 36 hole golf course, a spa and fitness center, salon services, tennis, and two pools. Resort features 326 spacious guest rooms, casitas and suites.
- Scottsdale Plaza Resort 7200 N Scottsdale Rd, Paradise Valley, . Centrally located within Scottsdale Resort's community in the shadow of Camelback Mountain with 404 guestrooms including 180 suites, swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness center, raquetball, and more.
- Hyatt Summerfield Suites, 4245 N Drinkwater Blvd, . Located in "Old Town Scottsdale" where you'll find great food, entertainment and incredible first-rate golf courses.
- Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort & Suites, 6160 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85253 (The Scottsdale Cottonwoods Resort & Suites is situated at 6160 N. Scottsdale Road, just 12 miles from Sky Harbor International Airport.), ☎ (480)991-1414 ([email protected], fax: (480) 951-3350), .
- Scottsdale Resort & Athletic Club, 8235 East Indian Bend Road, . Five Star Scottsdale Arizona resort hotel accommodations, world class recreational activities, and a full-service Eurasian day spa that boasts a large menu of custom treatments and wellness therapies.
- Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, 6902 E. Greenway Parkway (480) 624-1000 . Beautiful property, with a great kids pool area, including a lazy river. They also have an adults-only pool area. Great service. Attached to a golf course and shopping mall.
- Hotel Indigo, 4415 north civic center plaza, ☎ 480-941-9411, . Fun, fabulous and affordable boutique! Close to everything. See Scottsdalehiphotel.com.
- The Phoenician, 6000 East Camelback Road · Scottsdale, Arizona 85251, ☎ 1-866-716-8136, . The AAA 5-Diamond award-winning Phoenician offers accommodations of uncommon beauty and style - as well as the most enticing array of amenities, recreation and pleasures. Indulge in the pure joy of golf on the manicured greens and lush fairways of our 27- hole championship course. Unwind in one of our nine shimmering pools. Invigorate yourself with a match at our Tennis Garden. Or simply savor a moment of peaceful reflection at our spa, The Centre for Well-Being.
- Xona Resort Suites, 7677 E. Princess Blvd., +1 888-222-1059. Located in North Scottsdale, this 483 room property includes spacious one, two and four-bedroom suites with full living and dining areas, private patios, kitchen and high speed wireless Internet access. The hotel is designed to serve golfing trips, business groups, families and social events. Property amenities include four swimming pools, three whirlpools, a fitness center, a business center and a 24-hour concierge.
- Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 E. Princess Dr., +1 602-585-4848. The Princess is an excellent hotel/spa for anyone. Pools a plenty, and much to do; swimming, fishing, golf, tennis, or enjoying time at the spa -- you can't go wrong at the Princess. The area that surrounds it is also very nice, in close proximity to Mastro's and Eddie V's restaurants. $200-400.
It doesn't rain very frequently in Scottsdale. However, when the rain does come many lakes swell, bike paths are submerged, and roads become impassable.
If there is a notable amount of water on the road, don't drive through it. Drivers frequently become stranded in the middle of flooded washes. Cars can be swept away in a deceptively small amount of water. As you might guess, attempting to drive across such flooded roads is dangerous.
Arizona also has what they like to call a "Stupid Motorist Law." It says that if someone drives around a barricade to enter a flooded road they will be charged for their rescue.
In the summer it can get quite hot. Dehydration, heat stroke, and sun stroke become notable risks.
Drink plenty of water and stay indoors in the afternoon, during the hottest parts of the day.
Outdoor activities are usually far more pleasant in the early morning when it is still cool. Because the temperatures in the desert swing so much between night and day, morning temperatures can be quite pleasant even during the height of the summer.
Be sure to try one of the 200 golf courses in the Scottsdale area. Although most of the green fees are relatively high during the high season (Nov - Apr)there are a few good courses that can be played year round at a reasonable rate. Green fees are very cheap during the summer ($10 - $50 per round with cart) and if you tee-off early in the morning the heat doesn't become too bad before you finish your round.