Scottsdale

Family-friendly hospitality in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, AZ- Each spring, the Sonoran Desert bristles with renewed energy, beauty, and life. Scottsdale, located just outside Phoenix delivers a first-class travel experience complete with a healthy serving of warm, southwest hospitality.

A sprawling desert city of nearly 250,000, Scottsdale retains a charm reminiscent of a much smaller community. Often taking its place on lists among safest cities, Scottsdale is a family friendly destination in the Valley of the Sun. Overflowing with a unique blend of southwest shopping, dining and entertainment options, Scottsdale is also the spring training home for Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. There’s much to experience.

Scottsdale waterfront canal
Scottsdale waterfront, a place to dine, drink, stroll or just chill.

If you’re looking to maximize your time in Scottsdale, here are a few suggestions that may help you quickly gain a broad overview and perspective during your visit.

Things To Do in Scottsdale

Historical Society

Located in Old Town Scottsdale’s Civic Center, a brief and free tour of this Historical Society building (The Little Red Schoolhouse, circa 1910) brings visitors quickly up to speed on the origins and growth of Scottsdale. The leisurely and self-guided tour is entertaining and fun. Estimated time is approximately 10-30 minutes.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

In the downtown Arts District, this highly acclaimed museum transports you back to different eras from ornate displays of Hopi culture to the days of law and order in the Wild West. Rotating exhibits and plenty to see for all ages, allow an hour at a minimum. More info at https://scottsdalehistory.org/

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert botanical garden
Sonoran Desert in bloom.

A feast for the senses, the Desert Botanical Garden located in Phoenix’s Papago Park offers a tremendous amount to experience in the Sonoran Desert. A short and walkable series of meandering loops filled with bright colors, alien-looking cactus and small creatures is a terrific way to absorb a whole lotta desert in a brief time. Accessible for almost every ability and fitness level, arrive early to avoid the heat. Prefer evenings? Check out their Electric Desert show. https://www.dbg.org/

Pinnacle Peak Park

Majestic and panoramic valley desert views, wildlife and easy hiking draw visitors and locals to popular Pinnacle Peak Park. Keep your eyes peeled and you just might see a King Snake devouring a rattlesnake. One of the most beautiful desert parks we’ve had the pleasure to experience. Saguaro cacti dot the landscape to amazing effect. Sunsets are not to miss. Bring water, good hiking shoes and enjoy. More info at https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/parks/pinnacle-peak-park

Sonoran desert bloom
Sonoran Desert in bloom

Dine & Drink Alfresco

Scottsdale boasts an impressive and lively foodie scene that runs the gamut from farm fresh culinary creations to classic staples. Scottsdale also includes an impressive Coffee Trail, Wine Trail, and Ale Trail. Before the triple digits hit, dining alfresco is popular here and offers a lively backdrop for your dining experience. We were impressed with the many affordable options for family dining.

A Few Fun Picks

Salty Senorita: Colorful and lively setting with tasty Mexican eats and beers. A worthy first stop to grab a bite. http://saltysenorita.com/

Farm & Craft: Indoor, outdoor establishment with a unpretentious take on modern style dining, Farm & Craft serves up tasty libations with scrumptiously healthy options. https://ilovefarmandcraft.com/

Randy’s Restaurant & Ice Cream: Where the locals go. Looking for something simple, delicious and inexpensive? Randy’s classic diner style serves up tasty eats with prices that will impress. Most meals on the menu are under $10. http://www.randysrestaurantaz.com/

That’s Amore Gelato

One of the best ways to beat the desert heat, is chilling out with some gelato. Not just any gelato, That’s Amore Gelato crafts its scrumptious treats from a recipe and ingredients imported from the old country. Emigrating from Milano, Italy for Arizona’s healthy climate, That’s Amore Gelato is a family run business that serves up over three dozen flavors in addition to cakes and pastries. For the real deal in gelato, be sure to check out https://www.thatsamoregelato.com/

That's Amore Gelato
It’s all smiles and laughs at It’s Amore Gelato. Ciao!

Coffee: Standout Surprise

If you take your coffee drinking seriously, prepare to be delighted and surprised along the Scottsdale Coffee Trail. From small and quirky shops to modern and business equipped spaces, the quality of coffee was a standout surprise and nothing short of exceptional at every stop. FourtillFour, Schmooze and Cartel Coffee Lab helped fuel our caffeine fix during the week. One visit here will have you quickly bypassing the homogeneous corporate coffee mills of the masses.

Lodging – Embassy Suites

Embassy Suites Scottsdale

A resort, spa and business conference hotspot, there’s no shortage of wonderful properties to experience. For families in search of great value, consider a stay at Embassy Suites. Comfortable suites provide much needed room to stretch out with a living area that includes couch, table and chair and mini kitchenette. The divided space offers the perfect respite and privacy when the kids decide to sleep in or need to nap in the bedroom.

Breakfast Savings $$- Included with your room, the tasty breakfast options add great value to family visits. Start your day with hot coffee, eggs, French toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, oatmeal and pastries or create your made-to-order omelet bar. The savings versus dining out for breakfast add up quickly.

Evening reception– Also included at no extra charge, Embassy Suites hosts a late afternoon reception each day where you can grab a drink and light snacks as you mingle or not with other travelers. If you’re heading out for a later dinner, the reception is the perfect place to grab a quick healthy snack prior to evening plans. (fruits, veggies, hummus)

Pool and Bikes- Embassy Suites includes a pair of pools and hot tubs to relax, unwind and replenish some Vitamin D. In need of liquid encouragement? The bar cabana opens late morning for those in need of poolside libations. For those with a little more energy, reserve the free bicycles during your stay and tour the town along the miles of pathways.

Learn more at Embassy Suites Scottsdale

Scottsdale Upscale and Unpretentious

Spring break always finds our family exploring the desert and this first adventure to Scottsdale left us seriously impressed. The desert scenery was beautiful, the people very friendly and the dining and recreation options abound. Scottsdale bills itself as the “Most Livable City” and after one visit it’s easy to see why this modern Arizona community is experiencing an influx of visitors and new residents. Just about an hour and a half flight from Sacramento, the family friendly and affordable city of Scottsdale is a worthy addition to your travels. We’ll be back soon!

Old Town Scottsdale, a fun place to explore!

Experience Scottsdale by visiting https://www.experiencescottsdale.com/

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