Destination Deep Dive: Scottsdale
Scottsdale is a posh oasis for those seeking a relaxing getaway for business or pleasure. The city is best known for its many beautiful and elegant Southwestern style resorts and spas, as well as the golf courses nestled harmoniously within the desert and mountain foothills. Downtown Scottsdale also boasts a vibrant art scene with more than 100 galleries, restaurants, and upscale shopping. For those seeking a taste of the old west, the “Old Town” neighborhood in downtown Scottsdale features rustic saloons and shops. But let’s take a moment to dive deeper into Scottsdale and see some of the gems it has to offer.
Tours and Activities
Get ready for some thrills as you’re transported into the heart of the Tonto National Forest on the Four Peaks Trail. Feel the adrenaline as the Hummer conquers the intense desert terrain as you learn about the wildlife and plants that inhabit this majestic landscape. There are no dead ends in this Hummer!
Move ’em on, head ’em up, head ’em up, move ’em out…keep them doggies rollin’ through the Sonoran Desert on a cattle drive with real cowboys! Ride your horse at the back of the pack and take in the scenery, or ride up front with the cowboys and keep those cows on the straight and narrow! Regardless of where in the group you land, you’re sure to leave the trail a happy camper.
Cosanti is part art studio and part architectural experiment with the landscaping highlighting what is possible in the desert. Paolo Soleri was a colorful and passionate Italian architect who first came to Arizona in 1947 as a student of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Soleri became known for his work on bridges, but his passion was creating frugal, self-sustaining cities. He spent his life working toward that vision and developed a concept he termed arcology (architecture + ecology). Soleri and his wife moved to Scottsdale in 1956 and founded Cosanti as their home and studio.
Cosanti—which means “Before (or Against) Things” in Italian—was a living experiment for Soleri’s vision, and he resided there until his death in 2013. Soleri created earth-formed concrete structures, with domes that seem to defy gravity, and a space that has a bit of an otherworldly feel.
Soleri is probably best known for his beautiful hand-poured bronze wind-bells, and the Cosanti Foundation continues to create more than 50,000 bells each year. While wandering the grounds, you’ll be mesmerized by the rhythmic sound of all the bells. There are bronze pouring’s daily, which is quite the sight to see.
Taliesin West is located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Northeast Scottsdale. Frank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. The facility currently functions as the winter homes, studios, workshops and offices of the 70 architects, staff members and students associated with the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and Taliesin Associated Architects.
On your tour of this National Register of Historic Places site, you’ll experience Wright’s brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces first-hand. The living quarters and the dramatic Taliesin West “Garden Room” are some highlights, as well as the living room that was the social gathering place for Wright and the many famous guests he entertained. Walk through his Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion, Seminar Theater and Wright’s private office—all linked by dramatic terraces, gardens, and walkways overlooking the rugged Sonoran Desert—and see for yourself how the site amplifies the desert’s natural beauty.
The Sonoran Desert boasts some of the most magnificent views and sunsets in the world; a truly unforgettable and picture-perfect experience in the middle of the desert. People from all around the world are continually in awe when viewing the beauty of the natural landscape and standing among the towering and majestic centuries-old Saguaro Cacti. The splendor of this land combined with an Arizona sunset gives a perfect mix of vibrant colors, unique landscape, and breathtaking views that sets the scene for the kind of incredible experience only Arizona can bring. From large in-ground fire pits, a dance floor, and a band-shell, this unique venue is a blank canvas for events from Western, Native American, casual, upscale, modern, and more. The possibilities are endless!
G Collection is an extraordinary venue that offers a unique entertainment and dining experience unparalleled anywhere in the world. The focal point of the venue is its classic automobile collection, which is surrounded by a fascinating array of antiques and rare, historically significant antiquities. This space serves as a full restoration shop for the collection as well as a multi-room, multi-layered event experience.
Enter the Automotive Museum, home to some of the rarest cars in history, and see your reflection in the spotless, handmade Zagato-bodied cars from the 1950s and 1960s. The Lounge area features a hand-painted bar top created by using automotive paint, high tops, and booths for guests to enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and dancing. Move through a private game room featuring classic interactive video games to the fabulous Barn Room, where a collection of all original, unrestored cars awaits you.
“The Duce” is where Prohibition meets produce…well, at least in the late 1920s it did. The building is a warehouse that once anchored a bustling produce district during the day. Yet at night, duce, vice, jazz and other not-so-clean fun would take over. Today, The Duce offers a variety of retro recreation games such as ping pong, duce bag, shuffleboard, and foosball. Though let’s not forget the full boxing ring, 1915 Chicago soda fountain, and trailer-made food reminiscent of mom’s 1960s kitchen—all made from scratch.
La Puesta del Sol is Spanish for “The Setting Sun,” and you’ll see how this space earned its name right from the start. Stunning 360-degree views from La Puesta’s incomparable vantage points, perched atop a cactus-dotted mesa, provide unlimited vistas of Arizona’s spectacular sunsets. Try a mouth-watering BBQ menu paired with country music and cowboy games and experience an “Arizona Luau” like no other.
Ready to discover everything the Scottsdale area has to offer? Contact our
Hello! Arizona team for more information about these and other activities, tours, off-site events, dine-arounds, transportation, on-site themed events, and more!