Scottsdale, Arizona: Why We Love Scottsdale
Blog post courtesy of Heather Tawes Nelson and Joyce Tawes of Live Better In Arizona
In three words? The incredible lifestyle.
With over 300 days of sunshine per year and an average temperature of 72.5°F, Scottsdale is a city that can offer any lifestyle you choose – urban or suburban, family-friendly, singles or retired – and the list goes on.
Scottsdale has a uniqueness that draws all types of personalities for all types of reasons. In addition to being a vacation spot, the robustness of the economy and the beauty of the city draws new residents on a daily basis. Young and old are moving here – some to work and others to retire or enjoy a second home.
Scottsdale encourages a healthy outdoor lifestyle. With over 200 private and public golf courses within the greater Phoenix area, Scottsdale has earned the title of Golfers Paradise.
There is always something going on in and around Scottsdale. Scottsdale is host to the ever popular Spring Training leagues, the Waste Management Open, the Barrett Jackson Car Auction and the Arabian Horse Show, to name a few. Added to that, it has a thriving art district and numerous museums. Plus, with four professional athletic teams in the area, there is no shortage of games to attend.
Scottsdale is situated in the high Sonoran desert and is 31 miles long and 11 miles wide. It is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges providing endless panoramic views. Each part of Scottsdale has a unique feel and lifestyle associated with it.
In the north, you will find many top golf communities, horse ranches and planned communities such as DC Ranch, Desert Mountain and Desert Highlands.
A lot of the desert landscape has been preserved and the mountainous terrain and foothills means plenty of great hiking and spectacular valley views. And, since many of these homes are located at higher elevations, temperatures can actually be a little cooler in the hot summer months.
Housing in North Scottsdale tends to be lower density, but there are several notable condo and townhome communities as you get closer to the 101 Loop.
Pinnacle Peak is an instantly recognizable landmark and it is a popular local hike. And, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve features over 30,000 acres of trails for you to hike, bike or ride your horse.
North Scottsdale To Dos:
- Hike Pinnacle Peak or one of the Mc Dowell Sonoran trails, then head over to the newly updated Tom Thumb’s Fresh Market or Over Easy for breakfast.
- Play a round of golf at one of Troon North’s world-renowned courses.
- Embrace your inner cowboy or cowgirl on a trail ride at MacDonald’s Ranch.
- Have a romantic dinner and enjoy the twinkling lights at Sassi.
Central Scottsdale is home to some of Scottsdale’s most established communities. McCormick Ranch and Gainey Ranch continue to be popular and desirable among residents with their golf courses, greenbelts, fitness trails and lakes.
To the east, Scottsdale Ranch is another highly regarded community. It is home to several lakes and many residents have their own docks and small boats to enjoy the water. And if you are a fan of tennis, The Racquet Club, a community of condos and townhomes, is a great place to settle.
Outside of the master planned communities are many single-family homes and condo communities. You can also find some horse properties in this area.
The terrain in this central Scottsdale is a bit flatter, although as you head east on the Shea corridor, you will find Scottsdale Mountain and the foothills of the McDowells.
Central Scottsdale To Dos:
- Tour Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home and architectural school.
- Have a great and creative meal at Sumo Maya, a Mexican Asian fusion restaurant.
- Shop the day away at Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter and enjoy something to eat at Zinc Bistro or True Food Kitchen.
- Railroad enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park with its trains and attractions.
- Visit the brand new OdySea Aquarium and its neighbor, Butterfly Wonderland.
Downtown/Old Town Scottsdale
If you are looking for action, dining and entertainment and a ‘walkable’ lifestyle, Downtown Scottsdale is for you.
The ever popular “Old Town” is a more urban area filled with restaurants, shops, galleries, historic buildings, night clubs, and museums. And, in the past decade, the Scottsdale Waterfront has become a focal point with top shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Steps away is the charming Civic Center Plaza which is home to many festivals and events as well as the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
Scottsdale Fashion Square is located in downtown Scottsdale and has over 250 stores offering world class shopping.
Many of the single family homes in the areas were built in the 1950s, but have been updated to reflect today’s design standards. Downtown Scottsdale is also home to several luxury condo communities such as the Scottsdale Waterfront Residences, Optima Camelview, The Mark and the highly anticipated Envy Residences.
Downtown/Old Town Scottsdale To Dos:
- Enjoy the Thursday night ArtWalk in Old Town, where galleries stay open late.
- Try the soft pretzel bites at Culinary Dropout.
- Peruse the Old Town Scottsdale’s Farmers’ Market for organic produce and homemade items.
- Explore the Museum of the West and learn about western history and culture.
- Savor a meal at Virtu Honest Craft, a James Beard Foundation nominee or be surprised by the chef’s choices at Posh “Improvisational Cuisine.”