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Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Scottsdale

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10 fun things to do in Scottsdale, by travel blogger What The Fab

I recently got to spend a long weekend with my sister in Arizona, and there are so many fun things to do in Scottsdale!

I loved the Sonoran desert landscape—an excellent scenery change from San Francisco.

After experiencing some of Scottsdale’s top attractions, I see why it’s a popular Southwestern destination for girls’ weekends and bachelorette parties.

Whether you’re looking to relax, adventure, or spend time outdoors while visiting Scottsdale, I have ten activities and fun things to do in Scottsdale for you!

And if you’re planning a trip to this desert oasis, don’t miss my other helpful Scottsdale guides, like my Top 10 Restaurants in Scottsdale list or my in-depth Scottsdale Travel Guide.

Looking for Scottsdale things to do? Book Scottsdale activities through GetYourGuide below:

10 fun things to do in Scottsdale, by travel blogger What The Fab

The Best Hotels in Scottsdale
Palm Springs vs. Scottsdale

Best Scottsdale Brunch Spots

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Scottsdale

10 fun things to do in Scottsdale, by travel blogger What The Fab
Image via Whimsy Soul

1. Hot Air Balloon Ride

What’s better than watching the sunrise over the desert from 5,000 feet in the air? I would say overlooking sunsets in the desert since I’m not a morning person. 😂

Hot Air Expedition’s sunset rides start in November and go through mid-March, but if you’re visiting a different time of the year, a sunrise ride is worth the early wake-up call.

The mountain views are a breathtaking backdrop for Instagram photos!

10 fun things to do in Scottsdale, by travel blogger What The Fab

2. Horseback Riding

I love horseback riding, and Fort McDowell Adventures offers fun rides through the desert terrain (an excellent way to escape the city).

We saw wild horses (they were gorgeous!) and cattle, then crossed through a river. I felt like such a cowgirl. The Saguaro cacti and McDowell Mountains around us made for such stunning scenery!

10 fun things to do in Scottsdale, by travel blogger What The Fab
Image via Desert Wolf Tours

3. ATV Tour

If you’re up for a rough ride and a bit of adventure, book an ATV tour through the desert.

It’s one of Scottsdale’s top activities for adrenaline junkies—I call the driver’s seat!

10 fun things to do in Scottsdale, by travel blogger What The Fab

4. Spa Day

It’s time for some R&R! We had a spa day pampering ourselves at The Phoenician, which was incredible. After our massages, my sister said she felt like she was reborn. 😂

The spa at The Phoenician is gorgeous, and there’s a rooftop pool that’s only for spa guests, where you can order drinks and relax after your treatments. We spent a leisurely afternoon here, and it was lovely.

5. Hiking

There are so many incredible places to hike in Scottsdale! A few popular spots are Camelback Mountain, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Brown’s Ranch Trailhead, Piestewa Peak, and Pinnacle Peak Park.

If you want to learn more about the outdoors, check out the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center.

6. Taliesin West

If Omied had been on this trip with me instead of my sister, we would have visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesin West house. He’s an architect, after all! 

Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s home that you can now tour, and it is known for its stunning, organic architecture.

10 fun things to do in Scottsdale, by travel blogger What The Fab
Image via 5 Star Helicopter Tours

7. Helicopter Ride to Grand Canyon National Park

Who wants to drive to the Grand Canyon when you can fly in a chopper?

Experience the Grand Canyon’s majestic views from a unique vantage point above, and make it back in time for brunch!

8. Shopping

Check out Old Town Scottsdale and do a bit of shopping.

Grab a sweet treat from Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop, and snap a fun pic for Instagram with Hotel Adeline’s WTF (Where’s The Fun?) sign. Don’t forget to grab some ice cream!

I suggest checking out Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall for upscale stores like Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus.

9. Pool Day

We had a relaxing day in a cabana at our beautiful hotel, Mountain Shadows Resort. Because sometimes you need to sip rosé and soak up the sunshine poolside, underneath the palms and a gorgeous mountain.

10. Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is beautiful any time of year, and you can walk along a trail through the cactus gardens.

In the later months, they have special events like Electric Desert and Luminarias. There are fun happenings like culinary events and nightly live music throughout the year.

Check out the event calendar to see what’s happening when visiting.

Those are my top ten fun things to do in Scottsdale! I loved visiting and will be back soon to experience Scottsdale.

When I do visit again, here are a few activities that I haven’t had a chance to explore yet but will hit up next time:

Planning a trip to Scottsdale? Don’t miss my other Scottsdale guides

Luxury Hotels in Scottsdale
Hotels in Oldtown Scottsdale
What to Do in Scottsdale
Best Bars in Old Town Scottsdale
Epic Scottsdale Girls’ Trip


What is there to do in Old Town Scottsdale?

– Butterfly Wonderland: For all the gorgeous butterflies
– Odysea Aquarium: Penguins, sharks, and otters, oh my!
– Western Spirits: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

How far apart are Scottsdale and Phoenix?

Scottsdale is 12 miles from Phoenix, making it a short, 20-minute drive.

What is Scottsdale famous for?

Scottsdale is famous for its beautiful resorts, spas, expensive restaurants, wineries and wine-tasting rooms, shopping, art galleries, golf courses, nightclubs, and country clubs.

Is Scottsdale, AZ, safe?

Scottsdale is a very safe place to travel to, with lots of tourism and safe residential areas.

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