Long known for being the home to a slightly older crowd, I’m here to tell you that things in Scottsdale have changed. People of all ages have heard the call and are flocking to the “Valley of the Sun” for the finest resorts, bustling nightlife, scenic hiking trails with culture and art to go around.
The sister city to Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the US, Scottsdale exudes a slightly more small-town feel. Old Town Scottsdale holds the key to some of the best shopping, art galleries, and nightlife, with dining that will rival the best in the country. While many people are already aware of the top ranked golf courses and resorts, few know about the hidden gems that makes this city truly unique.
Step back into the Wild West and follow this guide for a perfect Scottsdale morning:
- Hike the Pinnacle Peak trails and take in a great view of the city
- Brunch like a local
- Shop the art galleries of Old Town
- Stop for a treat at a Scottsdale staple, The Sugar Bowl
Pinnacle Peak Trails
Start your morning early with a hike through Pinnacle Peak Park. Pack up some water and a camera as you make your way to North Scottsdale for some of the best hiking in the southwest. The trails are well worn and can be adjusted for most levels. For the more advanced, there’s some excellent rock climbing as well. Keep a lookout for wildlife and don’t forget to look back for that stunning city view.
Local's Tip: Busy time is 8-9am on weekends, so try and get up early unless you don’t mind sharing the trails.
Pinnacle Peak Park
26802 N. 102nd Way. Scottsdale, AZ
Duration: 1-3 hours depending on your choice of trail
Next, make your way to Sumo Maya for Brunch. Don’t be uneasy about the Mexican-Asian dynamic, their brunch is fantastic and worth every penny. This Latin America meets Far East eatery is well known around town for their tacos, sushi, and cocktails, but those who forget about their weekend brunch are sorely missing out. Sumo Maya offers an unlimited brunch menu, including as many shared plates and desserts as you can endure, plus one entrée of choice. Eat up and enjoy!
Local's Tip: Great for groups and sharing.
6560 N Scottsdale Rd Scottsdale, AZ
Duration: 2 hours
Travel five minutes down Scottsdale Road until Main Street and you’re back in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Take a right and wander down Main Street taking in the art galleries, wine bars and specialty shops. Be sure to pop into The Marshall Gallery of Fine Art and Gallery Andrea, both located just a minute apart. Enjoy your time window shopping throughout this area. Despite the mix of new age shops and restaurants, the old western decor of this area will keep you reminded that you’re still in the middle of the desert.
Local's Tip: Don’t be afraid to wander off Main Street. The shops continue a few blocks in all directions.
The Marshall Gallery of Fine Art
7106 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ
7019 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
At this point in the afternoon, the sun is shining bright and it’s time for something sweet. Lucky for you, the best ice cream spot in town is literally a minute away. Make your way to Scottsdale Road and 1st Avenue, and step back in time at the renowned Sugar Bowl. This American old fashioned ice cream shop has been around since 1958 and is famous for its shakes, malts, ice cream, and sundaes. You can’t go wrong with ordering or enjoying the old soda shop atmosphere.
4005 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
Duration: 30 min – 1 hour
Enjoy your trip to Scottsdale, Arizona!
By: Lauren Cox
Interested in getting more information about Scottsdale? Check out Lauren's guide: