The Wild West comes to life as it shares the historic streets of Scottsdale with fascinating art galleries, modern craft breweries, foodie haunts, charming wineries and shops to stroll and explore. Steeped in cowboy history, Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona has grown into a hip, trendy destination for travelers looking for a fun adventure.
As you stroll the streets of the old town, you will find unique shop fronts that provide a unique experience for locals and visitors alike. Gorgeous art installations grace green spaces and street corners, and encompass the story of Scottsdale’s Native Americans mingling with their classic cowboy legends.
Some of the information in this article was obtained during a sponsored press trip, but all recommendations are my own.
1. Sip and trial tour
The best way to explore a new place is to stroll the streets with a city dweller and try all of the amazing local cuisine. Arizona Food Tours takes the classic happy hour and turns into a walking tour of the locals with its Sip and Sample Scottsdale tour. Learn about local history, explore unique cocktails and cuisine, and immerse yourself in the Scottsdale experience.
As you stroll the streets with your guide, learn about the fascinating history of how Scottsdale became a hub of the Old West. Enjoy being greeted like an old friend in any restaurant as you sip and taste your way through the old town. Your foodie adventure can be as hot and spicy or relaxed as you like. according to your personal taste. Be ready to enjoy some amazing cocktails and delicious plates. Arizona Food Tours offers a selection of tour and tasting options perfect for a small group outing.
You’ll visit a selection of restaurants including Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, featured in Diners, Drivin-ins, and Dives because their smoked meats are amazing. In the ultra-modern AZ88, a fun saloon full of ambience and cocktails, you can enjoy a classic Moscow Mule with an AZ88 touch. The Mission takes classic Latin American cuisine to the next level. His signature tacos will be the yardstick by which all future tacos will be measured. Evo with its lush Italian flavors takes you out of the desert and across the ocean into a small Italian kitchen. The Brat Haus beer garden is the center of the old town party, where everything is homemade – including the spices. End your tour with a scoop of sweet Italian treats at Gelato Cimmino.
2. Take a joy ride, AZ style
JoyRidesAZ takes you around Scottsdale in a comfortable open air golf cart. Forget about walking, this is a door-to-door tour company that offers a wide variety of pre-planned and customizable tours. It is owned and operated by Kirk and Monica, a lively couple with extensive knowledge of Scottsdale. Joy Rides is a fun and intimate way to see Old Town Scottsdale through a special tour-focused lens.
The Brew Sampling Tour takes you on a tour of local bars and saloons that offer a taste of Old Scottsdale history and a few frosty pints. On the Urban Historic Tour you will be enchanted with stories of cowboys and gold diggers. The Instagram tour takes you to some of the most Insta-worthy places, and as Scottsdale is home to an amazing street art culture, there are tons of beautiful installations to choose from.
Some of the stops on the Brew Sampling Tour where you can try eclectic craft brewings include Sunup Brewing Company, Craft 64, and Goldwater Brewing Company
3. Consider life in an old Adobe mission
The Adobe Catholic Mission Church, known simply as the Old Adobe Mission, is a basic Adobe-style structure that welcomes everyone. Take a moment from your busy day of sightseeing to reflect in quiet contemplation and visit the Old Adobe Mission, the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Built in 1933 when Scottsdale was a boom town, the church now welcomes visitors looking for a place to reflect and pray.
Take a few minutes to stroll quietly through the church. You will find many statues and icons dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Old Adobe Mission is a beautiful church and a popular place for Catholic weddings.
4. Wine tasting with a wonderful view
Wine, nectar made from grapes, is more than just a glass in the tasting room of the LDV Winery. Strategically located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, comfortable chairs invite you to sit back and enjoy beautifully made wines. The rustic vineyard decor sets the stage for the tasting of excellent wines.
Enjoy one of several expertly coordinated flights, sample different flavors, or share a bottle with a friend. Enjoy full bodied reds or crunchy whites while people watch from your roadside patio seat. The Tasting Room staff provide knowledgeable descriptions of each wine; thereby taking the guesswork out of your choices. If you’re pressed for time, you can buy a bottle to enjoy later or a selection to ship home.
LDV also has special events such as the Sip and Learn Series led by LDV Winemaker Curt Dunham. At special LDV Winery Vineyard events, guests can experience their wine up close.
5. Stay in the Secret Garden Old Town
In an oasis courtyard in the center of the art district in the old town, tiled fountains sparkle in the open air, an abundance of elegant fire pits and intimate seating pamper guests like old friends. A hidden gem, the Bespoke Inn is more than a hotel, it’s an experience. When you step through the garden gate, you are transported into a secret garden, which invites you to linger and enjoy the private terrace atmosphere. The gardens are reminiscent of European courtyards, where quiet, intimate conversations between long-time friends take place every day.
The rooms and suites at Bespoke are casually elegant. Thoughtful details such as Smeg coffee machines adorn the kitchen units along with special details that are unique to each room. When you return from a tour day, a dip in the rooftop infinity pool is just the luxurious detail that will make your stay special.
6. Elegant food meets the Wild West
The elegant courtyard of the Bespoke Inn is shared by Virtu Honest Craft, managed by James Beard and chef Gio Osso, who was nominated for âBest New Restaurantâ in 2014. The changing three-course menu reflects the changing, seasonally available premium products and enables Osso to prepare the most amazing progressive meal for its guests. Precious plates such as homemade chestnut pappardelle, served with braised lamb neck in Marsala, pomegranate and goat cheese fondue are praised by Virtus enthusiastic gourmets.
Dining inside is a pleasure; The cozy restaurant on the kitchen side offers an evening show where the staff serves exceptionally prepared dishes to the hungry guests. Dining outside takes you to a beautiful cafÃ© where guests linger with delicious wine and delicious dishes. Dinner in the wilderness, Wild West has never tasted so great.
7. Garden virtuoso
The FnB restaurant is located away from the hustle and bustle of the old town in a side street surrounded by buildings. The outdoor dining room is reminiscent of a garden party, where the waitress provides the waiting gourmets with delicious dishes. Deliciously drunk plates are a feast for the eyes and a treat for the palate. Known for masterfully prepared vegetables that are served with unique combinations such as the refreshingly light snow peas with mascarpone or the deep-fried green tomatoes, which are nothing short of classic – FnB is a culinary experience.
While the highlighted products take center stage, don’t worry, steak, chicken, and fish are all equally well catered for and offer perfection to the recognizable diners.
8. Discover Scottsdale’s historic western spirit
Art surrounds you in Scottsdale. The art is exhibited outside and inside for everyone. The respect and collection of artifacts is evident in the ongoing and changing exhibitions at the Western Spirit, Scottsdales Museum of the West (SMoW). As a Smithsonian subsidiary, SMoW offers a wide range of locally focused, artistic works.
You can explore exhibits like Barry M. Goldwater’s photographic collection and Marjorie Thomas’ paintings of local indigenous peoples. Scottsdale’s artists capture the history of the West and enable the public to experience and appreciate the local contributions the area makes to society today.
Enjoy a quiet moment in the sculpture courtyard, where the exhibitions change regularly. However, the contemplative nature of modern-meets-western court art always reflects the history of Scottsdale and its people.
9. Art in public space
You can stroll the streets of Scottsdale and see interesting and tranquil public art across the city. Scottsdale Public Art’s permanent collection includes memorial statues, fascinating waterfalls, contemporary sculptures, and interactive installations. A stop at the Horseshoe Falls Monument is where you can relax in the cooling mist of the river rock that surrounds perfectly stacked horseshoe towers. The towers are cleverly arranged in a horseshoe shape and reinforce the western theme.
The Scottsdale Gallery Association (SGA) hosts an ArtWalk every Thursday evening from 7pm to 9pm. Stroll through over two dozen galleries, two museums, and past several Scottsdale public art installations. Several times a year, the SGA organizes festive, themed Gold Palette ArtWalks for strolling.
Pro tip: If you’re ready for local hiking, then after reading 12 tips for successful hiking on Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, you’ll be better prepared.
Scottsdale is one of many Arizona attractions that sparked the traveler’s imagination: