A review by the NY Times calls Scottsdale the “Miami of the West.” With its plethora of brand-name retailers, quaint cafes, and award-winning restaurants, you can soon see why it lives up to this name. There are four distinct parts of Scottsdale, which include the Old Town, South Scottsdale, North Scottsdale, and Central Scottsdale.

Old Town’s high volume of retail establishments make it a nationally and internationally-renowned destination for shoppers. With all that it offers, it’s considered one of the top urban centers in the country. In addition to its retail stores, Old Town is also known for its art galleries, which number more than 80 total. You’ll never go home empty-handed or hungry, thanks to the fact that Old Town has nearly 100 restaurants and over 300 retail shops. As you shop or dine al fresco, you can enjoy the Old Town’s stunning manmade and natural beauty, which includes stately olive trees from the 19th century and buildings that date back to the 1920s.

While Scottsdale’s Old Town is known for its historic, beautiful vintage buildings, the city is home to some of the world’s most famous contemporary architecture, too. Scottsdale’s claim to architectural fame is Taliesin West, which is the former home of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famous architects of all time. Wright’s architectural creations were inspired largely by the desert landscapes of the Sonoran Desert. Today, Wright’s home is open to the public for tours. His architectural school, called Taliesin West, still offers courses for aspiring architectural students.

If you are new to Scottsdale, you’ll probably be curious to learn more about the city. And what better way to do so than by getting out and about, and exploring its historical sites? The railroad was an important part of Scottsdale’s past. In fact, it was instrumental in bringing tourism, trade, and industry to the region. While the original train that served Scottsdale is no longer in existence, you can get a glimpse of the role the railroad played in developing the city at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Here, you’ll find more than 40 acres dedicated to Scottsdale’s railroad history. Among its attractions are the Magma Arizona Railroad vintage locomotive, three model clubs, and an indoor museum with exhibits, photographs, and more model trains that capture the essence of the railway system through the region. Along with its everyday attractions, the railroad park also has periodic special events for the whole family.

Annual Events

In addition to its year-round attractions, Scottsdale has some notable annual events. These events, which are popular among residents and visitors alike, are also a great way to meet your neighbors and learn more about the city’s history and personality.

The Parade Del Sol Rodeo, which takes place in May, has been taking place for over 50 years. Each year, rodeo participants and tourists convene in Scottsdale for an action-packed weekend of classic rodeo events like cutting, bull-riding, and barrel racing. The rodeo kicks off with a festive parade, and you can get delicious, freshly-made food throughout the event from local vendors. A large portion of proceeds from the rodeo go to local charities and nonprofit organizations, making it even more appealing to attend.

Given its warm climate, it’s probably not surprising that the Scottsdale region is home to some great eateries and wineries. Along with the availability of fresh herbs, fruit, and produce, the region is a melting pot of many cultures, including South American and Native American. Collectively, these traditional influences produce some of the most diverse and delicious food in the Southwest. One event that you’ll enjoy attending if you or family members appreciate good food is the Nirvana Food & Wine Festival.

This event, which takes place in late April, brings together regionally, nationally, and internationally-renowned chefs to show off their best dishes. For the public, this means access to delicious tastings and exceptional meals. Local, regional, and national wineries are also represented at this event, where you can also participate in wine tastings.

If you want to bring home some fresh food of your own, a visit to the Old Town Farmers Market is essential. You can get your share of locally-grown produce, herbs, and fruit at the market. But it offers much more with an assortment of baked goods, eggs, cheese, and more. The market is a great place to pick up chili peppers too, which add flavor and spice to any meal. Chilis are also the official food of Scottsdale.