This travel guide is the perfect tool to help plan your Scottsdale getaway. I'll take you through the top restaurants and coffee shops, the best months to visit, where to stay, and more!
Our Scottsdale getaway trips feels like a secret the rest of the world has yet to discover. Skies are sunny 299 days out of the year and the weather stays warm during the winter months.
Scottsdale is small enough that it feels calm and quiet while still offering a large number of wonderful restaurants, bars, coffee shops, art galleries, and shopping. It didn't take long for Scottsdale to become a regular weekend getaway for Jake and me whenever we crave poolside time, good food, and the peaceful desert vibe.
This Scottsdale travel guide features my favorite spots and is perfect to help plan your Scottsdale getaway! Discover the best restaurants, hiking trails, when to visit and more!
How to get to Scottsdale
A major reason Jake and I plan a Scottsdale getaway at least two or three times every year is because of how easy it is to get to Scottsdale. It's a twenty minute drive from the Phoenix airport (airport code PHX) to the heart of Scottsdale.
The Phoenix airport is mid-sized and a breeze to navigate. The only negative about the airport is the shuttle to and from the car rental facility. It can be slow and crowded. Keep that in mind when returning your car so you don't miss your flight!
The best time to visit
October through April is the best time for a Scottsdale getaway. Temperatures will range from the 60s to 80s and the skies will be sunny. Temperatures become too hot to handle once you enter May and the unbearable heat continues through September.
See my month by month guide with events, weather, and crowd levels: THE BEST TIME TO VIST PHOENIX & SCOTTSDALE
How to get around Scottsdale
Renting a car is the way to go in Scottsdale. The city is spread out and you'll most likely be driving to different hiking locations. Parking is not a problem in Scottsdale and you'll appreciate the flexibility of having your own ride.
Best resorts in scottsdale az
Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Spa – Listed as one of the world’s best new hotels in 2017 by Conde Nast Traveler! Andaz Scottsdale is set on 23 acres of pristine landscaping with views of Camelback Mountain. The rooms are in bungalow clusters with a mid-century design and the pool has a hoppin vibe with great music and adult floaties. Andaz is without a doubt one of the best resorts for a fun Scottsdale getaway.
Omni Montelucia – Set at the base of Camelback Mountain with a design inspired by the southern Andalusia region of Spain. There are 3 separate pools (including adult only) and an award-winning Moroccan themed spa. The theme of this hotel gives it a romantic feel and the views of Camelback Mountain from the pools do not disappoint!
Omni Montelucia and Andaz Scottsdale are both great for a couples or family Scottsdale getaway. I would say Omni is a tad more family friendly since there are multiple pools. These are easily our two favorite and in my opinion the best resorts in Scottsdale, AZ for a mid-range ($200-$400) price.
If Andaz Scottsdale and Omni Montelucia are priced on the high side, check out The Scott Resort and Spa and Mountain Shadows. I've often found rooms for $150 at these resorts and they both have good pools. There are also a lot of decently priced Air BnB's in the heart of Scottsdale.
Best restaurants in Scottsdale AZ
cafes and healthy bites
Arcadia Farms Cafe - This boutique bistro is a must for brunch! Arcadia Farms combines a French cottage styled interior, cozy (and well shaded) patio, and delicious food. I love the crepes croque-monsieur, wild mushroom, spinach and leek tart, and the strawberry scones.
Kaleidoscope Juice – Several locations offer healthy smoothies, green juices, coffee, smoothie bowls, toasts, bulletproof coffee, and more. There are also take-away options.
Virtu Honest Craft – One of the best restaurants in Scottsdale! Jake and I stop here on every trip as it's one of our favorite restaurants and has the BEST sticky toffee cake. I would consider flying to Scottsdale for this dessert alone. It’s that good. The food is always perfectly prepared, the service is outstanding and great at remembering return visitors.
North Italia - Offers awesome Italian fare and has two locations to choose from. Kierland Commons has a lively atmosphere while the Arcadia location (technically in Phoenix) has a homey and rustic feel with a large patio. The handmade bolognese pasta and the fig and goat cheese pizza never disappoint. The all-day Sunday happy hour specials (food too) are a great deal.
The Mission – A rock-solid option if you are in the mood for modern Latin cuisine. The atmosphere is low lit and lively and makes for a perfect date night. The pork shoulder is sharable and comes with tiny handmade tortillas.
Barrio Queen – Authentic Mexican with awesome tacos and margaritas.
The Henry - A recent addition that is definitely worth a visit. The Gatsby vibe and the all-day dining options from coffee and croissants to dinner and cocktails make this newcomer a hit.
Herb Box – Regional fresh fare with a focus on locally sourced and organic ingredients and a great pick for brunch or lunch. Try the red velvet pancakes, short rib enchiladas, or the sweet potato avocado baja bowl.
Fat Ox – Upscale Italian in a modern setting.
Olive and Ivy – Mediterranean cuisine including salads, flatbreads and bruschetta. The patio is huge and offers nice views of the river.
Best Bars in Scottsdale AZ
Undertow – A unique bar concept in the under part of an old Jiffy Lube. Above ground is Sip Coffee and Bar. Below ground is Undertow and it’s TINY! Make a reservation to avoid the long wait. Order the Smoking Cannon if you want a drink with a fun presentation. My personal favorite is the Dutchman's Demise.
Old Town and the Entertainment District have many bars to choose from. Beverley on Main is my favorite option in Old Town.
Hiking Trails in Scottsdale
Camelback Mountain (Cholla Trail) - One of the more popular desert mountain hikes along the iconic camelback humps. Put your best hiking boots on because this is one of the longer and more challenging options. There will be times it feels like a climb where you have to use your hands to make your way up the steep parts. Allow at least 2 hrs for this hike to have time for a quick rest at the top while enjoying the spectacular views.
Piestewa Peak Summit Trail - Offers amazing views and is shorter (around 1.5 hours) and a bit easier than Camelback.
Papago Park - Perfect if you prefer a nice jog or easy walk in the midst of the Arizona desert landscape.
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Have any recommendations to add to my Scottsdale getaway guide? Let me know in the comments below!
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