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!
Scottsdale, AZ is one of my favorite vacation getaways. 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 shops. I head here whenever I 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.
There's a brand new tram that connects the airport to the car rental facilities...which is a huge (and quick) upgrade from the old bus system.
The best time to visit Scottsdale
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.
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.
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 luxury resorts in Scottsdale, AZ without spending over $1,000 a night.
If Andaz Scottsdale and Omni Montelucia are priced on the high side, check out Canopy by Hilton (my favorite mid-range in the heart of Old Town), Senna House Scottsdale, Mountain Shadows, The Scott Resort and Spa, and Hotel Valley Ho.
Hermosa Inn is a great option for couples.
Each of these hotels are in a good location and have a pool.
Best restaurants in Scottsdale, AZ
cafes and healthy bites
Berdena's - one of the BEST coffee shops in Scottsdale and my personal favorite! The avocado toast and breakfast sandwich make for a perfect snack.
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! The food is always perfectly prepared, the service is outstanding, and the sticky toffee cake is one of the best desserts I've ever tasted.
Virtu recently switched to a set menu with a steep price of $85 for three courses. Though I wish they would bring the regular al la carte menu back, I still think it's worth it for a splurge dinner.
Olive and Ivy – Mediterranean cuisine including salads, flatbreads and bruschetta. The patio is huge and offers nice views of the river.
The Mission – a rock-solid option if you're in the mood for modern Latin cuisine. The atmosphere is low lit and lively. The pork shoulder is sharable and comes with tiny handmade tortillas.
Barrio Queen – authentic Mexican with awesome tacos and margaritas.
Diego Pops - this place is always packed. It has a fun atmosphere, great happy hour specials for both food and drinks, excellent tacos and brussels sprouts nachos.
The Henry - the Gatsby vibe and the all-day dining options from coffee and croissants to dinner and cocktails make this 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.
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.
Nobu - new to the Scottsdale dining scene, if you're looking for upscale sushi, this is your spot.
Best bars in Scottsdale, AZ
Century Grand PHX is hands down one of my favorite cocktail bars on the planet. It’s an innovative and immersive cocktail experience. You have three themes (or bars) to choose from.
Undertow is a nautical themed bar featuring rare rums from around the world in a pirate ship atmosphere. Port holes showing various ocean scenes, thunderstorm light shows, and tiki music complete the experience.
Hop on a Pullman inspired train car at Platform 18. The atmosphere is incredible. You really do feel like you're in a moving train car. Even the seats vibrate slightly...so it feels real.
The large "windows" (really video screens) show various scenes as you travel through the Rocky Mountains.
Grey Hen RX is a New Orleans apothecary themed cocktail bar. Though I prefer the atmosphere at Undertow and Platform 18, Grey Hen RX offers some of the best and most unique cocktails (in my opinion).
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.