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Scottsdale Video Production Company featured on Redfin’s bucket list article for new residents of Scottsdale, AZ. Check out the blog article here!

We were featured on Redfin’s bucket list article for new residents of Scottsdale, AZ. Check out the blog article here! For more on the Scottsdale video production company Josh Skehan Productions click here!

The Ultimate Scottsdale, AZ Bucket List: 12 Must-Try Experiences

February 27, 2024 by Jeremy Steckler

Scottsdale is known for beautiful scenery, a vibrant arts scene, and upscale charm, but that’s just the beginning of everything this city has to offer. When exploring and learning more about Scottsdale, It’s hard not to be captivated by the rich culture of this town and start to explore renting an apartment in Scottsdale or even buying a home in the city.


From indulging in exquisite local cuisine to exploring the rugged terrain on an ATV, here’s Redfin’s ultimate bucket list for discovering a slice of what Scottsdale has to offer. 

1. Try some of the local cuisine

Food is an essential part of living in Scottsdale and should be the first thing you cross off your Scottsdale bucket list.


“There is nothing that I enjoy more in Scottsdale than the food – especially the Mexican restaurants,” recommends the Alpha Publisher, a publishing company based in Delaware with an office in Arizona. “Places like Barrio Queen and Los Sombreros offer tasty dishes like fajitas and street tacos. The flavors are bold and the ingredients fresh, making every meal special. Eating outside on the patios is nice, and the atmosphere is lively. Trying different foods in Scottsdale is like going on a fun food journey that always makes me happy.”


Need a few more recommendations? Listen to Chef and Partner Cory Oppold of local restaurant COURSE, “A few of my favorite places to enjoy when I’m not in the kitchen at COURSE restaurant are Hush Public HouseAndreoli Italian Grocer, and Chula Seafood.” While you’re out and about, pop into COURSE to pay Cory a visit and experience one of Scottsdale’s fine-dining experiences.

2. Grab a pint from a local bar

With a thriving bar scene, grabbing a pint from a local bar or brewery is essential to any Scottsdale bucket list. 


“From upscale lounges offering craft cocktails to lively sports bars pulsing with energy, there’s something to suit every mood and taste,” shares Michelle Hoff of Desert Dog Offroad Adventures. “Whether unwinding with friends on a trendy rooftop terrace overlooking the city skyline or immersing myself in the laid-back charm of a neighborhood pub, Scottsdale’s bars never cease to provide memorable experiences. With an abundance of live music performances, innovative mixology, and friendly locals, exploring the diverse bar scene in Scottsdale always promises a night to remember.”

3. Take a Margarita and Taco Tour through the streets of Scottsdale

Looking for a more guided experience through the food and drink offerings of Scottsdale? Look no further than JoyRidesAZ Scottsdale Tours. “Our favorite tour is our Margarita and Taco Tour that offers three local venues, a highlighted tour of Old Town Scottsdale, and photos at popular local Instagram locations,” shares Monica Nicodemus of JoyRidesAZ Scottsdale Tours. JoyRidesAZ has been a local tour company for over ten years, collaborating with more than 40 local businesses to curate fun and novel experiences.


4. Old Town Scottsdale

“No visit to Scottsdale is complete without a visit to Old Town Scottsdale,” advises David Andre of Phoenix Scottsdale DISCOVER, a website specializing in tourism information for visitors. “The area’s western flair includes historic sites from the 1880’s, boutique shops, art galleries, and many bars and restaurants.” Art One, a local art gallery, seconds this recommendation saying, “The Old Town District is filled with galleries and shops for everyone to enjoy.” 


A visit to Old Town Scottsdale opens you up to a world of opportunity and adventure. Feel free to spend a day or two exploring all the district has to offer, and while you’re there stop by Art One Gallery to check out artwork created exclusively by students and local Arizona artists.

5. Take in Scottsdale’s vibrant art community

Featuring a thriving arts community, an exploration of Scottsdale’s Arts District is essential to any Scottsdale bucket list. “The arts and galleries have been a focal point of Scottsdale for over 60 years,” shares Charles S. King of King Galleries, a local art gallery with locations in Scottsdale and Santa Fe, NM. “Check out some of the best artists in the country, whose work can be found in just a few blocks.” 


If you’re feeling spurred creatively, consider signing up for one of the programs at the Scottsdale Artists’ School, located within walking distance of the Scottsdale Arts District. Gabriele Rewis of the Scottsdale Artists’ School speaks about the influence of being so close to the epicenter of arts in Scottsdale, “Blocks from the arts district, students can walk to numerous art galleries, museums, restaurants, and other unique locations around town. Students can expect a wonderful experience, rich with the art and culture of the Southwest.”


Scottsdale’s artistic vibrancy stretches even outside the city limits, as is the case for Fountain Hills Theater. “As a performing arts venue in Fountain Hills, we greatly appreciate the many performing arts venues available in nearby Scottsdale,” shares Patty Torrilhon of Fountain Hills Theater. “These include Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Don Bluth Front Row TheatreDesert Stages, and ASU Kerr. So many opportunities to enjoy local talented actors, designers, directors, choreographers, and musicians.”


6. Play around in Scottsdale’s outdoor paradise

An essential to any Scottsdale bucket list is to explore the great outdoors. “With over 300 sunny days annually, Scottsdale is a hiker’s paradise,” shares David Andre of Phoenix Scottsdale DISCOVER. “Our favorite is Pinnacle Peak Park, a granite summit with an elevation of 3,169 feet. The trail is two miles long one way with beautiful views at the summit.”


Hiking is a major pastime among locals. “We love early morning hikes at Tom’s Thumb for the views and to get out of the city for a minute” shares Alex Martin of Lom Wong. Chef Cory Oppold of COURSE seconds this route, “I also love getting outdoors and hiking Tom’s Thumb Trail, which offers beautiful desert views in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.”


Mike Clevenger of Scottsdale Selfie, a local photography studio and party venue, does a superb job of summing up the allure of Scottsdale’s outdoor playground. “Scottsdale perfectly embodies the combination of urban sophistication and natural beauty, with the nearby McDowell Mountain Preserve serving as a prime example,” shares Mike. “Having called this city home for over 30 years, I’ve come to cherish the accessibility and diverse trails offered by the preserve for both hiking and biking. With the stunning backdrop of the McDowell Mountains and the wild Saguaro cacti dotting the landscape, every experience becomes a journey through our amazing desert.”


7. Explore the trails on an ATV or UTV

Maybe you’re looking for a more high-adrenaline way to explore the Arizona landscape. How about seeing the scenery from an ATV or UTV? “We believe Scottsdale’s allure lies in its rugged desert landscapes. Our ATV and UTV off-road tours offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert,” shares Chas Metz of Arizona Outdoor Fun. “As guests traverse our winding trails, they’re treated to panoramic views of the breathtaking Bradshaw Mountains and towering Saguaro cacti. It’s an exhilarating experience that captures the essence of the Sonoran Desert.” 


8. Soak up the sunshine

Bathed in sunshine and beautiful temps for most of the months of the year, good weather is one of the aspects of what it’s like to live in Scottsdale. “There is no place I would rather be during the cold winter months than Scottsdale, Arizona,” shares Rebecca Wise, Spa Manager at W Scottsdale.  “Scottsdale is the place to travel to from October to May with its beautiful weather.” 


Scottsdale’s weather also makes it an ideal spot for beautiful sunsets. “Our sunsets are unmatched,” shares Sara Waterman of Sara Waterman Photography. “The combination of dry air and light cloud coverage produces inspiring sunset paintings you would be hard-pressed to duplicate. A near perfect climate and majestic mountains make Scottsdale one of the best backdrops for photography. That is why you will find me capturing families and love in all forms at sunset almost nightly.” 

“I love the sunsets over the mountains,” adds Angela Rana of State 48 Brewery. “Any direction you drive in Scottsdale, you look up to see the beautiful mountains, they are inspiring to me.  They look different in the sunlight and on rainy days. Camelback Mountain is my favorite.”


And for the few months when the climate is too hot, Shelby Lea of Shelby Lea Photography has you covered with a tip. “Just spend those two months in the pool or take a summer vacation to the mountains less than 2 hours away where it’s cooler,” she says.


9. Catch a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium

For a truly unique experience, catch some spring training of the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Take in the sights and sounds of America’s favorite pastime while enjoying the beautiful weather of Scottsdale. If you want to level up your experience, spring for the VIP Charro Lodge which offers complimentary drinks and snacks. Lauren Schubert of the Scottsdale Charros shares the best part: “All proceeds go to numerous local charities and public education initiatives.”


10. Wander through one of Scottsdale’s museums

Scottsdale is home to a treasure trove of fascinating museums, interesting sights, and breathtaking monuments. “Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert masterpiece Taliesin West are a couple of our favorite spots,” shares Kristin Heggli of Hotel Valley Ho


Another essential on a Scottsdale bucket list is a stop at the Musical Instrument Museum. Featuring a collection of over 15,000 musical instruments from nearly 200 countries and territories, it’s easy to spend a whole day learning here.


11. Take a paint and sip class

With so much outdoor activity, it can be a nice change of pace to sit inside and engage a different part of your brain. Scottsdale is home to several art studios offering classes in everything from pottery to acrylics, including local business The Brush Bar. 


Located in Old Town Scottsdale for over 12 years, this woman-owned studio offers traditional paint and sip style classes in a relaxed atmosphere with drinks and snacks–a perfect place to learn. “Our main priority is for our guests to try something artistic in a welcoming and fun environment,” shares Lauren Davidson of The Brush Bar. “An instructor will teach you to create a masterpiece step by step, while you can also listen to great tunes and chat with your date. Leave with the beginnings of a new skill and a fun artistic experience under your belt.”


12. Experience the people and the culture

When asked what they love about Scottsdale, many locals choose to highlight the community. “What we love the most about Scottsdale, Arizona is the community behind it,” shares Color Me Mine in Phoenix. “The warm and welcoming atmosphere of Scottsdale’s neighborhoods fosters a strong sense of belonging, where neighbors come together.”


Ray Nettling of Wine Girl shares a similar sentiment, “From vacationers to long-time Arizona locals, Scottsdale is the perfect city to meet and learn from a vast number of people from all walks of life.”


Josh Skehan of Josh Skehan Productions highlights another aspect of living in Scottsdale: the atmosphere of service towards one another. “Having traveled around the world, whether it’s business, leisure, dining, or hospitality, there are few places in the world where you will encounter such exemplary service accompanied by a friendly smile.”

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