May 21, 2024


The Food community

Here are the best things to do in Scottsdale this spring

4 min read

Spring is the best time of year to take advantage of all that Scottsdale has to offer.

The weather is perfect for strolling the streets of Old Town, browsing the shops and galleries and checking out the wealth of public art throughout the city. For something more energetic, there are hiking trails galore.

When you’re ready for a pick-me-up or night on the town, grab a table indoors or outside at one of the hundreds of restaurants and bars. 

And baseball fans will flock to Scottsdale Stadium, the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants.

Here are the best things to do in Scottsdale this spring.

Happy spring! Ultimate guide to best things to do in metro Phoenix and around Arizona

Try these Scottsdale restaurants

Whatever you’re hungry for, you can find it in Scottsdale. Here are a couple of favorites from Arizona Republic dining critic Andi Berlin.

In north Scottsdale, The Americano is an ultra high-end Italian steakhouse where over-the-top flourishes like smoking cocktails and tableside preparation combine with an opulent setting to create a memorably decadent evening out.

In Old Town Scottsdale, the modern French restaurant Francine is the place to be. The scene is “Southern France by the sea, but it feels peak Scottsdale. Or maybe like a Miami nightclub, depending on what you’re drinking,” Berlin wrote.

“The cooking is vegetable-forward and light, made with olive oil rather than the butter sauces that Paris is known for. Everything is adorned with edible flowers and scatterings of fresh herbs.”

Scottsdale nightlife

AZ88 in Old Town is Scottsdale’s classic place to eat, drink and people watch. Since 1988, it’s been known for reasonably priced (for the location) food prices and sharply dressed bartenders who shake a creative array of martinis. Here’s what to order at AZ88.

New on the scene — so new that it’s opening in March — is Call Her Martina, a Mexican restaurant and bar where the cocktail program will show off spirits from Central and South America. Creator (and tattoo artist!) Miguel Mora is particularly excited about When She Went to Tulum, a refreshing coconut-infused mezcal cocktail. 

Wine tasting in Old Town Scottsdale

Arizona has a thriving wine industry. Vineyards and tasting rooms in Sonoita, Elgin, Willcox, Cottonwood and Clarkdale draw crowds of visitors eager to taste the latest Vermentino or Tempranillo.

Arizona Stronghold winery has a tasting room in Old Town Scottsdale.

But you don’t have to drive out of town to sample some of the best wines being made here. Six Arizona wineries have tasting rooms within walking distance of one another in Old Town Scottsdale. The most recent addition is Arizona Stronghold, known for its bold red varietals and blends. The Scottsdale Wine Trail rounds them all up. 

Arizona’s northern wine country:A guide to wine tasting in the Verde Valley

Best places to shop in Scottsdale

Top destinations include Scottsdale Fashion Square, which appears poised to get the first Christian Louboutin luxury boutique in Arizona, Scottsdale Quarter and Old Town Scottsdale, where you’ll find Vintage By Misty, a go-to for Rihanna, Kylie Jenner and Miley Cyrus.

Don’t shop hungry:Here are 13 restaurants and bars near Scottsdale Fashion Square

Visit the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright

Renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly has two local exhibits this spring, one at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix and the other at Taliesin West, the winter home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Six of Chihuly’s sculptures have been placed around the property for maximum dramatic effect. Visitors can join a guided tour or wander the home and grounds on their own.

Take a selfie at the ‘LOVE’ sculpture

It’s easy to understand the lure of the iconic “LOVE” sculpture by Robert Indiana, which has been here since 1999. But Scottsdale has a robust public art program, with about 100 permanent installations including works by Paolo Soleri, James Turrell and others. (Kanye West is a fan of Turrell’s Roden Crater project near Flagstaff.) All of Scottsdale’s public art is free to view. 

8 hikes as easy or hard as you like

People who like to lace up their shoes and hit a trail love McDowell Sonoran Preserve for its magnificent desert scenery and routes that range from barrier-free and accessible to a sweaty, heart-pumping workout. This guide to Scottsdale’s best hikes in McDowell Sonoran Preserve gives you eight outings to choose from.

Reach me at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter @JillHikes.

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