Scottsdale is a large suburban city of the Phoenix-metropolitan area. South and Central Scottsdale consist of more established neighborhoods, Historic Old Town, Fashion Square Mall, and it’s where Porchlight Homes’ newest craft neighborhood is located. North Scottsdale is the area north of Shea Boulevard, which is home to the DC Ranch, and Grayhawk neighborhoods. If you’re new to the area or just looking for something to do, we’ve put together a locals guide to living in Scottsdale AZ below.
Old Town Scottsdale is a historic neighborhood of charming older homes–many of which have turned into businesses–overtly Western tourist shops, public art, and trendy restaurants that attract brunch-goers by day and bar hoppers by night. While Old Town Scottsdale is home to urban dwellers of all ages, it is known for its young nightlife. Drive through the area late on a Friday night and be ready to yield to a golf cart taxi escorting club hoppers to their next destination. If you’re not into the bar scene, avoid the “red zone” area between Indian School and Camelback Roads just east of Scottsdale Road.
Frank & Lupe’s and Los Olivos are both staples to Scottsdale offering authentic Mexican food and the type of al fresco dining that Arizona is known for. Local Italian eatery DeFalco’s, which has been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, is a favorite among locals for its meatball subs, pizza, and other Italian classics. You also can’t go wrong with any restaurant in the Fox Restaurant Concepts family, an ever-evolving group of unique food concepts and stunning interior design.
Scottsdale is known for its beautiful resorts that offer guests a desert oasis set against beautiful mountain backdrops complete with decadent spas and world-renowned golf courses. When it’s not peak season (and even when it is) check out some of the hotel bars, like Bar Six40 at The Scottsdale Resort and Thirsty Camel at The Phoenician, which both offer stunning views, unique Southwest flavors, and delicious craft cocktails.
While Camelback Mountain isn’t technically in Scottsdale, it’s only a few blocks away from Scottsdale Fashion Square and is one of the most popular mountains to hike for locals and visitors. Many visitors start up Echo Canyon Trail without realizing the aerobic challenge that lies ahead. Be sure to wear proper attire and take ample water supply.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is located in North Scottsdale and offers many trailheads with a variety of trails for both beginners and experts. Gateway Trail and Sunrise Peak are among some of the local favorites. Peak hiking season begins in late October and can run through winter into spring. Summer is really the only season where hiking is strongly discouraged and not allowed for pets when temps reach 100 degrees.
Located right next to our Hudson East neighborhood, Chaparral Dog Park is a bustling place for your dog to show off his tennis ball skills and unload all that energy. The park has two designated off-leash areas for passive and active dogs, tons of green space for sprawling around and is located next to a lake with a walking path for dogs who prefer a leisurely leashed stroll.
Saguaros, prickly pear, ocotillo, barrel, cholla, totem pole–these are all names of cacti that are sometimes hard to say, but very easy to spot in the Arizona desert. Just remember there’s no hard “G”’ sound in saguaro; it’s pronounced “suh-wah-roe.” Also, the double “L” in ocotillo equates to a “Y” sound, pronounced “ok-uh-ti-yo.” Same with cholla, or “choy-ah.”
When the sun goes down in Arizona it’s usually a stop-you-in-your-tracks moment as the sky lights up with oranges, reds, purples, and yellow. If you’ve ever experienced one of Arizona’s epic sunsets illuminating the desert, then you know what we’re talking about. Even more, if you’ve ever experienced this “golden hour” as you’re enjoying an iced tea with chips and salsa on the patio, then you really know just how lucky we are to live here.
Walk around Old Town Scottsdale and you’ll spot statues of horses and cowboys, a symbol of Scottsdale’s Southwest culture. Scottsdale is also home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Heard Museum, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and many art galleries that give Scottsdale its rich art and culture experience.
To learn more or tour our new Hudson East community, located in the heart of everywhere you want to be in Scottsdale, reach out to us online or stop by today!