There is a lot to do and see in Scottsdale, so in this guide, I’m going to show you how to have the perfect weekend getaway there. I’ll break down each day by morning, midday, afternoon, and evening making it easy for you to have a perfect 3-day itinerary in this luxurious desert city!
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Check into the iconic Hotel Valley Ho. It was originally opened in 1956 and was a hideaway for Hollywood celebrities like Bing Cosby and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The hotel is one of the nations best-preserved examples of mid-century modern architecture and is a member of the Historic Hotels of America. On property, Hotel Valley Ho has the VH Spa, the Oh Pool, and ZuZu restaurant. The Oh Pool is the perfect place to relax after a flight and I highly recommend reserving a cabana by the pool. You can order from their pool side menu which features Mexican cuisine, craft cocktails, wine, and beer.
Location: 6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Take an Old Town Tour with JoyRidesAZ. Old Town Scottsdale has so much to do and see, so to learn all about it we are taking a golf cart tour with JoyRides. They offer all different types of tours of the area. We learned about the history of Scottsdale, which has 6 unique districts and along the tour, you learn about why each is unique which helps you plan out your trip to spend more time in the places that are most interesting to you!
Price: $75/hour per cart
Location: Pick up depends on tour
A western meal and experience is a must when in Scottsdale. Have dinner at Handlebar J Restaurant & Saloon, a family owned business for the last 44 years. They have live country music six nights a week and free country dance lessons on multiple days of the week. After enjoying some country dancing, you’ll work up an appetite! Handlebar J Restaurant is known for their BBQ, with menu items such as a half rack of ribs and jalapeño mac and cheese. I highly recommend the Scottsdale Charro burger with avocado, tomato, bacon, and jalapeño – it is the perfect mix of spicy and savory.
Location: 7116 E Becker Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Enjoy drinks at Platform 18, a craft cocktail bar inside of Century Grand, a turn-of-the-century inspired, cocktail-centric, immersive hospitality venue. They have three unique bars here. Platform 18 is inspired by a presidential train car from the 1940’s. They do an immersive, elevated cocktail experience here that includes travelers embarking on a 90-minute journey through a mountainous terrain. I recommend trying “the weekly shipment,” which combines raspberry, lime, Campari, smoked black tea, rum, and mezcal all mixed together, creating a unique and delicious cocktail!
Tip: Book at least one week in advance.
Location: 3626 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride with Rainbow Ryders. One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert is from the sky so we booked a sunrise trip with Rainbow Ryders. They have been in business for 34 years and have won several awards for their excellence. Make sure you wear a hat, sunscreen, warm clothes, sunglasses, and closed toed shoes for this one to stay safe and comfy!
Location: 715 E Covey Ln #100, Phoenix, AZ 85024
Take a break and have lunch at Craft 64, known for their artisanal, wood-fired pizza. They use local organic ingredients and home-make their mozzarella from scratch every day. They also offer over 30 different types of craft beer from Arizona.
Location: 6922 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Enjoy wine tasting at Merkin Vineyards Old Town Scottsdale. Who doesn’t love a good wine tasting?! Merkin Vineyards is owned by 2x Grammy Award winner MJ Keenan. This vineyard produces all of its wines from 110 acres of estate vineyards in the Verde Valley and Willcox regions of Arizona. You have a choice of tasting either 3 or 5 different wines.
Location: 7133 E Stetson Dr #4, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Have dinner at ZuZu, located inside Hotel Valley Ho. They serve up imaginative shared plates and are known for their colorful cocktails. They have a few fun culinary experiences, such as, the new ‘ZuZu, Take the Wheel’ dining option, which lets guests sit back and let the chef plate up dish after dish until every craving is satisfied. They also have The Kitchen Table, which is their chef demo station that’s front and center in the dining room. I recommend the beef tartare and the bacon wrapped dates.
Tip: Order the showstopper shake for dessert! It has a fun theme that changes monthly.
Location: 6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Enjoy brunch at Hash Kitchen. As a New Yorker, I am all about a good brunch! Hash Kitchen is known for their creative breakfast and bar with a variety of reimagined breakfast classics and a DIY Bloody Mary bar.
Location: 8777 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253
Hike at Brown’s Ranch. Scottsdale is known for its amazing hiking, so completing a trail is a must do on your trip! To learn more about this historic trail, head to my winter in Scottsdale video for the full experience. Don’t miss the Sunset Vista Point with its 360-degree views before finishing this hike! It is absolutely stunning and great for photos!
Location: 30301 N Alma School Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
After working up an appetite after hiking, have dinner at The Mission Old Town. This restaurant has a sophisticated yet casual setting and serves modern Latin Cuisine. Its interior is gorgeously designed with a marble bar, ornate chandeliers, and a wall of Himalayan Salt Blocks. The Mission Old Town is known for their margaritas, so you must try one! Everything is made in-house and is super fresh. I recommend the pollo a la brasa tacos and the kale salad. It’s a great spot to visit, especially if you’re a fan of Latin cuisine.
Location: 3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
End your amazing weekend with drinks at Grey Hen, also part of Century Grand. Grey Hen has one of the most significant single barrel spirits selection in the country available for purchase, as well as rare and unique liquors. They also have over 500 whiskey options. With such a wide variety of options, there is sure to be something for everyone’s unique tastes!
Location: 3636 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018
For a printable version of this itinerary to download for free, click here! This will make planning your visit to Scottsdale even easier. Cheers to an amazing getaway in Scottsdale! I hope you have a great time.