Unfortunately, Covid-19 has put a damper on many Scottsdale-area activities. Pastimes like watching live sports, seeing a movie in a theater, and attending Phoenix Symphony concerts are still a no-go. Though many live events and recreational activities are temporarily closed, we’ve compiled five fun, stress-free and safe things to do in Scottsdale.
Hike Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is one of the highest peaks in Phoenix and certainly one of the most beautiful hiking spots in the city. The dramatic mountain offers spectacular views of Phoenix and has some lovely neighborhoods with beautiful surrounding homes. The 2,700 foot peak can be reached from Echo Canyon Trail, which is 1.2 miles long and is steep, but incredibly scenic. Cholla Trail on the eastside of Camelback Mountain offers a more gradual incline, but still boasts great views. If you’re searching for a more beginner-friendly trail, you’ll enjoy Bobby’s Rock Loop at Camelback’s base. During the summer months, due to the desert heat, it’s advised to enjoy the trails in the early morning or late evening. However, one of the benefits of Scottsdale in the spring time, fall, and winter is that the pleasant weather that allows for a hike any time of the day. Because of the stunning views and opportunity for fresh air and exercise, hiking up Camelback Mountain can really be a treat.
Scottsdale has always been recognized for its world class golf resorts. In fact, with difficulty levels ranging from beginner to expert, the Valley of the Sun is home to several hundred top-rated courses.
For an authentic Phoenician golf experience, head to the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club. The club is part of the Arizona Biltmore Resort in downtown Phoenix. Movie stars, politicians and business-men/women have enjoyed this course for many years. It was constructed in 1928 and known as “the granddaddy” of Phoenix country clubs. The Arizona Biltmore boasts two 18-hole PGA Championship courses, a driving range, pro shop, putting green and full-service restaurant. Because of the popularity of this course, reserve your tee times a few days in advance online at the golf course’s website.
Another great course to visit is the Phoenician Golf Club at the base of Camelback Mountain. The Papago Golf Course is always a treat for the avid golfer. Nestled among the red buttes of Papago Park, this renowned course has a variety of unique holes which climb the mountain and back down again.
Visit Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo, which is open to the public currently, features hundreds of animals in their exhibits. The Tropics, African, Arizona, and Children’s trails provide a great way to observe the animals in various habitats. Don’t forget the encounters at Monkey Village, which is popular with family members of all ages. Other popular areas include The Giraffe Encounter, Stingray Bay, Camel Rides and the Red Barn Petting Zoo. Guests can also enjoy watching a movie at their 4-D Theater, riding through the park on the Safari Cruiser or picking their favorite animal on the Endangered Species Carousel.
Tour Cultural Attractions
Arizona has many venues with culture and art like Frank Lloyd Wright’s striking Taliesin West. The Taliesin West offers various guided tours that feature the architecture and history of the property. Their Insights Tour will lead you through Wright’s private quarters and living room, which is worth viewing if you have the spare time. The city offers a behind-the-scenes tour of Taliesin West’s “Garden Room,” the Music Pavilion, and the Drafting Studio. Architecture enthusiasts will enjoy the 3-hour tour, which is not recommended for children under the age of 13. However, if you are interested in Wright’s stunning designs, it is certainly an enjoyable tour.
Another favorite cultural attraction amongst visitors is the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, which features over 7,000 instruments from almost 200 countries. A popular current exhibit is the Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa, which displays over 150 masks, instruments and costumes in their authentic performance contexts.
Lastly, a visit to Desert Botanical Garden is always time well spent. Visitors enjoy strolling through 140 acres of plant and flower displays with garden trails and a wide variety of tours and exhibits. A visitor favorite is the current Wild Rising by Cracking Art, which is an installation of more than 1,000 animal sculptures made from colorful, recycled plastic. Wrap the day up with a bite to eat at Gertrude’s or find a gift for someone special in your life at the garden shop, which always has treats and unique items from the Botanical Museum.
Despite the pandemic, Scottsdale is a great place to visit and offers unique opportunities for recreation and adventure. If you’re looking to get out of the house and enjoy Scottsdale’s mild fall weather, the above activities will provide you with plenty to do and see!
Find the Perfect Place to Stay
If you’re from out of town and looking for a place to stay, check out our stunning selection of luxury Scottsdale vacation homes. Our luxury Scottsdale mansions, along with our specialized concierge services, provide the ultimate upscale vacation experience.