things to do in Scottsdale AZ

So the wife and I planned a trip to AZ in the next few weeks. We planned to go to Scottsdale, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon area. We had a time share but it just feel through giving us very short timing in planning where to stay. So I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions on where to stay. I was thinking of making it a road trip with staying in Scottsdale a few nights, the Grand canyon area a night and Sedona a few nights. Any of you have any suggestions? As we all are designers I would love to find a place that stimulates the design mind as well as gives me the culture and the great out doors.

Did this same trip a few years back! Let me get the details from Kristina and I will post some of he thing we liked, places we stated…

Thanks Yo.


We had a great time in Scottsdale, we stayed at a boutique design hotel then called the Jaymes, now called the Theodore I think:
Definitely go to Taliesin West: Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation get one of the behind the scenes tours, worth it.

Sedona we found kind of a let down, much more touristy than we thought it would be… bad t-shirt shop touristy. Our favorite restraunt was a little out of town, called Reds, part of a hotel, wish we had stayed here: Onsite Hotel Dining Options | The Wilde Resort and Spa

Loved the Grand Canyon. We took a helicopter tour in one of those European helicopters the used as the base for “Air Wolf”… worth every penny, really cool way to take in the canyon and just see how big it is… fast…

The Valley Ho is a cool little boutique hotel right in Old Town Scottsdale, next to all the good restaurants. Palo Soleri has a studio in Paradise Valley that is cool to check out called Cosanti. Or he has his huge compound off of I-17 on the way to Sedona called Arcosanti. If you like music they just finished the Musical Instrument Museum with a history of music and its influence on the world. Oak Creek Canyon is a nice place to check out in Sedona. Lots of hiking trails and biking. Let me know if you need any other info.

My girlfriend is a real Bob Crane fan (Hogan of the 1960’s Hogan’s Heroes television show). He was bludgeoned to death in a Scottsdale apartment while doing dinner theater by a jealous homosexual fan of his. I was tasked with finding the dinner theater and the apartment. The dinner theater is long gone (replaced by a gas station) but the apartment is still there. I don’t remember the address as I did this ghastly treasure hunt about 9 years ago. I am sure you can Google it.

The things you have to do on a business trip :slight_smile:

One of the hotels in Scottsdale was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin West is out there. So is Arcosanti.

My wife and I lived in Scottsdale for two years (Indian School and Drinkwater). If you have the time, I would suggest hiking up Camelback Mountain. Some great views of the valley and a very easy hike. If you go to Taliesin West, you can travel a little further into Fountain Valley. It is a small community with great views. Lots of quail running around and some very stunning custom built homes.

In Old Town Scottsdale, there is an icre shop called the Sugar Bowl. They have original sketches and artwork by Bill Keane. His is the creator of Family Circus. The previous owner and Mr. Keane were very close friends. There is a great Italian restaurant called Oregano’s. It is within walking distance of the Sugar Bowl, so maybe after dinner, you can walk to the Sugar Bowl for some ice cream.

If you’re more into the club scene, start at RA sushi on Scottsdale Rd for dinner. Then head over to Martini Ranch. There’s a really modern, or at least there was, club right across the street from Martini Ranch. I don’t remember the name but the interior was done very well. They had a bar made out of ice. Pretty cool.

When you go to Sedona, be sure to follow the signs up to the airport. It leads you up a road that has a scenic lookout site. It offers the best view of the Sedona landscape. In both Sedona and Scottsdale, you can find lots of small galleries that offer everything from paiting to photographyy to woven garments. It just takes tome meandering time.

Have a great time!

I really enjoy the Indian ruins in Arizona, more than the tourist traps. Montezuma’s Castle and Casa Grande are two of the more touristy ruins, but the Tuzigoot ruins are the most touching and off the beaten path. Very haunting, they were abandoned around 500 years ago, before Europeans arrived in the southwest. No one knows why. Beautiful.

I also second Taliesen, this is a must for any designer visiting AZ.

Paolo Soleri’s Cosanti studio is worth a stop. You can check out his earth casting construction method, and go home with some windbells:

We went there as well… it is a bit weird, but worth it… like a really decayed version of the future…

Great guys!! Thanks this is really helpful! I will let you know what we plan.

Yeah, he’s got a Planet of the Apes aesthetic for sure!

One more question…How long is the right amount of time in each place? I was going to do 2 nights in Scottsdale 1 night in Sedona, and 2 in Flagstaff. Does that sound right. Also what is the right order. We are starting off in Scottsdale of course. Thanks for the help guys!!

Just got back from AZ. We had an awesome time!! Thanks everyone for all the help.

We had a great time in Scottsdale but found it a bit too touristy. We visited Taliesin West which was great. We only did the 90 min tour but I think if I go back I will do the 3 hr tour. We had some great food and margaritas, but it was a bit too hustle and bustle for us.

Sedona we loved. Unfortunately we only stayed here one night (at the Sedona Rouge thanks Yo) but we loved the scenery and found it nice and relaxing. This was the same Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Great time with lots of outdoor activities and a break from design. It was a bit cold (snowed at the Grand Canyon) but we sucked it up and had a great time.

Any chances you took some pics of what Taliesin is like, today?

I took tons. I will post later.

I actually have a presentation I put together from a trip to Taliesen in 2008… I’ll have to dig that up.

Justin, should have warned you Scottsdale is very touristy / retirement community! There are a couple of good clubs and lounges in the actual town center though.