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20 Unique Things To Do in Scottsdale, Arizona

Whether you’re an outdoor explorer, museum buff or budget traveler, there’s something for everyone

The Vacationeer

With so much to do in Scottsdale, Arizona, it can be hard to narrow down your itinerary. Make the most of your Scottsdale escape, and plan a trip that matches your travel style. Check out the hottest spots in Scottsdale, but don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path with these 20 unique activities. From outdoor excursions to kid-friendly attractions, there’s something for everyone in this desert destination.

Outdoor Adventurers

Desert hiking trail at McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona 

If your idea of a memorable vacation is outdoors, take advantage of Arizona’s year-round sunshine and unique desert landscape with these affordable (if not free) things to do in Scottsdale.


Downtown Scottsdale and canal at dawn 

There’s no end to things to do in Scottsdale with kids, so bring the whole family and enjoy an entertaining and educational excursion in the American Southwest.

  • Attend the Arizona Fine Arts Expo and watch diverse artists demonstrate their craft. See a variety of techniques and mediums, including sculpture, jewelry, photography, stonework, mixed media, painting (oil, watercolor and acrylic), and more. The expo is a must-do if you’re in town during January and March, especially for any aspiring artists on your crew.
  • Wander Old Scottsdale Farmers Market for a selection of locally-grown produce, baked goods and snacks from various vendors and farmers. Everyone will enjoy exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of Arizona. One of the perks of staying at a Hilton Grand Vacations resort is access to an in-suite kitchen to keep groceries fresh and even pack a picnic.
  • Speaking of picnics, pack a basket and head to McCormick Stillman Railroad Park. Ride a replica train around the 30-acre park, learn more about trains at the Scottsdale Railroad Museum, and play on the Western-themed playgrounds.
  • Explore Old Town Scottsdale by trolley. This free trolley drives to tons of local attractions across Scottsdale. Those with a sweet tooth will love stopping by Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor on a hot day. Or spend a day relaxing in the pool at Scottsdale Villa Mirage, a Hilton Vacation Club.
  • If you want to hit the road, check out this five-day itinerary for the ultimate Arizona road trip from Scottsdale to Sedona.

Sports Fans

Golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona 

While Scottsdale may not seem like a sporty destination, there are plenty of hidden gems where you can learn about sports history.

  • For affordable golf spots, try hitting the fairway later in the day. Silverado Golf Course, near Old Town Scottsdale, offers afternoon tee times for $50 or less. Or tee off at municipal courses like Papago Golf Course and Continental Golf Course for reasonably-priced rounds. Then stay at Scottsdale Links Resort, a Hilton Vacation Club, close to several local golf courses.
  • Race to Penske Racing Museum for a collection of historical and contemporary winning race cars. Fans of IndyCar®, NASCAR® and Formula 1® will enjoy seeing the restored cars and collection of trophies.
  • See the Fiesta Bowl Museum at the Fiesta Bowl headquarters. Learn about event’s history, watch highlights from past games and see how Scottsdale plays an active role in college football.
  • Cheer on the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium, their Spring Training home base. Catch a game near Old Town Scottsdale, and watch a major league team up close and personal.
  • Octane Raceway features high-speed fun for all ages, with high-speed kart racing, virtual reality games, a full arcade and ax throwing. There’s even a pit crew challenge on a real NASCAR to test your teamwork.

Art Aficionados

An installation at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, strings of lights illuminate a room 

Scottsdale is a hub of local art and culture, making for plenty of romantic things to do in Scottsdale, either for date night or a weekend getaway.

  • Enjoy the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art for unique installations. The Heard Museum’s extensive collections of American Indian art and history are also worth a visit. Book your tickets online in advance for a discount.
  • See Scottsdale’s Arts District by touring the city’s extensive public art or attending an Art Walk through the neighborhood’s galleries and exhibits.
  • Take an in-person art class at The Brush Bar. Get your creative juices flowing with the music, drinks and energetic staff. Best of all, walk away with a memorable souvenir (and no clean-up!).
  • For the museum buff, check out Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West for exhibits on the art and history of the Wild West. Then visit the House of Broadcasting Museum for a peek at Arizona’s largest private collection of broadcast memorabilia. Movie buffs will enjoy learning about broadcasting history and the industry; plus, the museum is always free.
  • Catch a show at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. There’s a show to match everyone’s tastes, from concerts to plays. Plan ahead and try to catch a free event in the venue for an easy date-night activity.

No matter your travel style, stay with Hilton Grand Vacations for spacious accommodations, all the amenities you need and quick access to all the top things to do in Scottsdale.

Read “If You Love To Travel and Try New Things, Hilton Grand Vacations Is for You,” and discover how one Owner customizes her vacation ownership to fit her travel style.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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