Weekend Guide to Scottsdale, AZ

The desert towns can seem dreadful to some. Sure, you can fry an egg or two on the asphalt in the summer (which you really should not eat if you ever try), and yes, you need sunscreen often through the year, but most people get quite shocked once they give desert towns a shot. Even the look of the buildings has a different, vintage and nostalgic look that you can’t find anywhere else. Everything down to the plant life can show people that different worlds are out there. Scottsdale, Arizona is one of those amazing towns that embodies and exceeds the example of a fantastic desert city. Located on the eastside of Arizona, there are so many fun things to do in Scottsdale that will capture your attention and have you coming back for more! Here is just a tiny list of the commodities Scottsdale can offer.

McCormick and Stillman Railroad Park

The nostalgia of the town will hit you right away when you visit the McCormick and Stillman Railroad park. Prepare to have your interest in trains re-invoked from when you were a kid. Operated by the city of Scottsdale Parks & Recreation department, this 30-acre park will offer more train joy than one can handle. Try out their centerpiece of the park: the Paradise & Pacific Railroad. It is built and operated as an exact 5:12 reproduction of a Colorado narrow gauge railroad! You can also take it slow with the Scottsdale Charros Carousel.  If you are looking for a real awesome experience, on Saturdays and Sundays from October to May, they will allow guests to ride the Arboretum Train. This will run right through their desert arboretum to make for an incredible experience.

Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain might just be the perfect getaway if you are looking for an outdoors seclusion from the world. Be warned, the trails can get steep. I’m sure you are wondering why they call it Camelback Mountain. It’s as simple as you can guess. The mountain resembles a kneeling camel with its hump and head protruding up. It really is quite the sight when you look at it, but nothing is more beautiful than the view it offers. If you decide to take its 1.2-mile summit trail, you will find yourself reaching an elevation of 2,707 feet. This is known as one of the most scenic hiking spots in the city! As rewarding as it is, make sure to be prepared. The hike can be quite steep.

Big Surf

Say you hit the hike in the morning, you might be a little worn out from the heat. You might want to cool off. What better way than with a gorgeous water park? Located about 6 miles from Scottsdale is Big Surf Waterpark. Big Surf is known for being the first water park in the United States to have a wave pool. All you need to do is gather up the family and hop in your weekend rental car or family-owned vehicle and drive about 15 min south. Obviously, they have done something right because know it is widely adapted everywhere! Find yourself zipping through their abundant choices of water slides or relaxing on the grassy areas getting some sun. No matter, you will find it refreshing to soak in the sun and take a dip in the water.

OdySea Aquarium

Okay, maybe jumping into the water gets old after a while, but one thing that never gets old is observing sea life. In Scottsdale, there is the OdySea Aquarium. It just happens to be the largest aquarium on the Southwest of the United States, holding in more than 2 million US gallons of water! You can see all types of marine life and explore their Aqua lobby. It is incredible to see nine massive 1,000 pound globe-shaped aquariums hanging overhead. It really is something that will drop your jaw to the floor. IF you are over the age of 21, you can even check out their Nightlife after hours adventure under the sea event. Bring your friends, or a special date, and enjoy live music, a five-course dinner, cocktails, behind the scenes tours and much more during this amazing nighttime event.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Come explore your interpretation of art by yourself or with friends at the Scottsdale Museum of contemporary art. With more than 40 years of experience, the museum is completely dedicated to exhibiting modern art, design, and architecture. Sounds like a perfect place to wind down after an eventful weekend. If you really want to dive in, the museum offers a great selection of educational classes that can teach anyone from young and old about art and creativity. It really is a good way to get out there and make some friends that share the same interest in you. You might take it more seriously when you find out there are more than 50,000 children and adults that the museum engages with.

Scottsdale, Arizona is a magnificent desert city filled with very creative and explorative things to do. Whether you live there or are just visiting for the weekend, you will find yourself falling in love with the desert more and more as you traverse the weekend and it’s desert glory. Have fun!


By: Jeremy Alderman, ZOG Digital


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