Scottsdale may not be one of Arizona’s largest cities, covering an area 31 miles long and only 11 miles wide, but it is one of the most notable for its recreational opportunities. It is with good cause why this small town has earned the nickname, “The West’s Most Western Town.” If you’re visiting Arizona, you won’t want to miss the many museums, concert halls, parks, and shopping areas that Scottsdale has to offer. Though not an all-inclusive list, here are a few must-visit places in Scottsdale.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Featured in so many magazine articles, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a hiker’s dream spot. The protected desert habitat has miles of trails to choose from, for everyone from the novice, to the most advanced hiker. Novices are recommended to start with Browns Ranch to enjoy desert scenery on trails that are easily traversed. More advanced hikers will enjoy the challenge of the Gateway Loop, but remember to wear study boots to keep yourself safe on the rocky trail.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Trains have always captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. Engage your inner child with a visit to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park where you’ll not only have the opportunity to enjoy mini-train rides and model railroading, you’ll also be able to explore a railroad museum and enjoy a variety of concessions. Many of the model trains feature interactive buttons that the children (and the adults!) will enjoy using to control everything from various sounds and lights, to activating equipment along the tracks.
Delight the whole family with a visit to Butterfly Wonderland, an incredible atrium that recreates a perfect rainforest habitat right in the heart of the desert. Outside, thousands of butterflies are allowed to fly freely throughout the atrium. Inside, there are numerous insect exhibits to thrill the kids with, and an educational 3D movie, Flight of the Butterflies, that everyone in the family will enjoy. When you’re done exploring this one-of-a-kind atrium, you can enjoy some delicious refreshments at the café.
There are so many amusements and entertainment venues in Scottsdale. These are just the tip of the iceberg! Whether you’re visiting for a day, or planning a longer vacation, you’ll find that there is always something else to do or see to keep everyone in the family entertained. You’re guaranteed to go home wishing that you had more time to explore more of Scottsdale.