Things to do in
Scottsdale

This city has a vibrant downtown, shopping, and nightlife scene within arm's reach of the Grand Canyon.

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Our most recommended things to do in Scottsdale

Phoenix Zoo: One Day General Admission Ticket

1. Phoenix Zoo: One Day General Admission Ticket

Nestled on 125 acres within the beautiful Papago Park, the Phoenix Zoo is a wondrous place of curiosity, imagination, and discovery. The zoo is one of the largest non-profit zoos in the U.S., caring for over 3,000 animals with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened and endangered species. It features over 3,000 animals, including Bornean Orangutans, Asian Elephants, Sumatran Tigers, Komodo Dragons, Masai Giraffes, and more. It's a great place to create memories that will last a lifetime. Other animals include the African Lion, Giraffe, Zebra, Mexican Gray Wolf, Ringtail, Golden Eagle, Sloth, Cotton-Top Tamarin, Dalmatian Pelican, Orangutan, Asian Elephant, Jaguar, Cheetah, Coyote, and Komodo Dragon. The Zoo features approximately 2.5 miles of walking paths and is divided into Arizona, Africa, Tropics, and Children’s trails. Usually, the Africa and Tropics Trails take about an hour each and the Arizona and Children’s Trails take about half an hour each. It is recommended that you take approximately three hours to see the entire Zoo, depending on the size and ages of your group in addition to how fast you walk.

Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Ride with Champagne and Catering

2. Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Ride with Champagne and Catering

Enjoy a 45-60-minute hot air balloon ride above Phoenix, Arizona. See the expansive mountain ranges and desert wildlife below as your hot air balloon reaches heights of 3000 feet. During the flight, your pilot will point out different landmarks and points of interest. See Downtown Phoenix, Camelback Mountain, Lake Pleasant, and State Farm Stadium from the air. Upon landing, enjoy a catered fare prepared by the award-winning Vincent’s on Camelback restaurant, right in the heart of the desert. A traditional balloonist’s ceremony follows with commemorative flight certificates to take home.

Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Flight

3. Phoenix: Hot Air Balloon Flight

The experience begins even before you rise into the sky. Help the crew inflate the balloon for a real "hands on" adventure, or just relax and take a few pictures as the gentle giant comes alive. Once you gain altitude, enjoy vistas you have to see to believe as you float over the Arizona landscape. Phoenix lies beneath you while desert stretches to the distant mountains. The pilots are FAA-licensed and experienced in navigating with your safety and enjoyment in mind. Your pilot will also answer questions and identify points of interest during your flight. A chase crew will follow on the ground and meet you at the landing site. From there a van takes you back to the launch site. Upon your return, enjoy a celebratory toast of Champagne to cap your unique airborne adventure. You'll also be presented with a flight certificate.

Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix, Scottsdale & Tempe

4. Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix, Scottsdale & Tempe

Experience the Grand Canyon National Park during this guided tour. Explore the canyon rim with its panoramic views and visit Route 66 with your guide. Start your tour at Route 66. Experience the historic highway in the town of Williams, the last town passed by I-40. As you explore this famous location, you have the opportunity to purchase lunch in Williams or Grand Canyon. Spend approximately 3 hours within the National Park marveling at the beauty that is the Grand Canyon. Don’t forget to visit the historic El Tovar Lodge and Hopi House in Grand Canyon Village. Visit the South Rim and take in the dramatic views — ideal for photographers. Stop into the shop or enjoy your lunch and relax with the best seat in the house.

From Phoenix: Grand Canyon Tour with Sedona and Oak Creek

5. From Phoenix: Grand Canyon Tour with Sedona and Oak Creek

Take a trip to one of the 7 wonders of the natural world on this day tour of the Grand Canyon National Park. You will be collected from selected hotels or apartments in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, or Mesa Arizona. The journey north takes you through amazing views of the Saguaro Cactus in the Sonoran Desert. You will travel through the Ponderosa Pine Forests of Flagstaff where the Lowell Observatory is located. Stop among the Red Rocks of Sedona for time to take in the breathtaking scenery and lots of pictures. Travel through Oak Creek Canyon famous the world over for its spectacular scenery. In the afternoon be taken to the Grand Canyon National Park. Stop for pictures of the Red Rocks of Sedona. Make several stops along the South Rim for picture taking and enjoying the incredible views. See the El Tovar Lodge, a former Harvey hotel. Have the afternoon to explore the sublime park and see many of its ecological wonders and natural beauty. Your professional guide will be able to inform you of the history and stories behind this ancient wonder.

Off-Road Segway Tour: Scottsdale, Fort McDowell

6. Off-Road Segway Tour: Scottsdale, Fort McDowell

Experience Arizona in this off-road Segway Tour in the Sonoran Desert; the most exciting adventure in the Scottsdale Area! Warm temperatures, blue skies, and breath-taking scenery create the most perfect oasis; you will be so glad you came out. Your tour operates by special permit on the Fort McDowell Native American Reservation and takes place off the beaten path on beautiful desert trails located near the Verde River at the base of Four Peaks Mountain. The Segway is perfect for the terrain and relaxed atmosphere of the Sonoran Desert. It allows you to experience the desert first-hand and offers the best wind-in-your-hair adventure to share with your friends and family. It is an experience that you will remember forever. Your guide will provide you with information about the Yavapai Nation, as well as the unique flora and fauna you are seeing; everything from the great saguaros to bald eagles and wild horses. Please dress in layers with closed-toe shoes. Includes Cone Zone safety training and the best Segway guides in The West.

Scottsdale: Half-Day Lower Salt River Rafting Tour

7. Scottsdale: Half-Day Lower Salt River Rafting Tour

Cool off and explore the beautiful Sonoran Desert with a guided Salt River rafting trip on the Lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest. Arrive at 7:30 AM at the local supplier's office in North Scottdale, then travel 35 minutes to the start point just outside the eastern metro area. Get kitted out with all necessary equipment then head out onto the water.  The Salt River is a scenic, Class I (the easiest rating on the international scale of river difficulty) waterway which provides some of the best wildlife and bird watching opportunities in the Southwest. The water flow on the river varies seasonally, based on this your guide will choose from a number of put‐in/take‐out locations in order to ensure guests have the best river rafting experience. Whilst light paddling is required, your experienced rafting guide will do most of the work, so you can sit back and enjoy the view. Water temperatures are in the 60s in the winter and rise to low 80s in the summer months. Swimming is possible year‐round, but the water may be chilly in January. Tours typically last about 4 hours and water and snacks will be provided for the duration of the tour.

Sedona and Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix

8. Sedona and Grand Canyon Day Tour from Phoenix

Witness the stunning scenery of Arizona and see both Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Join this Sedona and Grand Canyon day tour from Phoenix and soak up the breathtaking views along the way. Start your tour in Sedona at Bell Rock Vista and head to the Chapel of the Holy Cross for truly spectacular views. After, have free time in the rustic, old-west district of Uptown to shop, enjoy local cuisine, or visit some of its numerous art galleries. After departing Sedona, relax and take in the scenery on one of Arizona's most scenic drives as you pass through Oak Creek Canyon. Arrive at the majestic Grand Canyon South Rim National Park and stand at two of the most rewarding viewpoints of the Canyon. Enjoy a guided tour at one of the overlooks and free time on your own at the other.

From Phoenix/Scottsdale: Sedona Red Rock Run Jeep Tour

9. From Phoenix/Scottsdale: Sedona Red Rock Run Jeep Tour

Embark on a full-day Sedona Red Rock Run Jeep Tour and outdoor adventure in the stunning Sedona area. Start with a morning pickup from your hotel or selected pickup location in Phoenix or Scottsdale. On the way up to Sedona, stop at Montezuma's Castle Native American Ruins. See the ancient cliff dwellings of the Southern Sinagua Native Americans, which were built between 1000-1400 AD. Following Montezuma's Castle, make your way into Sedona for more sightseeing before heading to lunch at one of Sedona's best local restaurants. Explore the magnificent scenery of the Red Rocks State Park during a Jeep tour. Get some final sights of the city and red rock region before taking a transfer back to your destination in Pheonix or Scottsdale.

Scottsdale: Half-Day Desert Discovery Eco-Tour in a Tesla

10. Scottsdale: Half-Day Desert Discovery Eco-Tour in a Tesla

Start the day with pickup at your hotel or residence in a luxury, eco-friendly Tesla Model X SUV. First, take short hike through a desert canyon at the beloved Lake Pleasant regional park. Enjoy the scenic views and even have the opportunity to splash in the water. Next, drive along the famous Desert Foothills Scenic Drive. See craggy tors, remnants of ancient granite batholiths. Enjoy plenty of opportunities to photograph stands of the world-famous Saguaro Cactus. After the scenic drive, arrive at "Water to Water" by artists Christine Tanz and Paul Edwards. This piece of public art explores how Scottsdale has harnessed water and used it to build a thriving city. Visit the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden, a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat, and learn about water conservation and nature appreciation. Lastly, explore the epic waterfalls at Arizona Falls, a recommissioned hydroelectric power plant from the early 1900s. Here you will learn the science of water delivery and power production that takes place in Arizona, before being returned to your pickup point.

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What people are saying about Scottsdale

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 789 reviews

Loved it. We had an awesome, experienced guide, Jon T. who made it so enjoyable with his humor as well as his knowledge of piloting these balloons. We had a great morning for it and more importantly, we had the perfect landing ! We highly recommend this outfit .

We had a beautiful day for an excursion! The weather was perfect and the quality of our tour was exceptional. We enjoyed Cody sharing the history about the canyon and Sedona. The lunch that we were provided was delicious with several choices of entree available.

Kimberly was a great tour guide. She was helpful and informative. She went above and beyond to make our day special.

Great experience for an adventurous bachelorette group like us! Highly recommend.

Was absolutely awesome as my first time experience!