Whether you are new to the area or just looking for fun and interesting things to do in North Scottsdale, there is no shortage of opportunities to get out and experience the North Scottsdale scene. Nestled at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains and once home to sleepy cattle ranches, North Scottsdale harmonizes the Sonoran desert’s beauty with luxurious homes and unique architecture. Although much of the building is new real estate, there is a history to this gem in the desert that makes people who live all over the world want to come visit and many create second or third homes here. It may be the world class golf courses, the high end shopping or fabulous culinary scene. Or it could be the incredible fall, winter and spring weather coupled with the hiking, biking, and outdoor scene. It’s something different for everyone, but one thing is for certain, there is plenty to do here for anyone and everyone. Here are just a few places to see and things to do while enjoying the weather and outdoors.
McDowell Mountain Preserve – incredible hiking and well-manicured trails make the MMP a great destination for hikers of every level. Tom’s Thumb, Gateway Trail, Sunrise Trail are just a few of the awe-inspiring hikes accessible in North Scottsdale. For more information click here. Always make sure to bring good shoes, sun screen and plenty of water!
Biking – North Scottsdale is home to the Tour De Scottsdale, as well as many miles of marked bike lanes. Scottsdale is a bike-conscious community and a great place to ride any time of year. There are biking teams/groups regularly seen out on the weekends and fabulous mountain biking trails for a novice or expert.
Butterfly Wonderland – One of the newest additions to North Scottsdale has been the opening of this amazing place! Just off the 101 and Via De Ventura, Butterfly Wonderland really is a magical place. The 10,000 square foot atrium is home to thousands of butterflies, a koi pond and a various plants. The butterflies fly around at free will, munch on watermelon (their favorite snack) and tickle patrons with their beauty and wings.
Pinnacle Peak Park – Hiking Pinnacle Peak is no small feat. The out and back trail has moderate inclinations to fairly steep, but is worth every drip of sweat. The granite boulders and the city views make this hike one of the best in the city. If you want a good workout with awesome scenery, check it out…just make sure to watch out for snakes in the late spring!
Carefree & Cave Creek – North up Pima Road about fifteen miles are two little towns right next to each other with the charm of the wild west and where people can get a taste of what Arizona used to look like back in the day. Artists gather here for inspiration, bikers frequent here as a destination for weekend rides, and locals know they live where the west is still wild. The bars and restaurants are thematic and quaint while the shops offer pieces of Arizona only found in authentic places like Carefree & Cave Creek
Greasewood Flat – Care to hang out with a bunch of bikers, in a 130 year old bunkhouse, eat hamburgers and drink beer? Well, then Greasewood Flats is your place! Greasewood Flat has been voted one of the “Oldest, Quirkiest and most Classic Bars” in America and has been serving up amazing burgers since 1975. It’s a North Scottsdale icon and a great place to throw a party. Cowboys, bikers, locals and tourists are welcome to enjoy the outdoor eating, incredible food, and fantastic experience only offered at Greasewood Flats.
Bartlett Lake – Yes, there are lakes in The Valley, in fact there are about 5 within 45 minutes to an hour of Phoenix. And yes, they are big enough to accommodate boats and even have fish!! Bartlett is the closest to North Scottsdale and has a marina too. It’s the perfect place to quietly fish or go ripping on a wakeboard.
Fountain Hills Fountain – Just East on Shea BLVD is a little town called Fountain Hills, aptly named after its man-made fountain in the middle of town. The fountain is the 4th tallest fountain in the world and was was built in 1970, by Robert P. McCulloch. Every hour, on the hour, the fountain shoots water for 15 minutes up over 500 feet into the air. Shopping and restaurants are strategically positioned to give admirers a great view of the fountain. Fountain Hills is also home to several art festivals and carnivals that overlook the fountain as well.
Jeep/Hummer Tours: If hiking, biking, or horseback riding aren’t your preference when experiencing the desert, perhaps a tour in an off road vehicle is! Jeep and Hummer tours of the desert are fantastic ways to experience a little adventure. You even can try your hand at a dune buggy! Some tours specialize in night excursions while others are during the day.
Arizona Cowboy College – Want to experience your own version of City Slickers? Try Cowboy U! From weekly sessions to kid camps, you can learn how to be a real life cowboy with a little help from some trained professionals!
Troon North Golf Course – Troon North is a golfer’s paradise. With towering granite boulders, challenging desert framed course, and breathtaking beauty, the experience of playing Troon North is unforgettable. For booking tee times and more information click here.
TPC – Home to The Phoenix Open, the Tournament Players Club in North Scottsdale is a great place to get a round of golf in. Like many courses in The Valley, the course offers special summer rates which are sometimes three times less than the fees in the high season. Playing on a course the pros play on will always deliver a lasting impression and beautiful experience.
Grayhawk Golf Course – Grayhawk is a great neighborhood in North Scottsdale with all the amenities one could want in luxury living, including an incredible golf course! There are only a handful of public courses north of the 101, and this is one of the best. For booking tee times and information click here.