The city of Scottsdale, identified as one of Arizona’s healthiest cities and named one of America’s Most Livable Cities, was founded in 1894 and chartered in 1951. As a vacation destination, the New York Times calls Scottsdale the “desert version of Miami’s South Beach.” Visitors and locals alike flock to the Resort Corridor near the intersection of Scottsdale and Shea, where luxury homes and tourist destinations meet. With the highest number of destination spas per capita for US cities, it’s no wonder that tourism has the greatest economic impact of any other sector here in Scottsdale. Season visitors escaping harsh northern winters help keep home values high, with many purchasing vacation homes to winter in the sunshine, leaving only to escape the extreme summer months.
Scottsdale’s convenient layout and well-designed freeway system means that no matter where you are in town, you’re close to the world-renowned Musical Instrument Museum and the retail cornucopia of Kierland Commons and the Scottsdale Quarter. If you plan on sticking closer to Phoenix, you’ll enjoy great shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square, or maybe you’d rather take in a round of golf or enjoy a restful day at one of the many resort spas in the area. If sports are more to your liking, check out Cactus League spring training, or zip over to Phoenix and Glendale for basketball, in-season baseball, football, or hockey.
Since 1955, North Scottsdale has been home to the Arabian Horse Show—but today’s cowboys know plenty of ways to get around. Don’t miss the annual Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction, or step back in time with the Parada del Sol Parade to see the largest horse-drawn parade in the world, which kicks off a month of celebrating the cowboy lifestyle. If flashy cars and rodeo clowns aren’t your speed, don’t miss out on Scottsdale Fashion Week or the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. For art lovers, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Taliesin West provide sophisticated diversions, and of course nightlife in the area offers plenty of options, from the Thursday ArtWalk, to Scottsdale Arts Festival, and Indian gaming. And no matter what they try to do with the marketing, don’t forget that golf’s Phoenix Open is actually in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale’s options for education are as rich and varied as you’d expect. Arizona State University’s SkySong campus, located on the south end of town, operates a research collaboration between the school and local and international businesses. Public schools are operated by Scottsdale Unified School District and Paradise Valley School District. In addition to ASU, located just south of town in Tempe, post-high school education can be acquired at Scottsdale Community College, the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, University of Phoenix, Gateway Seminary, and the Arizona Culinary Institute. And with four branches and a beautiful main location, the Scottsdale Public Library offers the perfect solution for self-guided learning. Public transit is available by bus all over town, and there’s even a trolley system operating in the downtown area.
With some of the strongest home value growth in the nation through the early 2000s, Scottsdale continues to provide solid option for those seeking property that will hold value over time. Scottsdale really has it all, with great schools, incredible views, and plenty of leisure activities—both for the high roller and the budget-minded.