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Community, Arizona, TRAVEL INSPIRATION

Gurney's Guide to Scottsdale Pt. 2

By Editor 2022, April

Things To Do In Scottsdale

Nestled in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale, Arizona, is a city after every snowbird’s heart. Nearly 314 days of sunshine per year and some of the warmest year-round temps in the U.S. make this a top desert destination for 8.9 million visitors per year. 51 area golf courses, diverse shopping hotspots, and engaging arts and culture attractions elevate Scottsdale to the top of the must-visit list for anyone in search of warmer weather.

How do you see and do it all while avoiding the “go-go-go” you’ve come to Sanctuary to escape? Take a peek at our Scottsdale shortlist, comprised of only the most compelling area attractions. See a few of these sites, then leave the hustle at home to enjoy the relaxation that is a true Sanctuary staple.


Art is at its best in Scottsdale, a community that’s home to a rich arts and culture scene, complete with world-renowned museums and unique galleries. Discover top Scottsdale art/galleries within reach of our resort, from the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Scottsdale is also home to over 100 art galleries, making it easy to enjoy art in more informal settings. Don’t miss the Scottsdale Art Walk in downtown, a weekly open-house for area art galleries. In search of more curated collections? Explore the many popular museums in Phoenix, like the Phoenix Art Museum’s collection of over 18,000 works.

Recommended Phoenix/Scottsdale Art Venues 

Phoenix Art Museum has been a favorite destination of local residents and visitors to Arizona since 1959. It is the largest art museum in the Southwest and features American, Asian, European, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design from its collection of more than 18,000 works. The museum is located about 20 minutes from Sanctuary near downtown Phoenix. It is open Wed 10-9, Thur-Sat 10-5, and Sun 12-5. Closed Mon-Tues. 

Heard Museum is a world class destination known for its fine collections celebrating American Indian cultures and art. Originally founded by philanthropists Dwight and Maie Heard in 1929 the museum has grown in size and stature over the years. Their mission is to educate visitors and promote a greater understanding of the indigenous peoples of the Americas with an emphasis on the Southwest. The Heard Museum is open Mon-Sat 9:30-5 and Sun 11-5 and is located about 20 minutes from Sanctuary near downtown Phoenix. 

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) is located 10 minutes away in Old Town Scottsdale. Exhibits at this museum focus on contemporary and modern art, architecture, and design. The museum is open Sun, Tues-Wed 12-5 and Thur-Fri 12-9. Closed Mondays. Admission is free on Thursdays and after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West: Western Spirit is the newest museum in the Valley. The museum celebrates the West and its importance through art, interactive experiences, and events. Western Spirit anchors the arts and cultural district of downtown Scottsdale and is just a short 10 minute drive from Sanctuary. It is open Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat 9:30-5, Thur 9:30-9, and Sun 11-5. Closed Mondays.

Scottsdale Art Walk has been a tradition in the Valley for 40 years and is known as “America’s Original ArtWalk”. It is held primarily along Marshall Way and Main Street in downtown Scottsdale. Art galleries open up their doors every Thursday between 7pm and 9pm. Visitors proceed at their own pace and check out galleries that may be of interest to them. 

Scottsdale is home to more than 100 art galleries and is considered a mecca for art collectors. Galleries are dedicated to exhibiting the finest visual art from all over the world. A favorite gallery for art enthusiasts is The Calvin Charles Gallery, Scottsdale’s premier contemporary art gallery. This gallery brings together an eclectic mix of international artists. Museum hours and entry costs are subject to change seasonally. Please check with the concierge desk prior to visiting for up to date hours or costs


Scottsdale is known for its world-class shopping destinations, and Sanctuary gets you close to some of the best. Here, you can spend an afternoon perusing local boutiques in Old Town Scottsdale or reacquainting yourself with your favorite international brands at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Whether you are looking to expand your wardrobe or simply find a few Scottsdale souvenirs, the shopping options in Scottsdale are endless. Discover the best places to indulge in a little downtown area shopping, all just minutes from Sanctuary.


The best of Scottsdale/Phoenix golf courses abound just outside our front door. The scenic Sonoran Desert gives way to pristine golf greens near our resort, making Scottsdale a top destination for golfers of all abilities. Seasoned pros and beginners alike will revel in the countless opportunities to perfect their golf game. Among the top Scottsdale golf courses, Mountain Shadows short-course is just a block away, and only marks the beginning of the many beautifully landscaped and strategically designed courses that golf aficionados won’t want to miss.