Couple lounging with drinks poolside and feet dangling in Infinity Pool

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.

Ideal for
Groups of Friends

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.

Old Town Scottsdale at night.


Discover the Scottsdale attractions it wouldn’t be a getaway without. Situated in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Sanctuary has all the ambiance of an oasis, yet retains the connectivity you’ll need to explore all the best places to visit in Scottsdale. With quaint Old Town Scottsdale, iconic Taliesin West, and more renowned attractions at your fingertips, you’ll find there are more things to see in Scottsdale than there are hours in the day.

Make the most of your vacation by hitting at least a few of the top places to visit in Scottsdale–then enjoy the relaxation you expect from Sanctuary.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art – Experience the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary art, dedicated to celebrating contemporary art, architecture and design. Featuring a wide array of seasonal exhibits showcasing some of the top artists and designers in the contemporary space along with interactive workshops and event, this one-of-a-kind museum is the perfect spot for the contemporary art lover.

Scottsdale Museum of the West: Western Spirit - Experience Scottsdale Museum of the West, Paradise Valley’s newest museum. The museum honors the significance of the American West through art, interactive exhibits, and special events. Find the Museum of the West in the eclectic arts and cultural district in downtown Scottsdale, just 10 minutes from Sanctuary.

Desert Botanical Gardens - Meander through 145 acres of desert plants at the Desert Botanical Gardens. Over 4000 species of plant life native to arid lands around the world, including our own Sonoran Desert, are present here. Consider planning your trip to the gardens around any of their special events, like the Desert Night Cinema, Music in the Garden, Flashlight Tours, or Dinner on the Desert.

Taliesin West - Taliesin West is a desert home at it’s best, and is known as much for its unique design as for its notable resident: American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. A National Historic Landmark, Taliesin West was Wright’s winter home, and, as such, was built and maintained almost exclusively by Wright and his apprentices. The home has been a beloved Scottsdale feature since 1937, when it was erected out of the rocks and sand from the desert washes that surround it. Taliesin West now houses a living and working architectural school as an homage to Wright’s impressive legacy.

Musical Instrument Museum - Explore the sounds, rhythms, instruments and cultures that created the soundtrack to our lives. Featuring a collection of more than 8,000 instruments from over 200 world countries, the Musical Art Museum offers interactive tours, live musical performances, and spectacular education programs. Experience the sensory nature of music and learn it affects our emotions. Hear their sounds, and observe them being played in their original contexts through state-of-the-art, interactive media.

Biltmore shopping center at dusk.


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.

Old Town ScottsdaleThe old and the new come together in Old Town Scottsdale, featuring a proliferation of the city’s best shops, art galleries, museums, and award-winning restaurants. Founded in the late 1800s, Old Town Scottsdale pays tribute to its historic roots through Indian and western-inspired designs, souvenir shops, and diverse dining options. The area also offers nearly 100 galleries, as well as easily walkable streets that make the perfect pair for warm Arizona evenings.

Our insider tip? Head to the heart of Old Town Scottsdale at 5th Avenue and Scottsdale Road to peruse the Fifth Avenue Shops, featuring an eclectic array of shops, from gifts to jewelry, antiques to southwestern designer duds.

Biltmore Fashion ParkRegional history and world-class shopping coexist at Biltmore Fashion Park, widely accepted as the “crown jewel” of Scottsdale’s shopping scene. Biltmore is home to Arizona’s only Saks Fifth Avenue, and with it a selection of high-end retailers like Brooks Brothers, Hyde Park Jeweler’s, Ralph Lauren, and more.

In an effort to reflect Scottsdale’s local culture, Biltmore also features UNION, a collection of local, independent retailers selling goods unique to the area. Premiere dining options are also around every corner. Keep the hunger at bay with fine dining favorites like The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, and Stingray Sushi.

Kierland CommonsKierland Commons is a unique, upscale Main Street lifestyle center that artfully blends retail shopping, dining and entertainment. The one-of-a-kind development incorporates over 70 high-end specialty stores that include a distinctive selection of national retail choices, such as Anthropologie, Splendid, Michael Kors, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Crate & Barrel, Sur La Table, Tommy Bahama and Z Gallerie.

Guests may also choose from a variety of the Valley’s consistently ranked best restaurants like Zinc Bistro, The Greene House, Mastro’s Ocean Club, North, and RA Sushi Bar & Restaurant. Featuring regional cuisine from Continental to French to Japanese, there is something for everyone.

Statue of man on horse in Old Town Scottsdale.


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.

Scottsdale Art WalkOne of Old Town Scottsdale’s premiere events, the Scottsdale Art Walk has been a Paradise Valley tradition for 40 years. Peruse artworks of all kinds at locations along Marshall Way and Main Street every Thursday evening. Nearly 100 galleries open their doors for this weekly event, earning the art walk the moniker “America’s Original Art Walk.”

Scottsdale Museum of the West: Western SpiritExperience Scottsdale Museum of the West, Paradise Valley’s newest museum. The museum honors the significance of the American West through art, interactive exhibits, and special events. Find the Museum of the West in the eclectic arts and cultural district in downtown Scottsdale, just 10 minutes from Sanctuary.

Heard Museum - 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 golf course with dynamic waterfall feature.


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.

Top Golf - Enjoy the premier golf driving range experience in Scottsdale, AZ. Top Golf’s climate-controlled hitting bays include HDTVs alongside a spectacular sports bar and restaurant. Bring your own clubs or use complimentary rental clubs. 1-480-240-2402 – Beginner Appropriate

Mountain Shadows Golf ClubLooking to play a round during your Sanctuary getaway? Located just a block away, Mountain Shadows short-course is the perfect spot to enjoy a golf outing. The Par-3, 18-hole course offers a great time for the beginning golfer or those who like a little more of a challenge. 1-855-485-1417 – Moderate

Camelback Golf ClubFeatures two championship courses. The Padre Course is a traditional parkland course with tree-lined fairways and presents a unique challenge. The Ambiente Course is a links style course which offers a distinct challenge where accuracy and a good strategy command the day. 1-480-596-7050 – Moderate

Phoenician Golf CourseLocated on the side of Camelback Mountain, the Phoenician offers wonderful views of the city and three distinctly different nines. Elements of desert, tropical and even mountain golf are present on this beautiful property. 1-480-423-2450 – Moderate

McCormick Ranch Golf Course - Featuring two 18-hole courses, both park like in design. The Palm Course features ten water holes and, as its name suggests, showcases many large palm trees. The Pine Course has many mature pine trees and is a bit more narrow. 1-480-948-0260 – Beginner Appropriate

Talking Stick Golf ClubThe North Course is the closest thing to Scottish golf you’ll find in the desert. This wind-blown, links course has won several awards for design excellence. The South Course has a more traditional American look than its links-style companion. 1-480-860-2221 – Moderate

Grayhawlk Golf Club - The Talon Course offers elevated greens that are large and undulating, with numerous water hazards coming into play as well as one hole with an island green. The Raptor Course offers a thrilling golf challenge that commands a player’s respect through a daring, high-stakes game of risk and reward. 1-480-502-1800 – Moderate

TPC ScottsdaleThe resort-style layout of the Stadium Course has gained immeasurable attention as the stage for the FBR Open. There are plenty of holes that the ball needs to carry over the desert from the tee box, but little desert on the course itself. It’s more parkland or links-style as opposed to true desert target golf. 1-480-585-4334  – Moderate