Typical desert landscape at sunset in Scottsdale

Where To Go In Scottsdale If You Only Have A Weekend

If you’re planning on taking a weekend trip to Scottsdale, this is the guide to help you make the most of your time here. We will give you all the insider tips on where to go, when and what to do. Think of Scottsdale as Las Vegas, Jr with a whole lot less flash. We keep the lights down low!

DIG Scottsdale cactus saguaro sky
Scottsdale is flush with beautiful cactus

Scottsdale: When To Go

Obviously, if you live somewhere that’s chock full of arctic weather in the winter, come to the desert and thaw out! We have over 300 days of sunshine per year and it’s gorgeous here all winter. The reasons to come to Scottsdale in the winter area numerous: warmer temperatures, many events, beautiful sunsets and great culinary scene. There are some downsides to coming during busy season though: more people are here, longer waits at restaurants, higher hotel prices and more traffic.

DIG Scottsdale Hush Public House Halibut Crudo
DIG Scottsdale Hush Public House Halibut Crudo

Scottsdale In The Summer

The majority of the people who live in Scottsdale year round would tell you not to come visit anytime after Mother’s Day and before late October. It’s hot here. Like, really, it’s hot. When you walk out at 3am and it’s still over 100 degrees it doesn’t matter that it’s a dry heat. If you can deal with the heat for a couple days there are lots of great reasons to come to Scottsdale in the summer: great deals at hotels, no traffic, no wait at any restaurant and awesome pool parties.

The Mistake Most People Make

People typically do a little research and decide that they’re going to get a place in the southern part of Scottsdale called Old Town. If you’re ready to party like a rockstar and pop bottles, Old Town is the places to be Friday-Sunday. There are some restaurants to go to that are worth checking out too The typical tourist goes to Old Town and drinks all night, attempts to hike Camelback Mountain the next day and then maybe does one other thing like go to a baseball game if they’re not suffering too much from Old Town and Camelback.

DIG Scottsdale City Limits
Scottsdale Runs North To South

The Rest of Scottsdale

Old Town is a very small part of Scottsdale. Check out the blue circle. That’s the very southern part of Scottsdale and if you’re in your 20s the place you will have the most fun unless you choose to go to Mill in Tempe by ASU. The other two areas that are most visited are the red circle which is the Talking Stick Resort Casino and the orange circle which is Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter. Most people never visit the prettiest parts of Scottsdale which are north of the 101.

DIG Scottsdale map areas to go
DIG Scottsdale Most Visited Areas

What To Do In Scottsdale

Scottsdale is home to 50+ golf courses, a casino, an aquarium, an indoor sky diving place, an ice bar, 80+ hiking trails, breathtaking resorts, more spas than you can imagine, an incredible variety of culinary delights, numerous art galleries, a philharmonic orchestra and events every weekend. There is something for everyone and it’s a lot less expensive than you might think considering the beauty that surrounds you everywhere you go.

DIG Scottsdale Mission Cocktails
DIG Scottsdale Mission Kierland Cocktails That Are Pretty

The Foodie Visiting Scottsdale

There are so many amazing, locally owned restaurants in Scottsdale you will be hard pressed to pick one. Absolutely don’t go to a chain, try some of the great places that are available to you. Here are some of our top recommendations on where to eat.

DIG Scottsdale Fat Ox Rosso di Gallo
DIG Scottsdale Fat Ox Rosso crest di gallo, red wine, dandelion greens, duck sausage, mushroom, huckleberry

Happy Hour and Reverse Happy Hour

Take advantage of the great happy hours that many of the finer establishments offer. There are always deals to be had and plenty of choices. Many restaurants offer daily happy hour too. Reverse happy hour is on point in Scottsdale too. Here are some top picks.


The name of the game is to check out all of Scottsdale, not just one small area. There are so many beautiful things to do see that you’re missing out if you just hit the tourist spots. For more ideas follow us on IG we’re always finding the fun stuff!