Just northeast of Phoenix, Arizona, the suburban city of Scottsdale boasts an easygoing residential atmosphere. While the town is known for a rich collection of resorts and sprawling golf courses, it also hosts salons and historic sites that effortlessly transport visitors to the Old West era of gun-slinging cowboys and steam locomotives. Scottsdale is also a gateway to the Sonoran wilderness, with endless hiking opportunities across rocky mountains and blooming desert valleys. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or a quiet retreat, there is an ideal Scottsdale vacation rental available for you and your family. Here are the most prominent destinations in and around Scottsdale.
1. Old Town Scottsdale
This neighborhood near downtown celebrates Scottsdale’s rich Western heritage along historic streets where foot traffic rules. Here you find old-fashioned taverns and grills, charming boutiques where you can shop for hand-crafted jewelry, and antique candy shops. Staying at one of the Western resorts or inns in Old Town Scottsdale also gives you easy access to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where you can browse exhibits or stroll through the outdoor sculpture garden.
2. McCormick Ranch
Once an Arabian horse ranch, this neighborhood is now a master-planned community offering breathtaking views of seven man-made lakes and the surrounding mountains. If you’re visiting Scottsdale on a family retreat, head to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park where kids can ride a miniature train, play on the jungle gyms, and walk through a sprawling model railroad display. Be sure to visit Butterfly Wonderland to stroll through enclosed butterfly gardens, or enjoy a bike ride along McCormick Ranch’s 25 miles of trails. You can also check out McCormick Ranch Golf Club to play the 18-hole championship courses.
3. Gainey Ranch
Another ranch-turned-neighborhood featuring a number of smaller, master-planned communities, Gainey Ranch boasts charming townhouses and ranch-style homes. This is the perfect rental location if you’re looking for a tranquil place to kick back after a day of hiking. For more entertainment, practice your swing at Camelback Golf Club, or bike or walk down the landscaped pathways on a quiet afternoon.
4. Downtown Scottsdale
Featuring everything from luxury hotels to cozy rental apartments, this is the place to stay if you want to be close to the action. Catch a baseball game at Scottsdale Stadium, or browse Scottsdale Fashion Square and 5th Avenue for high-end boutiques and jewelers. Old Town Scottsdale is just a short walk away, and you can enjoy easy access to the top attractions of Tempe and Phoenix, including the Phoenix Zoo.
5. North Scottsdale
North Scottsdale is known for its spacious residential areas amidst desert wilderness, offering easy access to McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Cave Buttes Recreation Area, and other hot spots for desert hiking and family picnics. Plus, the more remote locale means finding a budget-friendly vacation rental is easier than ever.
6. Paradise Valley
Nestled in a desert valley between Camelback Mountain and the McDowell Mountains, this upscale community is the perfect place to treat your family to a luxury vacation. Here you find multi-story homes with beautiful desert landscaping alongside high-end resorts and hotels. The widespread appeal of this neighborhood makes it a great place for celebrity spotting, and you can even take a home tour to see the houses of famous actors, athletes and more. Head to the Echo Canyon Recreation Area to explore mountain trails, or enjoy a peaceful afternoon at one of the nearby golf courses. Be sure to check out the massive Paradise Valley Mall for popular retailers and outlets.
7. Cave Creek
Located at the northern tip of Scottsdale, Cave Creek is a more rural neighborhood with views of the mountain desert landscape from your laid-back vacation rental. Like Old Scottsdale, this neighborhood celebrates the Old West spirit throughout its collection of saloons, upscale restaurants, art galleries, and thrift stores. Don’t miss the Thieves Market that takes place the first Saturday of each month, offering everything from antiques to Western wear and collectibles. You can also stop by Cave Creek Regional Park for nearly 3,000 acres of picnic grounds, hiking trails, and more.
8. Central Scottsdale
This neighborhood consists of dozens of smaller residential communities featuring modern condos with mountain-view balconies alongside multi-story desert homes along carefully landscaped streets. Scottsdale Ranch is one community in Central Scottsdale featuring winding canals where you can take a pontoon boat out for a lazy cruise. Head to the Starfire Golf Club for a round of golf, and enjoy easy access to all of Scottsdale’s top attractions thanks to the neighborhood’s central location.
9. Pinnacle Peak
One of Scottsdale’s northernmost neighborhoods, Pinnacle Peak offers a rural feel for a more natural desert getaway. Enjoy the scenic courses of Troon North Golf Club and Golf Club Scottsdale, or hike the neighborhood’s rocky trails through the Sonoran Desert. Pinnacle Peak Park is the perfect place for a family hiking excursion with breathtaking views of the Valley, and more adventurous travelers can enjoy some rock climbing. Staying here also puts you close to Needle Rock Recreation Site and the McDowell Mountain hiking trails.