If you’re like most people looking for unique things to do in Scottsdale, you’ve probably already seen a dozen lists that feature things like the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Taliesin West, Old Town and Western Spirit. And while those are all amazing places that you should definitely visit when you have time, they’re not really what you’re looking for.
Check out this list of five truly unique things to do in Scottsdale – you’ll be glad you did.
5 Unique Things to Do in Scottsdale
Scottsdale is a beautiful city, and it’s packed with great things to do for people of all ages. However, these are a handful of really unique things to do and see:
- Take the Scottsdale Trolley Food Tour
- Walk the Soleri Bridge and Plaza
- Visit the Cattle Track Arts Compound
- Walk through the swinging doors at the Rusty Spur Saloon
- Attend Cowboy College
Here’s a closer look at each.
The Scottsdale Trolley Food Tour
The Scottsdale Trolley Food Tour is a great way to spend a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday afternoon. You’ll stop at these six restaurants along the way:
- Barrio Queen
- Craft 64
- Sugar & ‘Spro
- Tap & Bowl
- TeaTime Scottsdale
- Classic Cakes & Confections
The food tours serve up to 16 guests, aged 11 and up. The dishes you’ll sample at each restaurant are pre-selected to show you the most popular items, and several are paired with that establishment’s signature cocktail.
Tours only run four days a week, starting at 2 p.m., which means you should book your tickets early. You can get more information here.
The Soleri Bridge and Plaza
A walkway and work of art, the Soleri Bridge and Plaza was designed by renowned artist Paolo Soleri. Anchored by two 64-foot pylons, this V-shaped bridge is situated in a true north axis – and that makes it possible to mark solar events by the sun’s shadow. Each solar noon produces a shadow (and interestingly, solar noon can vary by up to 40 minutes from 12:00 on your analog or digital clock). The attached plaza includes beautiful totemic panels that replicate the cast wall motif representing Cosanti and Arcosanti.
Cattle Track Arts Compound
The Cattle Track Arts Compound, located at 6105 North Cattletrack Road in Scottsdale, hosts several events throughout the month – but you don’t have to visit for a talk or presentation. Check out the compound’s special events and explore works by each artist here
. This 13-acre artist colony currently houses a number of artists, and its rich and storied history is definitely worth learning; it’s been home to several printmakers, architects, artists, blacksmiths and musicians over the years.
Rusty Spur Saloon
Image courtesy of the Arizona Historical Society
The oldest saloon in Scottsdale – the Rusty Spur – has welcomed celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn over the past 60 years. The building itself is a National Historic Landmark (it used to be the Farmer’s Bank of Scottsdale) and was the very first saloon in the city. And while there are certainly fewer cowboys in the saloon now than there were in the 1950s and 60s, the decor is really on-point. (Check out this old photo of the front of the saloon through the Arizona Historical Society’s website
Arizona Cowboy College
The Arizona Cowboy College
– located at 30208 North 152nd Street in Scottsdale – is the perfect place to learn horsemanship skills and ranching techniques. This family-owned and operated business has been featured on the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America and several other big-name outlets because people from all over the world come here to learn all about living and working on a ranch.