If you’re a millennial—someone born roughly between 1980 and 2000—Scottsdale may be an ideal place to live. Travel research website Gogobot recently named Scottsdale the No. 4 best mid-size city for millennials in the nation to visit or live in based on the city’s restaurants, nightlife, art scene, and outdoor activities, like hiking Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain.
“Old Town Scottsdale has a lot going on that is, decidedly, not old,” according to the Gogobot article. “In fact, its food, nightlife, and shopping options, as well as many festivals that take place there, are perfect for a millennial crowd on the lookout for all things new and trendy.”
The article goes on to say that Scottsdale caters to wine lovers with its many wine bars—such as the Sorso Wine Room, Kazimierz World Wine Bar, 5th and Wine, and Postino Kierland, to name just a few—and encourages art lovers to check out the Scottsdale Art Walk, held every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., in Old Town Scottsdale.
Wine bars and the art walk aren’t the only draws for millennials. The article points out, residents can hike Camelback Mountain as well as trails through the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Driving a short distance opens up dozens of opportunities for hiking and mountain biking, including South Mountain Park, the nation’s largest municipal parks. (National Geographic ranked Phoenix as one of the top 10 hiking cities in the country.)
Millennials who love art do not have to limit themselves to the art walk. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is the state’s only permanent museum of modern art and holds rotating exhibits that include architecture and fashion. Also in downtown Scottsdale, Western Spirit: The Scottsdale Museum of the West showcases works depicting the western United States from the time it was occupied by native American peoples to present day.
Scottsdale also has several performing arts venues that attract name acts. In downtown Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Center from the Performing Arts hosts everyone from Storm Large and Roseanne Cash to Jacques Pepin. The Musical Instrument Museum has a 300-seat auditorium that attracts an international line-up, ranging from Irish folk singers to violists. Talking Stick Resort features more headliners, including Blue October, Tracy Morgan, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
For a little additional culture, there are also plenty of museums and attractions in the area. Scottsdale is also home to Taliesin West, the winter home and architectural school of Frank Lloyd Wright. In July 2016, a 14-acre OdySea Aquarium will open in Scottsdale and feature the latest theme park technology (not to mention, plenty of sea creatures).
When it comes to nightlife, millennials can choose from dance clubs like Degree 270 (located on the 14th floor of Talking Stick Resort), Maya Day + Nightclub, Cake, and the Mint Ultra Lounge in Scottsdale. For a festive, neighborhood-style bar with reasonably priced drinks, Coach House does the trick while Second Story Liquor Bar, Citizen Public House, and Jade at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain offer craft cocktails. Rusty Spur Saloon, on the other hand, is Scottsdale’s last real cowboy saloon and counts John Wayne and other celebrities as past guests.
Gogobot limited its criteria for ranking mid-size cities to restaurants and attractions in each city, but there are plenty of other reasons Scottsdale is one of the nation’s best cities for millennials, including excellent job opportunists, affordable housing, and the walkability of its downtown area.