Scottsdale – chic and beautiful Our individual travel report

Scottsdale is just outside Phoenix. It is a noble and very worth seeing town. Typical for Arizona and especially for this area are the huge Saguaro cacti. These are to be seen everywhere in the city and in the surrounding countryside.

To admire them in all their shapes and sizes, a first trip to the Tonto National Forest in the northeast of the city is recommended as a beginner tour. Bartlett Dam Road leads to a beautiful hilly landscape with the possibility to reach two dams via a bumpy and sandy road. Left and right of the road are thousands of cacti.

Old Town Scottsdale


The city is immediately adjacent to Phoenix and is quite extensive. High-rise buildings are not to be found here. The wealthy live here, their partly very luxurious villas – often in Mexican style – are hidden in the landscape. Usually you can only guess at them.

In the extremely well-kept center of the old town, one has the impression of being in the Wild West. Here you can stroll and store under the shady arcades on crisp wooden floors.

In between you will find many restaurants for every taste.

Old town of Scottsdale

RESTAURANT TIP The Mission in the Old Town

Here in the old town it is a bit touristy, but we can highly recommend the restaurant The Mission on Brown Avenue. Here you can find a high quality and very tasty Mexican cuisine.

Guacamole is prepared directly at the table. Especially nice is the small courtyard.

It is really impressive how carefully the buildings outside the center are integrated into the landscape. It is especially beautiful in the north and northeast of the city, where you drive along the streets and can only partially see the houses behind high bushes, cacti or hilly rock formations.

From a hill you can see this very well as the pictures show, which we took at the Boulders in N Scottsdale Rd. have recorded.

The rocky desert with its cacti in a wonderful scenic setting can be experienced up close at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. From the N Thompson Peak Pkwy you turn off to a large parking lot, here you find a visitor center with tips and hints for different walking and hiking possibilities in this park.

There is a nature trail of about 30 minutes, here you can meet all plant and especially cactus species found in Arizona. But you can also hike for several hours in the hilly area. But be careful, it is very hot, take enough water with you!

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

THE CULTURE – TIP Taliesin West

If you are in Scottsdale, you must visit the home of the world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which was built in a very unusual architectural style.

Wright is best known for the construction of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

His house here is called Taliesin West, and it served as Wright's vacation home, where he put his creative architectural ideas to paper. Guided tours of the houses and gardens are offered, but reservations are strongly recommended.

Taliesin by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Apache Trail

A scenic day trip takes us on the Apache Trail through a mountainous area east of Scottsdale.

First, it still goes through the eastern part of the city to the sog. Apache Junction, where you turn left. From here on the landscape becomes wilder and more untouched, the first cacti appear on the hilly surroundings. After a short drive, you'll reach the backdrops of an old Western town that used to be a movie set. So we also paid a short visit to this one, during a walk you will experience a real cowboy feeling.

With a replica steam locomotive you can also make a round trip. Today, however, shooting only takes place during tourist festivals, otherwise the buildings house souvenir shops.

The drive continues and it becomes more hilly and partly curvy. Especially colorful rock formations alternate with deep canyons and cactus forests.

A great tour that takes you through varied valleys to Apache and Canyon Lake, where we took a boat ride on our return trip.

The tarred road then ends and we continue on a stony-sandy track. It will be especially spectacular at Fish Creek Hill. A very narrow and steep gravel road leads through a rocky gorge down into a green valley. Slow and careful driving is the order of the day here and you should avoid this route in the rain.

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