Best Things to Do in Scottsdale for Snowbirds
Snowbirds have been flocking to the warm, sunny weather in Arizona for decades—and once you’ve escaped the cold temperatures for a winter vacation here, it’s easy to understand why!
If you’re planning a long-term winter getaway to Scottsdale and Phoenix, you’re likely looking for fun activities to fill your spare time. Here’s an overview of great things to do in Scottsdale during winter vacations and a look at what makes this vibrant city such a great destination for snowbirds!
Why Is Scottsdale an Ideal Destination for Snowbirds?
Snowbirds looking to escape a chilly, cold winter wonderland will love to venture into Scottsdale, Arizona’s sunny, warm winter weather.
Scottsdale is filled with excellent opportunities to soak up the warmer weather, including scenic hiking trails, plenty of recreation opportunities, great restaurants with patio seating, outdoor shopping options, and plenty of historical and cultural attractions.
Whether you’re an active retiree, remote worker, or simply looking for an extended break from the cold with your family, you’ll enjoy paying a visit to Scottsdale. Many snowbirds enjoy the following activities during their time in the Scottsdale and Phoenix area!
Best Things to Do for Snowbirds in the Scottsdale Area
1. Explore the Desert Landscape at the Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is located in neighboring Phoenix, Arizona, and it’s one of the most popular attractions for Arizona snowbirds!
At this 140-acre botanical garden, you will be able to see over 50,000 desert plants from around the world showcased in beautiful exhibits. The Desert Botanical Garden is one of the only botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is home to nearly 500 endangered species!
Snowbirds love exploring the Desert Botanical Garden since most of the exhibits are outside, so you can bask in the sunshine when you visit, even during the winter months!
2. Soak Up the Sun at a Scottsdale Resort
During Scottsdale’s sunny days (which aren’t in short supply!) snowbirds enjoy lounging by the pool under the shaded palm trees at the city’s popular resorts and hotels.
Even if you’re staying in a short-term vacation rental, you can purchase a Resort Pass to enjoy access to the sparkling pools, poolside cabanas, spa services, and more at participating hotels, like the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Saguaro Scottsdale, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa, and more!
3. Go On a Road Trip to Arizona’s National Parks
There are so many fun adventures in Arizona to experience during your winter vacation to Scottsdale.
Just over an hour’s drive away, snowbirds can visit Saguaro National Park, filled with plenty of scenic views and hiking trails. Saguaro National Park is located just outside Tuscon, Arizona, and is home to the country’s largest cacti.
Plus, your vacation to Arizona wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Grand Canyon National Park! Visitors can reach the Grand Canyon’s South Rim after a 3.5-hour drive from the Phoenix Metro area. The best part is: many national parks offer a free admission day! You should check out this list of free things to do in Scottsdale for more budget friendly adventures.
4. Tour Taliesin West by Frank Lloyd Wright
Arizona snowbirds who are interested in architecture or history may enjoy paying a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home (apparently, he was a snowbird, too!).
Taliesin West is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Historic Landmark located right here, in Scottsdale, Arizona! Established in 1937, this beautiful building is now open to the public and offers visitors plenty of unique experiences and tours.
5. Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture & Restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale is a great place to explore during your trip to Arizona. You’ll find yourself here multiple times during your trip—for cultural events, dining, and more!
In Downtown Scottsdale, you’ll find plenty of things to do—from exploring the city’s art galleries and displays in the Scottsdale Arts District or sampling local wines on the Scottsdale Wine Trail.
You can also try some of the area’s best restaurants here in Old Town. Make reservations at Maple & Ash for an upscale dining experience, experience the region’s Mexican culture at the Old Town Tortilla Factory, or indulge in a five-course dinner at the nationally-acclaimed Cafe Monarch.
6. Embark on a Desert Adventure
Aside from the summer months, one of Scottsdale’s premier activities is exploring the fabulous trails in this iconic desert town.
Some popular places to go hiking include the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve in Phoenix, and South Mountain Park and Preserve in South Phoenix. Some of the most popular trails include Lost Dog Wash and Hidden Valley in the South Mountain Park and Preserve and Tom’s Thumb in North Scottsdale.
If hiking isn’t your thing, but you’d still love to soak in the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, you can go horseback riding through the gorgeous scenery or book a hot air balloon ride to soar over the picturesque landscape!
7. Spend the Day at Scottsdale’s Spectacular Golf Courses
It’s no secret that Arizona snowbirds are drawn to the area for the city’s excellent golfing opportunities!
Popular courses in the city include the Troon North Golf Club, Boulders Club, McDowell Mountain Golf Club, Grayhawk Golf Club, and of course, TPC Scottsdale, where the Waste Management Open is hosted each year.
8. Enjoy the City’s Family-Friendly Activities
Arizona snowbirds visiting the city with their children or grandkids may enjoy paying a visit to some of Scottsdale’s most kid-friendly locations.
The Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately-owned, non-profit zoo in the United States with hundreds of animals to see, like lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and more. The OdySea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in Arizona and is home to penguins, stingrays, otters, and other marine animals that kids and adults alike will love.
Scottsdale’s other family-friendly destinations include the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park, Butterfly Wonderland, the Arizona Science Center, and more!
Find the Perfect Short-Term Rental for Your Winter Vacation with Stay With Style Scottsdale
If you’re searching for a selection of spacious, comfortable short-term rentals to book for your snowbird getaway, look no further than our selection of luxury homes.
Stay With Style Scottsdale offers stylish vacation rentals equipped with dozens of desirable amenities for short-term stays and month-long stays—perfect for snowbirds and families escaping the winter weather.
Browse our selection of monthly rentals to find the perfect location for you to call home next winter!