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Riding at the Ranch © Thomas Izko/Flickr
Riding at the Ranch © Thomas Izko/Flickr
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Top Things To Do And See In North Scottsdale

Picture of Rachelle Menn
Updated: 9 February 2017
Although not at first evident, Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s most thriving cities. With its western flare and modern culture, the unique combination of history and art puts Scottsdale at the forefront of developing cities. Check out what there is to enjoy in Scottsdale.
A Place to Rest in Old Town Scottsdale © Dru Bloomfield/Flickr
A Place to Rest in Old Town Scottsdale | © Dru Bloomfield/Flickr
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Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale takes visitors back in time. Located in the heart of Scottsdale, it celebrates the Western history that shaped Scottsdale whilst simultaneously incorporating modern elements with a wide array of shops, art galleries and food. Take a ride on the trolley or grab some ice cream at the Sugar Bowl. Learn some history and relax with any number of leisurely activities.

26540 N Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85255 480-994-2787

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Butterfly Wonderland

The largest butterfly pavilion in the United States is located right in Scottsdale. Butterfly Wonderland provides a massive rain forest atrium that is home to thousands of butterflies. There is also an ant colony and a honey bee beehive. In addition, there is a 3D theater.

9500 E. Via de Ventura Scottsdale, AZ (480) 951-2100 ext.

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Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is a space, not just for fine art, but for all forms of art. It has five galleries and a sculpture garden dedicated to fine art, all of which place emphasis on modern art. However, other areas of the museum are dedicated to honoring other art forms. These include a film theater and events focused on literature, music and a lecture series. SMoCA also provides a space to encourage creativity.

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Rawhide

Although about a 30 minute drive from Scottsdale, Rawhide is one of the area’s biggest attractions. Built to replicate a western town that would have existed in the same place years ago, Rawhide delivers in every way. With some of the best food in town—from a steakhouse, to an ice cream parlor to a saloon—there is a chance to experience everything. Including, games, shopping and even live stunt shows.

5700 W. North Loop Road Chandler, AZ 85226 480-502-5600

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McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Like most nature parks, McDowell Sonoran Preserve serves to please all nature lovers. With six different, beautiful trails to choose from, hiking is an ideal activity for this park. In addition, there are guided tours that provide support in pursuing any activities within the park. Mountain biking is also very popular as the terrain of McDowell Sonoran Preserve is perfect for it.

18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy Scottsdale, AZ 85255 (480) 312-7013

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

The tours at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West are very obviously focused on legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The area served as a home and architectural studio for Wright and his time there has been well preserved. Taliesin West is also one of Wright’s most groundbreaking works and depicts just how well Wright was able to combine the outdoor with the indoor to create beautiful architecture.

12621 Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd Scottsdale, AZ 85259 480-860-2700

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McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Though essentially a park for all activities, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park has a distinct train theme. There is a train museum on the premises as well as models of old trains dispersed around the area. There is also a general store, a restaurant and a train ride. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is also ideal for a family picnic or just a stroll around. Handily enough, it is also in very close proximity to the city center.

7301 E Indian Bend Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85250-4513 480-312-2312

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Marshall Way Arts District

Marshall Way Arts District is the area in which Scottsdale separates from its western routes and focuses on contemporary art. Featuring both local and nationally renowned artists, all forms of art can be found on display. The biggest night for the district is every Thursday: from 7-9 p.m. there is an art walk which brings the streets to life with art, music and food.

Marshall Way Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480-947-4014

Night Vision Tours

The beauty of the Sonoran desert completely changes when the sun goes down. Night Vision Tours showcases this beauty with tours around the desert. The wildlife that comes out is remarkable and not a sight to be missed.

602-402-0584

Riding at the Ranch © Thomas Izko/Flickr
Riding at the Ranch | © Thomas Izko/Flickr
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MacDonald’s Ranch

MacDonald’s Ranch is primarily a horseback riding stable. It offers lessons for riders of all experiences and the option to rent. The ranch also has hayrides, stagecoach rides, a pumpkin patch and a museum. There is almost always live music and space for cookouts.

26540 N Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85255 480-585-0239