Scottsdale, Arizona is located in the Sonoran Desert, just east of Phoenix and just west of the McDowell Mountains in central Arizona. The city is the 5th largest in Arizona, and is part of the 4th most populous metropolitan area in the United States. Scottsdale is annually rated among the nation’s most desirable communities to live in, with a vibrant downtown that features more than 90 restaurants, 320 retail shops and more than 100 art galleries; more galleries per capita than almost any other city in the USA. Downtown Scottsdale displays more than 50 pieces of public art, and with some of the lowest rainfall in the nation, you can enjoy the vibrant downtown any time of the year. Scottsdale is a popular retirement community, and is also popular with tourists, who are attracted by the great weather and the numerous cultural activities featured from January through April.
Settlement in the Scottsdale area began in 1883 with the construction of the Arizona Canal, making water from the Salt River available for irrigation. In 1910, the primarily agricultural population was 267. The beautiful year-round weather made Scottsdale an ideal winter retreat. The Ingleside Inn, completed in 1909, was the first of several resorts built in the area. Cotton, an important component in rubber tires, produced a windfall for local growers and allowed the community to flourish during World War I, leading the population to reach 1,047 by 1920. In 1937, Frank Lloyd Wright purchased land at the base of the McDowell Mountains that would later become known as Taliesin West and serve as his western headquarters. The Town of Scottsdale was incorporated in 1951, and numerous technology companies, beginning with Motorola in 1957, relocated or built assembly plants in Scottsdale to take advantage of the favorable building and operating costs. By the early 1960’s, annexations and incorporation as a city established the population of Scottsdale at more than 29,000. The population reached 67,800 in 1970, and with additional annexations during the early 1980’s the population exceeded 130,000 by 1990. Today, the City of Scottsdale is estimated to have a population of 227,000 and encompasses more than 185 square miles of land. Learn more about the events in Scottsdale’s history using the following link.
As a high desert city, Scottsdale is hot and dry in the summer, with average high temperatures exceeding 100° F and cooling to the mid-70’s at night. During the winter months, the daily high temperatures hover around 70’s, and dip to the high 30’s and low 40’s at night. There is little precipitation, averaging around .5” to 1” per month. The smallest amount of precipitation occurs in late spring and early summer. Get the latest weather information and climate history using these links.
Valley Metro operates a fixed route public bus system throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Trolley operates a free public transit system that circulates through downtown and connects the transit system in neighboring Tempe. While Metro light rail system does not include Scottsdale, an all-day or multi-day transit pass lets you transfer between bus and light rail routes. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is just minutes from Scottsdale, and is served by 16 airlines with non-stop flights to 80 domestic destinations and 20 international destinations.
Cost of Living in Scottsdale
Scottsdale has a reputation as an affluent community, and the cost of living reflects this perception at more than 15% above the national average. The median family income is high, at more than $105,000. Calculate your budget needs for living in Scottsdale using the following links.
The Scottsdale Unified School District educates 26,000 students in facilities comprised of 19 elementary schools, 6 middle schools and 5 high schools. An additional 31 private schools contribute to meeting the educational goals of Scottsdale families.
Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center is one of several medical facilities in and around Scottsdale. This general medical and surgical facility is also a teaching hospital. The facility has earned Magnet designation, the highest national designation for excellence in nursing care. If you’re planning a move to Scottsdale, make sure you get to know the medical resources available to you.
Scottsdale Real Estate
The real estate market in Scottsdale is among the most expensive in the United States, with luxury homes that compare to some of the most expensive real estate markets in California. Several upscale neighborhoods feature multi-million dollar homes, though you will also find neighborhoods with homes priced in the $300,000 range. Explore a range of homes for sale in Scottsdale using the following links.
Since the early 1900’s, Scottsdale has been attracting wealthy visitors seeking to escape northern winters, so it is no surprise that the city features more than 100 hotels, inns, and specialty lodging accommodations. The We-Ko-Pa Resort features two of the best golf courses in Arizona, the popular Amethyst Spa, and spectacular views of the nearby mountains. For an extended stay, the Meridian Condo Resorts provide lots of room and comfort, and is perfect for larger groups. The Gainey Suites Hotel is a top-rated accommodation located in central Scottsdale, providing easy access to several golf clubs and Scottsdale’s Old Town entertainment district. For something out of the ordinary, the Bespoke Inn, Cafe & Bicycles is a boutique inn offering an intimate setting within walking distance of Old Town, and guests are provided with handmade Pashley bicycles for exploring Downtown Scottsdale. Discover more great places to stay in Scottsdale using the following links.
Dining in Scottsdale is a great experience because there are so many fine restaurants to choose from. The hands-down favorite for a romantic and elegant dinner is Cafe Monarch, where the prix fix menu changes daily and you are offered the option of courtyard dining. Eddie V’s is another great option for fine dining, where the menu features steak and seafood dishes, often accompanied by live jazz performances. Roaring Fork offers dishes prepared in a wood-fired oven for their signature flavors, and the Cornish Pasty Company serves authentic cuisine that transport you to the southern tip of Great Britain, where pasties originated. If you happen to be in North Scottsdale and have room for dessert, That’s Amore serves an amazing selection of authentic Italian gelato. Plan your next dining adventure in Scottsdale using these links.
Things to Do in Scottsdale
Whatever pursuit you prefer, Scottsdale offers plenty of opportunities for recreation, relaxation and fun. Explore Old Town by day or night, and enjoy browsing the many galleries, unique shops, and entertainment venues. Each Thursday, there is an Art Walk with guided tours that introduce you to the public art and galleries in downtown Scottsdale. Fans of architecture travel to Scottsdale to see Taliesin West, the former office and retreat of Frank Lloyd Wright, Jr. If you are a fan of baseball, you can take in a San Francisco Giants training game and watch rookies test their mettle against the pros. Kids will enjoy the Phoenix Zoo, and if you enjoy natural wonders, the red rocks of Sedona and and Oak Creek Canyon are just a short drive outside the city. You can tour the Sonoran Desert by Jeep or on horseback through guided tours, or take in the natural wonders by way of hiking trails—just be sure to bring plenty of water! Explore more fun things to do in Scottsdale and the surrounding area using the following links.