Scottsdale, named after Major Winfield Scott, was founded on February 26, 1910. It has preserved its Western roots while becoming one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona. Visitors come from around the world to experience this mix of Old West values and contemporary luxuries.
Old Town includes the older Scottsdale area that extends from Thomas to Camelback on Scottsdale Road. Western stores like Saba's Western Wear , have become staples here, along with upscale restaurants and an art district, which boasts artists from around the world who come to display their art in some of the most popular galleries in the West, like the Faust Gallery and the Legacy Gallery .
Old Town is also the home of the annual Parada del Sol Parade , which features floats, food and fun for the whole family. This parade has become a popular yearly event and takes place in February. The Scottsdale Stadium holds thousands of fans each year, as they watch the San Francisco Giants hit the ball around one of the oldest baseball stadiums in Arizona. Other attractions include the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival .
Old Town is flanked on the north end by the large fashion shopping mall, Scottsdale Fashion Square . With more than 15 restaurants and stores including Dillards , Nordstrom's , Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus . More than 500 specialty stores are also a part of this desert shopping oasis.
Central Scottsdale/Paradise Valley
Traveling north from downtown, Scottsdale's richest shopping and restaurants continue for miles from Camelback Road all the way to Lincoln Drive. The Borgata of Scottsdale and the Hilton Village are two specialty malls that offer unique stores in a rich, relaxing environment. Both are outdoor malls and feature opportunities for window shopping and comfortable strolls. The Borgata is the home to art galleries, fine gifts, home furnishings, jewelry stores and superb restaurants. The Hilton Village also offers unique shops and excellent dining experiences in a more casual environment.
The McCormick Ranch area, once known as one of the most prestigious areas in Arizona, started development in the mid-1960s and still produces multi-million dollar homes. Here you'll find the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park , the McCormick Ranch Golf Club and the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch. Other attractions are the two beautiful lakes which hold many species of fish, ducks and geese. This area is a treat for anyone who wants to see an area that is rich in history.
With the advent of the 101 freeway, the North Scottsdale area is now accessible. This attractive area that includes the cities of Carefree and Cave Creek, has some of the most natural landscapes in Arizona and even the home developments that have come into this land have tried to preserve what is natural. Here you can enjoy the McDowell Mountains at the Marriott , taste real rattlesnake at Rawhide , eat great steaks under the stars at Pinnacle Peak Patio and see history come alive at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West .
Traveling north, you will find the five-star Grayhawk Golf Club and community. With homes in the multi-million dollar range and property of like value, the beauty is overwhelming. Del Webb may be most famous for Sun City in the Valley of the Sun, but he also left behind a considerable legacy right here, with Terravita, a master-planned community that has its own grocery, golf and lifestyle, set in the desert. If this beauty isn't enough, keep traveling north and you will find el Pedregal Festival Marketplace . Here, specialty shops line a pueblo-themed outdoor mall. This elegant shopping experience is a celebration of aromas and visual delights. Carefree offers the distinctive Boulders Resort & Spa , one of the world's top destination resorts. Then head over for western fun in the city of Cave Creek. Crazy Ed's Satisfied Frog is a must visit for anyone.
Even with its mainly uptown image, Scottsdale still sometimes likes to refer to itself as 'The West's Most Western City', and in some respects, the moniker applies. But is this a cow town that only chows down on burritos and barbecue? Absolutely not! Yes, you can bite into a burrito at hundreds of eateries all over town—but they are as likely to be stuffed with duck confit as they are with beef and beans. And, if you thought barbecue was limited to pork ribs and steaks, you are in for a treat when your server sets down a plate of succulent grilled javelina chops or deep-fried rattlesnake.
The most variety can be found in Old Scottsdale. The Old Town Tortilla Factory is set in a 1930s adobe-style cottage and specializes in expertly-prepared Mexican dishes. While Robert McGrath's Roaring Fork has a hunting lodge atmosphere, the classic setting belies his modern culinary creativity. Scottsdale restaurants also have great steaks and ribs. For decades, folks have been coming to the Pink Pony Steak House for both. Don & Charlie's has served over a million racks of ribs. Locals with a taste for Thai will attest that Malee's on Main is a perennial favorite. Several of the city's premier dining destinations are the products of long-time veterans who have gone solo. Leonard Rubin, who has cooked in Moscow, Santa Fe and some of Arizona's top resorts, delights diners with his Mediterranean/Southwestern creations at Medizona . The Cordon Bleu-affiliated Scottsdale Culinary Institute's L'Ecole Restaurant showcases the talents of tomorrow's top chefs, serving 3-course luncheons and 5-course dinners at amazingly affordable prices. Also vying for 'top toques in training' honors are the Artichoke Grill/Desert Oasis Restaurant at Scottsdale Community College 's Culinary Arts school. The restaurant has recently received top honors for school dining from Phoenix New Times.
Central Scottsdale/Paradise Valley
Just leave your tie at home or it's guaranteed to end up hanging from the rafters. Prefer your steaks with more of an upscale sizzle? Try Fleming's Prime Steakhouse . Scottsdale restaurants put a special spin on Southwestern cuisine, transforming the area's indigenous ingredients—fiery chiles, multi-colored corn, heirloom beans, pungent citrus—into edible masterpieces. While Chrysa and Tom Kaufman, too, find the perfect balance between cowboy kitsch and comfort food at Rancho Pinot Grill . For food, atmosphere and wines, La Locanda is the rival of any city's Little Italy. Scottsdale's food with a South-of-the-border attitude includes Erasmo Kamnitzer's chic and artsy Razz's Restaurant & Bar . BJ and Gilbert Hernandez serve up a taste of the tropics at Havana Cafe . What about fish, you ask? Even if you are one of those people who won't order fish unless you can see the water from your table, you are in luck. There is no ocean in Scottsdale, but Buster's on the Lake will almost make you feel the sand between your toes.
Pinnacle Peak Patio is legendary for its cowboy cooking and is a must dining destination for Valley visitors. Mastro's Steakhouse serves premium cuts of beef. Likewise, Florence Chan's Flo's restaurant transcends its strip mall location to be one of North Scottsdale's most popular Chinese choices. You can even experience Brazilian rodizio at Rio Sabor . Michael DeMaria, a U.S. Culinary Olympian, melds Arizona ingredients with classic techniques at his eponymous Michael's at the Citadel . He even has a kitchen studio where he holds regular cooking classes and demonstrations.