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
Old Town is also the home of the annual
Old Town is flanked on the north end by the large fashion shopping mall,
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
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
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
Traveling north, you will find the five-star
The historical roots of Scottsdale run deep in agriculture, which Native people were the first to develop. Prior to written history, the Hohokam farmed this area, from about 300-1500 CE. These resourceful people built a unique irrigation system that included more than 200 miles of complex canals. Believed to have originated in Mexico, the Hohokam traveled to the Central Arizona area sometime around 300 CE, forming an agricultural community. Progressive farming techniques afforded this ingenious group the opportunity to support a larger than normal community for that time period.
Around 1500 CE, this group appears to have mysteriously vanished for reasons that remain unclear. The local Pima Indians originally referred to these industrious and intelligent people as the Hohokam, which translates "Vanished Ones." Theories have arisen regarding their disappearance, with plausible explanations including plague or drought.
Early European settlers found the area enchanting, and many continued the farming tradition. The founder of Scottsdale, Winfield Scott, moved to the area on the advice of his brother who had relocated with his wife to the Valley of the Sun due to health concerns. The two men farmed together, producing peanuts, sweet potatoes and oranges.
Low humidity levels and low pollen counts brought many here in the early years that had allergies or other chronic ailments. As the population grew, the need for more services arose. In 1896, the first one-room schoolhouse appeared. Fewer than 2,000 people lived in this farming community at that time.
More people began visiting and relocating to the area, enjoying the clean air and abundant spaces. J.L. Davis opened the first retail store in 1897 in order to serve the needs of the people. World War I brought with it a demand for the long fibered Pima cotton produced by Scottsdale farmers. In 1920, the invention of the cotton gin made it possible to process this resource. More services and jobs continued to cause population growth.
Maybe it's in the subtle continuity of the spacious vistas, or the natural order of the desert wildlife. Whatever the attraction, many designers and artists are drawn to this area, among them Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri.
The 1940s brought World War II and a need for pilots, so a training facility was built in the location that is currently the Scottsdale Airport.
Incorporated in 1951, Scottsdale's popularity as a vacationing oasis has since increased substantially. Mayor Malcolm White first coined the well-known phrase calling Scottsdale "the West's most Western town." Catering to both leisure and business travelers, the community successfully found ways to balance both the need to preserve the past while ensuring a successful future.
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 Café. 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.
Contrary to popular belief, Scottsdale's upper Sonoran Desert environment is not barren and devoid of life. An abundance of beautiful animals and plants do prosper here. And the occasional desert dust storm only adds to the intensity of colorful sunsets.
Scottsdale Stadium Tour Scottsdale Stadium, home of the Scottsdale Scorpions, then browse the collections at Bentley Gallery, Calvin Charles Gallery and the Hernandez Contemporary gallery. Enjoy the inventive fusion food at nearby Cowboy Ciao.
Scottsdale Ranch Park In Central Scottsdale, visit the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, which has an antique carousel, and Scottsdale Ranch Park, a popular spot for basketball and other recreational activities. Browse the work at Artspace, which holds several galleries under its roof. Grab a bite at En Fuego, then stop by the Scottsdale Stained Glass Studio, which allows visitors the chance to create their own glass artwork. Taliesin West Enjoy the Crackerjax Family Fun & Sports Park or visit the WestWorld Equestrian Center, which provides family-friendly entertainment. Cactus Park offers a fitness center and public pool. Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will enjoy Taliesin West, his favorite building. A satisfying lunch can be had at the nearby Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art Old Scottsdale is home to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Scottsdale Historical Museum and many small galleries, such as the Victoria Boyce Galleries. The Vista Del Camino Park offers the chance to fish and swim. When you're through, enjoy a meal at the Acapulco Bay Co. or Madison's.
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