1. If You Rent A Car, Make It A Luxury
Scottsdale loves luxury cars. From Jaguars and Ferraris to Porsches and Mercedes, it’s all about the car you drive. If you’re going to rent a car while here, make it an exotic, luxury car and you’ll fit right in. If you really want to impress, make it a Tesla.
2. The Richies Live In The North…
Where’s the money? It’s kind of everywhere here (hence the nickname “Snotsdale”), but mostly on the north side. Take a drive around North Scottsdale and you’ll find yourself salivating at the luxury cars, mansions and perfectly manicured estates.
3. … And The Cowboys Live In Old Town
You can go directly from ogling the McMansions in North Scottsdale to a throwback to the old days in Old Town. Old Town Scottsdale is a mixture of saloons and Old West-themed everything, and even museums and art galleries. It’s a little like high-fashion, big money meets the wild, wild west.
4. In Fact, Cowboys Are Made Right Here
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a cowboy, then come learn the ropes at the Arizona Cowboy College. Horsemanship, reining, roping, ranch and cattle work and even dressage and shoeing—it’s all real here.
5. Scottsdale Folks Basically Live By The Pool
With all the extreme heat, it’s probably no surprise that Scottsdale lives by the pool. Everyone has one and if they don’t, they have 12 friends that do. Don’t even consider coming here without at least a few bathing suits on hand. You’re going to need them all.
6. Because Scottsdale Isn’t Just A Hot Place—It’s Actually The Hottest
You could probably guess it’s hot here, but Scottsdale is located in the Sonoran Desert, which just happens to be the hottest desert in the entire country. So it’s officially the hottest place of all the places. Bring a suitcase of suscreen.
7. But Don’t Let The Heat Keep You Inside
Sure, there are plenty of resorts, spas, country clubs, shopping and dining here, but don’t let that keep you from realizing how gorgeous it is outside. Check out Pinnacle Peak, McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Tom’s Thumb Trailhead or hit up Arizona Outback Adventures to rent a mountain bike and go crazy.
8. Yep, Those Chartreuse Colored Trucks Are Firetrucks
Those trucks you see that are a weird yellow-green color? Those are actually Scottsdale’s firetrucks. The color is technically chartreuse, aka optic yellow. The unusual color actually came about because the city was afraid of being sued if they used the red color used by other cities, but pretty soon Scottsdale’s trucks will look more like everywhere else. They’ll be around for 10 or 15 more years and then replaced by more modern red, white and blue trucks.
9. You Might Feel Kind Of Like You’re In Miami…
There might be times in Scottsdale when you wonder where the hell you really are. Fancy cars, lots of plastic surgery, tons of money, bleach blonde hair and fake tans. You’re still in fact in Arizona, but in the area the New York Times has called the “desert version of Miami’s South Beach.”
10. ...And Surrounded By People Who Look Like They Belong In LA
Scottsdale has more than a little LA envy. Depending on where you go, you might feel like in you’re in Southern Cali instead of the desert. The beautiful people are everywhere, with their beautiful bodies, beautiful hair, and beautiful fashion. Bring all your fanciest clothes and highest heels to fit in.
11. Scottsdale Loves Clubbing…
Whether you’re looking for a huge dance club, a resort-style cabana, a scenester crowd, live DJs, or a VIP dance club, you can find it all here. Get dressed to the nines and head out to some of the favorites, like the Red Revolver Lounge, Smashboxx, The Mint, Degree 270 and The Roxy Lounge.
12. ...And Country Clubbing
Just because someone in Scottsdale says they’re going clubbing, they don’t always the dance club. Country clubs are just as big of a thing here, so be sure to double check before you show up in something with sequins. But don’t worry—you might be playing golf instead of dancing, but there will still be plenty of drinks flowing.
13. Tarantulas And Scorpions Are Pretty Normal Here…
Don’t freak out if you see one. They’re no big deal here. The tarantulas are pretty harmless, but keep an eye on the scorpions. The rule of thumb is the bigger the claws, the less potent the venom is. Double check before reaching into or underneath things, and always look inside your shoes.
14. ...And So Are Rattlesnakes and Black Widows
Okay, so these two are more dangerous. Watch where you’re stepping and always remember that you’re living in their world, not the other way around.
15. But Watch Out For The Plants, Too
This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people get “bit” by the cacti. Go ahead and take your photos, but don’t get too close.
16. Turns Out The Beach Isn’t That Far Away
Seriously? From Scottsdale? Yes, it’s not as far as you think. You can be in Mexico in four hours and the California coast in six hours. For the closest, check out Puerto Peñasco, also referred to as Rocky Point, in the Country of Mexico. The drive is beautiful and totally worth it.
17. But There Are Plenty Of Sweet Treats In Town To Help Keep You Cool
There’s more than one way to beat the heat in Scottsdale. From the ice cream at Sweet Republic to the unique shaved ice at Snoh Ice Shavery and the gelato at Gelato Dolce Vita, you’ll be able to take your pick in sweet, tasty ice cold eats.
18. The Culinary Festival Is Six Days Of Delicious
The Scottsdale Culinary Festival is the longest running culinary festival in the country. There’s more than 40,000 visitors each year in April, so if you love food then get ready for a six day, do-not-miss event with fabulous cocktail parties, live bands, world class dinners and the main event featuring at least 50 restaurants.
19. The Prime Rib At Rawhide Is A Rite Of Passage
At Rawhide you’ll feel like you’re in an 1880’s Western town, with all the conveniences of modern day shopping and dining. Ride a mechanical bull, climb the rock wall, pan for gold, ride a stagecoach, enjoy the petting zoo and even zip line. But definitely best of all, you can chow down on a Wagon Master’s 32-ounce prime rib at The Steakhouse. If you dare try to finish it all.
20. There’s A Masterpiece Of Architecture Hidden Right Here
Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal winter home, is now an architectural laboratory and National Historic Landmark with classes spanning everything from ceramics and pottery to hand-drafting and design. The night lights tour and the behind the scenes tour are both spectacular, and a great way to beat the heat while still getting to enjoy the sights.
21. Trust Me, Just Try The Prickly Pear Cuisine
This brightly colored cactus can be found in lemonade, margaritas, or even in main dishes like salmon y nopal and prickly pear chicken salad. It’s delicious served as fries dusted in chili powder or as ice cream or gelato. Visit the Sphinx Ranch Gourmet Market and pick up some prickly pear honey, jams and jelly to take home.
22. You’ll Feel Like You’re On An Exotic Vacation At Butterfly Wonderland
Butterflies aren’t the only thing you can see at Butterfly Wonderland, although they are pretty spectacular. There’s also a 3-D theater, a live ant colony, a large honey bee beehive protected behind glass and large, freshwater aquariums with colorful, exotic Amazonian fish. And keep an eye out for early 2016, when the inevitably awesome OdySea will open up.
23. Who Needs Napa When You Have Su Vino?
There’s only one winery in Scottsdale and it’s right downtown. Hit up Su Vino Winery for tastings or create your own blend of wine with a custom label to take home as the perfect souvenir. It’s still a bit of a secret, so get in on it now before everyone finds out.
24. Remember, It’s All About The Beauty Here
Yes, beauty is important in Scottsdale. From the beautiful people to the beautiful homes and beautiful cars. Don’t hate, just appreciate.
What have you had to explain to out-of-towners about Scottsdale? Tell us in the comments below!