The best staycations in Arizona for families start in Scottsdale. Don’t believe us? Take a peek at the lush green golf courses, sparkling pools, and seemingly endless dining options, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better destination within driving distance.
Though Scottsdale may seem like a go-to for snowbirds, the reality is that it’s just as compelling for a family vacation. Especially in the summer, there are not only resort offers that cater to families, but there are also events aplenty and countless local attractions you’ve probably missed.
Spice up your summer with our guide to a family staycation in Scottsdale. Take a peek at our top tips for when to beat the heat and when to venture out, from morning to noon to night.
Make the most of your mornings. Though you don’t have to rise before the sun, you may want to follow it out into the desert. Get your outdoor activities out of the way before the desert really heats up.
Scottsdale and golf are all but synonymous. Golf is one of the many reasons why Scottsdale tops many lists of vacation destinations. Though golfing in 100-degree heat isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, getting on the green in the morning will allow you to golf all summer long.
Not all Scottsdale golf courses are built for pros, so don’t be afraid to take to the course even if you are just getting your feet wet. The many golf courses adjacent to The Scottsdale make it easy to experience the area’s signature, desert-style play.
Go on an Adventure
The best way to beat the heat? Adventure in the morning. The Sonoran Desert is a blank slate for excursions of all kinds, none of which you’ll want to miss--even in the summer. Instead of steering clear of the many outdoor activities, simply plan accordingly.
Interested in cycling? Pedal along the Greenbelt to Tempe or embark on a half-day mountain bike tour through Scottsdale. Hikers will love a guided excursion through the beautiful desert scenery surrounding the Scottsdale area. You might also opt to cool off on the water with an outing on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
Make no mistakes, summer afternoons in Scottsdale get hot. But that doesn’t mean your activities have to grind to a halt. Workaround the high temps of the afternoon through more refreshing activities.
As the day heats up, you’ll want to keep it cool. Make a splash in the McCormick Pool. Parents will love the poolside cabanas, while kids will love the spacious, crystal clear pool, perfect for any underwater adventures. The pool also features a trellis that spans the width of the pool so you can seek shade and go for a swim at the same time.
Beyond swimming, the McCormick Pool offers a front row sweat to Twisted Vine Pool Bar & Grill. Belly up to the bar for a cooling afternoon drink or family-friendly snacks like burgers and Sonora-style hot dogs.
Though summer may seem like a season to opt outside, don’t be afraid to head indoors. Come mid-day, air conditioning may be just the reprieve you need before an evening on the town. Fortunately, the city of Scottsdale is well aware of the need for a summer break, which is why there are countless indoor attractions at the ready.
Beyond pools and golf, the most Scottsdale activity you can think of is probably a day at the spa. There’s probably no time you’ll need it more than during the summer. Relax at the hands of an expert spa professional in Luna Spa even as the Scottsdale sun heats up outside.
Indulge in a full-body massage. Treat yourself to a facial. Unwind amidst Blissful Botanicals Aromatherapy. Luna Spa is as close as you’ll get to the desert while sparing yourself the heat, which is why it’s an ideal place to seek some peace for the afternoon.
Evenings in Scottsdale are still warmer than in most other locales, but the weather will have cooled down enough to step out for some summer fun. Take advantage of the cooler evening to begin exploring Scottsdale’s foodie scene.
Sit Out On a Patio
Evening in Scottsdale is patio hour. Cool misters, late-in-the-day shade, and a slowly setting sun make for a picturesque evening on the city’s many patios. Eateries like Lincoln Restaurant and Bar and Chelsea’s Kitchen feature spacious outdoor areas. You’ll also want to stop by Bar Six40.
Whether you hang around for happy hour or a nightcap, Bar Six40 offers indoor and outdoor seating options so you can spend your evening however you choose. Cool off with local beers. Enjoy a glass of fine wine. Or try one of the bar’s many signature cocktails, perfect for patio sipping.
Scottsdale is a sought after vacation destination for a reason, not the least of which is the diverse and delicious dining options. No Scottsdale staycation would be complete without an indulgent meal. Head into Old Town. Peruse Scottsdale Quarter. Treat yourself at Heritage Square Dining.
Kitchen West restaurant also offers inventive western American fare in a lively atmosphere perfect for summer evenings. Look out over the golf course as you dig into signature dishes like pork chili verde tacos or cognac filet mignon, served alongside the finest local wines and craft beers.
Nothing says summer like ice cream. Go on a tour through Scottsdale by way of its best ice creameries. Cool down as day turns into night while you’re at it. Ice cream is at its most satisfying in the summer, which is why you’ll want to make time for a scoop or two while in Scottsdale.
The sun will be on its way to setting, signaling the passing of the hottest weather of the day. Take advantage of slightly cooler nights to experience some of Scottsdale’s best events. Nightlife is at its most exciting in Scottsdale, as are the many things to do in the city after dark.
Once the sun goes down the movies fire up at the McCormick Pool. Dive-in movies are one of the best ways to spend your Saturday night during your summer staycation. Beginning at sundown, some of your favorite movies will be broadcast on a wall beside the McCormick Pool so you can splash around and watch a movie all at the same time. On the schedule? Ant Man, Captain Marvel, Monsters Inc., and more.
Scottsdale is a city that’s all about the events. Though there are endless attractions in the city year-round, the events that come and go only add to the excitement. From baseball games to a Blood Mary Festival, these events are a way to make your staycation all the more memorable.
In addition to festivals and sporting events, Scottsdale also welcomes big-name artists for concerts you won’t want to miss. This summer alone, Scottsdale will host Paul McCartney, Queen & Adam Lambert, and more. Your staycation could be your chance to see your favorite performers up close and personal.