Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe Feature
- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Despite its origins as a livestock town, Scottsdale has steadily evolved from a sow's ear into a silk purse. Once a sleepy suburb of Phoenix, it's become a high-end shopping mecca—so renowned that glossy magazine ads now read: Paris, London, New York, Scottsdale.
When life gives you heat, become the hottest thing around. It's not Scottsdale's motto, but it should be. Not only has it built a reputation as one of the world's spending hot spots, it's made year-round vacation destinations out of trendy, temperature-controlled malls, marketplaces, and upscale plazas, exclusive department stores, and chic boutiques that are powerful magnets for old and new money, celebrities, and the diva in us all. But Scottsdale hasn't completely glossed over its rustic, cowboy beginnings and compelling heritage. In addition to finding the latest fashions, you can also find authentic Western wear; traditional Native American rugs and jewelry; Arizona novelties; fine art of every genre and medium; and historic mementos in the area's many galleries, museums, mom-and-pop shops, and specialty stores.
BEST TIME TO GO
During the summer months, your most comfortable shopping bets are the malls and centers with ample air-conditioning such as Scottsdale Fashion Square. The rest of the year Old Town is a great neighborhood to shop and stroll, especially during Art Walk, every Thursday 7-9 pm year-round in the galleries and shops of Marshall Way and Main Street arts districts.
Chloe's Corner. For Kierland Commons shoppers, stop at Chloe's Corner for a light but filling bite, with gourmet sandwiches, salads, baked goods, and milk shakes. There's also a downtown Phoenix location that's a great pit stop. 15215 N. Kierland Blvd., #190, North Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ, 85254. 480/998–0202. www.chloescorneraz.com.
Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor. This iconic Scottsdale destination transports you back in time to a 1950s malt shop, complete with great burgers and lots of yummy ice-cream confections. 4005 N. Scottsdale Rd., Old Town, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251. 480/946–0051. www.sugarbowlscottsdale.com.
Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill. Located in Scottsdale Fashion Square, Z'Tejas serves tasty food and ample margaritas to soothe the shopping beast. Don't miss the guacamole, which is made tableside. 7014 E. Camelback Rd., Old Town, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251. 480/946–4171. www.ztejas.com.
Local arts and crafts: For paintings and more inspired by the beauty of the Southwest, explore Wilde Myer Galleries. Old Town Scottsdale is a good place for Native American finds, including the many locations of Gilbert Ortega Indian Jewelry and Gallery. Just north of the hustle and bustle of Scottsdale Fashion Square sits the tranquil, shaded property of the Cosanti Originals where the signature ceramic and bronze wind-bells of renowned architect Paolo Soleri are made and sold.
Edible goods: Shopping for a foodie? Heat things up with Goldwater's salsa and Arizona Gunslinger hot sauce products. AJ's Fine Foods is a great place for local tastes; Kactus Jock has non-edible souvenirs, too.
Signature style: Bola ties are the official neckwear of Arizona. Crafted from braided leather, metal tips, and a securing ornament, these ties have long been a craft of the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni Indian tribes and are found in shops and galleries throughout Old Town.
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