Situated in the beautiful Salt River Valley, or “Valley of the Sun”, Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s most stunning cities. Deeply influenced by the history and landscape of the Sonoran Desert that surrounds it, the city is home to a community that enjoys an abundance of outdoors activities, arts, culture, restaurants, and shopping.

Whether you are looking for a tranquil place to explore the beauty of the desert and nearby rivers and lakes, or to absorb some Southwestern art, culture, and food, the city offers the best of summer recreation and relaxation.

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The Sonoran Desert is a lush ecosystem, home to a diverse population of succulents, notably the iconic Saguaro cactus, as well as birds and other wildlife. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a 30,000-acre park just twenty minutes from downtown. Locals and visitors enjoy trail running, mountain biking, horse riding, and hiking in the summer and all year round.

Verde and Salt Rivers

A number of nearby rivers and lakes provide a riparian escape from the midday heat. The Salt River runs through the city and on to the expansive Tonto National Forest just to the east. The Verde River is one of the Salt River’s largest tributaries, and both waterways are popular destinations close to town.

The Verde and the lower Salt River offer calm, relaxing waters where tubing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and fishing are popular pastimes. The upper sections of the Salt River offers world-class rapids for white-water rafting adventures.

Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake is 35-miles east in the Tonto National Forest. There, you can spend your summer days lakeside or on the water jet skiing, sailing, or even sightseeing on a paddle boat tour. The marina has a nice restaurant and small boats and pontoons available for rent.


Colorful local and world-famous art and culture are everywhere, and amazing food, live music, sculptures and crafts can be found throughout the downtown area and beyond.

Summer Art Walks

Old Town is a walkable and picturesque neighborhood of shops, restaurants, bars, and galleries. Plenty of events and attractions mean that evenings in Old Town can be whatever you want them to be–exciting, relaxing, inspiring. In this case, prepare to be inspired by the thriving art scene at the Thursday evening Art Walks. The multitude of galleries around Old Town stay open late and welcome wandering visitors to explore, stroll, and come together during this weekly appreciation of art.

Taliesin West

In the 1930s, this area was home to a small town with a population of fewer than 4,000 residents, but the beauty and affordability of the land caught the attention of Frank Lloyd Wright. He purchased some 600 acres of desert in the McDowell foothills, where he designed and built what would become his winter home and School of Architecture.

Taliesin West is now open to the public as a museum and offers a wide range of tours. Step inside, and enjoy a window into the mind of the world-famous architect.

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This is just a small slice of the enrichment Scottsdale has to offer, and some of the reasons that make this special place an ideal location to build your dream home. Alair Homes Scottsdale is here to help. Contact us to learn more about custom home building and quality home renovations.