Planning Scottsdale Vacations on a Budget
April 29, 2019
So, you’re thinking about a trip to Scottsdale, but your budget is a little tight. Don’t worry; you can have a great time in Scottsdale without spending a lot. Here are some things to do and places to go on your Scottsdale vacation that are budget-friendly and fun.
Old Town & Art Walk
This historic center of Scottsdale is full of art galleries, shops, restaurants, and Old West charm. Ride the free trolley through town, or just wander on your own. From fine art to fun tacky souvenirs, from Western and Native American art to cutting edge contemporary art, it’s all here. It’s ok just to browse, you can buy your favorite piece on your next trip. And, if you’re in town on a Thursday night, take part in the free weekly Art Walk before you head out to a great meal and night on the town.
The many parks and preserves around Scottsdale are free and open to the public year round. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve has over 120 miles of desert trails. You can hike, run, or bike through cacti forests, desert terrain, and mountains. Trails vary in length, difficulty, and terrain so there is a trail suitable for every visitor. The preserve is packed with desert wildlife including Gila woodpeckers, roadrunners, snakes and lizards, mule deer and javelina. A popular hike for locals, visitors also enjoy hiking to the top of Pinnacle Peak. The short trail (1.75 miles) ends with amazing views of the area.
McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
Great for families, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a free attraction to enjoy during your Scottsdale vacation that’s fun for kids of all ages. There are several playgrounds, a variety of shops, a model railroad exhibit and retired locomotives to visit. There is a restored antique carousel and the Paradise and Pacific Railroad Ride too. Admission to the park is free, but you do have to pay to ride the carousel and train (but just a few dollars apiece). Check the park’s schedule – there are free concerts in the summer.
Public Art Tour & Museums
Scottsdale has a wide collection of public art scattered throughout the city, including the Soleri Bridge and Plaza and the famous LOVE sculpture. Download the self-guided Old Town Scottsdale Public Art Walking Tour and discover the city’s most famous public works of art on your own. The famous Soleri Bridge designed by renowned artist, architect, and philosopher Paolo Soleri, is just across the historic Arizona Canal. It’s a bridge, a solar calendar and gathering space, and a must see. And many of the numerous museums in town have free admission on certain days or during special events. For example, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is free for everyone on Thursdays and after 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Meals That Taste Great but Won’t Break the Bank
You can get great meals for less in Scottsdale, and there are several establishments to try. Koi Poke offers Hawaii cuisine, poke, and sushi. NakedQ BBQ famous brisket is simply mouthwatering. Tocaya Organica features modern organic Mexican. Head to Cha Da Thai for traditional Thai cuisine. The Root and Soul is the place to go for soul food. Croque Famous Sandwiches, Maskadores, and the Rusty Spur Saloon are other great options.
Make the Most of Your Scottsdale Vacations
Planning a trip on a budget to Scottsdale and having a great time is possible, and there are many wonderful attractions and things to do. And, remember – you are surrounded by the amazing Sonoran Desert! You can sit in your Parsons Villas rental and enjoy the beautiful views of the desert.