Named in 1894 after its founder Winfield Scott, Scottsdale is known as “The West’s Most Western Town”. The area was originally inhabited by the Hohokam from 300 BCE to 1450 CE. Before European settlement, it was a Pima village. Many Pima and Maricopa people still live on the Salt river Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which borders Scottsdale to the south and east.
In the 1880s, U.S. Army Chaplain Winfield Scott purchased 640 acres in today’s downtown Scottsdale. He planted large citrus groves and the area became known as Orangedale. It was renamed Scottsdale in 1894. It experienced a population boom after the construction of Granite Reef and Roosevelt Dams after the turn of the century.
During World War II, 5,500 pilot cadets received their primary flight training at what is Scottsdale Airport today. A German POW camp was set up at the intersection of Scottsdale and Thomas Road where Papago Park is today.
The city was officially incorporated in 1951. It continued to grow northward, and master planned communities began to take shape. In 1975, the city annexed the “east Shea” area bordering Fountain Hills. Residents were concerned about losing their southwestern scenery, so the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy was born in 1991. The population grew from 2,000 at the time of corporation to 217,385 in the 2010 census. It is now the state’s 6th largest city.
- Incorporated in 1951
- Total area: 184.44 sq mi
- Elevation: 1,257 feet
24 HOURS IN SCOTTSDALE
Start your morning with an invigorating hike on the Lost Dog Wash Trail in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, stroll along a section of the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt path.
Next, fuel up with a healthy and delicious breakfast at First Watch where you can get classic favorite such as waffles, bacon, and eggs, or go for breakfast tacos, Mexican street corn hash, Italian frittata, or a power breakfast quinoa bowl.
Scottsdale is filled with great things to do, so why not choose something truly unique? Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Taliesin West winter home and school. Tour the campus and experience the Sonoran Desert through the eyes of the legendary architect.
If architecture is not your thing, check out the one-of-a-kind Musical Instrument Museum. Enjoy an enriching, inspiring, and fun experience as you explore the collection of 8,000 instruments from 200 countries.
Once you’ve worked up your appetite again, enjoy a relaxing lunch at the Culinary Dropout. Choose from Detroit-style pan pizza, delicious sandwiches, or roasted salmon.
After lunch, choose an afternoon adventure or two. Visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, a museum devoted to contemporary art, architecture, and design.
If you prefer to do something active to burn off those lunch calories, jump into iFly and then drive down the road to Top Golf. iFly is thrilling indoor skydiving venue. It is a safe activity for the whole family, including children as young as 3 years old. Top Golf is a game anyone can play, whether they have golfing skills or not. Score points at this driving range by hitting micro-chipped golf balls and giant target on an outfield.
For your final meal of the day, head to Old Town Scottsdale for a modern Latin cuisine at The Mission. The menu blends influences from Spain, Mexico, and Central and South America. Choose from a variety of tacos made with hand-pressed tortillas, chorizo porchetta, a tender filet, or a variety of seafood.
If you still have some energy in the reserves, catch a great live show at the Talking Stick Resort.