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CityTips Guide to Scottsdale

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One part dusty cow town and two parts taste and culture; Scottsdale pours forth a unique blend across the Sonoran desert, attracting seven million tourists each year. Exquisite galleries, shops and golf courses update "The West's Most Western Town."

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Local Overview

Scottsdale, named after Major Winfield Scott, was founded on February 26, 1910. It has preserved its Western roots while becoming one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona. Visitors come from around the world to experience this mix of Old West values and contemporary luxuries.

Old Scottsdale

Old Town includes the older Scottsdale area that extends from Thomas to Camelback on Scottsdale Road. Western stores like Saba's Western Wear, have become staples here, along with upscale restaurants and an art district, which boasts artists from around the world who come to display their art in some of the most popular galleries in the West, like the Faust Gallery and the Legacy Gallery.

Old Town is also the home of the annual Parada del Sol Parade, which features floats, food and fun for the whole family. This parade has become a popular yearly event and takes place in February. The Scottsdale Stadium holds thousands of fans each year, as they watch the San Francisco Giants hit the ball around one of the oldest baseball stadiums in Arizona. Other attractions include the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival.

Old Town is flanked on the north end by the large fashion shopping mall, Scottsdale Fashion Square. With more than 15 restaurants and stores including Dillards, Nordstrom's, Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus. More than 500 specialty stores are also a part of this desert shopping oasis.

Central Scottsdale/Paradise Valley

Traveling north from downtown, Scottsdale's richest shopping and restaurants continue for miles from Camelback Road all the way to Lincoln Drive. The Borgata of Scottsdale and the Hilton Village are two specialty malls that offer unique stores in a rich, relaxing environment. Both are outdoor malls and feature opportunities for window shopping and comfortable strolls. The Borgata is the home to art galleries, fine gifts, home furnishings, jewelry stores and superb restaurants. The Hilton Village also offers unique shops and excellent dining experiences in a more casual environment.

McCormick Ranch

The McCormick Ranch area, once known as one of the most prestigious areas in Arizona, started development in the mid-1960s and still produces multi-million dollar homes. Here you'll find the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, the McCormick Ranch Golf Club and the Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch. Other attractions are the two beautiful lakes which hold many species of fish, ducks and geese. This area is a treat for anyone who wants to see an area that is rich in history.

North Scottsdale

With the advent of the 101 freeway, the North Scottsdale area is now accessible. This attractive area that includes the cities of Carefree and Cave Creek, has some of the most natural landscapes in Arizona and even the home developments that have come into this land have tried to preserve what is natural. Here you can enjoy the McDowell Mountains at the Marriott, taste real rattlesnake at Rawhide, eat great steaks under the stars at Pinnacle Peak Patio and see history come alive at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West.

Traveling north, you will find the five-star Grayhawk Golf Club and community. With homes in the multi-million dollar range and property of like value, the beauty is overwhelming. Del Webb may be most famous for Sun City in the Valley of the Sun, but he also left behind a considerable legacy right here, with Terravita, a master-planned community that has its own grocery, golf and lifestyle, set in the desert. If this beauty isn't enough, keep traveling north and you will find el Pedregal Festival Marketplace. Here, specialty shops line a pueblo-themed outdoor mall. This elegant shopping experience is a celebration of aromas and visual delights. Carefree offers the distinctive Boulders Resort & Spa, one of the world's top destination resorts. Then head over for western fun in the city of Cave Creek. Crazy Ed's Satisfied Frog is a must visit for anyone.

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