Main Streets 2017 – Arizona
To get a good sense of this quintessential Southwestern city’s easy, laid-back feel, choose a Thursday evening to stroll through downtown Scottsdale.
That’s when you can join up with the Scottsdale Art Walk, which dates to 1975 and calls itself America’s Original Art Walk. Wander Main Street and its neighboring streets in the arts district, and you can discover its beautiful tree-covered courtyards or relax near one of downtown’s mesmerizing fountains or public art pieces.
Art is a major feature and attraction in Scottsdale, where many of the city’s 70-plus art galleries beckon visitors and collectors along and near Main Street. The city is devoted to the arts, both visual and performance. Just beyond Main is the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, a landscaped 21-acre park where you’ll find the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art with its rotating exhibits of contemporary art, architecture (Scottsdale was Frank Lloyd Wright’s western base at Taliesin West) and design.
ArtFest of Scottsdale comes to life here just before the holidays each year, with arts, crafts, authors, live music and food. The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is home to a wide array of performances.
Of course, everything’s not about art here — Scottsdale is known, after all, as “the West’s Most Western Town.” Find out why at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which is just around the corner off Main Street and showcases art, history, culture and unique stories. When museum exploration makes you hungry, as it surely will, Arizona Food Tours will take you on a very tasty adventure through locally owned restaurants, wineries and breweries, led by local “foodie enthusiasts.”
Downtown is the cultural heart of this vibrant city — but a little farther afield are the parks and outdoors activities that help to make today’s Scottsdale what it is. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is a 30-acre city park where children can ride the Paradise & Pacific Railroad or a vintage carousel. Camelback Mountain, at 2,706 feet, is one of the most prominent features on the landscape, not to mention one of the most popular, and you can find nearly 200 miles of trails winding through the 30,000-plus acres of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
You can enjoy all that and more on Main Street: art, architecture, great food, fine drink, and celebrations of all the Southwest has to offer.
All photos courtesy of Experience Scottsdale.