Your Insider’s Guide!
Thinking of moving to Scottsdale? Here’s your insider’s guide, with everything you seek. From golf, work, schools, healthcare, hiking and other outdoor activities — to movies, art, worship, shopping, dining and nightlife. And most important, finding your new home. A visit just might get you hooked!
- Your Insider’s Guide!
- Top Reasons to Visit and Move to Scottsdale
- Scottsdale Population and Demographics
- Scottsdale Weather
- Outdoor Activities in Scottsdale
- Indoor and Outdoor Activities in Scottsdale
- Family-Friendly Activities in Scottsdale
- Annual Events in Scottsdale
- Best Restaurants in Scottsdale
- Shopping in Scottsdale
- Scottsdale Nightlife
- Arts, Culture and Movies in Scottsdale
- Companies Based in Scottsdale
- Scottsdale Commute Times
- Scottsdale News Today
- Scottsdale School Options
- Libraries in Scottsdale
- Churches and Temples in Scottsdale
- Scottsdale Communities and Real Estate
- Housing Affordability in Scottsdale
- Moving to Scottsdale Wrap Up
Top Reasons to Visit and Move to Scottsdale
Here are some of the many top reasons to visit and move to Scottsdale. At some point, Scottsdale has ranked among the best cities in the US and Arizona in these categories:
- Top 100 Best Communities for Young People [America’s Promise Alliance]
- # 1 High School in the Nation [US News and World Report]
- Top 10 City to Launch a Startup [Oracle DataFox Ranking]
- Best City for Hispanic Entrepreneurs [WalletHub]
- Best City in the US to get a job [WalletHub]
- # 7 Safest City in the US [Law Street Media]
- # 1 City in the US to Live an Active Lifestyle [WalletHub]
- Top 25 City in the US for Arts Destinations [AmericanStyle Magazine – no longer in business]
Despite the changing nature of data, we still claim bragging rights! It’s easy to see that many of these attributes still apply to Scottsdale — as we continue to strive and succeed in many areas of excellence. Come be a part what makes Scottsdale and outstanding place to visit and make home!
Source: Choose Scottsdale
Scottsdale Population and Demographics
In 2023 Scottsdale turned 73, pop. 242,753. Bursting at our seams and still growing, people are moving to Scottsdale in droves. And, we have a pop. density of 1,442 people per square mile, covering 184.5 square miles.
Here’s a spiffy chart from the City dated Fiscal Year 2021/2022, giving us a bevy of ballpark stats, including our change in elevation and weather. You’ll get breakdowns by age, education, income, ethnicity, gender, and lots of other stats and graphics.
Here are some chart nuggets: 59.4% of us have bachelor’s degrees or above. The median age is 47.7 years. More than 46% of households make over $100,000 per year.
With 299 days of sunshine per year, our average temperatures range from a low of 44 degrees ℉ to a high of 108 ℉. We get lots of sweet spots from October to April, give or take a couple of weeks on either end. We boast the 9th healthiest US city, and we’ve got no excuse not to, with our weather and all the fun things to do here.
I refer to summer in Scottsdale as our reverse season. Those who can escape the heat do, and the rest of us head indoors with our sweaters. Except to walk the dogs, jump in the pool, exercise, and enjoy cheap golf early — outside! Our favorite summertime lament is the heat. There’s little to complain about in moving here. If we do, ‘we call them Scottsdale problems.’
Outdoor Activities in Scottsdale
Take a deep breath — ready? Within the city limits, we have an elevation change of 4,000 feet. The highest point? Butte Peak, in the far North, elev. 4,877. Maybe you’re like me and prefer the flat lands at 1,150 feet in elevation. Walking at the mall perhaps?
Did you know Scottsdale is the number 1 pet-friendly city?
There are so many outdoor activities — where to start? Fear not! Whether you walk your dog or yourself, ride horses, hike, mountain bike or rock climb, I’ve got a blog that’s just your speed:
- Golf with tables from N. to S.: public, private, resort
- Parks/Rec: 43 parks, including dog parks, fishing, playgrounds, aquatics, fitness, field sports, skate parks, picnics, birthday parties, splash pads, etc.
- Indian Bend Wash multi-use trail
- Tennis/Pickleball: public, private, resort
- Biking, as in bicycles, and other wheeled transports
- Trails galore, tables N. to S., Accessible, mountain bikes, horses, dogs
Indoor and Outdoor Activities in Scottsdale
Family-Friendly Activities in Scottsdale
We have so many choices for family-friendly activities that are free or won’t break the bank. Go back up to Outdoor Activities.
And Baseball — spring training and year round!
Scottsdale offers many activities for those seeking something other than nature and the outdoors. There are tons of options at the Salt River-Pima Maricopa Entertainment District.
Annual Events in Scottsdale
Highly anticipated annual events in Scottsdale include:
- Barrett-Jackson Auto Show, late January
- Western Week, Parada del Sol, Parada del Sol Rodeo and Parada del Sol Festival, late January, February and early March — lots of FREE! events.
- Waste Management Phoenix Open Golf Tournament, early to mid-February
- Arabian Horse Show, mid to late February
- Scottsdale Arts Festival, on hold, but typically March. And, there’s more than one Art Festival in Scottsdale.
- Scottsdale Jazz Festival, the end of April
- McCormick Stillman Railroad Park, Summer Concert Series, May-June — FREE!
- June Days in Scottsdale, you guessed it — June
- Red, White and Choo Choo July 4th Celebration at The Railroad Park
- Scottsdale 4th of July Celebration at WestWorld
- Scottsdale International Film Festival, on hold, but typically early to mid-November
- Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, late October
- Convergence on the Canal, early to mid-November — FREE!
- Scottsdazzle, December — FREE!
Best Restaurants in Scottsdale
With so many choices, I’m going to give you a few I think are special and unique to our area. These in S. Scottsdale, and be sure to hit still-standing Old Town favorites — the Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor (est. 1958) for an old-fashioned banana split or sundae fix.
The Grapevine (est. 1971) for lavash and karaoke, Los Olivos Mexican Patio (est. 1928) for Arizona-style Mexican food, and AZ88 (est. 1988), for artsy interiors, martinis, and dreamy patio overlooking the newly renovated Civic Center Plaza.
For another Scottsdale throwback, especially if you’re looking for a big breakfast, a blue plate special, homemade pies and extra butter fat ice cream? Randy’s Restaurant and Ice Cream (est. ~ 1981) — fast, affordable, super-friendly service — and cash only. It’s centrally located and there will be a line out the door on weekends in the winter season for breakfast.
Shopping in Scottsdale
Shopping is a great Scottsdale pastime and way to get your steps in, both indoors and out. Here are my mall blogs:
And don’t forget Downtown/Old Town shopping. These are all great places for nightlife too.
The epicenter of Scottsdale Nightlife is a big entertainment district in Downtown/Old Town. Read the link, and have a great, safe time. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has their own Entertainment District, which includes Talking Stick Resort and Casino and Casino Arizona.
For lower-key or romantic nightlife experiences, see Shopping in Scottsdale below and our beautiful resorts, with tables from N. to S.:
Don’t even think about driving under the influence. A DUI in Scottsdale is a big problem.
Arts, Culture and Movies in Scottsdale
The arts, culture and movies are all big deals in Scottsdale. Scottsdale’s roots begat partly in an artist’s colony started in Old Town known as Craftsman Court. We have an incredible gallery, performing arts, public art and museum scene. And, we have annual free arts events for everyone.
Here are my posts for everything you need to be hip to the scene:
And we thank our lucky stars to be home to one of the biggest and best theater companies in the country!
Companies Based in Scottsdale
Moving to Scottsdale means you’re in good company. Due to our favorable business climate — and outdoors for at least half the year — many companies are relocating, starting up or building major centers here.
Healthcare, finance and technology companies lead the pack. The links are to tables I created for you to look at major companies in those sectors. They take you directly to the career pages. I made it easy for you to search for Scottsdale jobs hiring. There’s overlap, so check all 3 tables out.
Scottsdale Jobs — The Big Scoop
We have been named a best city to find a job and a best for Hispanic start-ups, among other bragging rights.
33,510 of us live and work here. More people come to work here each day than leave to work in other Phoenix-area communities. And, most of our residents work in office or management jobs.
Get a jump in moving to Scottsdale. Here’s my post with the whole jobs scoop, including tables of our companies and links to their career pages.
Scottsdale Commute Times
Scottsdale is 31 miles long from north to south and 11.4 miles wide at its widest point, east to west along the main arterial Shea corridor.
The great news is that we have a good freeway system, with the 101 Loop running through much of Scottsdale, saving a lot of commute time and other trips. Unless there are minor wrecks or rare major accidents forcing traffic onto surface streets, sailing is pretty smooth.
Driving from far N. Scottsdale into the city is challenging, especially in the winter season, as there’s no freeway until you hit Loop 101.
Our surface streets are very good, reasonably grid-like and easy to get used to. But, we also have a lot of road construction that goes with all the new building and constant maintenance.
Add in the cooler months, with our influx of winter visitors, along with school buses and zones, and it makes commuting frustrating at times.
Although we’re still a mostly drivable city, as our rapid growth continues, let your phone maps app be your guide and give yourself extra time to arrive, including finding parking.
Downtown|Old Town is daunting and I wrote a blog for you on the best ways to navigate the snarls and avoid tickets.
If you’re a cyclist, we’re also a bike-friendly city, with miles of trails. I have a post for you on bicycling, etc. too.
My best advice is to leave early and be very patient. And watch out for photo radar speed cameras — the fines are heavy and you can’t dodge tickets, or the process server — trust me. If you don’t know where the photo radar cameras are, put directions in your phone maps app and you’ll get an advance warning to slow down. Unless you’re the law-abiding type!
Scottsdale News Today
How to keep informed when thinking about and after moving to Scottsdale? We have 3 great sources of news. They’re available in both digital format and good old-school newspapers. Look for racks around town — they’re FREE either way!
Scottsdale School Options
Our City offers many excellent school options. This is a big part of what makes Scottsdale a desirable place to raise kids. And, there is strong competition for the highest-rated schools in Scottsdale.
We have excellent public, charter and private schools for Pre-K — High School. Here are my posts for all types of schools and a separate one for SUSD’s public schools, for everything you need to know.
Scottsdale Community College
We also have a first-rate place for higher education at centrally-located Scottsdale Community College — SCC.
Libraries in Scottsdale
Our libraries are among the many finest assets of our City, with vast holdings of books, and infinite media resources for knowledge and entertainment. You can walk in or drive up to get books, movies and music in your hands — or never set foot inside except to get your free library card — and check everything out digitally.
One of the fantastic things about our libraries? They are horse-themed, in honor of our equine heritage. We have 4 horsey libraries — 3 real branches, and the big Civic Center branch Downtown. These range from N. to S. And they stable beautiful horse art pieces that are part of the city’s vast fine art collection. It’s pretty special!
The 4th horse, Pegasus, is the virtual 24/7/365 library. And, look for tiny libraries at parks and shopping centers. Here’s my library post.
Churches and Temples in Scottsdale
We have many lovely churches, temples and community centers for faith and fellowship in Scottsdale. They also serve as schools for education of children and adults. Here’s my post which includes tables of churches and temples in Scottsdale, from N. to S.:
Recovery in Scottsdale
Scottsdale has an active Recovery community. Visit and find your tribe at Salt River Intergroup and North Scottsdale Fellowship Club for lots of in-person and Zoom meetings. Many in-person meetings take place at our churches. See above.
Scottsdale Communities and Real Estate
Scottsdale has lots of communities and neighborhoods to choose from. Whether you’re looking for high-rises or quiet places, golf, tennis, gated, 55+, a horse property or acreage with room for toys — it’s here. From custom homes to mobile homes, with lush or desert landscapes, and of course pools — there’s an abode for every taste and many budgets.
To make things simple, I’ve broken Scottsdale into the overall Scottsdale Cityscape view, plus four (4) Communities, from N. to S. Visit each link to find details, including maps and tables:
- Scottsdale, the City overview
- N. Scottsdale
- Central | Eastern Scottsdale
- Downtown | Old Town
- S. Scottsdale
Housing Affordability in Scottsdale
Scottsdale has the highest median and average home price in the Phoenix metro area. Housing options are excellent, if you can afford them. Scottsdale’s becoming a very expensive place to live. Before you fall head-over-heals in love with the city, here are things you should know.
For a long time, Arizona was an affordable place to live. But, as our popularity grows at a fast pace, we’re in the midst of rising housing prices and a shortage of homes.
Building of new luxury apartments is skyrocketing to meet the demand, as are the rents that go with them.
Apartments are great if you want a carefree, high-rise lifestyle. Maybe you aren’t looking to live here long-term or invest in a home. And, you might be okay having roommates and sharing expenses.
Is your dream instead to own a home here and perhaps raise a family, retire, have a winter home, investment property — or other scenario?
Doing your research and getting realistic about your options will be an important factor in moving to Scottsdale.
See more details in my jobs post.
I’m here to help guide you, if you’re considering moving, — whether you’re already here or thinking of moving to Scottsdale.
Moving to Scottsdale Wrap Up
There are a dizzying number of exciting things to do here. And, big practical things to think about in moving to Scottsdale. I hope this gives you a good start. And I’m always available to assist with my expertise — or to point your in the right direction. Thanks for taking a tour of our great city!
Scottsdale Lifestyle Blogger
I’m a 5th generation native Arizona gal who loves showing and telling what makes Scottsdale an amazing place to visit and make home! I hope you enjoy our city through my lens, making your own discoveries and memories here!