There are a myriad of sights to see amidst the hustle and bustle of Arizona’s Scottsdale Auction Week, between scenic shopping centers, extraordinary eats and automotive related fun. But where to start? We gathered this list of recommendations to help you plan ahead and get the most out of your visit.
While you’re in town, the Penske Racing Museum is a must see. Indy 500-winning and NASCAR race cars, an IROC winner and various pace cars are on display with their extracted engines placed atop of pedestals. The museum is opened seven days a week, Monday through Saturday from 8 am. to 4 pm. and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. Entry is free, but be aware of the temptations nearby: The collection sits on the sprawling Penske Automotive Group campus, where factory-fresh Bugattis, Aston Martins and Land Rovers wait for their new homes.
A Car Show for Everyone
Hundreds of cars, from vintage classics to modern-day imports, gather at the Pavilions at Talking Stick Shopping Center for the Rock’n’roll Car and Bike Show every Saturday. It’s truly a sight to see: Vehicles start filing into the McDonald’s lot at 4 pm. and continue to spread through the peripheral parking areas around the Pavillions. Admission is free, a great deal for the amount of eye candy.
Heading South (in a good way)
Three additional automotive experiences can be had just South of Scottsdale in Chandler, such as the Bondurant School High Performance Driving School. Though participating in a closed-course class requires advance registration, spectators are welcome to watch and learn from the bleachers.
The Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park is just a skip away from Bondurant. This 500-acre park regularly loans its drag strip and longer tracks to manufacturer testers and car clubs. If the front gate is barred, you might be able to sneak a peek through the perimeter’s chain-link fence.
Also nestled in the vicinity is Local Motors, a car “micro-factory” known for assembling street-legal off-road Rally Fighters and Olli the autonomous vehicle. Tours are available every Tuesday from 3 pm to 5 pm.
Other Sights and Shopping
Shop ’till you drop.
Swing by the three-story BMW dealership on your way to Scottsdale’s prestigious shopping center, the Scottsdale Fashion Square, which has a Tesla Motors gallery tucked among its high-end shopping and jewelry boutiques.
The Kierland Commons is another recommended shop spot. Located on Main Street, the upscale outdoor lifestyle center artfully blends shopping, dining and entertainment. Parking is usually easy to find and is free.
See the sights.
If you’re up to more sight-seeing, Scottsdale is also known for some great architectural buildings, including Taliesin West, the Cosanti Foundation and The Promenade, another popular shopping destination.
Get out and drive.
To get out of the hustle and bustle, take the scenic route and check out our most recommended driving roads around Scottsdale.
Fuel the Day
Scottsdale and its surrounding areas are filled to the brim with great coffee places. Here is a handful of recommendations:
Fourtillfour – An automotive-inspired coffeehouse in an old garage with grass and a patio that serves up espresso drinks, cold brew, tea and bites. Also the host of monthly gatherings, including meets for Porsche enthusiasts and adventure vehicles.
The Village Coffee Shop – Located in Cave Creek within Stagecoach village, an old-timey Western shopping and dining center. Known for their amazing crepes, coffee, and other breakfast foods.
Berdena’s – In the heart of Old Town Scottdale, Berdena’s offers classic coffee shop fare with modern, pastel interior details, patterned tiles and outdoor seating. Known for having the best avocado toast in town.
Cartel Coffee Lab – A Hip coffeehouse chain in Old Town Scottsdale serving up house-roasted brews in chill, bohemian surroundings. Take a bag of fresh roasted coffee beans to bring back home.
JOJO Coffeehouse – Enjoy Breakfast, brunch and lunch in Old Town Scottsdale with JOJO Coffeehouse’s signature coffee, craft beer, and mimosas in this rustic farmhouse restaurant.
Schmooze – A work-friendly hangout offering coffee drinks & cafe eats for breakfast & lunch with free Wi-Fi.
Though some of us could live off of breakfast food and coffee, there are countless fine dining options scattered throughout Scottsdale. Treat your palate:
Old Town Tortilla Factory
Sit on the beautiful, climate-controlled flagstone patio or inside the charming historic building to savor Sonoran-influenced Southwest cuisine. Choose from over 140 premium tequilas, including an award-winning margarita.
Visit the original El Encanto, a romantic Old-World Mission-style restaurant nestled in the heart of Cave Creek. Walking through the archway will seemingly transport you to Mexico. Water features create a comforting atmosphere in which to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine.
Voted best pizza in Fountain Hills for 5 years, the Euro Pizza Café makes all entrees from scratch, prepared to order, using only the highest-quality seafood, meats, pasta and vegetables. A view of Fountain Lake’s impressive water fountain compliments the good eats.
Arrivederci Cucina Italiana
An Italian kitchen that brings the essence of Italy to Scottsdale by way of authentic, mouth-watering meals. Traditional methods of cooking were learned in the kitchens of Italy and carried through the Arrivederci family for generations.
It’s the restaurant with a view. Seated on the scenic former 4,200-acre McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, Chart House brings some of the best seafood to Arizona, as well as incredible steaks and prime rib, to the heart of the Sonoran Desert.
Located in Scottsdale’s Resort Corridor, Roka Akor is modern in approach, Japanese in spirit, and features a contemporary, chef-driven menu that includes exquisite cuts of prime steak, rare Wagyu from various regions of Japan, grilled seafood, and sushi complemented by signature cocktails.
A Home Away from Home
There is a myriad of great places to stay during your visit. Here are five that have raving reviews, listed in order from lower to higher average cost.
Offering distinct comfort and contemporary design, the Talking Stick Resort guest rooms and hotel suites exude the flavor of Scottsdale, Arizona with a luxurious touch. It’s surrounded by six restaurants, an entertainment district, spas, pools, and golf courses.
The McCormick Scottsdale puts the best of Scottsdale at your fingertips. An on-site pool, poolside bar, and restaurants encourage relaxation. On-site kayaking, canoeing, fishing, bicycles, and their shuttle service will satisfy your adventurous side.
The Scott Resort & Spa is a recently renovated luxury boutique hotel known for its La Vidorra Spa, unbeatable location, exceptional service, sumptuous amenities, and Caribbean-inspired dining at The Canal Club and Pool Bar.
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows is an art-filled retreat overlooking Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, featuring bungalow-style guest rooms, the Turquoise Pool, spa, and Weft & Warp Art Bar and Kitchen specializing in contemporary Sonoran cuisine.
At the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, relax in a mountainside or spa casita overlooking the spectacular views of Paradise Valley. Retreat to Sanctuary Spa for Asian-inspired treatments and exhilarating classes. Taste the award-winning cuisine of Food Network star Chef Beau MacMillan. Play tennis or hike in a fabulous setting and lounge by the infinity-edge pool. Raise the bar for happy hour at Jade Bar and savor the sunset views.
Rent a Cool Ride
Need a way to get around Scottsdale in style? Head to DriveShare.com to rent a cool car.