The natural beauty of the Arizona desert is complemented by the innate elegance of the buildings, shops, and parks that make up the Scottsdale area, and if you have been contemplating a summer or fall journey to the West’s Most Western Town, we have more than a few ideas on how to fill all the seconds, minutes, and hours of your vacation getaway! Our mission at Porter is to give tired travelers properties that are more than just a place to rest your head; we want you to have a home that fits like a glove and becomes an integral part of your Arizona experience! Because making our guests happy is quite possibly the most important part of our mission, we have put together this guide to all the wonderful activities you can enjoy during your Scottsdale summer or fall escape to the desert, and we hope that if we do our job right, you will return for more adventures in the winter and spring, but that is a story for another time!
Come Home to Porter
Because the most important part of any vacation is the place you choose for your vacation escape, our first chapter in our fall and summer guide to Scottsdale will begin with the homes we offer at Porter. Elegance, luxury, and comfort collide to create spaces that are warm, welcoming, and restful, and as the door swings open before you for the first time, you will discover a property you never want to leave. Drop your suitcase where you stand (there will be plenty of time to unpack later) and follow the paths created by luxury materials to the rooms that will be your home for the next week or so.
Offering kitchens that are the heart of the home, these rooms allow you to save on dining expenses as you create feasts that somehow taste better in this new location and dining rooms where family members will gather to play games, briefly check into the office, and of course, devour the feasts you created in the kitchens that are conveniently located just steps away from the dining tables at which you are seated! Discover living rooms filled with plush furnishings just begging you to sink into them and take a long nap, game rooms with vintage style arcade games and backyard oasis’ containing swimming pools, hot tubs, and fire pits included so as to ensure that the fun in your Scottsdale getaway never ends!
When the sun sinks behind Camelback Mountain, in a blazing display of color and fire, the skies above all the mountains turn a velvety shade of midnight purple, you and your family will enjoy the best luxury of all: a deep an uninterrupted night’s sleep in beds that are soft, comfortable, and inviting!
Scottsdale and the Summer Solstice
Your journey to Scottsdale in the summer brings you to the region during the hottest time of the year, but you will soon learn that the dry heat does make a difference, and if you stay hydrated, wear plenty of sunscreen, and spend your daylight hours in the places listed here, you will do just fine. Even more if you start and end your days with a dip in the pool outside your Porter sanctuary! Although we are known as the West’s Most Western City, the city of Scottsdale is far from rustic, offering a surprisingly sophisticated choice of Scottsdale vacation ideas in which to participate. Spend your days enjoying the air conditioning of the many shops and stores that dot the landscape, exploring gift shops filled with artwork, silver and turquoise jewelry, and other goodies that DO offer a Western flair. Bischoff’s Shades of the West is guaranteed to offer the Western-style products that Eastern families often associate with the Old West. If you really want to stay cool and shop posh, Scottsdale Fashion Square mall is one of the few malls in the nation that has survived the downturn that has befallen most malls. Spoil your spouse with an Armani suit, get caught in a web (the world wide web!) with a bunch of geniuses at the Apple Store, and while you are there, pick yourself up something special from Tiffany & Co or Rolex!
Our city in the desert is also famous for the quality of art created here, and Scottsdale is home to the works of many of our best artists, so do not forget to include stopping in a few different galleries during your adventures. Main Street offers a large collection of galleries, including the Marshall Gallery, Bonner David Galleries, and the acclaimed Altamira Gallery, just to name a few. For families traveling with children, you may be surprised that Scottsdale, known for its culinary excellence and its sophisticated nightlife, is also a family-friendly town, as shown with a visit to OdySea Aquarium! Offering a tour through the oceans, rivers, and lakes of the world without having to leave the state, OdySea is a fairly new attraction, located at 2500 E Via De Ventura in Scottsdale, but is one that has already become a tradition for Arizona families and visitors from all over the world! The Butterfly Wonderland, featuring over 3000 colorful flying insects from around the globe, is a magical addition to the aquarium, delighting children of all ages with its rainforest setting.
All of this walking and exploring is no doubt making you thirsty, so why not sit and sip awhile at some of our local wine tasting rooms? Arizona wines are becoming well known throughout the world, and the Salvatore Vineyards Tasting Room on 5th Avenue, LDV Winery on Stetson Drive, and Merkin Vineyards, also on Stetson Drive, offer authentic tasting experiences of some of the best wines in the state! Spend your morning hours shopping and your afternoons seated in comfortable bar spaces sipping, and if you do nothing else during your vacation to Scottsdale, you will STILL consider your getaway a success!
Finally, the families that play together are the coolest families we know, and one of our favorite places to show our children our hidden skills is Octane Raceway! Offering an indoor high-speed race track, a virtual reality arena called Velocity VR, mini bowling, an arcade room, and a restaurant and bar, spending a few hours here just might become the highlight of all your fabulous Scottsdale adventures!
Falling for Fall
We are about to let you in on a little secret: Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Scottsdale, and it is also one of the least crowded times to visit! The kids are back in school, winter breaks have not yet started up, and as the temperatures begin to drop, we try to spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the nearly perfect weather! Now Scottsdale is not a place to visit when you are wanting to see the fall leaves on the trees, as that typically does not begin to happen until closer to December, but we are just a short drive from stereotypical fall temperatures and trees dressed in their autumn’s finest, so a road trip north to Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff, or Jerome could always be added to your itinerary.
In the meantime, if you choose to stay close to your Porter home away from home, the first thing on your Scottsdale vacation ideas list should be a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Once the winter residence, work studio, and architecture school of the esteemed architect, this structure is a shining example of his work, looking as if he just went away for a week or two and will be back to sleep, learn, and play at any moment. Tucked away in the desert and offering incredible views of the natural landscape, Wright was a proponent of keeping things natural, and Taliesin West looks as if it had just grown out of the desert one day, like a stray wildflower that decided to become a permanent resident. Tours are offered every day of the week, and although they do offer a quick one-hour house tour, we should tell you that you will be disappointed in yourself if you don’t choose one of the more extensive tours; the man was fascinating, and the stories the guides tell are guaranteed to interest you and leave you wanting even more!
Now that the weather is cooler, as we stated earlier, this is the time of year desert dwellers cannot wait to get outside, so hiking is an extremely popular pastime! The McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers over 225 miles of hiking trails, allowing you to experience the true beauty of nature, but if you are here early in the season, you may want to make sure that you hike in the morning hours and carry extra water, because the temperatures can still get up there quite a ways! Sometimes walking with a purpose can be a lot of fun, especially if you happen to be in town on the second Thursday of the month and the Scottsdale Art Walk is taking place. Stroll from gallery to gallery, sipping wine, sampling small bites, listening to live music, and, of course, oohing and ahhing over the talented works displayed! Every month has a different theme, but the quality of the work being shown stays strong. Arizona, like many desert states, attracts some of the most talented artists in the world, and we are proud of all they contribute!
Next up on our ultimate list is something you may not expect from a desert town, a cruise on Saguaro Lake! Yes, there are a few lakes that actually do have water in them, including Lake Pleasant, Canyon Lake, and Saguaro Lake, which happens to offer the aforementioned cruise. Lasting approximately 90 minutes, the Desert Belle offers a variety of cruises, including a narration tour that gives you the history of the area and a peek into the beauty of the natural landscape, a music tour showcasing Arizona’s talented musicians (on weekends only), a wine and music tour on Wednesdays (sign us up!), and a Craft Beer and Music cruise on Fridays. If you have decided that Scottsdale is the wedding destination spot that will be the perfect place to begin your new life, private charters are available, and the Desert Belle is often booked for the rehearsal dinner!
Just as we spoke about in the summer guide above, shopping in Scottsdale is always a good idea! The boutiques and shops you find, particularly in the Old Town area, are filled with gifts, crafts, and art pieces that you never knew you needed. Be sure and stop by the sugar bowl for an afternoon pick me up; the bright pink building has been a local landmark and tradition since the 1950s, offering ice cream, sandwiches, and an authentic ice cream shoppe experience!
Dining and Dancing the Nights Away
Scottsdale is known for its vibrant and sophisticated nightlife, so we thought we would take a few minutes to talk about the fun you can have at night in any season! Enjoy the upscale food and drinks offered at Beverly on Main, where a secret room, hidden behind a bookshelf, offers a speakeasy vibe as you enjoy delicious beverages. Experience a taste of France when you dance the night away at Paris in Scottsdale, and if you are looking for something a little more family oriented, Medieval Times in Scottsdale opened rather recently and offers good food, great fun, and the chance to step back in time for an hour or two. Offering a jousting tournament, the knights and their steeds make your meal go down even easier!
Choose Scottsdale for Your Perfect Vacation
Day and night, Scottsdale is a city of sophistication and fun, and our Porter properties reflect that! Reserve your Scottsdale summer or fall sanctuary today!