Phoenix, Arizona, offers contemporary urban experiences with a dash of desert adventure, while Scottsdale presents a blend of upscale Western tradition, luxury, and a thriving art scene. Both cities, however, are deeply connected to and influenced by the surrounding beauty of the Sonoran Desert. The iconic Camelback Mountain boasts 360-degree views.
Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the U.S., draws visitors to the Heard Museum with its impressive Native American collections, and the contemporary and modern Phoenix Art Museum. The Desert Botanical Garden showcases the beauty and adaptability of desert flora. Phoenix has both modern architecture and urban parks, professional sports teams, and nearby desert adventures.
Scottsdale, on the other hand, is an upscale version of the Old West and is known for luxury resorts, golf courses, and spa retreats. Pedestrian-friendly Old Town retains a Southwestern charm, with wooden-beamed buildings, saloons, and Native American and Western art galleries. Scottsdale is also home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. — Kim Grant