Random Factoids about Scottsdale, Arizona

Since its founding in the late 1800s, Scottsdale, Arizona has changed with the times. During its early days, Scottsdale was a tiny farming community rife with orange groves and olive trees. Cowboys called Scottsdale home when the city was incorporated in 1951, coining the motto “The West’s Most Western Town.” Today, this young city has found its true identity. It’s a modern, luxurious hub for spa, shopping and golf. It’s a culinary destination with more than 600 restaurants. It’s an arts and culture haven with world-class museums and famous architectural marvels. And, it’s an adventure-seeker’s dream with more than 30,200 acres of untouched Sonoran Desert land.

Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Although Scottsdale is in a landlocked desert, the city has its very own “waterfront.” Scottsdale Waterfront is a row of shops, restaurants and residences along the Arizona Canal, and throughout the year, Scottsdale Public Art invites artists to decorate the canal with eye-catching installations. The Arizona Canal is much more than a shopping area and public art space. Its origins date back to 600 CE when the Hohokam Indians laid the foundation for Arizona’s modern canal system. The canal, which was built in 1883, was a fundamental reason Scottsdale founder Winfield Scott chose to settle in the area.
  • Scottsdale is home to the country’s longest-running artwalk…the Scottsdale ArtWalk. Each Thursday night, the art galleries along Main Street and Marshall Way in downtown Scottsdale’s Arts District stay open late for this 40-year tradition. Visitors can walk the path at their own pace, stopping in to galleries to see artist demonstrations and enjoy hors d’oeuvres. More than 100 art galleries fill downtown, showcasing everything from American Indian pottery, contemporary sculptures to Russian impressionist paintings. Plus, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art stays open until 9 p.m. with free admission for the event.
Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright called Scottsdale home during the winter months for 22 years until his death in 1959. His desert masterpiece, Taliesin West, continues to host students with the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and is the headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Wright called Taliesin West, a structure he built into the base of the McDowell Mountains with his apprentices overlooking Scottsdale, the “top of the world.” During the Insights tour, visitors can explore the grounds and Wright’s living quarters.
Photo by: Andrew Pielage
Photo by: Andrew-Pielage
  • Scottsdale has been a retreat for celebrities since 1940, when Elizabeth Arden opened Maine Chance Spa, welcoming society mavens, celebrities and royalty. In the 1950s, Hollywood stars like Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bing Crosby, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood discovered paparazzi wouldn’t follow them to their Scottsdale getaway, the Hotel Valley Ho. The hotel is Scottsdale’s only historically designated hotel and it continues to attract celebrities. In recent years, Scottsdale’s resorts have offered rest and relaxation to stars like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift and Jamie Foxx.
  • Scottsdale is to the Arabian horse, what Kentucky is to the thoroughbred. Each year, Scottsdale hosts the largest event for Arabian horse trainers, riders, owners and fans…the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. More than 2,000 champion horses compete at the 10-day event each year. 2015 marks the 6oth year for the event.
Phoenix Open 17th Hole
Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
  •  Bonus Factoid: Each year the most highly attended tournament on the PGA tour, the Waste Management Phoenix Open, takes place in Scottsdale. The “Greatest Show on Grass” draws more than half a million golf fans, visitors and locals to TPC Scottsdale for the week-long tournament. Nothing compares to the pageantry and spectacle of the event, which even incorporates a bustling nightclub, the Coors Light Birds Nest.

If you know any other interesting and/or random facts about Scottsdale, Arizona, please leave a comment below. Click the following link to read about other Random Factoid Friday destinations.

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.


  1. I used to walk through a farm to school
    In the early 60’s in Scottsdale. I think I crossed Miller Road to get to the farm, south of camelback road. Pretty sure those were the street names.

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