The best Instagram spots in Scottsdale, Arizona
By Helen Wright
If you are passing Scottsdale, Arizona you might not be able to resist stopping to take a quick picture or two. The super stylish city, which is around ten miles south of Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, is actually a secret Instagram hotspot to those in the know. Despite the fact this sunny city enjoys 310 days of sunshine a year – blue skies officially make your holiday snaps look better, FACT – the easily walkable city comes complete with rainbow wall murals, slick hotels and a creative art quarter that projects its local colour and flair all over town.
When it comes to picking the best locations to take photos in Scottsdale, we’ve got a definitive list of the top Instagram spots to capture.
TOP SIX INSTAGRAM SPOTS IN SCOTTSDALE
The #itsthathot wall
This mural in Scottsdale Old Town has just been painted to celebrate everything #absolutelyscottsdale – which, if you don't know, is 310 days of sun a year (more than Florida and Hawaii!), the majestic Saguaro cactus which only grows in the Sonoran desert, vibrant colour, and a city full of life and fun. ☀️🌵 . I can't wait to get a list.of all my favourite Instagram spots in #Scottsdale up on passportstamps.uk, starting with this cute backdrop (which is right opposite the gorgeous @ilovefarmandcraft cafe). #pstravels #itsthathot @scottsdaleariz @helenwrites 🏜️
Painted by artist Lauren Lee for the Experience Scottsdale 2018 #itsthathot summer campaign, this is one of three wall murals to celebrate everything that’s amazing about Scottsdale. Cue the desert sun, the majestic Saguaro cactus that grows in the Sonoran desert surrounding the city, vibrant colours, and a city full of life and fun. Find this backdrop in Old Town Scottsdale on the wall alongside Geisha A Go Go – a sushi bar with karaoke rooms (we told you this place was cool!)
After getting your pose on, refresh at local café Farm and Craft over the road – which specialises in serving a wellness diet (choose from anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and stress-reliving foods that are all locally and sustainably sourced). But, since this is Scottsdale and they don’t take themselves too seriously – they also sell beer and wine on tap. Hello lunch break!
The Colour Pop
Where's Wally? 🌈🌈💃🌈🌈 . Eeeeeeeeek how colourful is this place? If you've never been it's hard to imagine how this vibrant, rainbow city fits into the Arizona desert but it's perfect! 🌵☀️🌶️ As you know I love a wall but the palm tree shadows on this pic are my favourite part (as well as this wicked colorama dress from @asos 😍). . I took this 📷 at the @saguarohotels in Old Town Scottsdale 📍which is possibly the most colourful place I have ever seen! I'll put some more pics on my stories later. Now I have to catch up on the #royalwedding yay! #absolutelyscottsdale .
Okay, so this entire place is like a glorious rainbow explosion. From the stretch of lobby lined with local artists’ prints, to the year-round summer pool, the neon pink lobby terrace and the giant wall murals, take your pick of brilliant backdrops at the super central Saguaro Scottsdale hotel. This impressive wall, on the side of the first guest room block, is best photographed in the early afternoon when the sun provides the perfect palm tree reflection for your tropical desires.
Since you’re at the hotel, you should know they serve the best crab guacamole dip to compliment freshly made tortilla chips. I mean, it’s seriously good. Order with a Mexican Mule cocktail on the side. Why not? You’re on vaycay, as the Americans say!
The Caddy Shack
Speaking of hip hotels, the newly-opened Andaz Scottsdale is a must-stop on your snap happy to-do list. Already topping the list of best places to eat and drink in Scottsdale, the Weft and Warp Art Bar + kitchen has some of the best dishes in the city (seriously try the charred corn!) and the hotel’s terrace overlooks their cool pool. But the money shot has to be the hotel’s resident VIP, a 1962 Cadillac Series 62, which takes pride of place on the front drive. If you’re nice to the bell guys they might let you pose in the front seat. Tip: Guests of the hotel can rent the classic car (with a chauffeur, of course) for $200 for two hours and take the ultimate guided tour around town.
THE BEST PHOTO LOCATIONS IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
The desert view
The Sonoran desert covers 100,000 square miles and Scottsdale has its own piece of that. Claiming the northeastern corner, the desert here is often a huge surprise to first-time visitors and out-of-towners. Short of the dusty, western plains depicted on the walls of Mexican restaurants across the world, this ecologically diverse desert region blooms colourful plants, green trees and, of course, the native Saguaro cactus. In other words – photogenic AF.
In order to see the best bits and enjoy the desert safely, join a tour with an expert guide. Arizona Outback Adventures offer outdoor activities like hiking, mountain-biking and kayaking but also happen to know the best places to stop for pictures of Scottsdale’s natural beauty. Well, hey, what’s the point if you can’t brag about it to your mates back home? Sunrise really showcases the landscape in its most magical light. This shot (above) by @aztravelgirl on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve captures it perfectly.
The Rock Shot
#qotd: Life is all about balance. 💁🏻♀️. This place isn't named The Boulders for nothing, you know! There are plenty here but this one, named Rosie's Rock, is the biggest! 👊🏼 . These rock formations are known as precarious boulders or balancing rocks and it did feel slightly daunting to be stood beneath this giant (even though I am incredibly strong). I am assured they aren't going anywhere anytime soon though… 👊🏼 . 🌵🏜️ @thebouldersresort has been designed to weave in and out of the unusual landscape and blend in with what Earth wanted there, without spoiling the resting place of these incredible natural wonders. By the way, the stunning so-named boulders are a result of an earthquake along the San Andreas fault line in California quite recently actually (12 million years ago…) It's fab to see a hotel celebrate its surroundings in such a unique way whilst providing luxury lodgings for guests to stay at while they enjoy them, of course! (More about that on my stories). . In a poetic take on work/life balance, find Rosie's Rock at the tee-off for the 7th hole on The Boulder's beautiful south golf course. And, up your Instagram handicap by getting your own #strongwoman / #strongman picture and tag us in. 👊🏼👊🏼 #absolutelyscottsdale #pstravels
Okay, so this Arizona Instagram picture is worth the drive. The Boulders Resort and Spa, a retreat in the northern region of Scottsdale, is even more unique than the desert itself. Of the all the hotels in Scottsdale, this is where you want to go for some serious R&R. Guests check in here for a spot of luxury, scenic golf and a room with a view. And yeah, the vista is pretty amazing.
Approximately 12 million years ago, an earthquake along the San Andreas fault line caused these mammoth boulders to rise from underneath the ground and the result is a collection of stunning rocks perched along the horizon. This one, sweetly named Rosie’s Rock, is a giant balancing rock located alonside the tee off for the seventh hole on the Boulders’ beautiful south golf course. (Golf fans need to check this place out too!) Taken from the right position you can appear as the strongest person in the world…
The ‘ALWAYS SUNNY IN SCOTTSDALE’ WALL
Worst part about my job? Writing about lovely sunny places when it's pissing down outside in the UK ☔. Best part? Going to lovely sunny places and having the bare cheek to call it work! #tbt to last week in @scottsdaleariz at the iconic @hotelvalleyho in search of top Instagram hot spots! Had the best time with top lads. New post up on my site now! LINK IN BIO. Lunch break read? Yay ☀️☀️🌵🌵 I ❤️ #Scottsdale #Arizona #absolutelyscottsdale #pstravels #hotelvalleyho
Sure, there is the odd cloudy day, but seriously it is always sunny in Scottsdale! Nowhere tells the tale of sunny days better than the iconic Hotel Valley Ho, which has presided over Scottsdale since 1956. The trendy hotel was a Hollywood hideaway in its heyday with stars like Bing Crosby, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe all checking in to the resort, usually as a way to flee the paparazzi in Los Angeles. Modern day celebs spotted here include Beyonce, Jay Z and Taylor Swift, so the hotel still packs a punch with the A-list. The hotel’s pool, which often hosts the hippest parties in town, is a top Scottsdale photo spot itself but this mural hidden in a shady corner is the one to capture. It pretty much says it al!
WHERE TO STAY IN SCOTTSDALE
READ OUR REVIEW OF ANDAZ SCOTTSDALE
READ OUR REVIEW OF FOUR SEASONS TROON NORTH SCOTTSDALE
Scottsdale, Arizona was our first ever youtube video! Check it out here.
And finally, for a bit of fun…
The Ice Cream Ball Pool
When I was doing my research for @scottsdaleariz I saw this hallowed place on here and immediately packed this sequinned playsuit so I could dive into the ball pit wearing it. 👯♂️🍡🎈🍥🏩🍍 . We spent so long fucking about in the @artoficecreamexperience that we ended up late to dinner and I had to go to fancy (and delicious) @themissionaz restaurant still wearing it… If that isn't commitment to Instagram then I don't know what is! I am just putting together my most iinstagrammable spots in #scottsdaleaz piece for the site. Watch this space… (There are so many! Most photogenic place ever!) 🍭 🍡🍧 There's more from the @artoficecreamexperience on my stories. Euphoric human right there ⬆️ 😂 . Thanks for putting up with the madness @aztravelgirl and having balls launched at your face to get this photo. Most obscure occupational hazard of the week? @scottsdaleariz #pstravels #absolutelyscottsdale
Hurrah, sometimes you don’t know the world needs something until it appears and you realise, yeah, it definitely did. Step forward the Art of Ice Cream Experience, a pop up art exhibit and photo paradise in Scottsdale Old Town. Seriously, this is the place your six-year-old former self dreamed about. Eight ice cream-themed rooms make for instant Instagram grid goals but the Holy Grail is the ‘hundreds and thousands’ sprinkles ball pool. Why should kids have all the fun?
See more of our best photos from the Art of Ice Cream Experience in Scottsdale on our Instagram.
Want to know more about Arizona? We have all the fun facts.
On our last trip to Arizona we ventured further afield – find out why this place is one of our favourite destinations in the world.