Maybe it lives in the back of your mind or maybe it’s written down somewhere, like in a journal – but either way, most of us have one: a bucket list. And maybe lately, as the itch to travel has grown, that list has, too. From sunset hot air balloon rides over the desert to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, here are five bucket list-worthy things to do on a trip to Scottsdale.

Sunset Hot Air Ballooning

Fly high and enjoy the breathtaking, 360 views of the varied desert landscape on a hot air balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders or Hot Air Expeditions. Both offer sunset flights for picturesque scenery you can’t find anywhere else and an experience so tranquil, it often takes passengers by surprise.

Off-Roading in the Sonoran Desert

Nearly ½ of Scottsdale’s land mass is Open Space, which makes for endless off-roading opportunities and a number of local companies lead adventures through the desert’s rugged terrain. Take the driver’s seat on an ATV tour with Green Zebra Adventures or let the guide take the wheel on Stellar Adventures‘ desert Hummer tour, both full of action and excitement.

Walking Tour of Taliesin West

One of the most renowned architects of the modern world, the late Frank Lloyd Wright built his winter home and laboratory, Taliesin West in Scottsdale. Visitors can take guided tours through the UNESCO World Heritage Site to see Wright’s living quarters, studio, theatre and gardens – even sketches and photos – up-close and personal.

Spa Hopping

Did you know? Scottsdale boasts more spas per capita than any other U.S. city. Indulge in top-notch relaxation and rejuvenation at any one of the city’s resort spas, including The Spa at Camelback InnThe Spa at Boulders Resort Scottsdale and The Phoenician Spa. Each offer treatment menus with desert-inspired facials, massages and wraps for a uniquely Arizona spa experience and renewal of the body, mind and soul.

Sunrise Hike in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve

Scottsdale boasts 330 days of sunshine per year and protects nearly 31,000 acres of untamed desert land known as the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. So it’s no surprise why hiking tops visitors’ activities list. A sunrise hike in the Preserve – when the air is crisp, the land is quiet and there’s views of Saguaro cacti as far as the eye can see – is sure to provide a life-long memory.


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