Old Town Scottsdale Self-guided Walking Tour



The cowboy on Main Street in Old Town ScottsdaleOld Town Scottsdale is a Phoenix hot spot, famous for the shopping and nightlife scenes.  Suprisingly, it is a great setting for a inexpensive date.  Take a self-guided walking tour of Old Town and experience the bustle and glamour of Scottsdale without a hefty price tag. 

You can go anytime of day.  You can start almost anywhere.   Just find the markers on the sidewalk (It's easy- they are everywhere) and follow them.  You will also find a pamphlet cart with maps and information on the corner of Main Street and Brown Street.  Some of the shops and art galleries close in the evening, so if you have your heart set on browsing every shop in Scottsdale go in the day time or on a Thursday night during the Scottsdale Artwalk.  

A map of the Scottsdale walking tour, painted on the sidewalk

We parked in the Civic Center Plaza because it is easy to find and has free covered parking.  Then we walked to the park behind the library and began.  You can also park for free at the Old Town Parking Corral at 3806 N Brown Ave.

A statue of a man and a dog in the Civic Center PlazaThe garden and fountain in Civic Center PlazaThe path follows a roughly figure eight contour, and runs for about a mile.   As we said you can start anywhere.  The section in town passes historic buildings, shops, galleries, and restaurants. 

There is a large section in the park behind the library, filled with gorgeous landscaping and fountains.  This section of the path will lead you past  picturesque statues of prominent pioneers in old Scottsdale.  Also, look for the iconic Scottsdale "Love" statue. 

The Scottsdale Love Statue

The Schoolhouse Museum in Old Town ScottsdaleHistory buffs will want to stop at the "Little Red School House Museum." The museum was once Scottsdale's school, and now contains exhibits and information on Scottsdale's history. It is closed during summer months, so if you really want to visit, check their website and make sure you plan your date during their open hours.

Jewelry display in Old Town ScottsdaleThe trail will also lead you to the old adobe chapel, one of the first churches in Scottsdale.  Then, it diverges slightly off the historic path to take you through some shops and art galleries.  You can go in and browse, or just have some fun window shopping. 

A man, a woman, and a mule in Old Town ScottsdaleThe Sugar Bowl sign in Old Town Scottsdale If the date is going well, you may want to stop into the Sugar Bowl on Main Street for an old fashioned ice cream soda. The Sugar Bowl has been in Scottsdale for over 50 years, and still has a fun 1950s feel.   We thought the ice cream was only average, but the atmosphere made it a fun stop.

The trolley car in Old Town ScottsdaleIf you get tired at any point on the date, free trolleys circle through Old Town every twenty to thirty minutes. Just find a station and then hop aboard. The trolleys are air conditioned and can take you back to the Civic Center, or to various other places on the route

Another Date Idea

  • About 60 miles east of Phoenix, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is a one-of-a kind destination. It is filled with treasures from the plant world and there are little surprises at every turn in the path.