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Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve covers 21,400 acres

There are many opportunities in Scottsdale to ride in the desert

A thriving nightlife scene is another of Scottsdale's attractions

Public art features strongly around Scottsdale

People travel to Scottsdale from all over the world to play golf

Colorful plants are on show at the Agave Desert Botanical Garden

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Scottsdale offers sophistication in the middle of the Sonoran Desert


Although Scottsdale and Phoenix merge in what seems to be one giant urban sprawl, Scottsdale is quite distinct from its huge neighbor to the west. It is a sophisticated city in its own right, with a population approaching a quarter of a million people. It has a wealth of museums, art galleries, top restaurants, bars, nightlife, and numerous world-class spas, resorts, and golf courses.


It is golf that brings many people to Scottsdale which is not surprising as there are almost 200 courses in the Scottsdale area, and the city has over 330 days of sunshine a year. International golfers including Aaron Baddeley, Brandel Chamblee, and Tom Lehman, all choose to live in Scottsdale. Many of the courses have dramatic backdrops of mountains and desert, and courses like the Boulders Golf Course have cactus growing around the fairways.


Scottsdale also has plenty of cultural activities alongside the sporting ones. There are over a hundred art galleries, some top museums, plenty of public art, and it is also the location of Tailesin West, the final home of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.


There are also lots of ways of exploring the natural landscape, and discovering more about the life of the desert. Horse rides into the desert are popular, and attractions like the Agave Desert Botanical Garden and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve allow visitors to enjoy and learn about this unusual landscape.


After enjoying golf, spas, galleries, and the natural beauty by day, Scottsdale also offers plenty of choice in the evenings. Its bar and nightclub scene is very lively, and there are some top-class restaurants too. Some of the top chefs are naturally employed at the golf and spa resorts, so travelers who enjoy their food should check out the dining options if planning to stay in a resort.


One thing to be aware of is that Scottsdale's neighbor Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the United States, and the freeway traffic is frequently fast and busy. You may not want to spend too much time driving around the city, as progress can be slow, especially during the early morning and early evening rush hours. That, though, is one of the few drawbacks to what is an attractive, lively, and prosperous Arizona city.


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