Mighty Molar’s Guide to Scottsdale

With great golf, spas and upscale dining, Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s premier travel destinations. From its saguaro-studded hiking trails to its impressive cultural institutions, this family-friendly desert city has something for everyone, regardless of background. Here are some of the top attractions you should see, while you are in town.

1. McDowell Sonoran Preserve

A beautiful, protected desert habitat, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers a vast array of trails for rugged hikes and leisurely strolls. Keep a watchful eye for desert wildlife, as you take in the scenery at this popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

2. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park: Treat the kids to mini-train rides and model railroading at this Scottsdale family favorite. Discover a museum, interactive exhibits, a carousel and a beautiful park with plenty of great concessions.

3. Butterfly Wonderland: This incredible facility includes a huge glass atrium that creates an ideal tropical rainforest habitat for butterflies. Roam the lovely gardens as thousands of these winged creatures flit around, flaunting their gorgeous colors for all to see.

4. Old Town Scottsdale: Conveniently located downtown, this walkable neighborhood plays host to souvenir outlets, award-winning restaurants, fine art galleries, jewelry shops and unique stores. It also features themed attractions, such as the Little Red Schoolhouse, Rusty Spur Saloon and Cavalliere Blacksmith Shop.

5. Scottsdale’s Museum of the West: Explore 35,000 square feet of galleries, featuring exhibits and artifacts that celebrate western culture. Marvel at authentic paintings and sculptures, while getting in-depth insight into the storied history of all 19 western states.

6. Penske Racing Museum: Get up close to an incredible collection of race cars, trophies and fascinating memorabilia. See many of the actual vehicles behind some of the signature wins registered by Penske Racing over the decades.

7. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts: A great destination for culture buffs, this Scottsdale attraction hosts over 1,000 live performances each year. Enjoy classical music, dance, plays, along with seasonal festivals and holiday events.

8. MacDonald’s Ranch: Bring the family to Scottsdale’s premier horseback riding stable, and enjoy hayrides, cowboy cookouts and fun rides atop gentle, obedient horses. Enjoy a relaxing ride through a scenic landscape, filled with unique wildlife and flora.