Scottsdale Waterfront District
The town of Scottsdale has proven itself time and time again to be one of the premier tourist destinations in the sunny state of Arizona. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a trip with the girls, a romantic getaway for two, or a place to take the whole family, Scottsdale has you covered. The Waterfront District, one of the city’s many popular areas, is full of shopping, dining, and sightseeing that everyone is sure to appreciate.
Wait, what? You might be thinking. Scottsdale has a waterfront area? It might be hard to believe that there could be such a thing as a waterfront in the middle of the Arizona Sonoran Desert, but developer Fred Unger broke all of the rules when he designed this pedestrian-friendly district in downtown Scottsdale. The Waterfront District is actually built alongside one of its many canals.
It may not be much in the way of water as far as out-of-towners are concerned, but that wasn’t really what the district was first built for. It was created to serve as an upscale shopping and dining area with great access to the rich history of the canals, and in this regard it definitely holds up. The canals were originally built as an irrigation system by the area’s ancient Hohokam Indians over a thousand years ago – they’ve actually been called the most sophisticated irrigation system ever built with pre-industrial technology. Visitors to Scottsdale will love the splash of history that the canal gives the shopping and dining district.
Pedestrian and Shopping Friendly
One of the first things that a visitor will notice about the thriving Waterfront District is that it is great for walking. If you’re interested in a long, relaxing walk, then numerous pathways near the canal provide the perfect opportunity. The fish-filled water and numerous pieces of public art make a canal-side walk enjoyable.
The Scottsdale Waterfront District is oftentimes overshadowed in the shopping-savvy visitor’s mind because of the nearby Fashion Square Mall. It might seem a little like overkill to have two great shopping districts side by side, but you’re sure to find something unique and charming in the Waterfront District that you might not be able to find at the Fashion Square Mall. In addition, how can you beat walking down pink sidewalks lined with palm trees while gazing into stores built with that classic-cool Arizona-style architecture? Over one million square feet of retail space makes the waterfront district a definite hit for shoppers of all sorts.
Dining and Recreation
After you’re done with some shopping (or window-shopping), it’s time to sit down for a tasty meal. The waterfront district has a variety of dining options from dimly lit romantic hotspots to colorful and loud child-friendly joints. The Culinary Dropout, Sauce, and the Wildfish Seafood Grill are only a few of the more well-known eating spots that are sure to make your mouth water.
If you’re not up to walking or shopping and your belly is full, then there is still plenty to do in Scottsdale’s Waterfront District. One of the most fun activities is the Fiesta Bowl Museum. This is a really neat interactive museum that is dedicated to the history of Arizona area college football. Even non-football fans are sure to appreciate the fun and informative displays at the Fiesta Bowl Museum.
By now you’re probably chomping at the bit to get out and about in Scottsdale’s Waterfront District. It’s really a very easy place to find as it is just south of the Fashion Square Mall, north (and across the canal) from the edge of 5th Avenue’s boutiques and shops, and to the west of the Entertainment District and the up-and-coming Southbridge area. For visitor’s that aren’t very familiar with the area, the address below should be a great help in finding the Waterfront District.
All in all, Scottsdale is one of the best vacation spots in Arizona and the hip Waterfront District is just begging to be visited. Do yourself a favor and stop by between shopping at the Fashion Square Mall and drinking in the Entertainment District. You might just find that you are so enamored with the area’s waterfront charm that you come back the next day!
Map of Downtown showing the Waterfront District