Why go? Retirees and snowbirds alike have been flocking to Arizona for decades for the year-round pleasant weather, abundance of open space, clean desert air, golf courses galore, and the plethora of opportunities for outdoor activities. Scottsdale — located in suburban Phoenix, Arizona — has emerged in recent years as a destination for travelers of all kinds to unwind, reconnect with nature and, more recently, party. The city has transformed into a sort of miniature Las Vegas, with its Old Town playing host to the area’s dining and drinking scene. Combine the vibrant party scene with Scottsdale’s ideal location in the Southwestern U.S., and you have the perfect destination for a gathering of your closest buddies to say so long to singledom and hello to marriage.
Best Ideas: You’ll want to be outside enjoying the pleasant climate for as much of your trip as possible, so beat your hangovers with a hike up Camelback Mountain each morning, then head to the links. Or forget the golf shoes and don your snazziest trunks for a pool party. Are you and the rest of your bachelor party baseball fanatics? Then Scottsdale is a perfect place to hang out, if you time it right, as it’s a hive of spring training activity for Major League Baseball teams.
Good to Know: The Phoenix area — and Arizona in general — still has a reputation of being a hotspot for retirees, and while it still does attract plenty of older folks, the area has changed. It has now solidified itself in the realm of desirable destinations for 20- and 30-somethings looking to let loose with an air of sophistication, as well as a spicy margarita in hand. This is Arizona, and Scottsdale is located in the desert, which means it’s warm when everywhere else in the country is freezing. The downside? That also means that when it’s summer time in the U.S., it’s scorching hot in the Southwest.
Welcome to Scottsdale, Arizona, long famous as a mecca for silver foxes, retirees, the kind of older people who tend to view any temperatures under 60 as life-threatening, people who eat dinner at 5 p.m., and your Meemaw. Now, it’s famous as a destination for bachelor parties and swinging young people who aren’t scared off by the area’s aging (ha ha!) reputation as a snowbird paradise. With its rapidly changing demographics, vibrant spa and retreat scene, fun outdoor activities and a recent boom in places to booze it up and eat well, Scottsdale has emerged as a surprising alternative to the usual suspects — Las Vegas, we’re looking at you! — for pre-wedding bacchanals. It’s especially great for those in the U.S. (especially on the West Coast) who aren’t looking to go far for their bachelor party.
In This Article
Travel & Essentials for a Scottsdale Bachelor Party
We’re still talking the desert here, though, so there are considerations you need to make. The ideal time to travel to the Phoenix area is during the late fall months (October and November) and spring, specifically April and May. However, generally, the high season begins in January, which is when hotels get pricey. Winter in Arizona is a hell of a lot better than winter just about anywhere else, but it can get chilly at times and might not be ideal for pool parties if that’s going to be on your agenda.
The high season in Phoenix is also when a lot of Major League Baseball’s clubs come to town to have their spring training programs, which makes for a fun afternoon, but also draws fans from all over, making the whole town just a little bit busier. As with anywhere, you’ll want to make your reservations as early as possible, especially if you have a large group. If you’re planning on hitting the links or bottle service at a pool party, make sure you have your plans locked down in advance so planning doesn’t become impossible.
Visitors to Scottsdale fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which is located only 11 miles from Old Town Scottsdale. The airport is a major hub for American Airlines — that carrier alone operates hundreds of flights to cities all across the U.S. each day. All the other major U.S.-based airlines operate flights to Sky Harbor, while nearby Phoenix-Mesa Airport is a gateway for ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant Air, so cheap airfares shouldn’t be an issue if you don’t dawdle.
Using a ride-hailing service like Uber or Lyft is your best bet to get from the airport into town. Sky Harbor has a dedicated rideshare area, which makes an airport pickup a little less chaotic. Without any traffic, you should be at your Scottsdale hotel in about 20 minutes. There’s a light rail metro system in the Phoenix area, but it doesn’t run through Scottsdale, so generally speaking, using Uber or Lyft will be your best bet for getting around town.
If your group of guys likes the outdoors, you’ll be in your element in Scottsdale. The city’s right in a valley so there’s a mountain you can climb pretty much wherever you look. By far, the most well-known (and crowded) mountain is Camelback, but there are plenty of other hikes to do including Papago Park (definitely check out the Hole in the Rock formation there), Pinnacle Peak Park, and Tom’s Thumb Trailhead.
No trip to Scottsdale is complete without a healthy dose of relaxation, and the city in the desert has you covered there. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a dudes’ spa trip and Scottsdale’s got you covered with an astonishing number of great spas.
Something Else to Note: If your group is especially adventurous and you have some extra time during your weekend, make the three-and-a-half-hour drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to jump out of a plane. I can’t think of many places that would be better for skydiving than the magnificent Grand Canyon, and think about the story — and Instagram bragging rights — that you’ll get to share with your friends and family back home after your party. Just go easy on the tequila the night before.
Pros and Cons of a Bachelor Party in Scottsdale
- Great weather.
- There’s plenty to keep your group occupied if you like the outdoors.
- It can be particularly bro-ey.
- Excruciatingly hot temperatures in the summer.
Best Attractions and Activities in Scottsdale
This desert paradise is traditionally known as a place for an outdoorsman, but recently it’s become a place with something for everyone. The great outdoors are still the main attraction, sure, but the city’s made a name for itself as a high-end destination for eating, drinking, and pampering. What more could you ask for in a bachelor party? You’ll have no trouble filling several days with activities and things to do while you’re in Scottsdale, but here are a few of the best.
Go for a HikeUnnamed Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018, USA
One of the biggest reasons for visiting the Phoenix area is all the desert hiking that’s on offer. From paved trails to mountains and rock formations, this area has something for every level of experience. Some of the top hikes in the area include Lost Dog Wash Trail, the Echo Canyon Summit Trail, and Tom’s Thumb Trail. (Photo of Echo Canyon Trail courtesy of eddie_v_az)
Ride an ATV in the Desert14803 N Hiawatha Hood Rd, Fort McDowell, AZ 85264, USA
For another type of outdoor adventure, try an ATV tour of the Sonoran Desert. Go with Green Zebra Adventures and you’ll get to drive a Tomcar, the latest in off-road vehicles, ensuring you have a whole lot of fun while actually learning a little bit on the way. (Photo courtesy of Green Zebra Adventures)
Play a Round of Golf10320 E Dynamite Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
If a more relaxed vacation is what you’re after, take things slow with a round of golf — or four. With over 200 courses to choose from, the Phoenix area is a golfer’s paradise. You can’t really go wrong with any courses here, but some of the best include The Estancia Club, Whisper Rock Golf Club, Silverleaf Club, and Troon North Golf Club. (Photo of Troon North Golf Club courtesy of The Four Seasons Scottsdale)
Booze it Up at a Desert Pool Party7333 E Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Scottsdale has gained a reputation for being a mini Las Vegas thanks to the abundance of places you can go partying. And what would a bachelor party be without some good old-fashioned boozing? When the weather is warm (which is most of the time), the best parties in town happen during the day hotel pool decks, including the W Scottsdale, the Hotel Valley Ho, and Maya Day and Nightclub. (Photo courtesy of Maya Day and Nightclub)
Embrace your Inner Gearhead at the Barret-Jackson Auto Auction15555 N 79th Pl, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA
One of the world’s most famous and well-attended auto auctions is held in North Scottsdale each January, so if you’re in town during the first month of the year, it’s something you can’t skip. Even if you’re not a dedicated car guy, you’ll no doubt enjoy the wide range of special vehicles on display. (Photo courtesy of Barret-Jackson)
Get a Taste of the Old West in Cave CreekCave Creek, AZ 85331, USA
Located just north of Scottsdale, the town of Cave Creek still exudes that Old West vibe through its saloons, vintage stores, and honky-tonk joints. You can even go to a real rodeo while in town. Giddyup! (Photo courtesy of Town of Cave Creek)
Get your Relaxation on at the Spa34631 N Tom Darlington Dr Suite # 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
Something about the desert just makes you feel more relaxed. Embrace your inner Zen (and nurse your hangover) at one of the area’s plentiful spas, where you can pick from a wide range of treatments that’ll have you feeling your best before your big day. (Photo of Spa at the Boulders courtesy of Boulders Resort & Spa Scottsdale)
Start Your Night with Live Music1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA
Each Friday evening from October through November, there’s a concert with live music at Desert Botanical Gardens. Depending on the artist and what kind of vibe you want, it could be the perfect pregame for a big night in Old Town Scottsdale. (Photo courtesy of Desert Botanical Gardens)
The Best Hotels, Resorts & Airbnbs in Scottsdale
Since Scottsdale’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S., there are plenty of hotels to choose from, ranging from trendy, urban properties to sprawling desert resorts.
Hotel Valley Ho6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Originally opened in 1956, Hotel Valley Ho is a full-throated embrace of the desert’s mid-century modern past. This place puts a priority on partying, with one of the area’s best pool decks. Rooms start at $150 in the low season and around $450 in the high season. (Photo courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho)
W Scottsdale7277 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
If you’re loyal to Marriott but still want a party-centric vibe, the W Scottsdale has your name written all over it. Opened a decade ago, the W brought the brand’s upscale but loud brand to the desert — and the pool party scene along with it. Rooms start from $189 in the low season. (Photo courtesy of W Scottsdale)
Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows6114 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Another mid-century property, the Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows, is perfect for those who want a luxurious, sophisticated hotel with a relaxed side. Rooms here are low-slung individual bungalows that bring you back to the 1950s. Combine this with sophisticated cuisine and craft cocktails from the on-property restaurants and you have the perfect property for an urban dweller who wants to get out into nature but can’t totally leave the city behind. Rooms at the Andaz start at $195 in the low season. (Photo courtesy of Andaz Scottsdale Resort and Bungalows)
Arizona Biltmore2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
For a taste of desert Art Deco, book a room at the Arizona Biltmore, one of Scottsdale’s classics. A Waldorf Astoria property, the Biltmore is part of the Hilton family of hotels. Quiet luxury and relaxation are the name of the game here, so if you’re an old soul at heart, you’ll feel at home, but if you’re in search if a party, look elsewhere. Rooms start at $185 per night in the low season. (Photo courtesy of Arizona Biltmore)
The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North10600 E Crescent Moon Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
If all-out luxury is more your speed, check out the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Set in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak, this five-star resort is top dog in the area when it comes to luxe accommodations. There’s a bilevel pool and two golf courses on the property, so you’ll have plenty to keep yourselves entertained if you’re not too busy relaxing by the pool with a jalapeño margarita in your hand. Rooms start from $250 in the low season. (Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North)
L.A. Meets ScottsdaleScottsdale, AZ, USA
If you’ve got a large group of dudes and a hotel just won’t work, there are plenty of Airbnbs to choose from in the area, like this sleek, five-bedroom home that looks like it could be nestled in the Hollywood Hills. It sleeps 15 easily and is only a mile away from Old Town Scottsdale, meaning you’d be close to all the action. It’s not cheap at $930 a night, but with a huge group, it makes the sticker shock a lot more bearable. (Photo courtesy of Airbnb)
Best Restaurants in Scottsdale
Scottsdale Burger Bar23535 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85255, USA
This place is serious about its burgers and fries and shouldn’t be missed on any trip to Scottsdale. Start your trip off right by ordering a cheeseburger, some buffalo chicken fries on the side, and a milkshake for good measure. (Photo courtesy of Scottsdale Burger Bar)
Second Story Restaurant & Liquor Bar4166 N Scottsdale Rd #102, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
I’ll give you 300 reasons to have a meal here, and they’re all whiskey. We’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to kick off a night of drinking with … more drinking. The food menu is legit, too, with influences from all over the world. If you’re feeling it, why not stick with a good ol’ American prime-grade filet mignon, though, for $54? (Photo courtesy of Second Story Restaurant & Liquor Bar)
Arcadia Farms Cafe7014 E 1st Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
A Scottsdale institution for over two decades, Arcadia Farms Cafe uses local and organic ingredients to serve up one of the best brunches in the area. Consider the Crab Tower, an actual miniature skyscraper of blue lump crab, avocado, micro greens, and gazpacho salsa ($26). (Photo courtesy of Arcadia Farms Cafe)
FnB7125 E 5th Ave #31, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Every celebration needs that one meal that everyone remembers for years to come, right? FnB is the place to go for that meal. The chef, Charleen Badman, won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southwest in 2019, so you know it’s gotta be good. (Leaping off the menu recently: Mexican grouper, Turkish spoon salad, eggplant, peppers, pomegranate, and rice for $29.) Make sure you have reservations well in advance. (Photo courtesy of NY Times Travel)
Old Town Tortilla Factory6910 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
One of Scottsdale’s most beloved restaurants, Old Town Tortilla Factory is the perfect place to enjoy Southwestern cuisine. Set in a 75-year-old adobe home with a large outdoor patio, the Tortilla Factory is a great place to gather a group of your closest buddies for several rounds of margaritas and baskets of chips and salsa before heading out on the town. (Photo courtesy of Old Town Tortilla Factory)
Alo Cafe6960 E 1st St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
This breakfast and brunch spot is the ideal place to fight off your hangover, thanks to its breakfast classics with distinct international twists. The spot is run by Estonian expats, so make sure you order some of the classics from that country like kringle, a dessert bread kind of like a danish. (Photo courtesy of Alo Cafe)
Best Bars and Clubs in Scottsdale
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row4420 N Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Smack dab in the middle of Scottsdale’s Entertainment District, Dierks Bentley’s has something for everyone: There are craft cocktails, tons of beer on tap, bottle service, and an upscale Western vibe. Plus, there are DJ and live music performances throughout the week. (Photo courtesy of Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row)
Old Town Tavern7320 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
This spot has been keeping it real since 2006 with nine live music performances by local artists each week. Plus, the Tavern always has some sort of drink special going on, helping you conserve cash for the weekend. (Photo courtesy of Old Town Tavern)
Maya Day and Nightclub7333 E Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
If you want to experience a little bit of Las Vegas in Arizona, Maya is the place to be. DJs like Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki have played here in the past, so get ready for a night of serious partying. And it’s not just the nighttime where Maya gets lit — it’s also famous for its wild day parties. You’ll definitely want to reserve a table here, especially with a larger group. (Photo courtesy of Maya Day + Nightclub)
Fox Cigar Bar7443 E 6th Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Sports, booze, and cigars: Three ingredients that make a bachelor party. And, they can all be found at Fox Cigar Bar, which offers 34 TVs, 400-plus premium spirits, and a wide range of cigars. You just may never want to leave. (Photo courtesy of Nextouchtech)
Bourbon Street2901 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA
Christie’s Cabaret1675 W Baseline Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283, USA
Located in Tempe, Christie’s is known for its Vegas-like style and amenities, with more than 20 types of high-end Champagne available to order through one of the VIP Champagne hostesses. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s Cabaret)
Scottsdale is a destination that has something for everyone, which makes it a perfect place for a bachelor party. With all the hiking, golfing, relaxing, and drinking, you’ll have more than enough to do on your weekend to make it a trip that the groom-to-be will never forget.