Besides golf courses and the warm desert climate, Scottsdale is best known for its luxury resorts and indulgent day spas. Combine this with a booming culinary scene and you’ve got the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.
After spending a few blissful days here, I couldn’t help but think how Scottsdale would be the perfect place for a honeymoon (especially if you’re looking to stay in the US).
Here are just a few reasons why Scottsdale is ultra romantic:
- scenic sunrises and sunsets with palm trees and cacti silhouettes towering against the pastel colored skies
- garden strolls and fun hikes
- poolside lounging with craft cocktails
- unique spa treatments
- candlelit patio dining
If I haven’t convinced you to start planning your romantic getaway here yet, here’s my list of the best things to do in Scottsdale for couples.
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Best Hotels for Couples in Scottsdale
Scottsdale has no shortage of romantic hotels for a honeymoon or a couples getaway.
Located in the heart of Old Town, this mid-century themed hotel feels more like a resort with the various courtyard and fireside lounging areas, a trendy bar & restaurant and a fun pool atmosphere. Walking distance to many great restaurants.
A small, intimate boutique hotel that doesn’t lack in luxury. Enjoy the lush yet cozy garden vibes in the heart of Old Town.
The stand out amenities here are the 10 pools, all of which are lit up at night (including the swim up bar).
There’s gondola rides on the lake for hotel guests (complete with being serenaded in Italian) and live music in the lobby on the weekends.
You can even book waterfront casitas.
It’s also a 3 minute walk from my favorite French café in Scottsdale (more on that below).
Romantic Things to Do in Scottsdale for Couples
The Palm-tree lined resort pools in Scottsdale make you quickly forget you’re in the middle of the city and not somewhere tropical.
Book a private cabana or daybed all to yourselves and snuggle up in the sun while you beat the heat with a fun cocktail.
Some of the best pool cabanas in Scottsdale can be found at:
The Fairmont Princess Scottsdale has multiple pools, one of which comes with a white sandy beach.
The Hotel Valley Ho is perfect for couples who want a little more action as this is one of the hottest places in town for a pool party.
Unique Spa Treatments
Pamper yourselves at the spa – Scottsdale is said to be the spa capital of the US.
Go for something different and choose a treatment that highlights the healing properties of the Sonoran desert.
My top pick would have to be The Spa at Camelback Inn which offers an impressive range of treatments, including an adobe clay treatment and couples massages.
The Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess offers couples escape packages including desert sal scrubs and Sedona clay masks.
The Spa at Talking Stick Resort allows couples to choose any massage or facial and enjoy them together. I love the sound of the desert deep cleanse facial using red clay to detoxify and prickly pear to rehydrate.
You can even add on a champagne soak before your treatment!
Hike to Incredible Views
Scottsdale has countless hiking trails to take in the sights of the desert cacti among the McDowell Mountains – the views are extra dreamy at sunrise!
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a great place to start and offers over 130 miles of trails that wind their way through the desert landscape.
We loved the Gateway Loop Trail which was 2 hours of moderate intensity and just enough to earn our happy hour.
Or watch the sunset from the Dobbins Lookout on South Mountain.
E-Bike Tour through the desert
Choose your difficulty level from a casual ride to something a little more rugged and enjoy the sonoran desert scenery on two wheels.
This way you get to cover a lot more ground compared to being on 2 feet, plus a guided tour is a great way to learn about the geography of the area.
Book the sunset time slot for sheer breathtaking beauty.
Desert Botanical Garden
You can’t visit the Phoenix area without wandering through the Desert Botanical Garden – it’s one of the city’s most iconic attractions. Here you’ll find the most beautiful display of desert flora.
Make your visit extra romantic and stop by the magical butterfly pavilion, opt to stroll through the gardens at sunset or visit the night exhibits for a glowy garden display.
Plan to spend 2 hours (3 max) and bring a water bottle – there are filling stations throughout the grounds.
Make Romantic Dinner Reservations
Scottsdale is a foodies dream come true and there’s no shortage of restaurants for a lovely date night. Suggested dining:
- The Mission: with old adobe church vibes and for a chic take on latin cuisine – opt for the candle lit dining in the courtyard or sit inside by the glow of the himalayan salt wall. Try the guacamole made fresh in front of your table, the pork shoulder and house made chorizo and the cucumber jalapeno margarita.
- Old Town Tortilla Factory – dine in the 1400 square foot courtyard under century old pecan trees and experience the ultimate in southwest flavor. Go for the enchiladas and mahi mahi here.
- Café Monarch – the most elegant meal and dining experience you can find in Scottsdale, rated as the #2 best fine dining restaurant in the US on Tripadvisor in 2021.
Fantastique French Cuisine
Not many things feel more romantic than sipping on an espresso on the streets of Paris. There are a couple hidden gem French-inspired restaurants in Scottsdale that provide almost the same feeling.
Sophie’s Cafe is a delightful spot found in the Gainey Ranch neighborhood just north of Old Town. It was one of our favorite restaurants that we can’t wait to return to.
The inside is decorated like a Parisian café, and the homemade buckwheat crepes are the stars of the menu.
You can choose sweet or savory – I recommend going back 3 days in a row like we did to try as many different kinds as possible!
The homemade Béchemel sauce is light and airy, and the brie and apple or ham and swiss crepes were our favorite
The House Brasserie is another European-inspired restaurant tucked away in Old Town (very close to the Hotel Valley Ho).
Enjoy your meal al fresco under the garden patio lights.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to visit here as it was closed for the entire holiday season when we last visited Scottsdale, but we heard rave reviews!
Casual Strolls through Old Town
What I love about Scottsdale is how walkable downtown is, referred to as Old Town.
Roam the streets and enjoy the wide variety of boutique shopping (souvenirs, jewelry, artisanal products, second hand stores, etc), art galleries, gardens, art installations and the many bars, restaurants and cafes.
The waterfront at the canal is also a great spot to gather.
If you’re planning to be in town for more than a couple days, I recommend this tour called a Taste of Old Town Scottsdale by Arizona Food Tours.
Over the course of 3 hours you’ll be brought to 5 hidden gem restaurants and get to know the stories behind this historic district.
Noteworthy places to visit in Old Town:
- The Rusty Spur Saloon – a fun western bar and live music
- The Coach House – the oldest bar in Scottsdale and a lively spot to hit for a drink or two. If you’re in town during the holidays, every inch is covered in lights.
- The Merchantile of Scottsdale – an adorable indoor market full of local artisan products.
- Sugar Bowl – old school diner!
Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor/Diner
One of Scottsdale’s must-do activities is to stop in at the Sugar Bowl!
This bubblegum pink building first opened in 1958 and has kept it’s old school diner charm through the years. Order a sundae, banana split, or a malt milkshake.
Cuddle up in the cozy pink booths and channel your inner Danny and Sandy.
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Rides
Float above the orange and pink painted sonoran desert for the best panoramic view you will ever get of this landscape!
Upon landing you’ll be treated to champagne and breakfast presented on white linen tables in the middle of the valley.
If sunrise is too early for you, don’t worry – you can book sunset balloon rides which are equally stunning.
Discover Fun Food and Drinks
Over the course of your trip, try some unique food and drinks that are special to this area.
Here were some of my favorites:
- Prickly Pear Margaritas at Cien Agaves
- Sonoran Hot Dogs from Diego Pops
- Mesquite Cookies at Super Chunk
- Cactus Tacos (nopalitos) at Barrio Queen
- Coffee Flights at JoJo’s
Day Trips Worth Leaving Town For
If you have the time, the red rock cathedral landscape of Sedona should not be missed! If you start early, you can do some sightseeing, squeeze in a short hike, go wine tasting at local wineries and indulge in a fabulous meal.
If you have your own car, visit Jerome. An old mining town built up on the mountainside.
This ‘ghost town’ is now fun stop-off on the way to or from Sedona with fun shops, scenic photo spots and viewpoints, bars, restaurants and wine tasting rooms.
If you don’t have a car or aren’t sure what to plan for the day, book a private tour for the ‘Sedona Experience.’
You guide will pick you up from your hotel, bring you on a hike with some of the best views, will have a table waiting for lunch at a fabulous restaurant and bring you to the vineyards for wine tasting on your way back to Scottsdale.