If you’re a shop-a-holic, or even just like to window shop with your credit card safely stored in your back pocket, you should consider Scottsdale, Arizona for your next vacation destination. Often called the “South Beach” of the Southwest, Scottsdale has plenty of exciting shopping to offer, plus a buzzing night scene, many fabulous hotels, and a good chance of running into your favorite celebrity.
Scottsdale, Arizona was founded in 1868, when Jack Swilling founded his Swilling Irrigation Canal Company. The real influx of white settlers didn’t start until nearly twenty years later, when the Scott brothers began to encourage families from Phoenix to move to “Orangedale”–as it was then called–and set up a desert farming community. The community attracted the attention of famed architect Frank Loyd Wright in 1937, who is responsible for many of the fascinating buildings that give the town its unique personality, and still attract tourists.But the real flavor of Scottsdale lies in its Old Town district.
Old Town Scottsdale has maintained much of the old west feeling that so many Western cities now lack, giving visitors the sense that a real-life cowboy might come marching down the street at any moment. The roads are lined with old-fashioned shops, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries, which are more than enough to hold the attention of any wayward shopper for an entire afternoon. If cowboys were big into shopping, it seems that nothing much would have changed about the town at all!But for the more modern-minded shopping savant, the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall is where it’s at. Be sure to bring your GPS, because with nearly two million square feet of shopping space, it’s easy to get lost amid the storefronts here. And once you’ve exhausted all the possibilities in the mall (a Herculean task), you can move on to the nearby Scottsdale Waterfront and Southbridge complexes, which each have their own unique secrets to discover.Because Scottsdale is such a fabulous shopping destination, it attracts the attention of tourists of all stripes–not least of all, celebrities eager to escape their flash bulb lifestyles. The Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall has exclusive deals with many high-end retailers, including Barneys New York, Armani Exchange, Louis Vuitton and Betsey Johnson, which makes these prime locations to go celebrity-spotting.
Don’t be surprised if you run into Angelina Jolie shopping for a new handbag, or catch sight of Lady Gaga while perusing a clothes rack.If you want to vacation like the best of them, you can’t miss Scottsdale.