Bristling with cranes and construction fencing, the city's center has seemingly reinvented itself overnight as a sophisticated destination and a large, floating party scene, complete with fashionable hotels, pricey boutiques, and restaurants that alone are worth the trip. More than $2 billion is being sunk into the 2-square-mile area roughly centered on Scottsdale and Camelback Roads ― and it shows.
Downtown Scottsdale is between Chaparral Rd. and Earll Dr., Miller Rd. to 68th St. For information, visit www.scottsdaledowntown.com or contact the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800/782-1117.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Valley Ho. From $319; www.hotelvalleyho.com; 866/882-4484.
Mondrian Scottsdale Hotel. Former James Hotel gets a makeover, including an Asia de Cuba restaurant. From $395; http://www.mondrianscottsdale.com; 800/697-1791.
WHERE TO EAT
Café ZuZu. Gussied-up mac 'n' cheese and meatloaf. $$$; at Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main St.; 480/421-7997.
Cowboy Ciao. Italian meets Mexican-border fare. $$$$; 7133 E. Stetson Dr.; 480/946-3111.
Kazimierz World Wine Bar. Globe-trotting wine list, plus nibbles. $$; 7137 E. Stetson; 480/ 946-3004.
Olive & Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace. Pick up gourmet picnic fixin's, or dine in on signature flatbread. $$$$; 7135 E. Camelback Rd.; www.foxrc.com; 480/751-2200.
Orange Table. Artsy hangout with lattes and exceptionally great grilled cheese. $; 7373 E. Scottsdale Mall; 480/424-6819.
Sea Saw. Sashimi and Japanese tapas from famed chef Nobuo Fukuda. $$; 7133 E. Stetson; 480/481-9463.