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Signature City Phoenix-Scottsdale

Program No. 21299RJ
Get an insider’s view on Arizona’s Valley of the Sun as you join experts to explore world-renowned cultural institutions, unique desert landscapes and historic Old Town Scottsdale.
6 days
Rating (4.86)
Activity Level
Starts at

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DATES & starting prices
Jan 29 - Feb 3, 2023
Starting at
Feb 4 - Feb 9, 2023
Starting at
Nov 5 - Nov 10, 2023
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Jan 29 - Feb 3, 2023
Starting at
Feb 4 - Feb 9, 2023
Starting at
Nov 5 - Nov 10, 2023
Starting at

At a Glance

Explore Arizona’s Valley of the Sun on daily adventures spotlighting the history and culture of the Southwest’s most dynamic city and its environs — from iconic Camelback Mountain to the copper-domed State Capitol. Discover the region’s prehistoric and modern Native American cultures with a visit to the famed Heard Museum. View the city’s mix of architectural styles including Frank Lloyd Wright and Paolo Soleri. Experience the music of the city and the world at Phoenix’ newest sensation — the Musical Instrument Museum. Stay in Old Town Scottsdale where its true western roots are juxtaposed against its modern and upscale new Southwest style.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to a one-half mile and standing in museums for up to two hours.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Visit the Phoenix Art Museum, Musical Instrument Museum and Wright’s Taliesin West.
  • Explore the Desert Botanical Garden and sit under the stars around a campfire following dinner on a ranch.
  • Enjoy world-class galleries and a Western-themed ambiance while strolling Old Town Scottsdale.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
PHX: Phoenix 21st century city
by Booth-Clibborn, Edward
After Berlin, Brooklyn, and Moscow, Phoenix is the ideal fourth city to be explored in Booth-Clibborn Editionss fascinating series about cities that are emerging creatively. Thanks to its majestic desert setting, appealing climate, and abundant economic opportunity, the Phoenix metropolitan area is the fastest growing in the U.S. Along with its population growth, the city has seen a flourishing of expressive arts of all kinds. Phoenix 21: Desert Metropolis captures the historic movement and youthful energy of the region as it evolves into a vibrant world-class metropolis with a unique character. 240pp
Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis
by Glennon, Robert
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out. Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.
The Southwest
by Lavender, David
A historical and cultural overview, including discussions of present-day racial, conservation, and economic problems. Easy reading, fascinating history. 364pp
Explorer's Guide Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona & Central Arizona: A Great Destination
by Christine Bailey
Imagine all the adventures you’ll have in Arizona— touring the mountains and red deserts, seeing one spectacular natural wonder after another: the Grand Canyon, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument...Discover the art galleries, museums, resorts, and cuisine that help make Phoenix and Scottsdale such hot destinations. Full-color photographs throughout.
A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert
by Patricia Wentworth Comus (Editor)
"Once in a generation, a guide to understanding a major North American landscape comes along. This book is such a touchstone, sure to become a classic. The emphasis here is on biodiversity, mutualism, co-evolution, and, especially, ethno-relationships—the long history of connection between desert peoples and their homeland, on both sides of the border.
Phoenix Then and Now
by Scharbach, Paul and John H. Akers
From the moment it became Arizona's capital in 1912, Phoenix has enjoyed steady population growth and commercial expansion. Today, Phoenix continues to expand, due to mass migration, and has the distinction of being one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. Phoenix Then and Now looks at the development of the city, with historical photographs placed side-by-side with contemporary views of the same locations revealing a vibrant city, benefiting from wave upon wave of Easterners seeking sunshine in a culturally rich, urban setting. Amazing pictorial history of Phoenix, and the surrounding areas, filled with archival photographs of key locations paired with specially commissioned photographs of the same scenes as they are today. See the Heard Building, used for the opening shot of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. One of Phoenix' first sky scrapers, the building is now used for stores and offices.
Arizona: A Panoramic History of a Frontier State
by Trimble, Marshall
Written by Arizona's state historian, this book looks at the Indian tribes, the Spanish, and the Anglos who have played major roles in the history of Arizona and surveys the state's startling physical contrasts, unusual wildlife, industrial development, and politics. 404pp
9 Reviews
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4.86 Average
This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 2/22/2020

Being in the warm sun of Arizona for the week was great! Flexibility - in what I wanted to partake in / or not partake in is my kind of trip. Thanks Road Scholar. karen borchardt

(5) Review left 2/13/2020

Although I had been to Scottsdale 25 years ago, this program really was enlightening. I learned about an area that I knew little about. If you love museums, wandering in a new place on your own, botanical garden visit, you will be delighted by this program. Also, best food out of 10 trips I have taken with Road Scholar.

(5) Review left 2/10/2020

he Phoenix-Scottsdale trip far exceeded my expectations in terms of the variety of places we visited -and information I learned. The museums were first rate, the accommodations super and the group leader great!

(5) Review left 1/31/2020

Well run program with a great introduction to various museums in the greater Phoenix area.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 6/03/2019

nice trip

(4) Review left 3/02/2019

We just took our first Road Scholar trip - Signature Cities, Phoenix. At least 4 of the "highlights" would have almost justified the trip alone. I came away realizing that there are so many places I could visit, enjoy, and learn from with Road Scholar.

(5) Review left 1/29/2019

I've been coming to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area for years to visit family, and had previously visited some of the locations on the itinerary. However, the opportunity to see recently opened museums and have docent conducted tours made the experience much more valuable. Don't miss the Musical Instrument Museum!!

(5) Review left 1/25/2019

It was fun to see many new facilities in Phoenix and Scottsdale. If you haven’t been there for a few years, consider this trip. The Musical Instrument Museum, organized by the countries of the world, is especially impressive.

(5) Review left 1/12/2019

This was ;my first experience with Road Scholar. I will definitely be looking for my next trip. For tailored to individual/group interest, convenience, affordability and overall value, I highly recommend this service.

Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.