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Top 5 Under the Radar Scottsdale Attractions

When we go on vacation there are certain days where maybe we don’t want to go somewhere bustling with other tourists, where we feel like sardines in a concrete can. During those times, we often like to wander off the trail a bit, explore the underground back woods of a city and experience the things that the locals might find themselves doing on a Saturday afternoon. Well, if you find yourself having one of those days while you’re with us, make sure to check out or list of the top five under the radar Scottsdale attractions!

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

We all enjoy art on some level. Whether it by the art of the brush, pencil, sound, or structure, we all have admired a work in some form or another. However, if you find yourself a lover of all arts big and small, make sure you come to Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and be exposed to exhibits that will both please the eyes but also expand one’s mind. Hosting a variety of art exhibits, this museum hosts a wide variety of different items to gaze upon and enjoy. You have one that is meant to showcase the struggles of gentrification on indigenous lands, as well as the handling of religious objects by Euro-Americans. You also have the first artist of African descent to represent France at the 2022 Venice Biennale showcased in their pristine halls, as well as a set of artworks made entirely of sculptural weavings which in and of itself is quite impressive. This is not to mention that the very building itself was designed with art in mind, with textured-glass sheets decorating some its sides along with an architecture that screams of creative origins. So, if you are a lover of art and craving to have your mind expanded and to explore the depth of thought, then make sure you give the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art a visit!

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Playground

At one time or another many of us had at least some sort of interest in these bits of transportation history, and if not us we at least knew someone who was, if not still is. Well, if you are looking to introduce your own offspring to that same interest and hobby then make sure you take visit McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Playground! This 30-acre park features several different attractions including a railroad museum which features actual locomotives from a forgotten time. These include the No. 6 engine which hauled copper ore for 38 years, or one of the last Pullman cars ever produced which, at the time, cost a staggering $205,000 to make! You’ll even see parts of the famed machine shop of Gabe Brooks, who was considered one of the finest during WW2. However, after you are done feeding the studious side of one’s personality, make sure you check out their model railroad which features 10,000 square feet of track, three layouts, and was the child of four model railroad clubs. There’s also a variety of exhibits and hands-on amenities to find. Your young ones will even have a ball playing in their various interactive playgrounds. Don’t forget to check out the 1950s carousel, and make sure to check the calendar often as they host a variety of events through the year. So, why not bond with your own over an old interest at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Playground!


We have already discussed the wonders of art and the experience it can bring; however, where previously we explored contemporary art, Wonderspace has truly given a new meaning to the term “art,” and its artists have created a large variety of exhibits that you truly will never see anywhere else. For instance, whereas most art museums tend to keep their exhibits stagnant for a period of several months, Wonderspace takes pride in the fact it’s exhibits are constantly evolving and changing, ensuring that every visit will be as memorable and magical as the last. As mentioned, you won’t just find your typical pretty paintings or sculptures here—instead you will find unique art exhibits such as Human Study #1, where you become the art as you sit for a robot to draw your picture, which is then added to the collection, turning your image from a cool drawing into a true work of art that will join its place amongst over 36,000 other pictures! As well, there is Before I Die, which is a participatory public art project where you are asked to think deep within your soul about the number one thing you wish to accomplish or do before you die and write it upon the wall with thousands of others dreams. Further, there is the rather unnerving and macabre sculpture of Killing Time which is a kinetic hourglass shaped like a skull that will begin to breath bubbling ferrofluid upon your approach. At Wonderspace, it truly is no wonder that so many flock to see their unique, unforgettable, and truly one-of-a-kind exhibits, and you are assured to be just as amazed as so many before you!

Butterfly Wonderland

There are very few people in this world who can say they dislike butterflies, as these bugs are truly a modern beauty in our world, fluttering and floating amongst the flowers and grasses, adding a bit of light to what can sometimes feel like a dark world. Well, if this statement resonates with you, then make sure you stop by the largest butterfly conservatory in the world at Butterfly Wonderland! This is one of the best things to do in Scottsdale with your family, and you will have the ability to explore their indoor tropical rainforest and, quite literally, frolic amongst the butterflies like something out of an old story book or a Disney cartoon. Here you will get the chance to truly get close and personal with thousands upon thousands of butterflies ranging over 70 different species! Not only this, but the conservatory is filled with unique flowers that are sure to truly make this feel like some sort of magical wonderland. Even if you grow weary of the butterfly conservatory, there is other things to occupy one’s time and mind. You might find their 3D movie theatre both thrilling, as well as informative, and they have a selection of reptiles for you to admire. If you find yourself growing parched or one’s stomach beginning to rumble in protest, then make sure you stop by their café, or if you are especially daring, their Bug Vending Machine (yes, they are meant to be eaten). So, if you are looking for a day surrounded by a different kind of natural beauty, make sure you check out Butterfly Wonderland today!

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

There is something that has always fascinated us about the medieval times with the chivalrous and proud knights, the dazzlingly elegant princesses, the powerful queens and kings, and all the adventures that came with it. Well, at the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, you will be able to experience all this firsthand as you grab a pint of ale and cheer on your personal hero as they fight for victory and honor. Not only will you get to enjoy the clashing of knights during the tournament, but you will be served a full four-course meal consisting of garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken and potatoes, sweat buttery corn, and a desert of the castle—just remember to thank your hospitality queen! As well, you will get to enjoy this scrumptious meal, as well as two free non-alcoholic drinks (don’t worry they have a full bar so you can properly make merry during the tournament!). Finally, you won’t just be watching historically accurate armed fighting enhanced by various special effects, but you’ll also get a spectacular show of equine entertainers! This truly is an unforgettable attraction and show that everyone in your family is sure to enjoy and a memory they will always cherish.

If any of these Scottsdale attractions have sparked your interest and have you already lost in daydreams, make them a reality by giving Scottsdale Rentals a call today at (844) 948-1273 or booking your rental home with us online!