Once a simple farm community and now one of the largest cities in Arizona, Scottsdale values a high quality of life centered on a relaxed environment. It is also a city that continually reinvests in itself. An updated streetscape on Scottsdale Road provides a more pedestrian-friendly path through the city. The Scottsdale Waterfront has shops, fine-dining restaurants and luxury condos all stretched along the city's canal areas. SouthBridge is on the south bank of the canals and functions as Scottsdale's version of New York's SoHo.
Compared to most U.S. cities, Scottsdale is young. Although archaeologists have uncovered evidence that hunters lived in the area as far back as 8,000 years ago, Scottsdale wasn't incorporated until 1951, when it served no more than 2,000 citizens in a 1-sq-mi/2-sq-km radius.
But don't be put off by its youth. The best characteristics of youthfulness—energy, vigor, expectation, optimism, potential and forward-thinking—have long been its strengths. The forefathers developed a city that not only continues to celebrate its Western roots (wearing jeans to fine-dining establishments is the norm in most cases), but also isn't afraid to embrace the urbanism that comes with a growing imported population. Today, millions live within the 184 sq mi/476 sq km that make up The West's Most Western Town.
Clean air, year-round warm weather, open spaces, great nightlife and the arts attract more than 7 million visitors annually. They visit to play golf, hike, climb mountains, relax at spas, shop at world-class stores and take part in the many outdoor festivals held there. As it continues its journey from dusty Western town to modern metropolis, Scottsdale is not likely to lose its attractive lure.
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