Van Life in Scottsdale Arizona in the heat of the summer:

When you are a van lifer, you typically stay away from the hotter climates during the summer months. However you can’t avoid the southern states ALL THE TIME. Besides why would you want to anyways? Arizona for instance is a great place to visit during the summer. While the NorthWest is still wearing sweaters at night you can lay out by the pool and get your summer tan or go for a star gazing stroll at night when the temperatures are absolutely perfect. So I decided to create Van Life in Scottsdale for anyone who might be taking a summer road trip or any nomads who find theirselves in Arizona.

For anyone looking for incredible deals and information on Scottsdale, check out Experience Scottsdale a website dedicated to showing you all the best Scottsdale has to offer!


The Best Dog-Friendly Accommodations in Scottsdale

Although you can find ways to live in your van in Arizona during the late spring/early summer, a big secret that no one tells you is that the resorts have huge sales during that season!

So if you decide to venture into Scottsdale and want a break from your van or RV here are my favorite Dog-Friendly Accommodations in the Scottsdale area!

The Dog-Friendly Andaz Scottsdale Review

woman in orange chair: Van life guide to scottsdale

We stayed at the Andaz Scottsdale resort for the Bloghouse Scottsdale Conference in May. Our first concern was whether the resort would be dog-friendly. They clearly state on the website that they are in fact dog-friendly and once you get to the resort you immediately see why!

The Resort has a very modern feel with large grounds and accents of the Southwest culture spread throughout. From the hand made pottery used in the restaurant to the local bands that play for special events, you can feel the essence of Scottsdale during your stay.

Each hotel is on the ground floor in their own individual duplexes connected to about four other hotel rooms. Honestly, it felt like you were renting a studio apartment for the week since you get your own patio and large rooms.

The grounds of the Andaz Scottsdale are absolutely stunning with tons of beautiful green lush grass to walk on. The pool is a must-visit where you can relax and get your tan on!

The pups and Shawn had an absolute blast relaxing in the hotel room and enjoying near dog parks. Although honestly, the resort has so many walkable paths you can get away with never leaving!

The Andaz Scottsdale Dog Policy: $150 pet fee total – 2 pet maximum.

The Bespoke Inn

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Another option that I would consider is The Bespoke Inn. I immediately fell in love with the modern boutique atmosphere. They have seven different styles of rooms and each one offers it’s own unique design and feel. During the summer I saw deals as low as $99 per night!

A fun aspect of The Bespoke Inn is the culinary experience that you can package alongside your room. Virtù Honest Craft restaurant is inside the hotel and offers dine-in experiences inside the Penthouse. Vegan note: I did not see any vegan options on the menu HOWEVER the menu changes weekly and it is chef made so TripAdvisor did note that they do accommodate vegan and gluten free diets. The libations alone looked incredible even if you don’t want to eat there. I personally would want to try the Ice Queen, a vodka based cocktail mixed with Rhubarb, Strawberry-White Balsamic Shrub, Fresh Lemon, Champagne Foam, Cracked Black Pepper.

The Bespoke Inn Pet Policy : $35 per pet, per night.  2 pet maximum.

The Dog-Friendly Phoenician Resort

Woman on pool rooftop deck:Van life guide to Scottsdale

The last night of the Bloghouse Scottsdale Conference we had a beautiful event hosted by the Phoenician on their rooftop deck. This luxurious rooftop has stunning views of the surrounding canyons and the sunset is breathtaking.

We were able to take a tour of the grounds and it was absolutely stunning. They have several pools to choose from all with canyon and Camelback mountain views.

The Phoenician does allow dogs and they recommend the Casita Guest-rooms as they are separate from the hotel and on the first floor so you can easily take your dog to the bathroom.

The Phoenician Pet Policy:  2 dogs per room under 40 lbs. $175 non-refundable cleaning fee

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Top Places to Overnight Park in Scottsdale, Arizona

Finding parking in bigger cities can be difficult at times. You typically need to stealth or be willing to stay in parking lots. We only had to stealth one night in Scottsdale and ended up in a random parking lot. There are two major retailers in the area who currently allow parking.

I recommend checking by calling the store to make sure their policy has not changed.

Free Parking at Cabella’s

GPS: 33.436555, -111.868018

Free Overnight Parking at Wal-Mart

GPS:33.306740, -111.902200

Free Camping an hour outside of Scottsdale, Arizona

Arizona Trust Land is managed by the State Land Department and Trust Land is not public land! What does this mean? You cannot park in Arizona without a permit. Lucky for you a permit is only $15 for a year and fairly easy to get. Simply head here  to apply for a recreation permit and then pay! Now that you’ve done that you can park at the places below!

The desert of Arizona is a beautiful place to be. The view of the stark blue sky against the canyons, the crystal clear starry night sky, and the still air of the desert. Here are some places I found on IOverlander and Campendium.

Free Camping near Petra Trails

GPS: 33.365692, -111.396247

Free parking near the Petra Trails, you will find several fire rings and pet-friendly pullouts. According to IOverlander, there are other spaces near this one as you drive down the road.

Dispersed Camping near the Superstition mountains.

GPS Coordinates: 33.3482, -111.4162

Another great place near Scottsdale with incredible views of the Superstition Mountains!

Top Places to Shower in Scottsdale, Arizona 

If you decide against staying in a hotel while you are visiting the Arizona area then chances are you will need a shower! Here are a few places to shower in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

Planet Fitness in the Phoenix area

Since Scottsdale is a bigger city and apart of the Phoenix metro van-lifers favorite gym, “Planet Fitness!” is abundant. There are twelve Planet Fitness locations scattered around the Phoenix area and one inside Scottsdale.

Cactus Aquatics and Fitness Center

I’m always a fan of getting more out of your money. That is why when I pay for a shower I like to go somewhere where I get something else out of it! For instance a city pool or recreational center usually has a pool or fitness center AND you get to shower!

In Scottsdale I would check out the Cactus Aquatics and Fitness Center if you need a shower! They have a fitness center, a lap pool (heated during the winter) and public swim area for the summer. You can access the shower, fitness center, and the lap pool for only $5!

The Best Dog-Friendly Hikes in Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale is a very active area and it’s residents boast about how much they love the outdoors. This shows with the plethora of hikes and available trails. This shines through on their dog-friendly trails as well. Several of the places listed are not just trails but instead preserves which offer multiple different trails inside one area for each difficulty level. For more hikes check out this guide for hikes around Scottsdale and other parts of Arizona!

McDowell Sonoran Preserve


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There are several trails inside the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and four major trailheads to consider ranging from a kid-friendly half-mile hike to a more difficult 5-mile hike.

Tom Thumb’s Easy Dog-Friendly Hike

Tom Thumb Trailhead offers three different hikes ranging from easy to difficult. Since I enjoy an easier hike I personally would go with the Marcus Landslide which is 3.7 miles and only has an elevation gain of 300 feet.

Lost Dog Wash Trailhead

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The Lost Dog Wash Trailhead is another great option for hikers who prefer an easy stroll with beautiful views. Three out of the four hikes are under 500 feet elevation gain.

Since I’m a sucker for a view I would personally try the Taliesin Overlook trail.

Gateway Trailhead

Gateway Trailhead is another great place to find easy beautiful trails. I personally would hike the Horseshoe Loop, a 1.7-mile trail with some basic mountain views. Great for a simple walk with your pups.

 The Best Vegan Friendly Restaurants in Scottsdale, Arizona 

The Phoenix area has plenty to offer when it comes to a plant-based diet. Although we were not able to visit as many vegan places as we wanted here are a few we either visited ourselves or ones we have put on our list for our next visit!

Verdura Vegan Restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona

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The Verdura restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona offers a full plant based menu that has an array of items, from seitan nachos, Kimchi Rice balls, and Po-boy sandwiches there is something for everyone. I am especially intrigued by the Goth Waffle, a Japanese-style bubble waffle made with activated charcoal, raspberry sorbet and shaved coconut.

Vegan Friendly Options at The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale

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Visiting Old Town in Scottsdale is something you definitely need to put on your to-do list. The area is unique and has a ton of wonderful restaurants, bars, and unique shops. One of my favorite places to visit while in Scottsdale was The Mission. Not only did I love it but I had friends reach out just to recommend it!

The mission features modern latin cuisine with influences from several Latin American countries. Although the menu isn’t vegan friendly when I visited they made sure to 100% accomodate me. Even if you don’t go for a full meal I highly recommend the table side guacamole with jalopenos and the AGUACATE – a housemade margarita with avocado, triple sec, pressed lime Smokehouse vida mezcal, agave nectar, pressed lime, and fantasma puree. This margarita just may be the best I’ve EVER had. 

 Vegan Restaurants in Gilbert – Arizona The Uprooted Kitchen

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Although Gilbert is not technically in Scottsdale, it is such a cool town and this restaurant looks so fun I couldn’t stand to not let you know about it. The Uprooted Kitchen is a plant based kitchen that started out as a food truck (don’t all the best resturants?) and became so popular they moved into a full-blown restaurant. The best part about the Uprooted Kitchen is they are located right by an organic farm where they get some of their produce items!

If you head to Gilbert, I also recommend you check out goat yoga, it’s an experience you will not forget!

The Best Dog-Friendly Coffee Shops in Scottsdale, Arizona

Being in the Arizona heat in a van means you have to spend as much time as possible outside the van. When you have dogs this can get super complicated. That’s why it was great to find dog-friendly coffee shops in the Scottsdale area.

Sip Coffee and Beer – Dog-Friendly

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I love a good cafe. One with bright colors, modern hip feel and delicious coffee. What I love even more is when the coffee shop offers beer to go with that order. The Sip Coffee and Beer not only has an open area with a beautiful patio that is dog-friendly! They even have some vegan options on the menu! I personally would check out the veggie wrap with sriracha hummus!

Schmooze Workspace and Cafe

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This is one place I definitely wish we would’ve had the time to visit. Schmooze Workspace and Cafe is the top place to get work done in Scottsdale. If you have ever felt guilty about working too long in a cafe then this is the place for you.

Schmooze offers conference rooms, office space, and a cafe all in one place. Not to mention their coffee looks incredible and the perfect amount of artisanal.

For my vegans, they have some basics to eat from avocado toast to a delicious veggie wrap.

I hope this Van Life Guide to Scottsdale, Arizona helps you discover your love for the desert during any season. Have you been to Scottsdale? Is there anything you would add?

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