The Desert After Dark: Scottsdale's Nightlife Scene

Where to find after-hours nightlife in Scottsdale, including hot hotel bars, the city's nightclub district, and lounges where mixologists craft cocktails

In the Valley of the Sun, some things get hotter when the sun vanishes. That’s the time to property-hop among opulent hotel bars, get to know Scottsdale’s nightclub district, or sample super-crafty cocktails in upscale restaurant lounges.

Hot Hotel Bars in Scottsdale
It’s alright to wonder what’s going on at resort properties other than your own. Just dress smartly and stride right into one of these hidden-but-welcoming hotel bars:

edge/jade bar • secluded vibe • A mountainside resort in Paradise Valley houses two perches for sipping and socializing: edge, an outdoor ledge of plush sofas for front-row views of sunsets and neighborhood mansions, and jade bar, a glass-enclosed lounge and fire-illuminated back patio. Savory and spicy mixed drinks are house specialties. Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, 480.607.2300

The Living Room
The W's Living Room (©W Hotel)

The Living Room • sultry vibe • Ultra-stylish with a Far East flair, this intimate lobby bar is set with lavish seating and a vibrantly hued interior. On Friday and Saturday nights, energetic beats accompany filled-to-the-rim martinis. W Hotel, 480.970.2119

The Plaza Bar • swanky vibe • Another indoor/outdoor duo, Plaza Bar retains a few beauty marks from its previous identity as a Gerber bar. (As Stone Rose, it was owned in part by Rande Gerber, aka Mr. Cindy Crawford.) Miami-vibe white sofas surround alfresco fire pits, while sleek, sophisticated woodgrains line the interiors. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 480.585.4848

Scottsdale's Club District
For late-night fun, dress to impress and hit the nightclubs southeast of the Scottsdale/Camelback intersection. Street names to note:
• Saddlebag Trail
• Camelback Road
• Indian Plaza
• Stetson Drive
• 6th Avenue
• 75th Street Start anyplace, then easily walk—even in stilettos—to the next nearby venue.

Select highlights:
• Along Camelback Road, The Mint pumps music onto a wraparound patio and into the night, while The W’s rooftop Shade Lounge provides live DJs and city views.
• On Saddlebag Trail, brand-new Hi-Fi is already a place to be seen, with lines out the door on weekends. Projected psychedelics move to the music while young, pretty patrons lounge on the patio or linger around the bar.

Scottsdale's Mixologist-Crafted Cocktail Bars
The drink menus at these restaurants will make your head spin. Just try to choose among so many inventive, beverages—and grab a fascinating snack while you’re there.

Micha Olson of Crudo
Micha Olson mixes it up at Crudo (©Crudo)

Crudo—To accompany sashimi or squid-ink risotto, Crudo mixologist Micah Olson crafts herbaceous classic and seasonal cocktails using such curiosities as figgy-pudding bitters, egg and lavender. Try: The Snozberry Soda with Campari, Lillet Rose and raspberry syrup. 3603 E. Indian School Rd., 602.358.8666

Citizen Public House—Mahogany and stainless steel lend an upscale-tavern vibe. Drinks may be labor-intensive, but that’s not your concern; enjoy good conversation and nibble on bacon-fat popcorn and crab cakes. Try: The Citi-Zen, of Absolut Pear vodka, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, housemade sweet and sour, rock candy, and a twist of lemon. 5th Ave. & Craftsman Ct., 480.398.4208

Searsucker—Before finding fame on TV, chef Brian Malarkey (“The Taste,” “Top Chef”) made stars of hibiscus rum, cucumber gin and cinnamon whiskey in the bar, and hush puppies with honey butter in the kitchen. Try: Latin Cinema, with buttered-popcorn tequila, lime juice and agave nectar. 6900 E. Camelback Rd., 480.664.3777