If you want to understand the history of Scottsdale before you visit, check out “Historic Scottsdale: A Life From the Land”, by Joan Fudala. This coffee table book will give you an interesting perspective on the people and history of Scottsdale.

Also on the history side of things, take a look at “Road to Scottsdale”, by Albert J. Lieber, which is an account of life in the desert town in the 30s and 40s written through the eyes of someone who grew up there in that time. Though not a trip planning guide, it will surely help you understand the history of the town and give a good picture of what it was like to live there during simpler times.

Once you’re into trip planning mode, you’ll want to look into a few traditional guidebooks. Frommer’s offers “Frommer’s Portable Phoenix and Scottsdale”, a small (and like the name implies, portable) guide that will provide you with restaurant listings, attraction information and other tips to help you plan a successful trip.

If you plan to enjoy the outdoor beauty of Scottsdale, look into “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix, Including Tempe, Scottsdale, and Glendale”, by Charles Lui, which offers a variety of hikes in the area, including lesser-known trails.

Another helpful guide is the Experience Scottsdale Destination Guide published by the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. Copies are free; click here to request a copy. They also offer several other Discovery Guides for Spa, Golf, and Sonoran Desert. Lastly, make sure you visit the official Scottsdale events calendar for a list of all of the events, exhibits and happenings going on in Scottsdale during your visit.