For six months of the year, my parents rent a two-bedroom condo in Scottsdale, about a block from the Scottsdale Fashion Square, a high-end mall. When I was in Atlanta over Christmas, I realized I had no particular desire to spend more time in Scottsdale other than with my parents. I want to spend my money and vacation days on youth-oriented, hipster neighborhoods. I am very happy that I rented a car this year, because doing so has allowed me to enjoy this trip where I otherwise wouldn't. After dinner last night, I took a walk around Scottsdale for a couple hours. The contrast to the fun I've been having in Tempe during the day could not be more stark.
New commercial development in Tempe along the Salt River (Rio Salado)
Both Tempe and Scottsdale are boom towns, but the development in Scottsdale seems to have been primarily retail and restaurant, while that in Tempe is on a larger scale. Along the Salt River, an entire neighborhood has sprung up since I started coming here regularly in 2007. My initial impression of Tempe at that time was that it had a nice Madison vibe happening. That has since escalated to The Full Montreal, particularly in the last two or three years.