“Yeehaw! Why Scottsdale is the Ultimate Destination for a Wild West Experience”


Sitting on the terrace of Mountain Shadows Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, I enjoyed a glass of chardonnay while admiring the distinct hump of granite that characterizes Camelback Mountain. As the sun set, a soft lilac hue outlined the mountain sharply against the sky, evoking memories of a novel that was introduced to me by my grandfather, a knowledgeable enthusiast of the Old West. My well-loved paperback copy of Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage is now worn and creased from numerous readings, a testament to my fondness for the story. Those familiar with me are aware of my affection for Western literature.

I have a deep-rooted admiration for the American West, therefore making Scottsdale, known as the Gateway to the West, an ideal destination. If you wish to experience it firsthand, I suggest starting your journey in Old Town, where the city originated in the late s. The charming Old West ambiance is evident throughout the day and into the night. During the day, explore shops offering Native American art, jewelry, and genuine western attire (do not overlook the Native American-owned Art Market). In the evening, embrace the western culture by donning traditional clothing and visiting the Rusty Spur Saloon, where live country/western music performances occur nightly. Your visit to this unique destination will surely leave a lasting impression.

Please take a seat at the bar for a refreshing beverage, as the tables at the Rusty Spur are often occupied during its operating hours. Do not be discouraged by this, as famous Western figures such as John Wayne and Clint Eastwood were known to frequent this establishment while in town. It is likely that cattle drovers, ranch hands, town marshals, gunfighters, and other inhabitants of the Wild West did not partake in museum visits, leaving those activities to visitors from the East. However, it is highly recommended that you include museums in your Scottsdale itinerary, especially if the museum in question is as captivating as Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

As a partner of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum features displays highlighting the cultural heritage and extensive history of states in America, as well as Western Canada and Mexico. Traditional artworks within the museum, like a painting depicting a Hopi woman on horseback gazing at the horizon, capture the grandeur and vastness of the American West. Conversely, a more unconventional painting shows a formally dressed pianist seated on top of a mesa, playing his piano while beholding the expansive landscape. To gain a unique perspective on the splendor of the Western region, consider arranging a guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, which serves as a complement to the architect’s original Taliesin in Wisconsin.

From until his passing in , Frank Lloyd Wright utilized this property as his winter residence and creative workshop. He found equal inspiration in the ochre desert landscape and McDowell Mountains as he did in the serene surroundings of southern Wisconsin. His eloquent portrayal of the vista from his mesa as a gaze beyond the edge of the world has resonated through time. Visitors to this esteemed National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site are captivated by the same sense of wonder as they explore each interconnected room, linked by a network of terraces, pools, and gardens. Amidst barren dunes and intricately carved sand formations thrive…

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix offers a stunning array of arid climate plants from around the world, including Marigold, Fairy Duster, Apache Plume, Arizona Poppy, Desert Lavender, Desert Primrose, and Whitestem Paperflower. This botanical oasis boasts the world’s largest collection of desert flora, with over , plants displayed among the red rocks of the Papago Buttes. Visitors can explore the garden’s diverse offerings by following any of the five themed trails, which showcase cactuses native to the Sonoran Desert alongside exotic species from other arid regions.

The moral

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West stands as a testament to his ingenuity and reverence for nature. The seamless integration of architecture and environment creates a harmonious sanctuary that continues to inspire all who visit. As visitors wander through the interconnected rooms and meander along the terraces and gardens, they can’t help but feel a connection to the same awe-inspiring beauty that captivated Wright himself. Taliesin West is more than just a winter home and workshop; it is a living testament to the enduring legacy of one of America’s greatest architects.


Hakan Author

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