Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
Arizona sits at the crossroads of three diverse cultures that are essential to the story of the American West. Discover the region’s Native American roots, vibrant Mexican heritage, and cowboy customs, and experience how they have merged to make the region such a vivid place.
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park: The modern city of Phoenix rose from the Hohokam village that stood here from about A.D. 100 to 1400.
Wells Fargo History Museum: For a quick snapshot of the Wild West, duck into this small museum, where visitors will find an authentic 19th-century stagecoach, antique guns, and a softball-size nugget of gold.
Heard Museum: The Heard offers an impressive introduction to Native American art and culture.
Arizona Museum of Natural History: The former Mesa Southwest Museum explores the region’s natural and cultural history with hands-on exhibitions, like panning for “gold” and a re-creation of a territorial jail.
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa: Built on the Gila River Indian Community, the resort reflects the architecture, art, and history of the Pima and Maricopa tribes.
Kai: The restaurant taps into the Native American influence on Arizona culture with an innovative menu that consists of indigenous ingredients.
Old Town: This collection of restaurants, bars, and Old West–themed boutiques is a little touristy, but you’ll still find some historic sites, as well as live music courtesy of singing cowboys on horseback and Native American performers.
Old Adobe Mission: Mexican and Yaqui Indian families who settled in the area built Scottsdale’s first Catholic church in 1933. Today, the Spanish Colonial Revival church is still used as a spiritual center.
Cave Creek: Miners and ranchers first settled this small, hardscrabble Western town in the 1870s.
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa: The large resort’s walls are lined with mementos from Arizona history and culture.
Reata Pass: Since its inception in the 1880s as a stagecoach stop, the cowboy steakhouse has been serving meals to hungry travelers in one way or another for more than a century.
Fort Verde State Historic Park: The historic fort is the place to go for a glimpse of the real Old West.
Montezuma Castle National Monument: One of the best-preserved cliff-dwellings in America, the 20-room village served as the home of the Sinagua people from about 1250 to the 1400s.
Jerome: Once dubbed the “Wickedest Town in the West,” the hillside community has endured Prohibition and the boom-and-bust business of mining.
Mii Amo: The destination resort and spa blends holistic wellness treatments, Native American traditions, and luxury pampering.
Elote Cafe: Chef Jeff Smedstad has traveled through Mexico for more than 15 years, creating a flavor distillation of the country’s diverse cuisine.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition