Elizabeth Hey

Southwestern Chic in Phoenix


Elizabeth Hey
Published May 01, 2014

Search for history in Phoenix, and you’ll find stories of the desert and the people who have made their home there for centuries.

Groups that visit this Arizona metropolis can experience Phoenix’s underlying Native American heritage and learn about the pioneers who helped settle the Southwest. The Pueblo Grande Museum and Heard Museum explore the area’s native beginnings.

More recent attractions, such as the Arizona Capitol Museum, reveal Arizona’s early years of statehood. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West and the soon-to-open Scottsdale Museum of the West also tell the story of those who influenced this sun-kissed city.


Native American Beginnings

Capturing Arizona’s rich Native American heritage, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park preserves ancient Hohokam Indian culture on this 1,000-year-old site. Reconstructed life-size Hohokam homes and an ancient ball court unravel some of the mystery surrounding the 10,000 to 20,000 people who once lived there.

Monthly tours and programs take place October through April. They include first Wednesdays lectures, the three-hour Petroglyph Discovery Hike and Plant Tours of Pueblo Grande. Year-round, the museum store sells authentic Native American gifts, art and jewelry.

“Among the museum’s many special events, the early December outdoor Indian Market features approximately 150 top Native American artists,” said visitor services spokesperson Renee Aguilar.



Scottsdale Museum of the West

In the cityscape, the boundary lines between Phoenix and Scottsdale blur as they happily coexist side by side. Scottsdale has some distinct differences from its larger sister. Sometimes referred to as the “Beverly Hills of the West,” Scottsdale is a bit more upscale while still embracing its Western roots.

In December the long-awaited Scottsdale Museum of the West will open. It will pay tribute to the area’s notable pioneers and frontier expansion. Five galleries filled with paintings, sculptures and cultural artifacts will reflect the forces that shaped and influenced the American West. Museum exhibits will feature cowboys on horseback and historic roads such as Route 66. Works by famed artists such as Carl Oscar Borg, John Coleman and Maynard Dixon will take center stage at the 40,000-square-foot showplace.


Pages: 1 2