With so many art galleries, Scottsdale is an art lover's Mecca. Items range from cheap and common in the tourist shops to many thousands of dollars in the galleries selling original art. With so much variety a person can spend the entire day browsing.
Also, the city has an arts festival every year on the same weekend as the Phoenix St. Patrick's Day parade. What better way to spend the day than browsing art, sipping lemonade, and listening to some of the live musical performances?
Sears Kay- Tonto National Forest
And unfortunate part of our overlooked city is NORTH Scottsdale. And by that I mean REAL North scottsdale, far north of the 101. To have a beautiful and peaceful hike, and see some awesome sights. Ok, so take pima north. You will pass alot of desert after Happy Valley, then when you get to Cave Creek road turn right and follow that road. You will pass The Rocks and a couple other places and then suddenly you will see a sign that says "Welcome to the Tonto National Forest"
It is the most majestic and breathtaking place in the universe, and the reason I live in Scottsdale. Keep going until you see a sign for "Sear-Kay Ruins" This is a pretty unknown hiking spot, but can get slightly busy on weekends with locals. Go in the morning while it's cooler. There are two paths at the sears kay, and it loops so you can take one up and the other down. Then you can see how the native americans lived and be awed by the majesty of our great desert.
That is all! PS. Dont keep going north, or you will get trapped on a one way road, the path to the I17 is caved over. There is a seven springs camping ground, but dont go unless you are camping.
Rusty Old Spur
It really is a lower end drinking place, though no draught beer on tap. A bottle was $3; reasonable. The taco I had was simply okay, but not great. They are not here to promote the food, but to sell drinks. The food prices for burgers is about $8, and tacos $7.50, for the most part.
Cowboy hats are seen here, and locals and out of town tourists try to merge together. The locals ignore the tourists, and there surely are some goofy one I am sure come inside and act like a "tourist"
The building was a bank until 1923, when it closed, After that is was Chamber of Commerce, and eventually became a bar/cafe in 1958, the first in town. The decor looks mostly unchanged since then. It felt "dingy" inside and not cleaned for a while. The beef tacos was what I had, and they were mundane but filled me up.
Richardson-Rokerj is Coming Back
The menu has breakfast from 7-4PM and prices are $10-20. Most items are $15-30 for lunch. Try dinner out for around $30-50 range for steaks & chops. The menu if filled with so much to choose from that it is mind boggling. It includes Rokerj and Richardson's items combined and takes up about 6 pages of food selections.
The inside was dark and too unattractive for my suitability.
Richardson's burned down a couple of years ago, and recently added its meal fare to Rokerj while they are rebuilding another restaurant close by. We had the flat bread pizza type. It was good, but not outstanding. Or companions had appetizer of sausages and a salad to split between them. The food was okay, at best, and much overrated given the name and following of locals to flock here to see/be seen?
So I say the flat bread was our favorite-the price was a factor since I do not like getting ripped off for a meager and mediocre meal
Frank Lloyd Wright's "Taliesin West"
Since no one else in my family was interested, I took the complimentary hotel shuttle to visit Taliesin West, one of the architectural schools designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famous American architects.
The low, horizontal structure virtually disappears into its surroundings, as Wright must have planned it. Construction of Taliesin West began in 1937 with the actual building taking place over many years by apprentices who were a part of the resident Taliesin Fellowship.
The website states, "Taliesin West is the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. The buildings rest on 600 acres of preserved Sonoran Desert open space on the South foothills of the McDowell mountains with spectacular views of Scottsdale, Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun."
Taliesin West is quite a large conglomeration of building including room for drafting studios, classrooms, study rooms, the William Wesley Peters Library, and exhibition spaces. The tour I took covered much of the buildings where we saw large rooms theaters provide space for "theatrical performances, concerts, music and dance rehearsals, as well as space for videos, films, visiting lecturers, special events and formal dining." While I thought the rooms were not as warm and detailed as I had hoped to fine, I am sure that the presence of large groups of people add a different aspect and feel to the rooms. Uninhabited they felt spartan, cold and deathly quiet. However, some spaces open directly to the outdoors and nature.
As we were shown around the rest of the property, we learned that all students and many faculty live on campus. Buildings and garden courts are linked together by walkways and terraces and there were some interesting architectural fountains and nuances there.
First-year students are required to build their own shelter on the 600 acre property with a limited amount of materials and space. It was interesting to see the various designs used, as well as how the different materials were used---some were the most basic of shelters with virtually no structure, and others were more substantial and functionally built to insulate it not only from the heat, but also from the cold nights in the Sonoran desert. I believe the quarters had no electricity. I cannot remember all the details but I do remember thinking how ingenious the students were and how determined they must be to live in the makeshift housing for any length of time.
The Mission: T H E . F R A N K . L L O Y D . W R I G H T . A R C H I V E S
"The Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, headquartered at Taliesin West, was founded to preserve and perpetuate the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and to educate the public concerning his important and unique contribution to architecture."
For serious students of architecture and other admirers, Taliesin West is the resposity for 'The Archives,' the collection of Frank Lloyd Wright materials is vast: More than "20,000 original drawings, 190,000 documents of correspondence covering 1887-1959, approximately 600 original manuscripts, a large Oriental art collection, historic photographs of buildings and family, and related materials from books to articles. The Archives also preserves works of Mrs. Wright and of the Taliesin Fellowship..."
Taliesin West offers tours, and there is a nice shop with many types of books, souvenirs, and other interesting and architecturally-related materials offered. There is also a small cafe.
It's northern counterpart is "Taliesin East" in Green Spring, Wisconsin where many of the faculty and students move for the summer months.