Scottsdale is surprisingly diverse and appealing to all types of people, but its unique Western characteristics make this desert town truly special. The beauty, culture and history of Scottsdale create an authenticity that many other Old West tourist destinations lack. There are infinite entertainment possibilities throughout the area, but some attractions and events specifically focus on retaining Scottsdale’s Western heritage.
The West’s Most Western Town
Scottsdale’s slogan was adopted by the Chamber of Commerce in 1947, and the sun-drenched city has lived up to the nickname for the most part. Through the years, some business owners and residents have requested a new motto, but Scottsdale continues to hold on to the brand and heritage. A number of businesses still embrace the Old West themes, and the historic district of Old Town perfectly represents traditional Western living.
True Western Spirit
Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is named Western Spirit for a reason. This downtown attraction embodies the story and culture of the American West in a collection of dramatic artwork and displays. If you only have time to make one stop while you’re in town, this is the place to see. Rotating exhibitions, exciting events and fun, family-friendly activities provide a realistic glimpse into the Southwest’s past.
Photo Credit: Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
The Parada del Sol Rodeo is another attraction that proves Scottsdale is the real deal Western town. The annual March event loosely symbolizes life on the range, and it’s three days of non-stop action. You can sit back and relax while courageous, professional rodeo cowboys rope calves, ride broncos, race around barrels and attempt to stay on wild, bucking bulls.
Photo Credit: James Gordon Patterson
Incomparable Western Dining
When it comes to rustling up the grub, Scottsdale keeps it genuine. It boasts several legitimate Western-style restaurants, but the Steakhouse at Rawhide Park tops the list. Take a ride on a replica stagecoach and watch a gunslinger stunt show before you settle down for some serious barbecue. Afterward, stop by Old Town’s Rusty Spur Saloon and celebrate cowboy life. You can discover even more impressive dining options at “Phoenix’s Best Western-Style Restaurants“.
Photo Credit: Rusty Spur Saloon
Many Westerners believe a horseshoe holds great luck, and hanging one in an upward position is supposed to prevent the devil from entering a building. This superstition makes the horseshoe a perfect, meaningful memento of your visit. You’ll find horseshoes and other fun souvenirs at various shops around the city. You may also want to check out Saba’s, where you can buy authentic, handcrafted Western-style apparel.
Photo Credit: Lucinda Walter
As you explore the beautiful city, consider booking a ride at the Scottsdale Horse and Carriage and Stagecoach Company. You’ll be able to see the sights in the downtown district while learning about the people and events that shaped the area. A stagecoach ride just brings the entire story to life. Regardless of how you plan your adventure in this sun-filled town, you’ll certainly sense the spirit, hospitality and flair of the West.
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