Phoenix may have gussied itself up from its days as a frontier town, but the Old West is still alive and well – you just have to look for it. So, dust off those cowboy boots and enjoy these Western-themed attractions in the Greater Phoenix area.
Frontier Town is a themed replica of an Old West town located on the original spot where Cave Creek, AZ was founded in the 1870s. Enjoy a Western meal at the Smokehouse Restaurant then do some shopping in the town’s unique shops.
During Arizona’s territory days, Greasewood Flat was an old stagecoach stop. Today, instead of serving weary Western travelers, Greasewood Flat is a great place to enjoy a cold drink, good food and live music under the stars.
If you’re looking for a place to do some two-steppin’, Handlebar J Restaurant & Saloon is your place. Enjoy Western-style cuisine and live country music seven days a week.
Johnny Walker opened the Corral Bar in 1935 to serve the workers who were building Bartlett Dam. Today, Harold’s is a popular stomping ground for both locals and visitors. You can always count on lively entertainment and a great Western meal at Harold’s Corral.
Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse has been around for over 50 years. Enjoy cowboy-style dining, live music and desert views. Be warned – do not wear your favorite tie to dinner.
Step back in time and experience territorial Arizona through a walk around this living history town, comprised of authentic buildings that have been moved to this location from other places in Arizona.
Explore America's largest municipal park the cowboy way. Ponderosa Stables offers a variety of horseback rides and cookouts through the South Mountain Park and Preserve.
Rawhide Western Town & Steakhouse is Arizona's largest Western-themed attraction. Rawhide is an authentic replica of an 1880's town complete with a Main Street, gunfights, stagecoach and train rides, burro rides, mechanical bull, climbing wall, gold pannin', shootin' gallery, unique shops, and sundown cookouts.
Rustler's Rooste mountaintop eatery boasts one of the best places to catch a sunset in Phoenix. You can also enjoy nightly live Country Western music, casual dining, and their famous tin slide.
Recently added to the City of Phoenix Historical Register for both its central role in Arizona’s cattle industry and its relevant architectural style, The Stockyards, Arizona’s Original Steakhouse, has retained its Old West comfort and charm while regaining its foothold as one of Phoenix’s favorite steakhouses.
The Superstition Mountain Museum collects, preserves and displays the artifacts, history and folklore of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction and surrounding region.
Tortilla Flat started out as a stage stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to remove this historic stop along the Apache Trail. Today you can enjoy Western-themed fun, food and re-enactments.
Celebrating Wells Fargo’s role in Arizona’s colorful history, the Wells Fargo History Museum is just steps away from popular downtown Phoenix attractions. The collection includes an authentic 19th century stagecoach, a replica stagecoach you can climb aboard, gold and precious minerals, a replica mine shaft, antique firearms, working telegraph and other artifacts depicting western development.
Palm trees, sunshine, sparkling pools and margaritas – Phoenix has all the ingredients you need for a relaxing getaway. Our recommendation is to kick back and enjoy some of the more unique pools that our resorts have to offer – grab your flip flops and sunglasses and choose which resort pool suits you.
For pampered poolside fun the Paradise Pool at the Arizona Biltmore has an exciting 92-foot waterslide, in-water bar and dining and poolside games. You can also enjoy a movie at the Splash Movies event while floating in your own personal inter tube.
Built for the debut of the resort in 1988, the centerpiece of The Phoenician’s eight-pool complex is the relaxation pool, elegantly tiled by hand in Mother of Pearl and surrounded by vibrant and shady cabanas.
Hole-in-the-Wall River Ranch at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak offers four acres of cascading waterfalls, secluded waterways, three swimming pools, and a lazy river for tubing. Perfect for families, as the resort offers children’s and family oriented poolside activities.
Situated between north-facing views of Paradise Valley and Mummy Mountain, and south-facing views of Camelback Mountain, the infinity edged pool at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain is perfect for gazing out at the breathtaking Sonoran sunsets.
Voted as one of the top ten water parks in the U.S., the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa’s Oasis Water Park will entertain the entire family.
The Butte’s pool is one of the Southwest’s largest free-form swimming pools (the length of a football field) built on a natural mountainside. Kids and adults alike will also enjoy the thrilling 150 foot water slide.
The four-acre pool complex at JW Marriott Desert Ridge has been voted the “Number 1 Pool” in Phoenix by Phoenix Magazine for its meandering 1,600-linear-foot lazy river and 89-foot waterslide. The resorts Wildfire pool is topped by a glowing fire at night and the Sidewinder pool takes inspiration from some of Arizona’s scaly residents.
This resort boasts a 2.5-acre “water playground” complete with 10 pools. Pools for two, a lap pool, sand beach pool, water volleyball and basketball pools, adult only pool and an aqueduct that crosses over six pools thundering down into a five foot-wide rushing waterfall called the “Big Gun.” There’s also a Grecian water temple that houses a Jacuzzi-style spa that seats 25-30 people and is surrounded by four cold plunges.
Incorporating the beauty of the surrounding desert, the pool area at the Four Seasons offers sweeping views of the valley below. The resort keeps guests lounging poolside comfortable with complimentary amenities such as chilled fruit kebabs and cooling mint-scented towels.
Voted “best spa” by readers of Phoenix Magazine, the uniquely Southwestern spa’s outdoor lap pool offers stunning sunset views over Camelback Mountain. The pool is heated in the winter for year-round enjoyment.
The large, martini olive-shaped pool is located in the center of the hotel and has been named one of the “World’s Coolest Pools” by Travel + Leisure, a distinction held by only fifteen other pools around the globe.
Carefully placed within the midst of this desert hideaway, The Boulder’s swimming pool blends seamlessly with the surrounding desert landscape with a cascading waterfall from a prehistoric boulder formation as a backdrop. Pool guests are likely to see chuckwallas and colorful lizards native to the Southwest, who warm themselves on the gigantic granite boulders in the surrounding area.
Take a dip in the W Scottsdale’s signature WET pool, with its high-tech chillers that keep water temperatures crisp when the desert heats up. Swimmers can relax poolside under umbrellas, enjoy underwater tunes while swimming and wave hello to arriving guests below through four giant portholes at the bottom of the pool.
While looking at our events calendar this week, we noticed that there are a ton of events to choose from this weekend. We decided to put them all in one place for you. Enjoy!
Friday, October 14 – Sunday, October 16
Get a jump on holiday shopping – and check out the bargains – at the Heard Museum Shops Annual Fall Sale. This twice-yearly shopping event offers discounts on the finest authentic American Indian artwork – almost everything from Kachina dolls, jewelry to baskets, to textiles, pottery and fine art will be 10 percent off. Heard Museum members save an extra 10 percent off all purchases – for a total of 20 percent off – and non-members will save 10 percent off on handmade, one-of-a-kind American Indian art, which the Shop purchases directly from artists.
Celebrate Arizona’s western heritage at this festival benefiting the Arizona Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. There will be western themed exhibitions, activities for all ages and a western themed market.
The Arizona State Fair kicks off this weekend with tons of kickin' concerts, adrenaline-pumping rides, deliciously sinful foods, exhibits and more! The Arizona State Fair goes through November 16th and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Thrill seekers can run with 40 bulls on a quarter-mile track in downtown Cave Creek. Participants must be 18 and older. The festival features parties, concerts, rodeo clown competitions, exhibit booths and food and drink vendors.
Saturday, October 15 – Sunday, October 16
Jazz lovers won’t want to miss this event with two full days of great music and entertainment featuring artists such as, guitar great Norman Brown and recent winner for Best Wind Player at the American Smooth Jazz Awards, saxophonist Richard Elliot, as well as other jazz mainstays including, Jonathan Butler, Eric Darius and Maysa, Euge Groove, Mindi Abair, Turning Point and more!
This food festival will feature over 20 Cave Creek area restaurants, a film festival, wine tasting a beer garden, live music and so much more.
Saturday, October 15
Put on your Lederhosen or Dirndls and come out for this great Bavarian Festival. A traditional German Volksfest in the heart of Phoenix, a giant Bier Garten with buxom beer maidens serving Bavarian brews and Bavarian bands playing lively tunes and leading sing-alongs of old time drinking songs will all be on display. With mouth watering sausages and authentic strudel , this is surely the biggest old-world family event! Whether you hail from Germany or central Phoenix, sample traditional German foods and drinks, enjoy the music, and shop from a variety of authentic German products. Bring the family - there are lots of fun kid’s activities for their enjoyment. Bis Spaeter!
Everyone from valley restaurants to amateur competitors will sign up for their chance to taco-battle it out for $7,500. Expect a huge VIP tent, lucha libre wrestling, beer donkeys, a main bar experience sponsored by a local taco shop, a margarita challenge, hot chili pepper eating contest, and a boutique tequila expo tent featuring over 30 different brands of premium tequilas, a kid’s zone, and so much more. Get ready for the Scottsdale Waterfront turning into taco town and a place that will be sure to spice things up this weekend.
TASTE Chandler’s Culinary Festival is a gourmet food and wine tasting event that features Chandler’s finest. The idea and concepts have been created to showcase local businesses, local restaurants, benefiting local charities, and maintaining community involvement and outreach.
Giant Flaming Robot? Marshmallow Chucker? These are just a few of the crazy inventions you'll find at MakerFaire. A one-day, family-friendly event that celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, food, music, science and technology projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for creative, resourceful people who like to tinker and love to make things.
Enjoy the beautiful fall weather in Downtown Glendale at the 17th Annual Front Porch Festival & Old Towne Marketplace. More than 80 shops and eateries have lots of special activities planned for the day, including demonstrations, make & take crafts, special treats and so much more. The shops in Catlin Court showcase their specialties on their lawns and porches, while the shops in Old Towne always have something wonderful going on inside. Plan to spend your day in the area. Start at the Glendale Visitor Center (5800 W. Glenn Drive, #140) to pick up a downtown walking map.
The annual traveling bike parade and beer festival returns to Tempe Beach Park, inviting revelers to pedal up in their craziest costumes and enjoy craft beers from New Belgium Brewing. The all-day event starts with a wacky bike parade through Tempe, then everyone gathers at the park to sip on Fat Tire Amber Ale and Hoptober Golden Ale, listen to live bands and people watch.
Shop for produce, visit the pumpkin patch, try your luck at the Watermelon eating contest and stop by the free Kid's Crafts area. Native American artists and craftspeople will be demonstrating traditional arts and crafts. Frybread and other refreshments will be available for sale.
The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix presents a traditional Japanese celebration of the full moon and an abundant fall harvest: Otsukimi Moonviewing 2011. This annual fundraiser is an evening of delicious fare (prepared by Tohzan Nagasaki Grill and Fujiya Market) and exciting entertainment. Experience a taiko explosion by Fushicho Daiko Taiko Drummers, demonstrations by Arizona Aikido and Kenshin Dojo of Iaido Swordsmanship, authentic Japanese Ondo Folk-dancing, poetry reading, and heartfelt musical performances throughout the evening. Discover shopping pleasures from a variety of vendors at our Marketplace.
You will enjoy bento under the clear fall sky, peer through a telescope at the moon, stroll the path and feed the gorgeous koi as you cross the bridge over the pond. Feeling creative? Write a haiku poem or send your wishes to the wind. When you arrive, sign in at the Tea House to view a tea ceremony demonstration presented throughout the evening.
Get ready to do the "Time Warp" at this one-night-only sing-along of the cult classic, hosted by Grand Canyon Performing Arts. Fans are encouraged to don their best "Rocky Horror"-inspired costumes, and join others for a fun time at Steele Indian School Park. Prizes will be given out for the best costume and best performance, and there'll be a cash bar and silent auction.
Celebrate the holiday weekend with some delicious BBQ. Pick up pre-marinated meats for fajitas from La Tolteca , premium steaks from Hobe Meats, or locally made sausages and brats from Schreiner’s Fine Sausages .
Free things to do
This Friday (September 2nd) is First Friday so admission is free at the Phoenix Art Museum (6-10pm) , the Arizona Science Center for Adults Night Out ( 5:30-9pm, no kids, just adults acting like kids) and the Children’s Museum ( 6-10pm, lines can get long so get there early).
Stay and play with special Labor Day packages
Take advantage of the many Labor Day packages that area resorts and attractions are offering this weekend.
There are always plenty of events going on in Phoenix, especially over a holiday weekend.
If you are a foodie, don’t miss Phoenix Cooks this Saturday at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. This indoor event has opportunities to learn, cook, taste, sip, and experience the pleasures of the culinary lifestyle.
Spend the holiday weekend floating down the Lower Salt River rapids for the end-of-the-summer bash with four local radio stations playing your favorite tunes.
This is the last Saturday to catch a fireworks show at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Get there early to get a good seat by the pool, or make reservations at one of their fabulous restaurants for a pre-fireworks meal. Fireworks start at 9:15pm.
Pretend you are in paradise this Sunday at Zog’s Tiki Lounge Party at the Rhythm Room. This fun event features entertainment, tunes from surf rock bands, tiki carving and tiki art. Of course there will be tiki drinks and food from the Hey Joe Filipino food truck.
Have a great weekend!
Now you can do dinner at the movies with AMC’s newest concept opening next week in Central Phoenix. The AMC Espanade 14 has been remodeled and is now a dine-in theatre featuring a full menu and bar. We were invited for a sneak peek and tasting earlier this week. Here’s a first look.
There is no longer a box office at the front of this theatre. You now must buy your tickets in advance online or at the ticket kiosk outside the theatre. When you walk into the lobby, it feels like a lounge with tables and comfy chairs where you can enjoy food and drink before or after your movie. The bar is called MacGuffins, after a term coined by Alfred Hitchcock meaning "a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot of a work of fiction."
There are two meal-and-a-move options: the Fork & Screen or Cinema Suites. The Fork & Screen experience has in-theater dining, seat-side service, a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialty drinks, including beer and wine. The Fork & Screen experience also welcomes families and children accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Cinema Suites is AMC’s “premium, upscale in-theatre dining experience.” You can reserve your seats in the theatre’s comfortable, reclining lounge chairs, enjoy an expanded menu and drink options served in-theatre. For the Cinema Suites experience you must be at least 21 years old.
Ticket prices range from $6-15, depending on the day of the week and show time. All food and drink is a la carte, separate from the ticket price. Most meals were around $10-12.
AMC Esplanade 14 Dine-In Theatre is located at 2515 East Camelback Road in Phoenix. More photos from our sneak peek can be found on Flickr.
Getting out of the house and having fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune. We’ve found some great things to do in Greater Phoenix that are FREE.
The Phoenix Art Museum has several opportunities to take in exhibits for free. If you are a Bank of America customer, you can get free admission through the Museums on Us © program the entire first weekend of every month. Every Wednesday (3-9pm) and First Friday (6-10pm) there is free admission for all.
One of our favorite free deals in Phoenix is Adults Night Out every First Friday at the Arizona Science Center (5:30 – 9pm). No kids, just adults acting like kids. This weekend (August 13-14) everyone gets free admission for Fry’s Free Weekend (10am – 5pm).
One of our favorite places to visit and to take guests is the Desert Botanical Garden. Every second Tuesday of the month admission is free (1-8pm). On October 25th admission is free (9:30am – 5pm) as a part of the valley-wide CALA Festival.
As the name suggests, FilmBar shows movies and serves libations. You can catch an independent film for free on your birthday. Bring a friend to buy you drink.
Arizona wines have been getting quite a bit of attention as of late; try some for free every Wednesday and Saturday at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market’s Urban Grocery. Check their calendar for the featured winery and hours.
Did we miss anything? Tell us in the comments below.