Taliesin West picture
Taliesin West
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Andrew Pielage/Taliesin West_Evening_credit Andrew Pielage_copyright Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Key Info

12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard

Details

Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Frank Lloyd Wright loved the Sonoran Desert, and he used these 600 acres at the base of the McDowell Mountains as his winter home and school. With the help of his art and architecture students, Wright constructed apartments, studios and theaters using local materials to help the camp blend with its natural surroundings. This National Historic Landmark is still used as an educational space for budding artists and architects.

Recent travelers were particularly impressed with this attraction, calling it an "architectural gem" in the middle of the desert and praised both its charm and tour guides. Visitors were also quick to note that you do not need to be an architecture buff to enjoy a tour here thanks to the engaging guides and stunning surroundings. Reviewers also recommended making time to stop at the on-site gift shop.

Located in Scottsdale, Taliesin West offers several different guided tours ranging from one to three hours (for a fee), each focusing on a different aspect of the home's natural beauty. Keep in mind: You can't visit the property unless you're on a tour. Some tours require reservations. You'll learn more about Wright's work and life in Arizona and study architectural masterpieces within the facility. Taliesin West's also hosts a variety of special events ranging from art shows to concert series. For more information on tour schedules, prices and upcoming events, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation website.

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Desert Botanical Garden
Camelback Mountain
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Desert Botanical Garden

The desert may seem like the last place you'd expect to find flora. Yet the Desert Botanical Garden is home to thousands of species of cacti, trees and flowers from all around the world. The garden's brightly colored plants sharply contrast the Sonoran Desert's cinnamon-red buttes, and numerous hiking trails like the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert and the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop trails allow you to experience the region's natural wonders the way early settlers once did. The Desert Botanical Garden also hosts numerous events, including culinary demonstrations and outdoor concert series.

Recent visitors said the garden is fascinating and highly recommended seeking out the special exhibits when available. Several reviewers suggested visiting after the sun sets to see the garden illuminated, while others appreciated the groomed paths and well-marked signs. However, some travelers bemoaned the entrance rates and were disappointed the zoo and the garden do not offer a combined admission since they sit less than 2 miles from one another.

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Courtesy Desert Botanical Garden
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