The Wild West days may have ended a few decades ago but it remains close to our hearts here in Scottsdale, and if don’t have to look hard to find some remaining vestiges of those crazy times. For example, horses back then were working animals, meant for transportation, fieldwork, and rodeos, but today, they are much loved pets, vehicles for fantastic sightseeing opportunities, and yes, they are still a much-loved part of the rodeo circuit. This guide to a horse lovers journey to Scottsdale will allow you and your family to experience a little bit of the past while thoroughly celebrating the wonders of today!
Day 1: Giddy-Up!
When you are hungry enough to eat a horse, (we sincerely hope you don’t) start out with a breakfast at Proof Canteen, 10600 E Crescent Moon Drive in Scottsdale, where the Short Rib Skillet will slay your impressive appetite. When the last crumb is devoured, Wild West Adventures is waiting with a steed of your choice, taking travelers on a tour of the Scottsdale landscape. Choose between their 1-, 2-, or 3-hour trail rides, exploring areas of the desert that very much look the same as they did when the cowboys roamed these ranges and make friends with the sweetest of animals. Their sunset trail ride is perfect for romance, so if there is an important question that needs asked, this 3-hour ride may give you the perfect opportunity. Make reservations in advance by clicking here.
Not ready for your Western adventures to be over this soon? Wash away the grime of the day in our stylish sanctuaries, throw on your favorite jeans and fanciest top, and make your way to the Rusty Spur Saloon for a night of country shenanigans! Open for over 60 years and located at 7425 E Main Street, their Psychobilly Rodeo Band will provide the perfect ending to your day.
Day 2: Where the Bucking Broncos Are
Your horse loving adventures continue with a trip to the rodeo, but first, let’s explore your breakfast options on day two in Scottsdale. Rodeo is a Spanish word meaning “go round,” so breakfast with a Hispanic twist seems reasonable, don’t you think? One of our favorite casual Mexican restaurants that serves breakfast, La Fonda Del Sol, 10155 E Vía Linda H134, will be where you can enjoy the best huevos rancheros in town. Clean your plate and prepare for a fun day of bronco busting and lariats at any of the rodeos listed below. Rodeos tend to be a seasonal thing, so we aren’t limiting your adventures to just the Scottsdale events and instead choosing to open your options up to ones taking place all over the Valley of the Sun.
• Gilbert Days Rodeo, November, Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Center in Queen Creek
• Arizona Gay Rodeo, February, Downtown Phoenix
• Rodeo Scottsdale (Parada del Sol) March, West World of Scottsdale
• Cave Creek Rodeo Days, March, 37201 N 28th Street in Cave Creek
All of these rodeos promise to bring Western adventure into your lives, increasing your love for the people and the horses who give it their all ensuring your time in Scottsdale will be filled with memories you never forget. Finish up your day with a visit to the Handlebar J, 7116 E Becker Lane, where Tuesday nights are for Dance Lessons and the food sticks to your ribs as the music plays late into the night.
Day 3: More Choices for Horsin’ Around
The winter months are popular here in Scottsdale, and as the eyes are upon as for many reasons in January and February, the Arabian Horse Show, held at West World of Scottsdale in February, is one of the top reasons. Showcasing over 2000 of the most stunning horses in the world, this show has been a regular event since 1955 and never fails to please. For our guests who prefer a more hands-on experience, we can’t encourage you to climb on the expensive Arabian horses for a joy ride, but we can direct you to MacDonald’s Ranch, 26540 N Scottsdale Road. Open November through April, (it really is too hot for the horses and riders in the summer months) they provide horseback rides and cowboy cookouts, ensuring that every rider feels like a professional cowboy at the end of their adventure. The cowboy cookouts begin with a one-hour ride, followed by a sunset dinner, bonfire, and live entertainment, finishing out your time in Scottsdale with a thoroughly wild west experience!
Come Home to I Love Scottsdale
We can’t promise a stable filled with horses in the backyard of our classic escapes (although there may be paintings and sculptures of the gentle creatures found throughout each space) but we can promise a vacation filled with comfortable adventures. Reserve your favorite escape today!