When you visit the “West’s Most Western Town,” it is only natural that you will hope to get a peek into its history! Gone are the days when horses were tied to the hitching posts outside the local watering hole, and our schoolhouses are modern buildings offering air conditioning, computer classes, and cars in the parking lots. But even as you sit in luxury and charm in the comfortable furnishings found in our I Love Scottsdale vacation escapes, you will still have the opportunity to take a peek into the past with a visit to Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Offering exhibits and artifacts that will instantly transport visitors back to the days of cowboys and farmers’ wives, the museum will definitely bring the wild, wild, west back to life and this guide will help give visitors a picture-perfect idea of what to expect during their upcoming journey to Scottsdale, made even more complete with a stay in our thoroughly modern I Love Scottsdale western wonders!
Located at 3830 N Marshall Way in Scottsdale
Western Spirit is a Smithsonian affiliate, ensuring that visitors will experience an authentic taste of the past during their visit. Closed on Mondays and open from 9:30 AM until 5 PM every other day except for Sunday, when the museum doesn’t open until 11 AM, tickets are reasonably priced at $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and military, $12 for students and children 6-17, and free for the tiniest travelers, 5 and under! Save a couple of dollars by purchasing your tickets on the Scottsdale’s museum of the west website or pay full price at the door. (We know which we would do, if we were in your shoes!) Members can save even more, so be sure to check out their membership information, especially if you think that Scottsdale may make it on your frequent vacation destination list!
Let the Good Times Begin!
Of course, many of the exhibits are revolving ones, but we can promise that whatever is on display will treat visitors to a magical journey back to the Wild West, and what better place to enjoy the show than in the West’s Most Western Town? Explore the display of Native American jewelry dating back more than a few decades and providing an intimate glimpse into the talents of our earliest inhabitants. Their Gem Art is a display that will be leaving the museum in June 2023, but if you can make it before the exhibit ends, the Intarsia boxes are definitely a sight to behold! Examine the Wild West in the movies with their display of over 7000 movie posters, learn about the toils and dangers Americans faced during their travels west, and check out their exhibit about the railroads, offering a visual display of the people who worked their hardest to give us a quicker and safer way to travel!
The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Theater/Auditorium could actually be considered the hub of our cultural community, being used for private events and educational happenings throughout the year, with all the events being free with membership. One of our favorite parts of the museum, the Christine & Ted Mollring Sculpture Courtyard, allows visitors to take a breath of fresh air while enjoying an exhibit of stunning sculptures. Ever changing, the courtyard also features twinkle lights wrapped around trees, places to sit, sip, and snack (during special events) and some beautiful desert plants. Finish up your tour of the past with a visit to the Sue & Robert Karatz Museum Store to pick up a little something to serve as a reminder of your visit into the past, but if you forget, or are worried about carrying more stuff home in your already overloaded luggage, their online store will allow visitors to shop from anywhere in the world. Additionally, their online museum digital content will also give visitors the opportunity to explore even more of the “good old days” from the comfort of their recliners at home; it’s not the same as visiting in person, but it does provide a more in-depth exploration of the art that resides under the roof of this stunning museum!
Western Spirit’s Vision
The world will go on even if you don’t visit Western Spirit during your stay, but it will bring more color to your world if you do, and the vision of the Museum, to celebrate the West and all that makes it special, will give you a greater appreciation of what we love! Bringing the old west into the new west, Western Spirit is an institution that does its job well, perhaps making you fall in love with our region as much as we do!