3 Best Sights in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe

Taliesin West

North Scottsdale Fodor's choice

Ten years after visiting Arizona in 1927 to consult on designs for the Biltmore hotel, architect Frank Lloyd Wright chose 600 acres of rugged Sonoran Desert at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains as the site for his permanent winter residence. Today it's a National Historic Landmark. Wright and apprentices constructed a desert camp here using organic architecture to integrate the buildings with their natural surroundings. In addition to the living quarters, drafting studio, and small apartments of the Apprentice Court, Taliesin West has two theaters, a music pavilion, and the Sun Trap—sleeping spaces surrounding an open patio and fireplace. Five guided tours are offered, ranging from a 90-minute "insights" tour to a three-hour behind-the-scenes tour, with other tours offered seasonally; all visitors must be accompanied by a guide.

Wear comfortable shoes for walking.

To reach Taliesin West, drive north on the 101 Freeway to Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard. Follow Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard for a few miles to the entrance at the corner of Cactus Road.

Butterfly Wonderland

North Scottsdale

The largest butterfly pavilion in the United States gives kids (and their parents) a close-up view of thousands of butterflies in a temperature-controlled rain forest environment. You should also make time to check out the honeybee exhibit and the 3D theater.

9500 E. Via De Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ, 85256, USA
Sight Details
Rate Includes: $25, Mar.-Aug. daily 9–6; Sep.-Feb daily 9-5

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town

Known as "the West's Most Western Town," this area has rustic storefronts and wooden sidewalks alongside some of the best dining and window-shopping in town. It can be exceptionally touristy in some areas, but it's also the closest you'll come to the "Old West" as it was 80 years ago. High-quality jewelry and Mexican imports are sold alongside kitschy souvenirs.

Main St. from Scottsdale Rd. to Brown Ave., Scottsdale, AZ, 85251, USA

Recommended Fodor's Video