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Travel Logs March 2018

Compulsive Traveler

Great Things to Do in the Phoenix/Scottsdale Area

By Sandra Scott

The Geographic gallery is a trip around the world through music with tableaus that feature the musical instruments of an area plus the clothing and other artifacts. Most vignettes include a video of groups playing their instruments in native apparel.

Phoenix and Scottsdale are equal distance from the Phoenix airport so deciding where to stay can be a difficult decision. Scottsdale is a more relaxed location with a wonderful historic district while Phoenix is a more vibrant city. Each location has important sites within their city but many of the must-visit sites are located between the two cities.

    1. Musical Instrument Museum: “Music is the language of the soul” and something everyone can enjoy regardless of their culture. The Geographic gallery is a trip around the world through music with tableaus that feature the musical instruments of an area plus the clothing and other artifacts. Most vignettes include a video of groups playing their instruments in native apparel.
    2. Taliesin: Taliesin means the “brow” of the mountain. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Arizona house fits that definition. “Taliesin West is a look over the rim of the world,” wrote Wright. It is more than Wright’s home, is it also a museum and a school of architecture. Wright became enamored with Asian art so there are many Asian art objects throughout the house.
    3. Phoenix Art Museum: The walls and ceilings of the entrance are covered by an art work called “Black Cloud,” a “plaque of 25,000 black paper moths and butterflies” meant to represent the annual migration of the monarch butterfly. Calder may be best known for his mobiles but his art work is a burst of color resembling his mobiles. There is a fascinating art display of “paintings” that have moving characters obviously based on video games.
    4. Heard Museum: Entering the “Native People of the Southwest” at the Heard Museum there is a 30-foot long glass/clay art fence with many hidden images in the sculptures. The Heard has one of the largest collections of Kachina dolls that are representations of a Pueblo ancestral spirit. The museum has changing exhibits and lectures along with unique offerings such as yoga classes.
    5. OdySea Aquarium: The aquarium is the largest marine aquarium in the Southwest. There are over 30,000 animals. The aquarium offers educational, interactive and entertaining experiences for everyone. Certified guides lead visitors into an underwater environment with marine life from the Indo-Pacific region. A Living Sea Carousel takes guests through the Open Ocean, Sea Turtle, Sea Lion/Seal and Shark exhibits.
    6. Western Spirit: Western Spirit: Scottsdale Museum of the West is a Smithsonian affiliate located in Old Town. Beside a fine display of Western artwork they have a wonderful collection of Hopi pottery that spans six centuries. The Abe Hays Family “Spirit of the West Collection" of saddles, spurs, badges, and clothing is extensive.
    7. Desert Botanical Garden: At the entrance there is a Chihuly glass sculpture but there are also unique sculptures scattered throughout the gardens. There are trails and exhibits with docents available to answer questions and give demonstrations. Try to visit the Desert Botanical Garden around Christmas time in the evening when 8000 luminaries are lit.
    8. Pueblo Grande: Pueblo Grande Ruin, a National Historic Landmark, is a large prehistoric Hohokam Indian village site that was continuously occupied between 100 and 1450 AD and was heavily influenced by contacts with Mexico. The Museum contains exhibits on the Hohokam people.
    9. Arcosanti: Arcosanti, a projected experimental town about 70 miles north of Phoenix, is worth the drive for those who are interested in acrology, the concept of merging architectural and ecological principles designed for buildings in densely populate areas.
    10. And: Check out the Wind Talkers Navajo memorial statue and Ro Ho En, the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix.

 

Sandra Scott travels the globe recording the top attractions at every destination.

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