Looking for a little of that Old West spirit on your Scottsdale trip? Though Scottsdale now has a reputation for being “The Beverly Hills of the Southwest,” the gritty spirit of the Old West still lives on here, if you know where to look. And we happen to know just where to look.
Horse riders

1. Friday Night Franks. It doesn’t get more Western than a cowboy-style cookout in the desert, and that’s exactly what goes down at Friday Night Franks. You’ll take in beautiful views of the desert, ride in a pioneer wagon and roast weenies and s’mores around the fire.


The event is free, and the food and drinks are cheap. It’s a great time for the whole family, but it gets extra fun if this is a kid-free vacation. On the last Friday of every month (that’s the 29th this March), you can take an “Adult Education” class that involves tequila tasting, saloon hopping, a mechanical bull ride and a graduation ceremony complete with diplomas at the end of the night.

2.  Native Trails. On Thursdays and Saturdays at noon, the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts presents a free series of events called Native Trails. Native Trails showcases local Native American culture through demonstrations of music and dance. There’s also a market where you can purchase beautiful Native American art, crafts and jewelry – perfect souvenirs from your vacation in AZ.


3. Folk and Heritage Festival. You’ll have fun at Glendale’s Folk and Heritage Festival even if you’re one of those people who likes every kind of music except country. After attending one of the festival’s concerts, workshops or lectures, you could very well become a country convert. A class about murder ballads and gunfights? Come on, what’s not to love about that?


You can learn to play the bones, listen to talented storytellers spin yarns or take in some history on a house tour. Whatever you choose, you’ll leave singing a different tune – one that’s distinctly Southwestern. The event takes place on March 23 and 24.


You can have it all on your Scottsdale trip, from the glitz of trendy boutiques and five-star restaurants to the grit of the old West. So what are you waiting for? Giddy on over to Scottsdale, ASAP.