Sun., 22 Sept., 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m. US$59; 20-person minimum.
We’re off to the Heard Museum, which reigns as the leading exhibitor of the heritage and history and arts and crafts of the Native American people. You’ll trace the development of the culture of the Southwestern Indians through the many art displays, including Kachina carvings, silver-smithing, rug weavings, pottery, and basketry, to name a few. Look in on a Southwestern Indian craftsman as they create an original work of art, and browse through the gift shop, offering one of the finest selections of original Indian crafts available in the Valley. We’ll also include a tour of the surrounding neighborhood to familiarize you with the downtown convention center area.
Mon., 23 Sept., 8 a.m.–noon. US$64; 20-person minimum.
Most of the world’s 20,000 varieties of cacti and desert plants are displayed in this 145-acre living museum, along with succulents, trees, wild flowers, and shrubs from arid regions of Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Temporary art exhibits rotate throughout the year, and guests will enjoy the creations of both national and local artists with colorful and monumental exhibitions, which can be found throughout the garden. Our guide will be available during the self-guided tour to answer any questions. You won’t want to miss “Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert,” a three-acre trail through a saguaro cactus forest, a mesquite thicket, a desert stream environment, and an upland chaparral habitat that explores the many uses of desert plants for food, construction, tools, basket making, and more. As we travel through the city to the gardens, our guide will showcase various points of interest along the route.
Tues., 24 Sept., 8 a.m.–noon. US$81; 20-person minimum.
Follow us to the foothills of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, the architectural school and foundation of the legendary master. You’ll look in on his architects of tomorrow and their blueprints for the future and view a slide show highlighting the past works created by Mr. Wright. During this 90-minute tour, you’ll visit the Wright’s private living quarters, the gracious Taliesin West “garden room,” the drafting studio, music pavilion, the cabaret cinema, and more while you enjoy a walking tour around the terraces and walkways with an experienced guide who will explain the history and importance of the architecture. From there, we’ll head on to Carefree, a resort community north of the city, nestled in the Foothills, and offering a rugged Western yet upscale vibe. We’ll stop at some of the boutique shops and galleries and include plenty of sightseeing along the way.
Wed., 25 Sept., 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. US$42; 20-person minimum.
Join us for an introduction and overview to the 5th largest city in America, Phoenix, Arizona. Our experienced guide will keep you entertained and informed during our tour around the historic, financial, and entertainment districts surrounding the convention center and beyond. From past to present, you’ll learn about our vibrant city, including a drive past the capitol building, the sports arena, and several historic Phoenix landmarks. We’ll also travel to the Old Town/5th Ave. area of Scottsdale, where you’ll have time to explore the unique Southwestern shops, boutiques, and galleries that make Scottsdale “The West’s Most Western Town.”