Editors' Picks

Taliesin West

12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA

(480) 627-5340

See Website

About a 30-minute drive from such resorts as Sanctuary on Camelback and the Royal Palms, Taliesin West feels like a world apart. In 1937, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright purchased 620 acres of wild desert lands and began building what would become his winter enclave (summers, he spent at the original Taliesin in Wisconsin), as well as school for budding architects, which is one of the most prestigious place to gain a masters in architecture to this day.

You have to take one of the tours—departing every half hour but reservations are necessary—in order to access the buildings. It’s the best way to learn about the visionary architect whose adoration of nature is expressed in every detail, down to the last well-placed picture window. Unlike many other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, this one (considered his “summer camp”) is totally accessible to visitors, so you are invited to sit in the chairs, open drawers and really experience what it was like to live and work out here in the Arizona desert. If you have not read the book Loving Frank, about his passionate—and ultimately doomed—love affair with the feminist Mamah Borthwick, this is a good time to do so.

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