Wild West Experiences
Buffalo Chip Saloon’s mechanical bull rides give people a rodeo experience without all the dirt. (Photo courtesy Buffalo Chip Saloon)

By Allyson Wittekind

Arizona’s Wild West history plays a big part in its modern culture and what people do to have fun. Our state’s past—filled with outlaws, gunfights, miners, railroads and ghost towns—has inspired many modern entertaining events and activities around the Valley. Here are three of the best.

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Located in Old Town Scottsdale within walking distance from all of the Main Street art galleries and other popular downtown Scottsdale destinations is Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. At the museum, learn about the history, art and rich cultural heritage of the west at one of TripAdvisor’s most highly rated Scottsdale attractions. From exhibits of Hopi pottery masterworks to rare posters starring silver screen cowboys, you will discover the unique stories of the people, places and events of the 19 states of the American West, and the bordering Canadian provinces and Mexican states. scottsdalemuseumwest.org

Buffalo Chip Saloon

There’s action for everyone at the Buffalo Chip Saloon. If you like to dance, come spin your partner at weekly dance lessons on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Wednesday and Friday nights bring live bull riding and an all-you-can-eat fish fry. Summertime is a busy season at the Chip, but it has not stopped them from adding attractions and making changes for friends and customers. Some of these new attractions include improved seating and aluminum bleachers for fans of bull riding, new menus, a new mechanical bull, and punching bag matches for customers’ entertainment. buffalochipsaloon.com 

Rawhide Western Town

Immerse yourself in the Old West by visiting Rawhide Western Town and Event Center. This Wild West town is a theme park that offers gunfights and live country music along with steaks and BBQ. This summer, Rawhide is hosting the Gold Rush Music Festival on September 29 and 30. A few of the artists performing are Kevin Gates, Troyboi, The Kid, Moon Boots, Mike Lion and JPEGMAFIA. rawhide.com

For events at these locations, visit our events page.