This year the Winter Get-Away is west to the sunny metropolis of Phoenix, Arizona. In recent years the temperatures have gotten up to 90 degrees in February, so that should be warm enough to make us forget about the frigid Midwest.
A good place to start a visit is the Heard Museum on Central Avenue. They have exhibits that tell the story of Native Americans in the Southwest and display beautiful American Indian art.
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t want to spend his winters in the Midwest either so he established Taliesin West in Scottsdale, a suburb of Phoenix. He lived there during the winters from 1937 until his death in 1959. The facility was a combination architecture school and home for Wright.
The guides at Taliesin West give an excellent tour. The building is still functioning as a school of architecture, and you’ll see students at work through the drafting room windows.
As you walk around on your tour, it’s easy to see the usual Frank Lloyd Wright touches. A highlight is the beautiful reflecting pool on the side of the building.
A worth while side trip is about 100 miles from Phoenix to the quirky town of Jerome. It was a booming mine town in the 1920s, but eventually the ore deposits ran out and so did most of the townspeople by the mid-1950s. Today the community is centered on tourism. You’ll find art galleries, coffee shops, and interesting historic sites.
Another city not too far away is Sedona with its beautiful rock formations.
If you want to venture even further north from Phoenix, the Grand Canyon is about 3.5 hours away. It can be cold there in the winter depending on what part of the Canyon you visit, but it’s so spectacular to see, it’s worth the drive and weather.
The Desert View Watchtower on the South Rim offers a good look at the Canyon. The art on the inside walls is excellent.
Back in Phoenix, the Cubs spring training will start in a few weeks, and it’s always a good time at the ballpark. The Cubs are part of the Cactus League and play at Sloan Park in Mesa. (The Cactus League is made up of MLB teams who train in Arizona. Other teams are part of the Grapefruit League and train in Florida.)
There’s plenty to see and do in the state of Arizona. Head west for a pleasant break from the Midwest winter!