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Wickenburg Arizona Where the West Still Wins

Wickenburg Arizona Where the West Still Wins

Wickenburg Arizona Where the West Still Wins

By Françoise Rhodes Host of Traveling With Françoise Television & Radio    

I recently returned from a media trip to Arizona that consisted of writers, radio show hosts and television reporters/hosts whose focus is on all things golf.  Each day we played a different golf course in the Phoenix area, however on one of the days our large group hopped on a bus and went to Wickenburg Ranch in Wickenburg Arizona, about 90 minutes from Phoenix. I’ve passed through Wickenburg a few times on my way to Prescott and Sedona but I had never really stopped to look around.  However this trip took us right through the middle of town and within 10 minutes I was thoroughly enchanted.

Founded in 1863 by gold miner Henry Wickenburg, today the town has a population of about 7,115, and is 24.42 square miles of cowboy country.  Ranches, horses, roping arenas, trails and its overall western theme make Wickenburg the real American deal!  The area transports you back in time to an era of friendly small towns, much like Palm Springs used to be.  Offering an abundance of local cafes and business’s, visitors will discover a multitude of things to do that will easily fill up more than one day.

For example a few of the major tourist attractions include landmark spots like Hummingbird Springs Wilderness, Hassayampa River Preserve and Desert Caballeros Western Museum.  Artist will discover a vibrant and thriving arts scene with stunning sculptures in the middle of the roundabouts and throughout town. Wickenburg lays claim to the largest sculpture of spurs in the country.

Hikers and bikers and will find endless trails to explore and for those who love horses, they are everywhere you look.  As with all historic towns, you’d be remiss not to take a historic walking tour through Wickenburg’s historic downtown or enjoy a live performance at The Webb Center.

For those seeking ghost towns, you’re in luck! Arizona is lucky to have 2 of the best, Vulture city near Wickenburg, and Ruby, southwest of Tucson. One of finest true ghost towns in the American West, Vulture city grew up around the mine discovered by Henry Wickenburg. With old mines scattered throughout the area, you never know who or what might be standing right next to you, however rumor has it the ghosts are friendly in this neck of the woods.

Earlier I mentioned small town charm, but I didn’t mention the amazing golf course community that Wickenburg Ranch is.  Home buyers are quickly filling up this residential gated golf course community as they move into their beautiful new homes with stunning views of the desert, mountains, and sweeping vistas. Golfers will tee it up on Big Wick or Lil Wick, both in perfect condition and camera worthy shots on every hole. I found Big Wick to be appealing to the eye, challenging, yet fun. Open for only a few years, Wickenburg Ranch has won numerous awards for best retirement destination, lifestyle, golf courses and facility, community amenities and more…worth checking out…the striking club house is a mere 40,000 square feet,  plenty of room for dining and dancing.

My time was too short in Wickenburg so I definitely plan on returning and this time for a few days.  Offering travelers only a handful of hotels, prices are reasonable and without all of the ridiculous add-on fees and there seems to always be a vacancy somewhere, but as word spreads about Wickenburg, I suggest you book before you go!

To learn more about Wickenburg visit wickenburgchamber.com, and for Traveling With Françoise television and radio show info visit TravelingWithFrancoise.com.  

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