Tag Archives: Native American Exhibit

Heard Museum

Things To Do In Arizona: The Heard Museum

When you grow up in Arizona, sometimes the coolest things are in your own backyard and you don’t even realize it. Recently I spent an afternoon at the Heard Museum in Central Phoenix and thought to myself, “Why haven’t I been here before?”

Entering the grounds, it’s not hard to be in awe of the buildings marvelous architecture and how they complement one another. Even more breathtaking is how nature is incorporated throughout the grounds, including the various gardens that are part of the exhibits. The Heard Museum is a perfect example of combining the use of art, nature, and the charms of Arizona to create something new and exciting for visitors to see.

Upon entering, I was warmly greeted by two gentlemen who told me about the various tours available and offered to answer any questions. Feeling adventurous, I decided to strike out on my own; hoping to create my own adventure on the museum’s vast grounds. This allowed me to pace myself and explore in more detail what interested me.

My first stop was the “Home: Native People In The Southwest” gallery. I was dazzled by the numerous collections of jewelry, instruments, and clothes. What became one of the most vivid encounters of my experience was a wooden fortress. The moment you set foot inside you could smell the freshly cut trees and take in how this structure was built.

The various patterns of how the logs were intertwined to make the structure stable were beautiful. The pattern left a circular hole in the center of the roof and a wooden bench lined the circular hut.

As I proceeded through the Heard Museum I examined more and more artifacts that I wasn’t certain could be topped. The surprises that awaited me throughout my journey were just as informative as they were beautiful.

What I was most impressed with was how interactive and hands-on the experience can be. There were multiple areas such as the Ullman Learning Center and Freeman Gallery that featured kid-friendly activities. Many of the exhibits had video stops or buttons to push that allowed the visitor to listen to personal stories relevant to the exhibit.

An amazing amenity the museum offers are outside benches that allow you take a break from learning and enjoy nature and architecture as water features run near by.

Of course, you can also take a break by visiting the Coffee Cantina or the Courtyard Café, which serves lunch and desserts that include a unique experience of local and indigenous ingredients in the culinary creations. If your stomach is full but your appetite for knowledge is still not satiated, be sure to check out the Books and More shop.

As I left the Heard Museum and weaved through the pillars making my way gradually to the parking lot, the sculptures became more apparent and I discovered some that I had not previously noticed.

The Heard Museum allows visitors to be just as aware of its exterior, not giving up any secrets as to the memorable experience inside.

Memorable. That’s a word I would use to describe my experience. My only regret is that I didn’t come here sooner.

This was a wonderful experience. Next time I hope to find another adventure awaiting.

For more information on the Heard Museum, visit their website at www.heard.org.

Superstition Mountains, east central Arizona, Photo:

Superstition Mountains

The Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction can be regarded as both a paradise for hikers and treasure hunter’s alike, offering beautiful scenery as well as a chance to escape from the city.

The mountains, with a 160,000 acre range in east central Arizona, offer visitors a chance to explore the area and what it has to offer. The Superstition Wilderness Area is used by hikers, horseback riders, campers and even treasure hunters hoping to strike it rich.

The Superstition Mountain Museum, located in front of the actual mountain, houses different buildings to explore including a blacksmith shop and a barn; and it gives visitors a chance to learn about the surrounding area.

The Natural History Exhibit at the museum has displays of different local animals and reptiles that are frequently found in the mountains. Bobcats, Gila monsters and javelinas are famous for being seen by hikers on the mountain.

The museum in front of the mountain also has a Native American Exhibit. The exhibit has displays of Hohokam and Salado pottery and other artifacts as well as giving visitors a chance to learn about the Indians that once occupied the region.

The mountains also hold a secret that attracts hikers year round. The Lost Dutchman’s Mine is believed to be an area located somewhere in the mountain where gold is supposedly hidden. Jacob Waltz is rumored to have been the owner of the rich gold mine, but when he died in 1891, the location of the riches died along with him.

Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club is one of the sites in Apache Junction where the Superstition Mountains create a beautiful backdrop for visitors. The club has two golf courses, combined making it 36 holes of fun and challenging tee time. Visitors can also enjoy dinner at their exclusive restaurant as well as have the opportunity to stay at one of the club’s villas.

At the base of the Superstition Mountain, the Hieroglyphic Trail gives hikers the chance to see collections of Hohokam petroglyphs, and is considered a gentle trail for hikers of all levels. Hikers can then follow the steep trail up to Superstition Ridgeline, which gives the chance to see a view of the city from up above.

The Lost Dutchman State Park is an area with trails that lead from the camp to the Superstition Mountains. The park offers campsites, nature trails and a chance to experience native wildlife.

 

Come back in July; we’ll have more “Places to See” then!