The Old West is alive and well in today’s Southwest. Visit places where Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp became legends, hit the trail on ranches that stretch into the sunset, or sample the excitement of a rodeo. Whatever you get up to, embrace your inner cowboy with a pair of tooled leather boots and a Stetson.
t Horseback riders following a trail through the rolling scenery of Utah
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the Southwest than to stay on a guest ranch and ride through the desert on horseback. Some, like Tucson’s Tanque Verde Ranch (www.tanqueverderanch.com) provide cowboy cook-outs and poetry, while others, including the White Stallion Ranch (www.whitestallion.com) offer rodeos and shooting lessons.
There are plenty of places to trace the footsteps of your favorite Western heroes. Watch a reenactment of the OK Corral gunfight in Tombstone, Arizona, or follow the trail of famous outlaw Billy the Kid from his child-hood haunts in Silver City, New Mexico.
Spruce up your wardrobe Southwest-style with a great pair of cowboy boots, a Western hat, and tooled leather belt – or just add a snap-front shirt to your favorite jeans. Alternatively, treat yourself to some Native American-made jewelry featuring turquoise stones and fine silverwork. Top places to shop for these items include Phoenix, Scottsdale, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque.
Since Buffalo Bill’s first Wild West shows in the 1880s, the Southwest has been a mecca for Western-style entertainment. You’ll be amazed at the skills and daring of today’s cowboys and cowgirls. The most popular rodeos are Tucson’s Fiesta de los Vaqueros, in February, the New Mexico State Fair and Rodeo in Albuquerque in September, and the world’s oldest, Prescott’s Frontier Days Rodeo, on July 4.
DISCOVER Southwest USA Your Way
The largest selection of cowboy hats in the Southwest.
Saba’s Western Wear
A family-run store with branches in Scottsdale, Mesa, and Cave Creek.
Espinoza Boot Maker
Head here for custom, handmade boots and fine-quality leather belts.
New Mexico’s biggest consignment store has plenty of vintage and second-hand cowboy apparel.
Back at the Ranch
This old adobe store in Santa Fe provides a one-stop shop for those seeking luxury, bespoke cowboy boots.