Behind the Scenes Tour

Taliesin West

Zerve Seller: TaliesinWest
Activity #3865
  • Experience what it was like to be a guest in Wright's famous home on our signature tour which includes the Taliesin West Garden Room.

  • Discover Wright’s ability to integrate indoor & outdoor spaces such as the Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion as well as Wright's office.

  • Explore the desert area while your guide reveals how native materials and landforms were translated into design elements by Wright.

  • Discover some of the beautiful desert trails surrounding Taliesin West & gain insight into Frank Lloyd Wright's School of Architecture.

  • Wright's creation at night takes on a luminous, jewel-like quality and the structures, lit from within, form a truly dramatic setting.

  • On our educational Junior Architect Tour, school-age children and their parents get to learn how architecture impacts their lives.

  • We also schedule private tours of Wright's Taliesin West with an architect or personal tour guide for individuals or small groups.

  • Special tours for large groups can be arranged for guests looking to experience both the interior and exterior areas of Taliesin West.


Available Dates & Times Price Duration
All times listed are Arizona time zone
Gift Certificates:

Description

Frank Lloyd Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. Located on the beautiful Sonoran desert in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, the site offers a broad range of guided public tours where visitors can experience Wright’s brilliance.

The 3-Hour Behind the Scenes Tour is "the tour" for serious architectural enthusiasts and will give you the most complete experience at Taliesin West.  On this tour you'll get to experience all the aspects of the Insights Tour but with great extras such as guest speakers, mid-morning tea and a visit to a unique desert site.  Some of the sites seen on this tour include:
  • The living quarters along with the dramatic "Garden Room"
  • Cabaret Theater
  • Music Pavilion
  • Wright's private office
A highlight of this tour is a stop in the colorful Taliesin Fellowship Dining Room where you’ll be treated to mid-morning tea and some light bites.  You’ll even get the opportunity to speak with Wright associates and examine several unique desert structures.

True architecture enthusiasts consistently cite this tour as one the highlights of their travels.

Meeting Location

Taliesin Drive (Scottsdale, AZ) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)
167 Reviews Rating: 4.7 4.7 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
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# of Reviews Positive
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Last 3 months 17 41 0 = 41 100% 4.7
Last 6 months 35 91 0 = 91 100% 4.8
Last 12 months 97 246 4 = 242 98% 4.7
All 167 442 4 = 438 99% 4.8
167 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
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Rating: 5
Fantastic Tour and the Best Docent ever!
mwooduk Sat, Oct 18  9:15 AM Female 50-59 International Tourist(s) Other
 
My 82 year old mother and I came on the tour last Saturday; the weather was spectacular, Taliesen West exceeded our expectations and our docent Peter was fantastic and his commentary/wit made the tour even better than we anticipated. There were plenty of opportunities to sit down on the three hour tour and we had a fantastic drink/snack break half way through where we got to meet the daughter of one of FLW's female apprentices and hear about life at Taliesen West and some personal stories. Also there is a great gift shop. My only negative comment is there was not more time to take photos at the front of the house - we only had a couple of minutes and you cannot return there later for photos. Otherwise, fantastic and highly recommended!
Rating: 5
The tour
John9187 Sat, Oct 11  9:15 AM Male 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Family With Children
 
We learned more about Mr. Wright and it was nice to have a family member of the group he had at the compound. Also nice to know his dream continues with the students who now attend.
Rating: 5
A Great Experience !
MarthaHoover Thu, Oct 9  9:15 AM Female 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
 
Paula our guide was excellent...knowledgable, enthusiastic ! Our time talking with one of FLW's last students was amazing! We have toured several FLW properties, and this tour was one of the best ! It was well organized, but we were not rushed. "Tea", the mid morning snack was perfect.
Rating: 5
fascinating
patroach133 Thu, Oct 9  9:15 AM Male 60-69 Unspecified Unspecified
 
This was a thorough, intriguing 3 hour tour. The docent (Paula) was thoroughly knowledgeable about architecture, Wright's personal history, and the Foundation. The tour group included a number of Wright enthusiasts who added to the quality of the discussion.
Rating: 4
The guide
timmiann Mon, Oct 6  9:15 AM Male 50-59 International Tourist(s) Other
 
A bit too interested in the gossip and personal life of FLW
Rating: 5
Choose the Night Lights Tour, instead
tbn8vb Thu, Oct 2  9:15 AM Male 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Individual
 
First, I should state that I believe I have been on every tour offered by Taliesin West. The Behind the Scenes Tour was excellent. However, even though an hour longer (and twice the price!), it did not add much to what can be experienced on the Night Lights Tour -- which is far more enchanting and romantic. I chose to go on the Behind the Scenes Tour, because it was described as being for those "keenly interested in architecture." I am not an architect, but, having helped my father build houses, I probably know a good bit more about architecture than the "average" visitor to Taliesin West. Thus, I was a bit disappointed that the Behind the Scenes Tour did not really address any more architectural issues (versus historical or anecdotal info) than the other tours I've been on. Spend half as much and go on the Night Lights Tour, instead. If you want more architectural info, you'll get it on the Desert"'Shelter" Tour, which is led by students at Taliesin West (but, as is the case with all the desert "walking" tours, it's only offered during the cooler months).
Rating: 4
Tour guide was very knowledgeable.
sharilovesfl Sat, Sep 13  9:15 AM Female 50-59 Local Couple on a Date
 
Brunch very tasty...disappointed about how much was no longer original.
Rating: 5
Well worth it
frankp01 Thu, Aug 28  9:15 AM Male 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
 
We very much enjoyed our behinds the scenes tour of Taliesin. The chance to interact with one of the interns and disciples of Wright, at Taliesin, was particularly interesting. Highly recommended.
Rating: 4
Beautiful Taliesin West
megrant44 Mon, Aug 25  9:15 AM Female 60-69 Local Family Without Children
 
Had a great 3 hr behind the scenes tour of Taliesin West, learned some new things about FLW and Taliesin West that we did now know. Our knowledge level might be higher than some due to the fact that my husband lived in Spring Green and knew many of the students and the architects so was very familiar with Taliesin. I grew up in Madison across the street from the Gilmore House (although we called it the airplane house) and my parents knew FLW so I might have had more knowledge than most also. But, as I said, we did learn new things, especially about T. West and the purchase. It looked very similar to Taliesin and to many of the FLW houses that I have been in but the man was definitely a visionary. My husband commented that he thought it was too bad that the students weren't doing the cooking and other maintenance work as FLW felt that the way to learn how to design something was to live it. How can someone who doesn't cook design a functional kitchen? The "tea" was wonderful. Fantastic food, beautifully prepared and presented. Gift shop was awesome. I felt it would have been a little bit of a pricey tour had we not been AZ residents and gotten the summer discount. Will definitely go back, most likely when we have visitors..
Rating: 4
Docent was great, guest not so much
jsinkovic Thu, Aug 21  9:15 AM Male 40-49 International Tourist(s) Individual
 
The docent was very knowledgeable and filled the tour with great information. We visited most of the areas of the site, and got good insight into the place and workings. At a point about midway through, we had a guest speaker, someone who had studied with FLW, and apparently teaches the students currently there. Rather than having any prepared stories or content, he relied on us for questions, and once those were exhausted, he spent an inordinate amount of time discussing the population of Phoenix and the surrounding area, and the various housing developments that have gone in and so on. Really nothing to do with FLW, the foundation, the tour we were on, no value whatsoever. I was asking questions left and right, but he kept returning to population studies for some reason. That one aspect was disappointing.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 167
Ratings and Reviews for:
Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
Advance purchase is highly recommended, as space is limited per tour. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased using a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
What is the main difference between the flagship tours? Which one should I take?
Our three flagship tours vary by duration and sights seen. The 90-minute Insights Tour is our most popular tour and is offered the most often. If you are looking for a more in-depth tour, consider the 3-hour Behind the Scenes Tour which includes everything on the Insights Tour and more, including guest speakers. However, if you are short on time, consider taking the Panorama Tour, which is 1-hour long and includes many highlights of the property but does not include the personal living quarters. In addition to our three year-round tours, we also offer a number of seasonal tours as well that explore other areas of Taliesin West.
Are there any age limits? Can we bring our kids?
Unfortunately, children under the age of 12 are not allowed on this tour. If you have young children we recommend you click on the "Calendar of Other Activities" link to the left and check out one of our other tours that might be more appropriate for kids.
What about bad weather?
Taliesin West was built to be a part of its surroundings, therefore the tour is a combination of viewing interior spaces that are connected by outdoor walkways. The tour will run in moderate weather, but may be cancelled in the case of severe weather. You will be notified if the tour is cancelled and will be allowed to reschedule your tickets or receive credit for a future event.
We will be on our feet for the entire tour?
While the majority of the tour includes standing and walking, a portion of the tour includes having mid-morning tea in the Taliesin Fellowship dining room. We will be sitting during tea for approximately 30 minutes of the tour.
What is included in the mid-morning tea?
This is similar to a high tea and includes a variety of tea as well as small light bites, which vary from tour to tour.
Who are the guest speakers?
The Behind the Scenes tour includes some great additions such as guest speakers. These are often people who have met or have worked with Frank Lloyd Wright himself and provide a first-hand experience of interacting with the famous architect.
Can we explore Taliesin West on our own or do we need to take a tour?
All tours of Taliesin West are guided and guests are not allowed to explore on their own. Admission to the bookstore is free of charge but guests must have tour tickets to view the remainder of the property.
Is Taliesin West handicap accessible?
Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark built between 1937 and 1959. As such, it was not designed or built to contemporary accessibility standards. The pathway for tours includes gravel walkways, uneven steps and stairs. Narrow, steep-sloped ramps over steps are available for guests to use at their own discretion throughout the tour. Ramps are 26” in width with slopes ranging from 21 to 27 degrees.
Do you allow photography?
Guests are welcome to take photos for their personal use. There are a few areas where we do not allow photography, but your tour guide will alert you to these areas during the tour. If you are looking to use photos in a professional capacity, please contact us prior to purchasing your tickets by clicking on the "Contact TaliesinWest" link to make arrangements.
Is Taliesin West open all year round?
Yes, we operate tours throughout the entire year. The Behind the Scenes Tour runs all year round, however, not all tours are offered throughout the entire year. Please be sure to check our "Calendar of Other Activities" for the exact tour schedule on the day you plan to visit.
Do you have a gift shop?
Yes, Anneliese's Bookstore is located next to the main parking lot and stocks the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Collection® products and books. Admission to the bookstore is free of charge and its regular hours of operation are 8:30am to 6:00pm.
What should I wear? What should I bring?
We suggest guests wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Since a portion of the tour takes place outside, be prepared for the day's weather and note there are gravel walkways that connect the buildings, so please be sure to wear appropriate shoes. We also recommend bringing a bottle of water and an umbrella. While we have a limited number of umbrellas available for guests, they can come in handy both on rainy and sunny days in the desert.
Are food and drinks available for purchase?
While we have a soda machine outside the bookstore, we don't have food available for purchase. However, keep in mind this tour includes mid-morning tea with some light bites. We do not recommend bringing outside food or drink on your tour, unless you'd like to bring a bottle of water.
Is there parking available?
Yes, there is a free parking lot for all guests.
Are pets allowed to come?
No, other than certified service dogs, pets are not permitted.
What about guests with special needs?
Guests with special needs who are interested in visiting us but choose not to take the walking tour may request an Interpretive Guide and view a video on the history of Taliesin West while on site. Visually and hearing impaired guests who wish to bring someone to provide assistance on the tour such as a sign language interpreter may do so and the person providing assistance will not be charged admission.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes! Gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the "Gift Certificates: Purchase" link in the box above.
Do you allow private parties or events?
Spacious Taliesin West is well suited for hosting exclusive corporate receptions and dinners. Groups ranging in size from 20 to 120 have experienced memorable evenings at Taliesin West using the many indoor and outdoor spaces. For more information about setting up a private event, please click on the "Contact TaliesinWest" link to get in touch with our staff.
Do you offer large group tours?
Yes, group tours are available and tours can be custom designed for prearranged groups of 15 or more. Please click on the "Contact TaliesinWest" link to discuss.
Can we do a private tour?
With advance notice (seven day notice preferred), individuals with very small groups may schedule a tour by an architect or personal guide. Please click on the "Contact TaliesinWest" link to discuss pricing and reservations.

Policies

Refund/Rescheduling Policy

Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.
Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.

Weather Policy

Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.

Other Policies

Children under 12 are not permitted on this tour.
Children under the age of 12 are not allowed on this tour. Please consider another tour option if you will be attending with young children.

Taliesin West

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is proud to present, Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-famous home and architectural laboratory, which offers guests the unique, immersive experience of a powerful and extremely personal National Historic Landmark.

Just minutes from downtown Scottsdale, Taliesin West is Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert masterpiece. In 1937, Wright and his apprentices built an architectural wonder out of the stone and sand that surrounded them in the Sonoran desert on the foothills of the McDowell Mountains. Many of those apprentices (“the Fellowship”) who worked and lived alongside Mr. Wright still live at Taliesin West, as do the current students and faculty of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture -- making Taliesin West an ongoing, vibrant community.

The Taliesin West experience is both immersive and powerful. Guests are fully welcomed into every room and space—nothing on the tour is behind ropes or under glass. The tours, which include such attractions as the Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion, Garden Room, Desert Shelters, and Mr. Wright’s living quarters and private office, are filled with surprise, majestic views, and intimate interior details. Each tour inspires visitors with the innovative principles, beautiful creations, technological experiments, and unparalleled body of work of Frank Lloyd Wright. As a result, guests find the Taliesin West tour experience delightfully engaging and deeply relevant. While photos and descriptions may give you a hint of what’s in store, there is no substitute for experiencing it first-hand.

Come to Taliesin West and be inspired.
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