Whether you’re taking a trip through the Southwest, or you want to send a piece of home to a loved one far away, we have 10 authentic gift ideas that aren’t mugs! Or magnets, or key chains, or shot glasses…

Books

Books are a great way to learn about the places you visit. Free roadside libraries give you a look into the interests of local contributors. Trading Posts, museums, arboretums, and botanical gardens all carry books loaded with local photographs and information. Plus, shipping is easy and cost-effective! Share your adventures with the book lover in your life!

Local Honey

Local honey can often be found sold in stores and along roadsides. The beautiful thing about honey is that it varies greatly from region to region. Desert bees feed on the nectar of blooming desert plants like aloe, agave, orange blossoms, and many fragrant wildflowers. This gift might be better for road-trippers and day-trippers, since shipping honey may result in a sticky situation.

Handmade Bags

Handmade = unique! Aside from that, bags make perfect gifts for all types of people. The traveler, the fashion enthusiast, and even the practical type. In the Southwest, you can find an abundance of bags that have been hand-sewn or handwoven by local artisans. Common materials used include wool, buckskin, and cowhide.

Ironwood Carvings

Ironwood carvings originated with the Seri people of the Mexican state of Sonora. Carvings typically consist of animals, cultural or religious icons, pipes, and boxes. Small to medium-sized ironwood carvings are lightweight, durable, and easy to ship. Ironwood carvings are perfect for anyone who loves trinkets, animals, or home décor!

Cactus Snacks

Prickly pear fruit is a popular southwest treat that grows above the paddles of the prickly pear cactus (also edible). It’s used in things like jellies, jams, syrups, candies, beverages, and even chocolates. It tastes slightly similar to a ripe strawberry and is SO DELICIOUS. Depending on the season, prickly pear products can be hard to find. Stop by the Pickle Barrel to snag some treats for the foodie in your life! 

Rocks

The Southwest is a rock-hounding paradise! Peridot is a beautiful green gem that grows on black basalt from ancient lava flows. Much of it comes from San Carlos, Arizona, at the Peridot Mesa. High-grade amethyst is mined in the Mazatzal Mountains of Gila County, AZ. These minerals cannot be mined freely by tourists but can be found for purchase in many shops throughout the Southwest. Apache Tears and quartz geodes are two standouts that can also be found across the Southwest. 

Horsehair Pottery

Horsehair pottery is a Southwest must! It’s fired with actual horsehair, creating a unique and eye-catching look. This style of pottery originated with Navajo tribes, quickly becoming a favorite to many. Transport can be tricky, but most shops are happy to provide you with travel-safe packaging.

Copper Splash

Arizona is THE copper state! That means that you can’t visit without checking out all of the beautiful copper art, décor, and kitchenware. Enter the world of the copper splash. The process involves splashing molten copper onto a sheet of metal and then cooling it to create a colorful patina. Innovated and created right here in Globe, Arizona, the copper splash is the real deal when it comes to Southwest gifts!

Native American Beadwork

Native American beadwork is as fabulous and eye-catching as it is timeless and elegant. This beautiful craft isn’t just limited to jewelry. If you can dream it, it has probably been beaded! Wallets, salt and pepper shakers, hair barrettes, lanyards, burden baskets, keychains (I know, I know.) The variety is endless and perfect for the sparkly one in your life! Come see us in-store or online for handmade Apache beadwork! 

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is a Southwest celebrity! She’s rare, she’s beautiful, and she’s oh so blue! The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine operated in Globe, Arizona until 2012. It gets its name from the mountain it’s mined from, which looks like a beauty lying on her back. Sleeping Beauty is highly sought after by jewelers for its beautiful sky-blue hue. It’s typically solid in color but can have a black matrix. Shop our online selection and see why Sleeping Beauty Turquoise ranks #1 on our Top 10 Authentic Southwest Gifts! Love mugs and keychains? Don’t worry! The Pickle Barrel Trading Post has everything for your gifting needs!