101 Cool Things to Do

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1. ART WALKS

The Scottsdale Gallery Association sponsors a weekly ArtWalk, Thurs. 7–9 p.m., with self-guided tours, live entertainment, and artist appearances. First Fridays lets you tour Downtown Phoenix galleries once a month, 6–10 p.m., with free trolley transportation between locations. The Downtown Chandler Community Partnership presents the Downtown Chandler Art Walk the 3rd Fri. of every month, 6–10 p.m. The East Valley Art Guild and Downtown Mesa Merchants present 2nd Fridays on Main Street in Downtown Mesa the 2nd Fri. of every month, 6–10 p.m.


2. LIVE FAST

At Octane Raceway our electric karts speed down the track at 45 mph! If you crave more excitement, try Velocity VR. Velocity VR is the world’s first multiplayer, “free roam” virtual-reality experience. Our new player-versus-player game is 360-degree, no-wire digital mayhem. Finish with mini-bowling, gaming, and food at our Brickyard Grill. Call 602-302-7223 or visit octaneraceway.com.


3. WELCOME TO HERITAGE SQUARE

Heritage Square is the oldest remaining residential block in the City of Phoenix. With 10 fully restored buildings, it offers visitors a unique look into the vibrant history of Phoenix at the turn of the 19th century. Today, the square features the Rosson House Museum (built in 1895 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places), The Bungalow museum store, an exhibit gallery, award-winning restaurants, a coffee bar, and a spectacular event space. Now on display in the exhibit gallery—You Are Here: Mapping Early Phoenix, a free exhibit about what was here when Phoenix was young and how the city has grown and changed with time. Hours: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun. 12–5 p.m. Call 602-262-5070, or visit heritagesquarephx.org.


4. LEARN ABOUT THE REAL JURASSIC WORLD

AZ Museum of Natural History is a “must see” for dinosaur lovers, with animatronic dinosaurs, a 3-story indoor waterfall, and a flash flood that happens every 20 minutes. Our newest installation is an accurate sculpture of a dinosaur breaking out of the museum wall, which makes a wonderful selfie opportunity. If dinosaurs are not your interest, then pan for gold, take a stroll through an ancient Hohokam village, or discover cultures further afield like the Maya or Aztec civilizations. Go to azmnh.org for more information, or call 480-644-2230.


5. ROOSTER COGBURN OSTRICH RANCH

“The Darndest Place You’ll Ever Visit!”
Voted one of the best roadside attractions in America. Come get a hands-on experience like no other at this extreme petting zoo. Have fun with the goofy ostriches, miniature donkeys, rainbow lorikeets, goat kissing booth, bunny exhibit, stingray hand feeding, and more. It is laugh-out-loud fun for all ages! On I-10 and exit 219 at Picacho Peak. roostercogburn.com or call 520-466-3658.


6. COWBOYS & ARTISTS

Roam “out Wickenburg way” to discover the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, a world-famous collection of Western art and artifacts featuring interactive exhibits on Arizona’s colorful history. Summer fun with free admission for kids! Visit us at westernmuseum.org.


7. OUT OF AFRICA WILDLIFE PARK

Experience a completely different view of wildlife! Witness breathtaking creatures and their natural behavior up-close. Safari tours, exciting shows, hands-on interaction, and our exhilarating zip line tour over predators create an awe-inspiring adventure guaranteed to have you grinning from ear to ear. 928-567-2840, outofafricapark.com.


8. SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP

Area shopping centers provide endless opportunities for browsing, eating, and, of course, shopping. See our “Shop Around” section for details.


9. METZILOCAN: CLAUDIA PEÑA SALINAS

On view at the ASU Art Museum through August 3, 2019, Metzilocan is an installation-based solo exhibition by New York City artist Claudia Peña Salinas. The exhibition expands her research on the Aztec deities of water, Tláloc and Chalchiuhtlicue, relating ancestral symbolism and knowledge to modernist and contemporary structures. Through travel, documentation, and collection, Salinas generates a poetic narrative that is both personal and political. The works presented address topics ranging from the myth and the construction of national identity, to gender issues and the current water crisis in Mexico City. Free admission, asuartmuseum.asu.edu, 480-965-2787.


10. CBD SPA REMEDIES AT AGAVE, THE ARIZONA SPA

Among one of the first spas in the Grand Canyon State to provide hemp-centric offerings, Agave, The Arizona Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa recently debuted an all-new series of cannabidiol (CBD) remedies. The Scottsdale-based spa innovates with Mary’s Nutritionals whole-plant hemp extract products, both featured as massage therapy and pedicure enhancements to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Aimed at providing spa-goers with not only the highest quality rejuvenation, but also alternatively cultivated therapies, Agave Spa’s CBD remedies are priced at $19 each and are now available as an add-on to a variety of massage therapy treatments, each hand-selected as most optimal for CBD enhancements, including the Athletic Recovery Massage, Craniosacral Energy Therapy, Traveler’s Relief Massage, and more. Steeped in rare traditional therapies handed down from Arizona’s many healing cultures, Agave, The Arizona Spa offers a desert-inspired retreat designed to rejuvenate and renew the mind, body, and spirit with a refined collection of full-service spa and salon treatments. Visit kierlandresort.com or call 480-624-1000 to book a treatment featuring CBD.


11. DISCOVER ARIZONA’S HISTORY!

Let’s go on a trip to the AZ Heritage Center! Experience awesome exhibits and cool summer programs for kids and adults. Go retro with Phoenix icons like Bob’s Big Boy and Wallace and Ladmo, hang out at an old time general store, and take an up close look at a WWII training aircraft. Open Mon.–
Thurs., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Located at the southeast edge of Papago Park, with easy access from Loops 202 and 101. 1300 N. College Ave., Tempe. Info at: 480-929-0292, or visit arizonahistoricalsociety.org.


12. MACALPINE’S DINER & SODA FOUNTAIN

Looking for fun, food, and shopping? This historic Phoenix
landmark is a must! Enjoy lunch and dinner entrées including mouthwatering burgers, sandwiches, and blue-plate specials. Don’t miss the award-winning Reuben or Clubhouse. Save room for dessert—MacAlpine’s pies, made from Amish recipes, are outstanding. Or choose one of 99 soda flavors, old-fashioned malts, or decadent ice cream creations. You’ll have a blast shopping in the retro and antique store, which is filled with an eclectic mix of treasures including furniture, jewelry, and vintage clothing. We know you’ll love MacAlpine’s as much as we do! Just north
of downtown Phoenix, 2303 N. 7th St., 602-262-5545.


13. LARGEST FIRE MUSEUM

Explore 6 air-conditioned galleries and 35,000 square feet of firefighting exhibits at The Hall of Flame. See more than 80 beautifully restored fire apparatus, ranging from an English engine built in 1725 to fully operational engines and ladder trucks from the 1950s and 60s. The Hall of Heroes honors nearly 10,000 fallen firefighters, including FDNY’s Rescue 4, which was damaged on 9/11. Hands-on exhibits engage the kids, including a fire-safety house and a 1952 American La France engine, available for boarding. At 6101 E. Van Buren St., across from the Phoenix Zoo and next door to Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–4 p.m. Sun.; $10 adults, $8 seniors older than 62 and students ages 6–17, $4 for children 3–5, free under age 3. Free parking. 602-275-3473, hallofflame.org.


14. ANCIENT RUINS

To learn about the ancient Sonoran Desert people who lived in this area before Europeans came to America, tour Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. The museum showcases the superlative construction skills of the desert people and also offers demonstrations and other special events.


15. ARIZONA’S COOLEST DESTINATION

Plan your next adventure at Sunrise Park Resort. Hiking, scenic lift rides, downhill mountain biking, camping, fishing, boat rentals, archery, and Arizona’s longest zip line! Experience our Sunrise Mountain Pow Wow June 29–30, 2019. Call 855-735-7669, or visit sunriseskipark.com.


16. DISCOVER THE BEAUTY & COMMUNITY OF FLAGSTAFF’S ARBORETUM

Stroll along 2½ miles of trails through towering ponderosa pines, brilliant wildflowers, and shimmering native grasses. Take a guided tour, visit our Southwest Butterfly House or enjoy a picnic lunch with glorious mountain breezes. At a 7,200-foot elevation, “The Arb” is a unique destination offering programming and special events to excite all ages. Check out our family friendly outdoor concert series with stellar views of the San Francisco Peaks at sunset, July 6 and August 3, 2019. Kids need some summer fun? Sign up for summer camps through July 26, 2019. Looking for plants for your new home? The Summer Plant Sale on July 13, 2019, will satisfy all your native plant needs. Adults-only festivals more your thing? Wine in the Woods is the most popular wine festival in Northern Arizona, on September 14, 2019. Find out more about all our programming, memberships, events, and more at thearb.org, or call 928-774-1442.


17. VISIT PRESCOTT, ARIZONA

Visit Prescott and find yourself in the largest ponderosa pine forest in the United States. With four beautiful seasons; breathtaking landscapes, complete with granite mountains; lakes; streams; and rolling meadows, it’s an outdoor lovers’ paradise. Hit the trails on two wheels, four hooves, or two feet, and then relax on Whiskey Row with a local brew, farm-to-table food, and rich Western surroundings. Find out why Prescott is Arizona’s location for: True West. Real Adventure. Find out more by visiting visit-prescott.com.


18. SEE THE WEST FROM A WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE

Head to Old Town Scottsdale for an unexpected look at the real West with a visit to the “Nation’s Best Western Museum” (True West Magazine, 2019)—Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (SMoW), a hidden gem in the heart of Scottsdale’s Arts District. This right-sized museum takes 1½ to 2 hours to tour, and come-and-go admission allows guests to get a bite at a local eatery and return for more viewing. Enjoy social media-worthy photo ops, see modern artists’ take on the West, view explorations of Western and space frontiers, and see authentic Old West cowboy gear. You’ll also see Hopi pottery spanning six centuries, as well as creations by Western artists like the “Father of Western Art,” Charles M. Russell. scottsdalemuseumwest.org


19. MEGA CANDY STORE

Family-owned and operated, Sweeties Candy is one of Arizona’s favorite destinations! This 13,000-square-foot mega candy warehouse stocks more than 4,000 candies from more than 175 manufacturers from around the world, making Sweeties the largest candy store in the state. Sweeties Candy will take you down memory lane with an endless selection of sweet treats, from national brands, regional brands, and local favorites to the hard-to-find nostalgic candies of yesterday and new crazes of today. You can also quench your thirst in the soda department that houses more than 350 glass bottle, cane sugar sodas. Be sure to check out the new Sweeties Toy-Topia, stocking all your classic retro toy favorites! Sweeties Candy is open Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m. and is located just minutes east of I-10 and only 20 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Call 480-899-4245, or visit us at sweetiescandyaz.com.


20. FOR THE BIRDS

Birding is a big activity in Arizona, a state known for hosting hummingbirds, trogons, and other winged exotica seldom seen in colder climates. Nature trails, the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, and city parks offer great places to watch birds. Bird walks and field trips are scheduled by the Maricopa Audubon Society. For information about local and migrating birds, as well as fee information for the walks, visit maricopaaudubon.org.


Photo by Michael Quinn.

21. ACROSS ARIZONA TOURS

Join our exciting guided tours to the following scenic Arizona destinations: the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Navajo Nation, Montezuma Castle, Jerome, the Apache Trail, Phoenix and Scottsdale city tours, and many more. Great for individuals, as well as small and large groups that want to experience the beauty and adventure that Arizona offers. Across Arizona Tours picks up at most hotels and resorts in Greater Phoenix, with tours departing daily.
We offer our popular one-day van tours, as well as corporate tours, multi-day tours, and custom tours. A highly trained and certified guide who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about Arizona leads each one. If you are ready to explore Arizona in comfort, call 888-533-1813 or book online at acrossarizonatours.com.


22. Paolo’s Arc

Looming out of the desert like an image from a science fiction movie, the Arcosanti complex was designed by urban architect Paolo Soleri. An example of Soleri’s “arcology,” it demonstrates the concept of architecture and ecology working together. Take tours, watch the creation of famed Soleri windbells, stroll the gallery, and enjoy lunch at the café. Seminars, workshops, concerts, and other special events are also offered. About 65 miles north of Phoenix; take the Cordes Junction exit off I-17 and follow the signs. Open daily. For a taste of Arcosanti—bell-making and all—without leaving the Greater Phoenix area, visit the Soleri Bridge and Plaza in Scottsdale (4420 N. Scottsdale Rd.) or wander the courtyards and garden paths at the Cosanti Foundation, in Paradise Valley (6433 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd.). Phone 480-948-6145, or visit cosanti.com.


23. ESCAPE THE VALLEY

Only 90 miles north of Phoenix, Prescott offers historic charm with a hometown atmosphere. All summer, Prescott hosts exciting events such as the World’s Oldest Rodeo, the Whiskey Off-Road mountain bike endurance race, and Summer Concert Series on the Square, as well as art walks every Friday. Surrounded by the Prescott National Forest, a plethora of outdoor adventures await, including hiking, fishing, kayaking, and camping that will allow you to evade the noise of the city. Near the heart of downtown, Bucky’s and Yavapai Casinos offer slot machines, blackjack, poker, and live music. Now, Jackpot Arizona provides even more reason to play in the pines, with a chance to win $125,000 and VIP status for a year. 800-756-8744, or buckyscasino.com.


24. GRANDEUR RESTORED

The Spanish Baroque Revival architecture makes Orpheum Theatre—a local and touring-show venue built in 1929—one of the most luxurious theaters in the West. At 203 W. Adams St. For show and free tour information, phone 602-262-6225.


25. TEE IT UP

Pick a course, any course. Greater Phoenix is home to dozens of fabulous golf courses. Grab your clubs and swing away on layouts ranging from lush traditional style greens to jaw-dropping desert designs. Insider tip: During the summer months, many offer deeply discounted greens fees. Check visitphoenix.com for a list of courses.


26. SEE STREET ART

The creative spirit roams free through the streets of Greater Phoenix as murals and commissioned outdoor works move beyond museum walls to find life on the exteriors of buildings. Outside Barrio Café in Phoenix, the walls serve as a concrete canvas for paintings that tell the stories of Latino culture in Arizona. In Scottsdale, artists Ernest Roberts and Tim Medina celebrate the state’s Wild West roots with a mural of American cowgirls on the wall of Fashion by Robert Black. In Downtown Phoenix, tour Roosevelt Row to view emerging street talent.


27. PREHISTORIC INGENUITY

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeology Park connects visitors to the rich cultural heritage of the O’odham Indians and their ancestors, the Sonoran Desert people (Hohokam). This archaeological site serves as a living legacy to the ingenuity of the prehistoric engineers that created a canal system that formed the foundation for thriving villages and our modern urban environment in the Valley. Explore the museum’s cool indoor galleries and have fun with hands-on activities, including the artifact touch cart. Shop at the Museum Store for authentic American Indian arts. Located on the corner of 44th and Washington Streets, the museum is easily accessible by PHX Sky Train and the light rail. Open Tues.–Sat., May–Sept., and Mon.–Sun., Oct.–Apr. 602-495-0901, pueblogrande.com


28. HON-DAH RESORT CASINO

Escape to the cool White Mountains and stay in Hon-Dah’s Triple Diamond hotel, surrounded by the great outdoors. Amenities include over-sized rooms and more than 800 of some of the newest and best slot machines located in the adjacent casino. There is live entertainment 6 days a week in the Timbers Showroom, including a comedy show every Monday night. The Indian Pine Restaurant receives high ratings and serves dinner from the menu as well as daily buffets such as Friday Seafood Buffet, Saturday Prime Rib Buffet, and Sunday Brunch. So, beat the heat and visit the coolest spot in Arizona this summer. Catch the 10th Annual White Mountain Bike Rally on June 21 and 22. 800-WAY-UP-HI (929-8744), hon-dah.com. 777 Hwy. 260, 3 miles south of Pinetop.


29. DOLLY STEAMBOAT

Rated one of the “Best Things To Do In Arizona,” the Junior Grand Canyon tour is a premier attraction for locals and tourists alike. Minutes from Mesa, Scottsdale, and Phoenix. Daily air-conditioned nature cruises and twilight dinner cruises. Apache Junction. 480-827-9144, dollysteamboat.com.


30. WHY NOT SHARE-IZONA?

Sibley’s West in Downtown Chandler offers unique gift items—from pottery to candles, prickly pear jelly to hot sauces, Dirt Shirts to cactus plants—from more than 200 Arizona artists and businesses. Call 480-899-4480, or visit us at sibleyswest.com.


31. EXPERIENCE WILLIAMS

Williams is the gateway to the Grand Canyon! Enjoy Route 66, outdoor recreation, and more. Visit experiencewilliams.com or call 928-635-1418.


32. EXPERIENCE WONDER

Open your mind to awe and wonder under the famously dark skies of Flagstaff, Arizona, the world’s first International Dark Sky City. Look up from anywhere in the city to see more stars than you can count. For the best views, head to Mars Hill and the grounds of 125-year-old Lowell Observatory. This is where Pluto was discovered in 1930, an event you can relive during one of the observatory’s many guided tours. On clear nights, gaze at the moon, planets, or deep-sky objects through the giant Clark refractor, built in 1896. Later this year, Lowell Observatory opens the Giovale Open Deck Observatory, housing a suite of six telescopes dedicated to public viewing. 928-774-3358, lowell.edu/phoenix.


33. SUMMER ACTIVITIES AT SNOWBOWL

Crisp alpine air and sprawling vistas of the Grand Canyon are waiting at Snowbowl. Take in the view on the Scenic Chairlift, or discover your adventure on the tubing slope, bungee trampoline, mini ropes course, and more. snowbowl.ski


34. TIME FOR TEA

Situated in beautiful Carefree, the English Rose Tea Room is the perfect escape on a hot summer’s day. From a formal afternoon tea to a delicious lunch, or simply a scone with a cup of tea—there is something for every discerning tea lover’s palate. Open all summer, everyday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call for reservations: 480-488-4812, carefreetea.com.


35. METEOR CRATER

Explore the best preserved meteorite impact site on Earth! Observation trails, interactive Discovery Center, new gift/rock shop, restaurant, and new 4-D experience. Open year-round. Located 35 miles east of Flagstaff on I-40. 800-289-5898, meteorcrater.com.


36. NATURE PRESERVES

To protect the region’s rich diversity of plant and animal life, the Nature Conservancy oversees several preserves in the state. Visit the Hassayampa River Preserve near Wickenburg, Hart Prairie Preserve in Flagstaff, or Aravaipa Canyon Preserve in Southern Arizona. Phone 602-712-0048.


37. OATMAN SIDEWALK EGG FRY

On July 4th, contestants have 15 minutes to fry an egg using solar heat in this Route 66 town. Phone 928-514-8595.


38. MURPHY’S BRIDLE PATH

Recall the days of yore with a stroll along this tree-lined stretch of Phoenix’s Central Ave. starting at the Arizona Canal.


39. OLÉ!

Tres leches cakes. Pineapple-filled empanadas. Chocolate pan dulce. When it comes to authentic Mexican pastries, Greater Phoenix boasts dozens of distinctive Mexican bakeries. A few to try: Sample cinnamon churros at Cristal’s Bakery (623-931-1057) in Glendale. You’ll love the mango empanadas at La Purisima Bakery (623-842-1400) in Glendale and Phoenix. And don’t miss the gingerbread piggies at Azteca Bakeries (602-253-5864) in Phoenix. Another sweet treat to try? Raspados. Slushie-like shaved ice doused in flavored syrup that’s sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, and always refreshing.


40. GO WITH THE FLOW

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried navigating the lower Salt River via innertube. Folks by the hundreds grab tubes for floating—and other tubes for carrying refreshments—and head northeast of Phoenix along Bush Hwy. Concessionaires rent tubes and take people, via bus, to the put-in point upstream. Knowing how to swim, bringing water, and wearing sunblock are essential. There’s a small fee for the tube rental and bus ride. The season runs roughly from May to mid-Sept. Check out saltrivertubing.com or call Salt River Tubing at 480-984-3305 or Saguaro Lake Ranch at 480-984-2194.


41. CHEESE SHOPS

Are you a fan of fromage? Phoenix’s Arcadia Premium Craft Beer, Wine, Local Goods offers a variety of cheeses, along with beer and wine pairings, while Duck and Decanter, also in Phoenix, sells domestic and imported cheeses and gift baskets, as well as a full menu of fresh sandwiches.


42. SPECIALTY MUSEUMS

Check out a few of Greater Phoenix’s more unique museums, perfect for adults and children alike. At the Phoenix Police Museum, kids can try on police shirts and see a 1919 Model T police car. Glendale’s Arizona Doll & Toy Museum features antique dolls, as well as more modern playthings.


43. CASINO FUN

Grab that change jar for a rendezvous with Lady Luck at a number of American Indian casinos around the state.


44. MEXICAN FOOD

Carne asada, empanada—just the names tempt your palate. Check out our “Valley Dining Guide” for a selection of local Mexican restaurants.


45. THE LIVING PAST

Stroll among original and reconstructed historic buildings at Pioneer Living History Museum, a re-created pioneer town. Watch artisans as they ply their trades. Don’t miss the educational tours, historic exhibits, and stage shows.


46. DESERT SCUBA

Dive in for scuba lessons offered at local pools. Many area shops also offer equipment rentals so you’re ready to hit the open water.


47. PEACOCK PARK

Stroll with peacocks at Sahuaro Ranch Park and see why Glendale’s 17-acre historic park is called the “Showplace of the Valley.”


48. WALNUT CANYON NATIONAL MONUMENT

This small but lovely canyon, located 8 miles east of Flagstaff, harbors the remains of some 300 prehistoric Sinagua Indian cliff dwellings. Many are tucked under a stone ledge that sits halfway between the rim and the canyon floor 185 feet below. See nps.gov/waca for information.


Photo by Foskett Creative.

49. Tempe Town Lake

Downtown Tempe’s big, watery draw sets visitors afloat on canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, stand-up paddle boards, and rowboats. And a promenade of skaters, runners, bikers, and strollers occupies the banks.


50. VISIT COTTONWOOD

Located in the heart of Arizona, Cottonwood and the Verde Valley offer plenty of options to sip, shop, savor, stay, and play. From wine country to train rides, Western shows to antiques shops, plus dining to please any taste buds, and outdoor recreation on land or water, Cottonwood is a cool escape for everyone. Make plans and find out more today by visiting visitcottonwoodaz.org, or call 928-634-7593.


51. COMPASS ARIZONA GRILL

Atop the Hyatt Regency Phoenix is the only revolving restaurant in Arizona, offering a dining experience with a 360-degree view of Greater Phoenix. Experience and enjoy a night out, sipping and dining in the lounge and restaurant. Executive Chef Richard Preston creates seasonal menus that include dishes with local flavors, which are complemented by an extensive cocktail and wine selection. This downtown Phoenix establishment is the location to start the night on the town, or the perfect spot to show out-of-towners our stunning Southwest city. Compass opens daily at 5 p.m. and offers a reverse happy hour in its lounge, Sun. to Thurs. from 9 to 11 p.m. Located at 122 N. 2nd St. in Phoenix. phoenix.regency.hyatt.com


52. VORTEX VISITS

Whether or not you believe Sedona’s vortexes are sources of spiritual and physical energy, they’re undoubtedly beautiful sights to behold. The 4 power points in and around Sedona are Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon, and Cathedral Rock.


53. VALLEY VIEWS

Take a leisurely hilltop drive for stunning views of Greater Phoenix, especially in the evening around sunset. One of our favorites is Lincoln Dr. from 16th to 44th Sts. Prefer to stretch your legs instead? Try the lookout points at South Mountain, Piestewa Peak, Papago Buttes, Pinnacle Peak, and Camelback Mountain.


54. WATER COLOSSUS

See one of the world’s highest fountains, rising more than 560 feet into the sky, at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills. Phone 480-816-5100.


55. DESERT LAKES

The Salt River Project and the Tonto National Forest oversee 6 lakes east of Phoenix. All provide great boating and fishing.


56. RO HO EN: JAPANESE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN

Arizona’s first authentic Japanese garden resulted from years of collaboration between Phoenix and her sister city of Himeji, Japan. Delight in the serenity of this oasis where water flows naturally between areas. Visit Tues.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. You’ll find it in Margaret T. Hance Park in central Phoenix. Visit japanesefriendshipgarden.org for more information.


57. WILD, WILD WEST

Named for the Apache Indians whose labor built it, the Apache Trail was used to haul materials for the construction of the Theodore Roosevelt Dam at the confluence of the Salt River and Tonto Creek. Officially named AZ Hwy. 88, the route snakes through mountains as it follows the Salt River past Canyon and Apache Lakes to Roosevelt Lake. Tortilla Flat, the only surviving stagecoach stop on the route, has a general store, restaurant, museum, and post office. Be sure to try the prickly-pear ice cream and the chili. Phone 480-984-1776 or visit tortillaflataz.com.


58. ST. MARY’S BASILICA

St. Mary’s Basilica is not only the oldest Catholic church in Phoenix, it is also an excellent example of Mission Revival and Romanesque architecture. It’s even listed as a National Historic Landmark. Downtown at 3rd and Monroe Sts. Phone 602-354-2100.


59. SYLVIA PLOTKIN JUDAICA MUSEUM

In Scottsdale, on the grounds of Congregation Beth Israel at 56th St. and Shea Blvd., the Judaica museum features temporary exhibits, as well as permanent displays and a biblical garden. Visitors of any religion are welcome to stop by and learn about different aspects of Judaism. Phone 480-951-0323.


60. TRIBAL CULTURE

See prehistoric artifacts at Ak-Chin Him-Dak EcoMuseum, a tribal-culture museum in Maricopa. Phone 520-568-1350.


61. LET’S DO BRUNCH

Many area restaurants and resorts serve this Sunday repast with flair. Bypass the bacon and eggs for the high-end goodies.


62. MAKING LEARNING FUN

At the Arizona Science Center, youngsters will delight in learning about science and technology. Discover the principles of counterbalance while bicycling 15 feet in the air on the Evans Family SkyCycle.


63. WESTERN WEAR

Leather-goods stores abound, offering belts, purses, cowboy hats, and boots. Calfskin, cowhide, rattlesnake skin—you name it, it’s here.


64. COOL SCIENCE

Visit Flagstaff’s Museum of Northern Arizona for exhibits on biology, geology, anthropology, and more.


65. ART FILMS

If you need a break from big-budget summer blockbusters, enjoy a refreshing change of pace at Valley Art, 509 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, or FilmBar, 815 N. 2nd St., Phoenix. Devour cult classics, indie flicks, foreign films, and more with your concession-stand goodies. At FilmBar, adult beverages are also an option.


66. MONTEZUMA CASTLE

Legend says that early settlers in the Verde Valley were so impressed by this 5-story cliff dwelling that they thought it was built by Montezuma, the famous Aztec ruler of Mexico. The real story? It was actually built by Sinagua Indians between ad 1100 and 1450. Located off I-17, about 90 minutes north of Phoenix; nps.gov/moca.


67. TURN A PAGE

Phoenix’s Burton Barr Central Library has one of the largest reading rooms in North America. Nearly one million books make the library the perfect place to catch up on a little reading.


68. IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE…

At Civic Space Park (between Central and 1st Aves. and Fillmore and Van Buren Sts.), see Her Secret is Patience, a floating sculpture suspended 38 feet above the park and reaching a height of 145 feet. The bulbous shape—100 feet wide and held together by 3 towers—reflects Arizona’s distinctive monsoon cloud formations and changes colors depending on the season.


69. SEE SPOT SWIM

Take Fido for a dip. Gilbert’s Cosmo Dog Park offers pooches plenty of room to run, climb, and play, plus a lake for dog-paddling fun.


70. WILDLIFE VIEWING

Spot elk, bears, bighorn sheep, birds, and more. Get tips from the Arizona Game & Fish Department: azgfd.com.


71. BACK TO BESH

The home of the Salado people from about ad 1240 to 1400, Besh Ba Gowah is thought to have been a farming and trading center. Now it’s a great place to learn about the Salado people. Visit the park’s museum, botanical garden, and trails. Located 1 mile southwest of Globe. Phone 928-425-0320.


72. MARKET FRESH

Get a taste of Greater Phoenix at weekly farmers markets. Throughout the metro area, you can buy locally grown vegetables, fruits, and herbs, as well as jams and jellies, salsas, honey, and more. Contact the Arizona Community Farmers Markets for times and locations.


73. UNCOVER TREASURE

Think of geocaching as Capture the Flag for the digital age. Start at geocaching.com. Map coordinates mark the locations of stashed treasure or “caches” near you. Using your smartphone or GPS device, navigate to the booty, sign the logbook that accompanies each cache, and then it’s on to the next one. Local geocaching sites include Papago Park, Mesa’s Park of the Canals, and downtown Phoenix.


74. MARGARET T. HANCE PARK

This 30-acre park in the heart of Downtown Phoenix has a playground, volleyball court, and barbecue grills.


75. ART 101

Shemer Art Center and Museum offers ceramics, painting, and drawing classes year-round for kids and adults.


76. DISC GOLF

Soak up the sun and the scenic desert beauty while playing some disc golf. The Phoenix area is a hub of disc-golf activity, with local courses available to test your skills. Try Conocido Park (602-262-6575) or Fountain Park (480-816-5100). Call ahead for hours of operation and to find out if you need to make a reservation.


77. CALL OUT THE CAVALRY!

John Wayne fans will remember the 1948 black-and-white classic Fort Apache, directed by John Ford and starring the Duke, Henry Fonda, and Shirley Temple. Well, this is the real Fort Apache. Designated one of the world’s 100 irreplaceable cultural heritage sites by World Monuments Watch, the fort dates back to 1870. Take self-guided walking tours of nearly 20 historic buildings, or visit the old military cemetery, the Apache Cultural Center and Museum, and a replica of an Apache village. From Globe, take US Hwy. 60 east, then north to Carrizo Junction. Turn east on AZ Hwy. 73 to get to Whiteriver and Fort Apache. Phone 928-338-4525.


78. IT’S COOL UNDERGROUND

Explore the depths of Bisbee’s famous Queen Mine. Don mining hats, slickers, and lanterns worn by miners. Ride the mine train deep into the mine. Marvel at remaining copper minerals. Experience the life of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Open daily. Tour times: 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. Tours leave from the Queen Mine Tour building located within walking distance of Historic Bisbee. The mine can be cool in temperature. Dress accordingly. Tours last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Reservations suggested. Call 866-432-2071 or visit queenminetour.com. Stop by the Queen Mine Store for gem and mineral specimens, jewelry, and other unique items. Visit discoverbisbee.com for official visitor information. Ninety miles south of Tucson, Bisbee offers Old World charm and new-world charisma.


79. TOUR A CAVE

The tours of Kartchner Caverns State Park take you through huge underground rooms with massive columns and colorful, intricate formations, including the world’s longest soda straw stalactite in the Throne Room. Located 50 miles southeast of Tucson. Visit azstateparks.com for reservations.


80. CAFÉ LIFESTYLE

Whether you’re craving an iced mocha or a cappuccino and a book, you can find it all at Greater Phoenix’s many coffeehouses.


81. BOOK BROWSE

Local independent bookstores, such as The Poisoned Pen and Changing Hands, offer something for every reader.


82. MOONLIGHT HIKES

Enjoy a good hike but not warm summer temps? Try a Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Moonlight Hike. See scorpions glow under ultraviolet lights, or listen to the sounds of nocturnal nature. Rangers lead the way at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in Cave Creek, Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa, and Estrella Mountain Regional Park in Goodyear.


83. SASSY CHASSIS

Looking for free fun on an afternoon? Cruise through rows of vintage and specialty autos every Sat. when car buffs gather to show off their prized beauties. The vehicles line up 4–8 p.m. at The Pavilions at Talking Stick (Pima and Indian Bend Rds.). You can park anywhere in the shopping complex and then peruse the cars on foot. Phone 480-443-0080.


84. RIDE THE RAIL

See all that Greater Phoenix has to offer without the hassle of finding a place to park. Grab your seat on the Valley Metro Rail. This sleek transport travels throughout metropolitan Phoenix, making stops at hot dining and shopping points in central and Downtown Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa.


85. PEDAL PUB

Pedal your way through Old Town Scottsdale or Tempe’s Mill Avenue on a multi-seat pub bike. Several local companies offer tours.


86. SCOTTSDALE WINE TRAIL

These tasting rooms featuring Arizona wine makes it easy to sample the state’s grape greats. scottsdalewinetrail.com


87. CAPITOL IDEA

The Arizona Capitol Museum, in a turn-of-the-century structure complete with a rotunda and copper dome, contains the original, restored House of Representatives chambers and a collection of Arizona political memorabilia. Free guided tours weekdays, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Phone 602-926-3620.


88. AT THE DRIVE-IN

Enjoy double features under the stars at the metro area’s only drive-in: The West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In.


89. ROSES ARE RED

Lose yourself amid the blooms of the Mesa Community College Rose Garden, the Southwest’s largest rose garden.


90. EMERALD ISLE ESCAPE

A stop at the Irish Cultural Center is sure to have your Irish eyes smiling. The center offers exhibits, events, concerts, and, of course, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Faire. The center is located at 1106 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. For information, visit azirish.org.


91. HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOODS

People who have abandoned the suburban lifestyle in favor of the benefits of living “close in” have created a sort of renaissance in the city’s historic neighborhoods. Tour them by car with a map from the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition. The map illustrates and describes some of the area’s major architectural styles—including California Bungalow, Pueblo Revival, American Colonial Revival, and Transitional Early Ranch. Phone 602-253-5579 for a free copy.


92. ALL ABOARD!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride on one of Arizona’s scenic railroads. Chug through a river valley only accessible by rail aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad, or step back in time with a ride on the historic Grand Canyon Railway, which delivers you to the rim of the Grand Canyon.


93. MOUNTAIN BIKING

For a different spin on taking a hike, visit Estrella Mountain Regional Park or the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. For the ultimate biking experience, go to South Mountain Park—offering a challenging 14.3-mile trail. Phone the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, 602-262-6412.


94. ZIP! SPLASH!

Measuring 34 feet tall, Lake Pleasant Regional Park’s H2-Whoa! is the world’s largest floating water slide. Give it a glide.


95. URBAN FISHING

Cast a line. The city of Phoenix and Arizona Game and Fish stock park lakes year-round. See phoenix.gov/parks/parks/fishing for info.


96. MARIACHI MANIA

Mariachi is a music born of many influences. The instruments, clothing, and voices are all part of a storied tradition. Today, mariachi groups—comprising 6–8 violins, 2 trumpets, a guitar, a bass guitar called a guitarrón, and a guitar-like instrument called a vihuela—perform at Mexican restaurants and festivals throughout Greater Phoenix.


97. ICE SKATING

Local ice-skating rinks help keep residents and visitors cool year-round. Put on pants and a sweater to enjoy a day of gliding on the ice at Tempe’s Oceanside Arena; AZ Ice in Phoenix, Gilbert, and Peoria; or Ice Den in Chandler and Scottsdale.


98. QUACK SNACKS

Feed the ducks at city parks with cooling lakes. Locals love Roadrunner Park in Phoenix and Kiwanis Park in Tempe.


99. MARTSON EXPLORATION THEATER

See the universe from the comfort of a theater seat at Arizona State University’s 3-D planetarium.


Photo by AZ Naturalist/Wikimedia Commons.

100. TONTO NATURAL BRIDGE

Enjoy the wonder of being surrounded by nature as you explore Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. The park’s main attraction is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world, rising 183 feet into the air. A collection of short, but strenuous trails traverse through and around picturesque Pine Creek, leading to waterfalls, observation decks, and, of course, that amazing arch. Fascinating history and geology exhibits in the park’s historic lodge, wildlife viewing, and ranger programs round out a visit. Go to azstateparks.com to learn more.


101. SEDONA SEGWAY TOURS BY ADVENTURES OUT WEST

It’s more than just a tour, it’s a Segway adventure! Learn how to ride a Segway and then enjoy the quite back streets of Sedona on a 1- or 2-hour tour. Visit sedonasegway.com for more information.

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