In 1991 the Phoenix Pride Commission was created. This is a committee that establishes what are known as Phoenix Points of Pride. A Phoenix Phoenix Point of Pride is a place that the committee has specially designated as one that has a special community spirit associated with it--an attraction that you would be proud to recommend to your friends and family. Many of my choices below for Phoenix attractions are Phoenix Points of Pride. I have listed them in alphabetical order because, having visited every one of these Phoenix attractions, I couldn't possibly order them by preference! They are all wonderful in their own way.
Here are my recommendations for places to go in Phoenix, Arizona:
Known throughout the world as the "Jewel of the Desert," the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa has 39 acres covered with lush gardens, glistening swimming pools, and Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture. Set in the heart of Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore has been a favorite of celebrities and U.S. presidents throughout its colorful history. While you are strolling the grounds of the resort, be sure to stop and see Frank Lloyd Wright's Biltmore Sprites. A walk around the property is free, of course, and the surrounding neighborhood is one of the premier locations in town. Here is a map with directions to the Arizona Biltmore.
Arizona Science Center
A relatively new Phoenix attraction, the Arizona Science Center is located in the downtown area. There over 300 hands-on permanent exhibits, as well as special changing exhibitions. A planetarium show and giant-screen films are also available for an additional charge to the admission price. People of all ages will have a great time exploring, learning and playing.
Arizona State Capitol Museum
At the Arizona State capitol near downtown Phoenix you can visit the museum and learn about the history of Arizona and the people who were influential in its history. Step into the original Governor's office, get a feel for territorial Arizona and visit artifacts salvaged from the USS Arizona. This museum is suitable and enjoyable for all ages, and it's free.
In central Phoenix stands one of the city's most prominent landmarks. Camelback Mountain is a favorite with more experienced hikers. It is a popular attraction, though, so it can get crowded. It is named Camelback Mountain because its shape resembles that of a camel lying down. It is the highest peak of the Phoenix Mountains.
Castles 'n' Coasters
It's got the only roller coaster in town. This year-round amusement park has rides, an arcade and miniature golf. Castles and Coasters is located on the perimeter of Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix.
OK, it's just where the Arizona Diamondbacks play baseball, but it is a fantastic state-of-the-art stadium. Formerly known as Bank One Ballpark, it seats about 60,000 people and covers approximately 1,300,000 square feet. You can have lunch inside Chase Field at Friday's Front Row all year long, even when it is not a game day. At Chase Field's web site, you can see how the retractable roof opens and closes in less than 5 minutes! See a video of a visit to Chase Field.
Children's Museum of Phoenix
This museum built especially for for kids that are 10 and younger will keep them entertained (and learning) for hours. It is located in downtown Phoenix, and it's three stories of entertaining activities and exhibits that will have them climbing, painting, rolling, driving, shopping, reading and more.
Deer Valley Rock Art Center
In May 2000 Phoenix named this wonderful attraction in the northwest part of the city a Phoenix Point of Pride. This is the location of the Hedgpeth Hills petroglyph site. There are more than 1,500 recorded petroglyphs on almost 600 boulders. Bring your binoculars!
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is located in Papago Park in central Phoenix. This Phoenix Point of Pride combines desert plants with desert wildlife that can both be seen from short trails that are well marked. Items of interest are described in guidebooks. Check the events calendar for classes, workshops, concerts and more. See a video about visiting Desert Botanical Garden.
One of the oldest parks in Phoenix, you'll find a playground, pool and small boating area at Encanto Park. There are two golf courses. What really sets Encanto Park apart is Enchanted Island, an amusement park for the little ones.
On the First Friday of every month downtown Phoenix opens up to shuttle bus riding folks who wander in and out of art galleries, studios, and art spaces enjoying the evening air, the variety of creativity, and the ambiance of the event. See a video about First Friday.
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting
The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting has almost an acre of fire history exhibits, with over 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969. It's one of our best kept secrets in the Valley of the Sun.
If you want to see and learn about the history and culture of Arizona, this Phoenix Point of Pride is a must see. Located in downtown Phoenix, it is one of the best places to experience the myriad cultures and art of Native Americans of the Southwest.
Japanese Friendship Garden
Right near downtown Phoenix you'll find a hidden treasure of harmony and tranquility. It is Ro Ho En, the Japanese Friendship Garden and Tea House. Open October through May.
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