It isn't really a mystery, and it isn't really a castle. No ghosts here. Take this tour of a highly unusual home in South Phoenix built in the 1940s and 1950s.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum, or MIM, is located in north Phoenix and opened to the public in 2010. Visitors here can see and experience thousands of musical instruments from more than 200 countries.
There are several worthy theatres in Phoenix, but the Orpheum might be my favorite simply because of the ambiance of the venue. It was originally built in 1929. The City of Phoenix bought the theatre in 1984 and it is the city's last remaining example of theatre palace architecture. The theatre was restored and re-opened in 1997. This Phoenix Point of Pride is the only theatre designated as historic in the Valley.
Located near downtown Phoenix, there are many wonderful activities at Papago Park. Besides being a great urban retreat, there are fishing lagoons, a very popular municipal golf course, hiking trails, unique museums like the Hall of Flame fire fighting museum, and an archeological site. You probably will need a couple of days to enjoy all that this Phoenix Point of Pride has to offer.
Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum has been open since 1959 and is is one of the largest general visual arts institutions in the Southwest. The collection includes over 17,000 works and spans the centuries. The Phoenix Art Museum emphasizes American Art, Asian Art, European Art of the 14th-19th Centuries, Western American Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Spanish Colonial and Latin American Art, 18th-20th Century Fashion Design, and the Thorne Miniature Rooms. There are also exhibits and special programs for the younger art lovers.
Phoenix Theatre is Arizona’s longest running arts organization, having produced over 1,000 productions since its start in 1920. It was previously known as Phoenix Little Theatre. It is located right next to Phoenix Art Museum.
This Phoenix Point of Pride is the nation's largest privately-owned nonprofit zoo. It has more than 1,300 animals, including 150 endangered or threatened birds, mammals and reptiles from around the world. The Arizona Trail at the Phoenix Zoo focuses on plants and animals of the American Southwest.
Piestewa Peak Recreational Area
Formerly known as Squaw Peak. Right in the middle of Phoenix you'll find one of the most popular places for climbing a mountain. There are two main attractions at this Phoenix Point of Pride: the Summit Trail and the Circumference Trail. It's 1.2 miles to the peak's summit and offers a spectacular view. It can be crowded at times.
Phoenix is the home of PING golf clubs, and the company offers a free factory tour of the manufacturing facility. A limited number of spots are available for this tour, and reservations in advance are required. Call well in advance to reserve your place on this interesting tour for the avid golfer.
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
Near downtown Phoenix there is a very unique place where you can visit the actual site of an ancient Hohokam village. A Phoenix Point of Pride, the Pueblo Grande Museum is located at 46th Street and Washington. Easily accessible by METRO light rail, it also makes for an interesting and easy-to-get-to visit for travelers who have a few hours to spend on long layovers at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. Watch a video about the Pueblo Grande Museum.
South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park is the world's largest municipal park covering 16,500 acres. Petroglyphs, hiking trails for all levels, biking, horseback riding and scenic drives and, of course, picnicking, are the most popular activities at this spot in southern Phoenix.
I choose Symphony Hall as an important attraction not so much for the building, or the festivals and events that occur at the plaza outside, but for its major tenant, the Phoenix Symphony. In these days of more sports, more movies, and more shopping malls, wouldn't it be nice to enjoy some world class music performed by Arizona's only full-time, professional symphony orchestra? You bet it would.
For many years people have wondered what the building is that looks like a wedding cake and sits atop a hill near downtown Phoenix. It's Tovrea Castle. It didn't turn out to be what it was originally intended, but it has an interesting history nonetheless. Now owned by the City of Phoenix, it has been renovated and opened for public tours beginning in 2012.
Live horse racing, simulcast races, dining, and family fun at the only race track for horses in the Greater Phoenix area.
Wet 'n' Wild Water Park
During the summer take a break from the Phoenix heat at Wet 'n' Wild, a water park in northwest Phoenix. Wet 'n' Wild took over and redeveloped the site from Waterworld Safari. Cool and wet entertainment for people of all ages.
Just a few minutes from the Arizona Biltmore you'll find Wrigley Mansion. When the chewing gum magnate purchased the Arizona Biltmore, he wanted a "little bungalow" nearby for he and his wife to visit during the winter and where they could entertain visiting dignitaries. Aside from the fact that there is an upscale restaurant there, and it is a popular place for weddings, you can also take a guided tour and learn about the story of the people and and the property. It's a Phoenix Point of Pride!
Enjoy your visit to Phoenix, Arizona!
All offerings are subject to change without notice.