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A Phoenix Fourth

  You’ve never celebrated Fourth of July like this before. At the massive 4th of July Swing Convention, 2017 marks the 35th year and makes it the longest-running swing convention in the western states. Hosted by the Greater Phoenix Swing Dance Club, this year it’s hosted at the nearby Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel and Spa July 6 – 9. Get your tickets now regardless of your swing experience (from none to pro!) and experience a unique Phoenix Fourth. Head to the Fabulous Phoenix Fourth, the largest celebration in the state, complete with a free fireworks show. With 100,000 people in attendance, it’s held at Steele Indian School Park. As the biggest city in Arizona, Phoenix sets the bar high and the incredible fireworks show is televised around the state. More Fourth Picks For a more intimate Independence Day, try out After Dark in the Park at Deer Valley Park for fireworks and a traditional family-friendly experience. There’s also Light Up the Sky in Maryvale, just a short drive from your I-17 hotel in Phoenix. Combining the summer holiday with a sampling of Phoenix’s best BBQ joints is another winning way to celebrate. Whether you want to try your hand at […]

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Castles ‘n’ Coasters

  Stop by your local family fun center, Castles ‘n’ Coasters, for go-karting, arcade games, mini-golf and roller coasters. Located close to your I-17 hotel in Phoenix, this popular destination has been known for their “rides ‘n’ stuff” since 1992. With attractions for all ages, whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely carousel go-around or a thrill-inducing high-stakes roller coaster just for the big kids, you’ll get all your kicks at Castles ‘n’ Coasters. Splash Down is the perfect way to chill out on a hot summer day, or you can head indoors for all-day games, treats and more. Private parties are available for special events, and children under four years old are welcome to ride or play for free with an adult reservation. Customize your party by connecting with a party planning expert and let the professionals take care of all the work for you! Party On Like Royalty The local amusement park was originally built in 1977 as Golf ‘n’ Stuff, family-owned and operated. However, in the 90s the park was renovated and expanded to include 10 acres and a number of rides. It still features the state’s only double-loop coaster, Desert Storm, along with a long […]

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Pueblo Grand Museum and Archaeological Park

  Visit a pre-Columbian site of the Hohokams and see remnants of ancient trails, a village and irrigation canals. Part museum and part conservation site, the outdoor trail is maintained to showcase popular ancient trails. You can also find a changing gallery, main gallery and children’s gallery that will whisk you into the past at the indoor museum. In the Main Gallery, the featured Hohokam: The Land and the People exhibit takes visitors to the heart of the indigenous arts, agriculture and architecture. Discover more about the intricate canal system that is the foundation for today’s system. See one of a kind red-on-buff pottery and the tools the Hohokams used to create stunning stone and shell jewelry. Photomurals show what the area may have looked like during the era of the Hohokams with themed rooms including The Sonoran Desert, Architects, Arts and Artisans, Canal Builders and more. The Heart of Phoenix From the Hohokam’s ballcourts to their petroglyphs, visitors are immersed in the history and culture of Phoenix’s beginnings. Visit the Big House, Pueblo Grande, which the Hohokam’s used to observe the stars. Hands-on experiences including “Making an impression” let visitors of all ages enjoy a comprehensive history lesson. In […]

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Taliesin West

  Just a few minutes from your budget hotel in North Phoenix is the former home of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Set your GPS to 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in nearby Scottsdale and tour his winter home, which now serves as a campus for a prestigious architecture school (The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture). Dubbed his “winter laboratory,” the site is featured as a National Historic Landmark and overlooks the foothills of the McDowell Mountains. It also houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Here, the Taliesin Fellowship has been managed since 1937. One of his favorite sites, it was lovingly handcrafted over several years. Rooted deep within the desert, Taliesin West boasts an epic grandeur even for Lloyd Wright. He built and maintained it almost exclusively himself and with his apprentices, ensuring it’s one of his most personal endeavors. Amazing Architecture Although walk-ins are often welcome, it’s best to call ahead and purchase tickets/make reservations because special events often take place at this in-demand location. A variety of tours and packages are available, and some do sell out. Consider the Insights Tour for a comprehensive overview of the home, the Private Collections Tour for a glimpse […]

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South Mountain Park

  Hurry before the heat arrives! Hiking South Mountain Park gives outdoor lovers incredible views of the city and landscape, and May is the perfect time of year for a visit. Explore, 16,000 acres with three mountain ranges including the Ma-Ha-Tauk, Guadalupe and Gila. As one of the biggest parks in the U.S., there are 51 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Boasting options for all ability levels, South Mountain Park offers a unique way to experience Arizona. At the main entrance, drive just over five miles to Dobbins Lookout. Schedule your visit for sunrise or sunset for the most impressive views of the valley. You can also check out Gila Lookout for a view of the gorgeous Gila River Valley. Keep in mind that scenic roads are used by hikers and bikers, too. A Phoenix High The highest point in the park is Mount Suppoa, which isn’t accessible to the public but soars above the skyline at 2,690 feet. There’s Dobbins Lookout for hikers at 2,330 feet, the highest accessible point in the park. Pack a picnic lunch and spend some time discovering the beauty of this sprawling park, from the maintained trails to the […]

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Butterfly Wonderland

  There’s so much more to the Butterfly Wonderland than gorgeous winged creatures, especially with the Reptiles of the Rainforest opening in time for spring. Here, you’ll discover the full and incredible life of the butterfly all the way from caterpillar to the chrysalis stage and beyond. Spring is the perfect time for a visit, with many butterflies emerging and drying their wings before daily releases as they take flight. The newest experience introduces guests to a slithering slew of rainforest inhabitants. You’ll have a chance to get up close to amphibians and reptiles as you learn more about the creatures that so often share space with butterflies in rainforests. Meet green tree pythons from New Guinea, dwarf caimans and stunning dart frogs in every imaginable color. A Wild Ride Whether you’re visiting with little ones, on a solo adventure or planning an epic date, Butterfly Wonderland is an excellent choice and close to your hotel in Phoenix. Take a break in the 3D theater, where butterflies seemingly jump off the screen in the “Flight of the Butterflies” short feature. Watch daily hatchings in the Butterfly Emergence gallery, and head to America’s Largest Butterfly Pavilion to see over 3,000 butterflies […]

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