What are you looking for in your next vacation? Are you seeking a brand new adventure or mysterious exploration into the past? You want to go where everyone is going but you want to get away from it all at the same time. Phoenix has what you are looking for in abundance. The oft visited landmarks still provide the sense of personal discovery, while the new and cosmopolitan experiences feel like catching a popular trend just as the first wave is beginning to swell. The vacation hotspots in Phoenix are more than the places everyone is going to; they are the experiences everyone wants to have, again and again. Here are some places to visit in Phoenix that will provide just what you are looking for, a retro escape into a time long ago, or an immersion into the latest innovations and accommodations.
Let’s start with a round of golf. No matter what generation you are from, the Maryvale Golf Course provides a nostalgic trek across urban greens much like they were 40 years ago. Through the years, this city course has retained its space-age, early 60’s charm and kitsch while providing a full day of golf for all levels of experience. In just minutes you can travel back to the future, arriving at the Raven Golf Club just on the edge of South Mountain. One of the newest courses in Phoenix, the course incorporates all of the modern amenities with a day of mountain golf amidst Georgia pine, tree-lined fairways and multi-tiered greens.
For the ultimate blast from the past, head to Big Surf Water Park water park in Tempe, less than a mile from the edge of Phoenix. This groovy, surfin’ 70’s hold-out has been going on strong since the day it opened way back in 1969. Boasting “The Original North American Wave Pool” the water park features slides, rides and the best waves for surfing. For something newer but just as thrilling, Castles and Coasters is only 11 miles from the heart of downtown Phoenix. In operation since 1980, the park offers attractions such as roller coasters, go-carts and miniature golf, all set within a Taj Mahal/middle eastern theme.
When it comes to places to stay in Phoenix, pick the era you want to revisit, among the mementos and memorabilia. Or boldly step into the future, surrounded by pristine, automatic elegance and chic. Of course the haunted Hotel San Carlos is way up on the list for the time traveler. The moment you step into the lobby of this downtown Phoenix landmark you are transported to another time and calm, easygoing Phoenix just on the cusp of becoming a major metropolitan city. For a journey through time and history, murder and mystery, visit the Hotel Clarendon just north of downtown. With its psychedelic swimming pool and glass-walled waterfall, the hotel Clarendon has maintained an eclectic clientele. The hotel is also a shrine to Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles, who died after a bomb exploded under his car in the hotel parking lot back in 1976.
The newer Downtown Phoenix Hotels continue to inch ever skyward, with skyscrapers sporting the latest modern accoutrements, architecture and amenities. Inside, fixtures glisten and sound-proof glass silently presents the splendor of the city. The brand new luxury hotels of Phoenix are quickly becoming the hottest spots for a weekend stay or just an evening in the lounge. Rooftop pools are often open to visitors for an afternoon of swimming and the most breathtaking sunset vistas in the evening.
Sports fans can enjoy an easy afternoon of baseball the way they always remembered, or be surrounded in major league opulence. Just on the very edge of Phoenix, across from the Phoenix Zoo and Papago Park resides the Phoenix Municipal Stadium and the spring training facilities for the Oakland Athletics. Fondly referred to as ‘Phoenix Muni,’ the stadium was built in 1964 and underwent major renovations in 2003. Only 8 miles to the west, Major League Baseball is enjoyed at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. Opened in 1998, the retractable-roofed stadium is home of the Arizona Diamondbacks as well as Concerts, Monster Truck Rally’s and Motocross Racing.
The vacation hotspots of Phoenix provide something for everybody; from a leisurely stroll down memory lane, to in intense and fast-paced whirlwind weekend of sights and sounds. Offering a peek into the past, while embracing the best of everything new and now.