Tips to help you find unique experiences in the Phoenix area

There’s more to spring in Phoenix than baseball games – obviously.

After spending three days in a row at a ballpark, someone in your group is going to suggest a doing something different on the fourth day. And if you just can’t get enough baseball but want to humor that person, do something else during the day and attend a night game.

So, what else is there to do? Plenty. The usual options include movies, lots of shopping malls, and hiking. There are a lot of hiking trails a short drive away in most any direction.

Golf is the choice of many, and there are many, many golf courses. Phoenix New Times rates the Raven Golf Club in south Phoenix as the best.

But you can do much of that at home. Here are some experiences unique to the Phoenix metro area:

Atlas Obscura has a lot of off-the-wall ideas. We picked the Barry Goldwater Memorial. . . really and yes, that’s the photo above. The Town of Paradise Valley honored the former U.S. Senator and one time resident of the town with a statue in a small park. Find a parking lot at the northeast corner of Tatum Boulevard and Lincoln Drive and walk through the park. When we visited, we were the only ones there.

The South Mountain Park/Preserve is not your typical city park. Just paste “10919 S Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ” into your favorite mapping device and go. Once there, drive up, up, and up until you find the parking lot at Dobbins Lookout. Stretch your legs and take in the panoramic view of the metro region. That stone structure was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. According to the park’s website, approximately 4,000 CCC workers “constructed over 40 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, 18 buildings, 15 ramadas, 134 fire pits, 30 water faucets, water dams, and other features within the park” between 1933 and 1940.

You can go to a shopping mall any day of the week, but when away from home, why not look for a specialty store that could grab your interest. In Phoenix, you’ll find everything from art galleries to hiking gear. We spent a good hour at All About Comics and Books. One of us left more than $100 lighter. The small store is packed with new and used comic books. You know. . . the ones you bought with a dime that you threw away and now go for $5 and more. The guys behind the counter are happy to help you find the newest comics and will point you to the old Mad Magazines that your mother threw in the trash when you left for college.

Go for a drive. A favorite in 2018 was driving the Apache Trail. A word of caution: You need to do a little advance planning and not leave too late in the day. The drive to Theodore Roosevelt Lake is worth the trip, but there and back will take the majority of the day. Be sure to read The Wanderblogger’s tips before you start the drive.

We vetoed any thought of seeing the desert from a hot air balloon or the Grand Canyon from a helicopter. Life is too short. But a horseback ride is on our list of things to do. KOLI Equestrian Center gets high marks from other travelers. We may find time ride the range in 2020.

A few other 2020 options are on our website, and watch this space for a future blog about Phoenix area museums.

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