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Officially called the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is more commonly known as St. Mary's Basilica or simply St. Mary's. Located in downtown Phoenix, the splendid architecture is a mix of Mission Revival, Spanish Revival and Roman designs. Moreover it is known for its opulent stained glass, the largest in Arizona, while the religious carvings and statues inside add to its beauty. St. Mary's was elevated to being a minor basilica in 1987 by Pope John Paul II and is the only one of its kind in Phoenix. This striking church conducts daily mass for the faithful and tours of its healing garden and the monument itself for visitors.
Downtown Phoenix's hottest sports fixture is this immense masterpiece of engineering. Home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the facility seats more than 48,000 and features a retractable roof that exposes the natural turf to sunlight. During the intense heat of summers here, this air-conditioned ballpark cools down the heated competition. Other highlights of the building include a pool and spa that can be reserved for private parties. Tours are available year-round and last a little more than an hour.
The Rosson House is a beautiful structure built in keeping with the Queen Anne style of the Victorian Era. Constructed in 1895, it has been restored to all its former glory and today serves as a museum. Visitors get a glimpse into the lives of late 19th-century Phoenix denizens through the preserved articles and housewares on display. The house is located in the quaint Heritage Square and is one of eight restored residences here. Guided tours around the house are available and it is open almost 365 days a year. Check website for more details and information.
For a look into the history of Arizona as it was in the late 19th Century, visit Historic Heritage Square and its environs. One of the highlights in downtown Phoenix, it is filled with other sites including the opulent Rosson House which dates back to 1895. This Queen Anne structure has been fully restored and today functions as a museum recreating the magic of a time long forgotten. For a bite to eat, the noted Pizzeria Bianco is just around the corner. Other sites in the square include the Arizona Doll & Toy Museum, and if you wish to escape even the 21st Century, right next door you'll find the Arizona Science Center.
In Japanese, Ro Ho En roughly translates into 'Good News Garden', and when you arrive at the tranquil park hidden behind the Irish Cultural Center, you will see, hear and feel the good news. Along the peaceful strolling trail, the garden has more than 50 different plant varieties surrounded by streams and Koi ponds. Throughout the year, the garden hosts local events like the Tea Ceremony held every third Saturday of the month or Matsuri Festival in late February. The garden also welcomes volunteers looking to contribute towards the welfare of the environment and learn more about developing their green thumb.
Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza pays tribute to the lost veterans of several wars including both World Wars, the Korean Conflict, Vietnam and the more recent Desert Storm. Encompassing two square blocks, adjacent to the State Capitol Museum, this park features a number of memorial monuments including the anchor of the USS Arizona that sunk at Pearl Harbor. Frequently hosting local festivals such as the Fabulous Phoenix 4th, this entry-free park is also a hot-spot for political gatherings.
Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights was built by a businessman Allesio Carraro in the year 1920. The castle has a beautiful architecture one that resembles a sand castle and is surrounded by a garden of cactus which took a year to develop even before the castle was constructed. This carefully planned build and theme is befitting to the deserts of Arizona. The structure is three storeys high and is easily accessible by public transport. Though the blueprint was planned to make this place into a hotel resort, the dream fell short due to changing hands of ownership and management. Continued to be preserved as a castle by the City of Phoenix, Tovrea Castle continues to be one of the most visited tourists' spots and the tickets for its tours sells out quickly.
William Wrigley Junior's dream mansion, the Wrigley Mansion is elegance personified. This magnificent 1932 mansion has hand-carved doors and a hand-painted rotunda ceiling which are a treat to the eyes. Apart from being a architectural marvel, the mansion also serves as a perfect location for anything from a dream wedding to an elegant event. Geordie's Restaurant within the mansion serves classic American fare and is the best place to host a classy sit-down dinner.
The Mystery Castle is an unusual piece of architectural marvel located near the South Mountain. Built in the year 1930 from recycled bottles, granite, and bricks, this historical site is a tribute from a father to his daughter. Largely constructed of native stone, the 8000 square feet (743.22 square meters) castle contains 13 fireplaces, 18 rooms and various features of interest. Southwestern antiques furnish this unique facility. This castle is open to visitors from October to May and tours are conducted to take you through the Mystery Castle.
If you are in Phoenix and enjoy going on easy treks, then Papago Park is the place for you. With its sandstone buttes, marked paths and slight elevation, it is perfect for family hiking trips and there are plenty of easy mountain bike paths. The most notable attraction of the park is the hole in the rock formation, which formed over thousands of years most likely from water erosion. For the more adventurous, visitors can climb the face of the rock for an unparalleled view of Phoenix. Additionally, the park is right next to famous attractions such as the Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo.
Centrally located, Piestewa Peak is a part of the Phoenix Mountains. There are over a dozen trails which one can hike and enjoy a panoramic view of the Sonora Desert. For those who wish to simply observe nature, the park affords that opportunity as well. Covered areas in a well-maintained picnic area allow visitors to observe the local wildlife and plants. Remember your sunscreen, hat, and plenty of water when visiting the park.
Located near the heart of Scottsdale, the Camelback Mountain watches over Phoenix, Arizona's sweeping semi-arid plains from a spectacular elevation of nearly 1,400 feet (426.72 meters). The mountain gets its name from the resemblance it bears to the unmistakable shape of a camel's hump. The north trailhead offers views of red cliffs rising 200 feet (61 meters) in some areas, beckoning rock climbers with its challenges. Antelope squirrels, lizards, and snakes are the landscape's most widely-spread inhabitants. The Praying Monk red sandstone formation is arguably the site's most noticeable sight.