Having been around for nearly three decades, Rainbow Ryders Inc. is one of Southwest's foremost hot air balloon company. Experience the scenic vistas of Scottsdale and Phoenix from a breathtaking view-point and you can also bring someone special along. At the end of each ride, receive the company's first flight certificate to commemorate your flight. Offering year-round sunrise flights, depending upon the weather, and sunset flights during winter, this panoramic adventure is a perfect addition to any itinerary.
The Desert Botanical Garden was opened in 1939 to preserve the area's pristine desert environment. Today, the garden helps save endangered plants, with the focus still on native flora and special emphasis on succulents. The cactus collection is world-renowned and between the months of March through May, the seasonal blooms are spectacular. The garden hosts several events throughout the year, some of which include the popular 'Butterfly Habitat' during the spring and the 'Luminarias' during the holiday season. If you come during the summer months, don't forget your hat and sunscreen!
The Arizona Science Center features the futuristic architecture of Antoine Predock and aims to turn science into something fun for kids. Permanent exhibits include Evans Family Skycycle, Forces of Nature, Get Charged Up, My Digital World and Solarville. Take in the clear night sky or the fantastic laser light show under the dome of the Dorrance Planetarium or if that doesn't work for you, watch a film in the Irene P. Flinn Theater with its five-story-high IMAX screen. It's not all for kids though as the many interactive exhibits have grown-ups asking questions too. Drop by for a fun, family day out.
Cosanti features handcrafted wind-bells and sculptures by artist Paolo Soleri. Ceramic, blended from Arizona clay, stoneware and water, form pieces that are cast-molded from a slip, hand carved with designs and finally kiln fired. Bronze bells have also been produced since 1959, using a sand-casting method. Purchase of any of these unusual and beautiful pieces helps support the resident artist. The building, an architectural wonder in itself, is a designated Arizona Historic Site making it a must visit attraction in Scottsdale.
Located on 30 acres (12.14 hectares) of land, this park has undergone massive changes since its initial construction. A favorite of railroad enthusiasts and the little ones in the group, this is a perfect place for a family day out. The park features an Antique Carousel and Clock Tower. The Model Railroad Building, which houses various artifacts relating to trains and rail, has been reconstructed as a 19th-century style rail-shed. Try something from the snack bar served out of a Southern Pacific caboose. The ticket prices and timings of the attractions vary, check the website for further details.
Get out of the city and experience the beautiful sun-kissed Sonoran desert with its jutting peaks and unique desert wildlife. Pinnacle Peak Park is a perfect hiking destination for adventurers and thrill seeking tourists with even horseback rides available. The observation area at the summit gives you an unparalleled and splendid view of the ravine. The park is not without essential amenities and has a restroom, picnic tables, parking area, drinking fountain and ramada for convenience.
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.
A historical house museum that was built way back in 1895 in Phoenix, Arizona, the Rosson House Museum is an iconic city landmark and a popular tourist attraction. This Phoenix house chronicles the rich history of the city, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, whilst offering tourists a rare glimpse into the lifestyles of effluent families living in Phoenix at the time. Designed by noted San Francisco architect of the late 19th century, A. P. Petit, the house features the vintage Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture and is nestled within the historic Heritage Square Park region of Phoenix. House tours last for approx. 60 minutes and start at US$ 9 for adults.
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.