Sports & Recreation

  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE IT TO THE STREETS

    Speedworld Motorplex

    Speed freaks with qualms about breaking the law -- hey, they could exist -- best cruise up to the northwest Valley, where Speedworld Motorplex, nine miles north of Bell on Grand Avenue, holds weekly Street Legal Drags. The gates open at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday in September for five hours of straight racing (gate time moves to 5:30 p.m. in… More >>
  • BEST FISHING HOLE

    Alvord Lake

    Located in southwest Phoenix at Cesar Chávez Park, this fishing hole gets a hook, line and sinker rating. With 25 acres of water, this is the largest of Arizona's designated urban fishing lakes. Be sure to get out there early because the space along the shore fills up quickly. There aren't any boats allowed, so you don't have to worry… More >>
  • BEST LATE AFTERNOON GOLF GETAWAY

    Continental Golf Course

    Thanks to the Arizona Department of Transportation, it's only a short hop these days from downtown Phoenix to this nice little executive course, perfect for a late game even in 110-degree heat. The short (3,766 yards for the entire 18, or almost half as long as a regular-size links) par 60 doesn't lend itself to the use of big clubs… More >>
  • BEST SKATEBOARD SHOP

    Sidewalk Surfer

    Way ahead of the curve, Sidewalk Surfer has been flinging skate gear for 26 years. Owner Sandie Hamilton started her first shop near the Scottsdale Civic Center because her kids and their friends were way into skateboarding, but couldn't find the stuff they needed in area stores. "If these kids were doing it, I figured there were a lot more… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SEE STARS

    Starlab Indoor Planetarium

    When we want to experience a real celestial celebration, we head for Starlab, where the Challenger Space Center hosts totally cool interactive stargazing programs using high-powered telescopes. Our night consists of a slide presentation on the constellations and planets, with news on upcoming sky events, and stories of the night sky featuring folklore and mythology from different cultures. If we're… More >>
  • BEST SKATEBOARD PARK

    Snedigar Recreation Center

    This Chandler public skate park, established in 1998, is one of the finest concrete parks in the western United States. Its seamless flow makes for a smooth ride, and its rails and ledges all line you up for a good run. Every transition in the place is perfect, and the coping is smooth as hell. The street area is great… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A PRIVATE DOWNTOWN ESCAPE

    Steele Indian School Park

    The boss just yelled at us. Again. We've got too much work, and don't want to do any of it anyway. When we're in this mood, instead of pulling out an Uzi, we go to Steele Indian School Park. There, nestled on one of the city's busiest intersections, is peace and calm. We can wander by the Circle of Life… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO BE AN ANIMAL

    Wildlife World Zoo

    If we were an animal, we'd like to be pampered by the gentle folk at Wildlife World Zoo, which since 1984 has seen its collection grow to some 1,300 animals (that's Arizona's largest family of exotic creatures). We're proud that the place is honored by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association as one of the two nationally accredited privately owned… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET DIRECTION

    Wide World of Maps

    Let us loose in this store, then jet us to Iraq. Two days later, we'll have Saddam's weapons of mass destruction . . . and Waldo. With more than one million maps, books and geographical items, this place can help you find anything, anywhere. It's got every corner of the world covered: U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps of… More >>
  • BEST URBAN WILDLIFE VIEWING

    Rio Salado Wetlands

    Just to the east of Tempe Town Lake, beyond a small rubber dam, a spectacular wetland is sprouting willows, cottonwoods and sycamores -- the mainstay of Southwest riparian areas. Effluent from Mesa's wastewater treatment plant flowing into the arid Salt River bed is being impounded by the Town Lake's east dam and fueling the fabulous resurgence of streamside life. Drivers… More >>
  • BEST BIKE SHOP

    Tempe Bicycle

    Just the location warrants major bike-shop cachet. Three blocks from Mill Avenue and ASU, Tempe Bicycle sits in the midst of the Valley's only bike-friendly and bike-conscious neighborhood. Add to that owners Bud and Yvonne Morrison's 27 years in the bike business, and their longtime commitment to providing the widest selection of killer bikes and accessories, and you have what… More >>
  • BEST ALL-SEASON CAMPING

    The Lost Dutchman State Park

    According to legend, in the 1870s, Jacob Waltz ("the Dutchman") was said to have located a lost gold mine, then stashed his booty of gold somewhere in what's now the park. Waltz died in 1891, and since then, many people have tried to find the Lost Dutchman's Mine. Many disappeared, met with foul play, or were found dead, contributing to… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO FIND PEACE OF MIND

    Franciscan Renewal Center

    The growing city we live in always seems to be in a state of building. With that comes a lot of noise and debris. And the traffic seems to be getting worse, too. Finding a quiet spot to sit and collect your thoughts seems like an impossible dream. Except that we have the Franciscan Renewal Center. The former tourist resort… More >>
  • BEST PAINTBALL PARK

    Swat City

    "We train hard for war. We pray harder for peace." The sign in the office reflects what the owners -- all former/active military personnel -- feel about warfare. Swat City offers the perfect family outing that incorporates teamwork, exercise and good sportsmanship. Teach your children valuable leadership skills while having fun. There are 10 fields of play to choose from,… More >>
  • BEST POOL

    Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch

    Not that we would ever condone making use of the facilities of a hotel when not a guest, because we would never do that, but should you happen to have the opportunity to take in the backyards of the more chi-chi resorts in this little resort town of ours, you'll soon find out what we did: Gainey Ranch has the… More >>
  • BEST GOLF WEB SITE

    www.golf602.com

    You try to concentrate on work, but the e-mail you just received keeps haunting you. You could play Johnson Ranch for $10? Gold Canyon for $15? Eagle Mountain for $23? Why the hell are you still sitting at this desk? At those prices, it seems immoral not to knock off and go golf. The e-mails come daily from Cypress Golf… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GET AWAY FROM IT ALL

    El Dorado Hot Springs

    El Dorado Hot Springs is owned by Camilla Van Sickle and Bill Pennington. It's a 1,200-gallon-per-minute subterranean hot spring of odorless, tasteless mineral water, with no nasty chemicals. Just a hot tub the way nature intended it. The water has a natural pH of 8.2 and contains sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonate, sulfate, silicates, fluoride, boron, and trace amounts… More >>
  • BEST HIKE

    Pinnacle Peak Trail

    The Peak trailhead isn't the easiest to get to, involving lots of curves through north Scottsdale's exclusive Troon area. But that's one of the reasons we love to hike here -- we escape the sweaty masses clambering up Camelback Mountain and Squaw Peak. At 3.5 miles, it's not too time-consuming, just long enough to get us breathing, and elevated enough… More >>

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