BEST URBAN PARK - 2007
This charming park in the historic Encanto-Palmcroft neighborhood is hands-down the loveliest in the city, and there's a simple reason why: trees. Unlike Steele Indian School Park, Encanto doesn't look like it was cheated by the landscaping department. Far from it. Even on the hottest day, the tall palms around Encanto Lake seem to draw a breeze just by virtue of their balmy presence. With the 7.5-acre lake snaking around a host of great picnic spots and recreation areas, this looks like something Walt Disney would design for one of his theme parks. Instead, it's right here in Phoenix, and it's utterly free. Watch out, though, for the Enchanted Island Amusement Park your kids are going to beg you for a train ride or a turn on the carousel, and while the prices are far from Disney's, you will pay for the pleasure.