Best Erin Go Bragh Phoenix 2013 - The Irish Cultural Center
One of the last things anyone would expect to see in Sand Land — home of rocks, cactus, snakes, lizards, and more rocks — has to be a 12th-century Norman castle that looks as if it popped out of a picture book about Ireland. But damn if there isn't one on Central just north of Roosevelt Street near downtown. Well, a replica 12th-century Norman castle, anyway. Just so happens it's Phoenix's Irish Cultural Center, home to the McClelland Irish Library, which features 5,000 books on Irish history and culture, a 22-ton archway with stones imported from Ireland, a replica of an Irish cottage, and art exhibits such as one on Irish boxing or another on the Book of Kells. The site also plays home to the Irish Cultural and Learning Center, which sponsors classes in Gaelic, Irish dance, and Irish music, as well as concerts and other events. It's one of the few places in Phoenix where you can forget you're in Phoenix, as long as you're inside and the air conditioner is going full blast.