You wouldn't think that one of the loveliest landmarks in metro Phoenix would be the entrance to a west Valley housing development. But you won't need much convincing upon visiting the Estrella Star Tower, a little-known local gem. During the day, the spiral-shaped tower — which is surrounded by a man-made multilevel waterfall, walking paths, and benches — is a popular backdrop for graduation or family photo shoots. Climb the spiral staircase to the top of the tower, and you've got an impressive view of Estrella Mountain Regional Park. As day turns to night, it's a prime spot for watching the sunset as the lights set into the tower start to illuminate. The tower's design was conceptualized by local astronomy personality Steven Kates, also known as Dr. Sky; a panel on the tower includes a quote from Kates that reads in part: "At the observation plaza, you can reflect on your place in the universe and observe nature from this sacred ground of our ancestors, where we reach up and out to the skies." We can't think of a better place to do so.