11 Most Iconic Landmarks in Metro Phoenix

Chicago has the Willis Tower and Navy Pier. Seattle has the Pike Place Market and Space Needle. And NYC has too many of ‘em to count. Every major metropolitan area across America and around the world has a host memorable landmarks that are well known to its citizens and visitors, be they iconic structures, locations, statues, or monuments of some form.

This, of course, includes Phoenix and its surrounding communities. The Valley of the Sun is dotted with a number of monumental locations to our history, culture, architecture, and art, such as the following 11 famed landmarks:

11) Hyatt Regency Phoenix

A mainstay of the downtown Phoenix skyline for almost 40 years, the Hyatt Regency stands out from all the towering structures nearby. And what makes the 24-floor hotel, which opened in 1976, so unique is the hat-shaped Compass Arizona Grill rotating restaurant perched on top. The hotel has the honor of getting, um, destroyed by Hollywood special-effects artists, as it was prominently obliterated (along with the rest of downtown) by a comet that struck Phoenix in the 1978 made-for-television doomsday flick, A Fire in the Sky.

10) South Mountain Towers, Phoenix

After darkness falls across the Valley, the glowing red lights of the numerous broadcast towers arranged atop Mount Suppoa, the highest peak in Phoenix’s South Mountains, stand out in like crimson beacons. Situated at 2,690 feet above sea level, the lights are visible from as far away as Apache Junction or Avondale and are a reminder that even in the age of high-speed streaming content, there are some folks out there who get their information and entertainment the old-fashioned way.

9) Her Secret is Patience, Phoenix

Since debuting in 2009, its been described in any number of ways, including as a psychedelic spaceship, a rainbow-colored toilet bowl, or even by some pervy types as a woman's private parts. However, the proper way to refer to artist Janet Echelman's stunning and memorable vortex-like sculpture, which hangs approximately 150 feet over Downtown Civic Space Park, is by its formal title: Her Secret is Patience.

8 Fountain Hills Fountain

The pride and joy of Fountain Hills, which gives the quirky town its name, is like the Valley's version of Old Faithful. Every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., it unleashes a column of water anywhere from 350-500 feet in the air for 15 minutes. And until a decade ago, it was the largest fountain on Earth ( bigger fonts in Saint Louis and Dubai nullified this claim). Regardless, its still a sight worth seeking out. Just don’t get too close to the mist generated by the fountain, it's from treated waste-water.

7) Barry Goldwater Memorial, Paradise Valley

This bronze statue of the late Barry Goldwater has stood vigil at the intersection of Tatum Boulevard and Lincoln Drive since its unveiling in 2004. Created by famed Western artist Joe Beeler, the 9-foot Goldwater in full cowboy mode is a looming representation of the most towering figure in the history of Arizona politics. Glowering the direction of the nearby intersection, it might even be silently passing judgment on all the lead-foot drivers who get popped by one of Paradise Valley’s notorious speed cameras.