8955 W Grand Avenue
Peoria, AZ 85345
|
623-979-7200

Attractions

As a great family or group adventure, Peoria boasts Greater Phoenix's only Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the Challenger Space Center of Arizona, offering simulated space missions and astronomy training. Peoria is also the Spring Training home of the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. Enjoy Peoria's proximity to the recreation at Lake Pleasant, Arizona second largest lake.

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For Visitors Information:

8765 West Kelton Lane, Bldg C-1

Peoria, AZ 85382

(623) 979-3601

Visit the Official Peoria Website

NASCAR Weekend Itineraries

From family fun to luxurious R&R, check out all there is to see and do on Greater Phoenix's west side before and after the big race.

by Amy Wilkins

In this Article

Cities

Glendale Peoria Litchfield Park Phoenix

Landmarks

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Businesses

Challenger Space Center Cerreta Candy Company Wildlife World Zoo University of Phoenix Stadium Red Door Spa at the Wigwam Golf Resort & Spa Arrowhead Towne Center Desert Sky Mall Speed Street Indoor Racetrack Arizona Hot Air Balloons Arizona Soaring

Twice a year, as NASCAR fans flock to Phoenix International Raceway, they discover the western cities of metropolitan Phoenix are full of wonders.

From the beauty of the outdoors and antique treasures to the mysteries of space and ancient petroglyphs, there's something for everyone of this side of town.

With so many options, you'll find plenty of ways to fill your time before and after the NASCAR action.

Fun with the Family

Looking for things to do with the kids in Greater Phoenix? Test your racing skills on a Glendale go-kart track. Hitting speeds of up to 45 mph, the go-karts at Speed Street satisfy the racing impulse of even die-hard fans.

For those who prefer to design cars rather than drive them, plan a pit stop at Ridemakerz in Glendale's Westgate City Center to build your own miniature racecar.

Choose a body style; then customize it with wheels, decals…even sounds. Opt for the remote-controlled version if you want to design and drive.

The ultimate race was the race to space. Budding astronauts and their parents can soar at Peoria's Challenger Space Center . Visit the planetarium, tour the interactive exhibits, and blast off during a simulated space mission.

Ever wonder how chocolates get cream-filled centers? Unravel the mystery – and perhaps a few candy wrappers – during a tour of Glendale's Cerreta Candy Company .

Animal lovers of all ages enjoy Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium in Litchfield Park. The aquarium showcases sharks, penguins, eels and more. The zoo offers five different rides, including an African safari train.

Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Hiking in Greater Phoenix is a perfect way to encounter Arizona's natural beauty. Try Lake Pleasant Regional Park, located northwest of the metro area, for lakeside hikes, plus camping, boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking and wildlife-viewing.

Mountain bike trails abound for cyclists, who can pedal the 10-mile competitive track in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park . Shared-use trails are also available for joggers, cyclists and horseback riders. White Tanks Riding Stables offers guided horseback tours of the White Tank area.

Estrella Mountain Regional Park has a two-loop competitive track for cyclists, as well as trails for hiking and horseback riding. You can even fish along the Gila River.

History buffs can walk in the footsteps of the region's early inhabitants as they study the rock drawings left behind. Learn about these petroglyphs at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center in Phoenix, or spot them along the Waterfall Trail in the White Tank Mountains .

Attention, Sports Fans

Hockey fans flock to Jobing.com Arena in Glendale to watch the Phoenix Coyotes take the ice. The exciting NHL action keeps fans howling for more.

Glendale is also home to the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. If your visit doesn't coincide with a home game, schedule a tour of the award-winning University of Phoenix Stadium , which features a retractable roof as well as turf that can slide outdoors.

Lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) fanatics should pay a Sunday-afternoon visit to El Gran Mercado in Phoenix. This weekly pro-wrestling event – complete with masks and capes – gets the crowd cheering and jeering.

Lovers of Luxe

The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa at the Wigwam Arizona resort in Litchfield Park puts the “ahhh” back in NASCahhhR. The spa offers rejuvenating services with Southwestern-inspired amenities.

Historic downtown Glendale boasts more than 70 antique and specialty shops to explore for one-of-a-kind treasures from the past.

Seekers of more contemporary fare find Glendale's Arrowhead Towne Center a must-shop, with major department stores and upscale shopping venues. Desert Sky Mall in Phoenix and Westgate City Center offer additional retail and dining options.

For the ultimate escape, float away from it all on a hot air balloon ride with Phoenix's Arizona Hot Air Balloons . Your guide will point out the abundant flora and fauna as you soak in the stunning views.

For aerial thrills mixed with a sense of serenity, board an Arizona Soaring glider and silently sail over the beautiful Estrella Mountains southwest of the metro area.

Arizona's Aerospace Museums & Attractions

Explore the history of flight at Arizona's air and space museums, which display thousands of old birds at fascinating destinations around the state.

by Elena Acoba

In this Article

Cities

Tucson Peoria Mesa Yuma

Businesses

Yuma Landing Restaurant Titan Missile Museum Challenger Space Center Pima Air & Space Museum

Great weather and wide-open spaces have attracted aviators, air military operations and the aerospace industry to Arizona for decades.

Stop by one of the Grand Canyon State's aerospace attractions to learn about more than a century of aviation.

Trace the history of flight that has occurred in Arizona, around the world and even into space. It's a great way to have a high-flying time.

Encompassing Collections

More than 300 civilian, commercial and military aircraft and spacecraft populate Tucson's Pima Air & Space Museum , the world's largest non-government-funded aviation museum.

Its impressive collection ranges from a replica of the Wright Flyer to restored B-24 and B-29 planes of World War II, a Cold War-era SR-71 Blackbird and a 1980s European Tornado fighter.

You'll also find President John F. Kennedy's Air Force One , nearly every aircraft used in the Korean and Vietnam wars and one of NASA's unusual-looking Super Guppy cargo planes.

The Pima County museum also is home to several bombardment group collections and the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame.

Established in tribute to the fallen astronauts of the Challenger space shuttle, Challenger Space Center Arizona in Peoria allows visitors to experience the wonders of space travel and the science of the universe.

You can participate in a simulated space mission, follow the stars in planetarium shows or examine the universe through a telescope on family nights.

Exhibits include items that have flown in space, meteorites and space shuttle artifacts.

Military Remembrances

You can fly over the Phoenix area in a restored B-17 Flying Fortress, a B-25 Mitchell or a host of other planes at the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force in Mesa.

The nearly two-dozen planes at the Arizona Wing of the CAF are supplemented with exhibits on the Tuskegee Airmen, the Flying Tigers, WASP (Women's Air Force Service Pilots) and British cadets who trained in Mesa.

Planes of Fame Air Museum at the Grand Canyon Valle Airport – the Arizona satellite of the museum in Chino, California – houses General Douglas MacArthur's personal transport, Constellation ; a Blue Angels Tiger; and more than three dozen other military and civilian planes.

A tour of Sahuarita's Titan Missile Museum , the only publicly accessible Cold War-era Titan II missile site, takes you through an underground silo.

You'll see an actual missile in the launch duct and participate in a simulated launch. The museum, an affiliate of the Pima Air & Space Museum, also houses displays explaining the Cold War.

More than 4,000 retired aircraft await new life at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center in Tucson.

A bus tour from the Pima Air & Space Museum through this Davis-Monthan Air Force Base storage facility shows you military craft awaiting restoration for sale to U.S. allies or being kept for parts to repair in-service craft.

Arizona in Flight

Open by appointment, the small Border Air Museum in Douglas celebrates the city's aviation history with photographs, articles and artifacts.

At this Douglas aircraft museum, you'll learn that the small border town had the first international airport in the U.S., why commercial airlines stopped here and how the town played a role in air strikes during the Mexican Revolution.

Yuma residents lay claim to a piece of Arizona's aviation history at Yuma Landing Bar & Grill , the site where the first plane landed in Arizona.

That October 1911 feat is recorded in a number of period photographers on the restaurant's walls, as well as with a marker and statue of the flier, Bob Fowler.

 

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