I'm not sure if this is really the worlds largest Sundial, but it is certainly big. To quote their website...
"The famous giant sundial has been attracting people to Carefree since 1959. It is the third largest working sundial in the Western hemisphere. Located in Sundial Circle, this ancient time telling instrument measures 90 feet in diameter. The sundial is made from a steel frame and covered in anodized copper. The metal gnomon, or shadow casting portion of the dial, stands 35 feet above the plaza and extends 72 feet. A sunburst of colored glass hanging from the gnomon completes the sundial."
"The sundial sits in the town center of Carefree, so there are several shops and restaurants nearby. It's always open and public parking is abundant. Admission is free. "
Find it at...
37301 N. Scottsdale Road, Carefree, AZ
Unique Suggestions: The real thing to visit is the beautiful scenery and great shops and restaurants surrounding the sundial in Cave Creek and Carefree. You won't be sorry you visited.
Just past Carefree in the town of Tonto Hills is a giant Kachina Doll. Why? I'm not sure. There isn't much else around it, but the scenery is very beautiful and you will drive past million dollar homes.
Just drive past Care Free on Cave Creek road and proceed east. It about 5 miles, where the Tonto Creek community starts.
Unique Suggestions: Stop off and enjoy Carefree & Cave Creek, Arizona.
Fun Alternatives: Go shopping in Cave Creek and buy a real Kachina doll, or visit one of the Indian reservations and learn the history of Kachina dolls (as I once did).
In the desert near Phoenix, Arizona sits an urban laboratory known as "Arcosanti." Paolo Soleri coined the term, "arcology" for "architecture coherent with ecology". Coherent however, is the missing element.
He began building this laboratory in 1970. The idea was to produce a prototype for his hallmark idea: a self contained city in one building called a "Megastructure".
These are purely conceptual schemes; the drawings look like space stations tethered to the ground. The goal was to show that a whole city could have a footprint the size of a shopping center and leave nature unscathed around it.
But Arcosanti is neither a city nor an organic place to live. It is a trash heap of concrete and rusticated steel, painful to look at, unendurable to live in and no more impressive than a yard full of shipping containers.
Mind you Soleri does not live on the property. He lives in "Cosanti" which is a sprawling ranch house in the upscale suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona. You better believe he has air conditioning!!
Unique Suggestions: Bring a big bottle of water to drink because it is unbearably hot inside Soleri's infrastructure.
Take some photos and then leave.
It costs $8.00 for the tour
Fun Alternatives: Take a trip to Tombstone, Arizona or Prescott or better yet, Sedona.
I'm not so sure if this is a trap as such but...
In the airport they have the phones that are free to ring the hotel that you are staying at to get a shuttle to come and pick you up. IT'S NOT FREE as one would think. It is sometimes cheaper to catch a taxi or even better a bus. We got slapped with a US$7 charge each along with the 6 other passengers - a grand total of US$42! Total trip time was about 5 minutes!! On the way back we caught a cab for about US$8.
You might want to bring you golf bag. There are quite a few golf courses in the Phoenix area, a fact which might be offensive to some environmentalists out there. It's amazing how much water must be required to keep these fairways green. I put it under 'tourist trap' because when I play golf I always end up in the trap!
No a big fan of Rawhide, a reenacted cowboy town. Some people consider the Grand Canyon a Phoenix Day Trip, but after a 5 hours drive, the canyon does not live up to expectations and you still have a 5 hours drive back.
Everyone raves about Old Town Scottsdale and all of it's shops and galleries, however, you will be taken back by any price tag you turn over! These shops are very nice and have some quality items and artwork but they come with a heart-stoping price tag if you are just looking for some fun things to remember Arizona by. If price is no object for the perfect momento, Old Town Scottsdale will be your kind of town. If you want to remember your trip for the quality and not the price, then be careful of where you shop.
Unique Suggestions: Keep looking... you might find something that you like even better in a different shop for a better price!
Fun Alternatives: Down Town Phoenix has a shopping center called The Arizona Center and has some very fun shops as well, as most malls have some shops that include cactus, novlety items, artwork and other small treasures that you may find worthy of a look.
After sporting events the traffic can get very heavy out of the Downtown area. Not to mention that even from a locals perspective it doesn't seem that the streets are labeled that well as far as one way or 2 way streets. And if you are downtown after hours, you may expereience a begger or 2. Worry not, as they are usually just looking to beg. Especially since the police station is located right on one of the main streets down town AND there is a law against solicitations like that after sundown.
Unique Suggestions: Just follow the traffic and don't be nervous!
Fun Alternatives: Organize transportation like a cab or town car so that you don't have to worry about driving or being begged!
I recently was looking to book a car rental in Phoenix to drive to Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, to visit my son, who is stationed there.
I could not believe the fees charged now to rent a car in Phoenix! The charges added up to more than 2/3 of the rental fee! It was over $100 US!
My $150 one-week rental would be over $250 with all the fees!
And this does not include any "insurance" fees, which are a rip-off of their own! Ridiculous! I found to rent a car in Yuma, the fees were only about $40. Better yet, I found a rental car in San Diego, the fees were less than $16, so I booked a flight there and am renting the car in San Diego, besides, the car is $8 cheaper and the flight cost was about the same, but it is about the same distance to Yuma from Phoenix or San Diego! If you can avoid renting a car in Phoenix or Tucson, please do, or you will pay these ridiculous fees! It doesn't matter if you rent at the airport or not, most of these are county "surcharges" that would be charged no matter where one rented a car in the area. Tucson, wasn't any better, the fees are lower, but they charge much higher price for rental car, so it makes no difference between the two, one gets higher taxes, other higher rental. If you plan to visit Arizona and other States in the area, I would urge you not fly to Phoenix and rent a car there, don't make it your home base, instead, go to California, or Utah, first and travel to Arizona, if you can, from outside. Most car rental companies allow you to drive to neighboring states from the one you rent the car in. I think this is really gouging the tourists who go to Arizona! If people stop renting cars in Phoenix and Tucson areas, maybe they will roll these horrific fees back! Let's boycott renting cars in Phoenix and Tucson!
Unique Suggestions: Try to see if they will remove some fees, I doubt that will happen, since they are taxes levied by the local governments, but at least try to argue, sometimes the rental company will give you a free upgrade to asuage your anger!
Fun Alternatives: As suggested above, fly to another state; California, Utah, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, or Nevada and rent a car there, then drive to your destination in Arizona. If you are going to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas is about as far as Phoenix. If you go to Tombstone or Tucson. Check out El Paso, Texas, to come from , it is not very far.
Of course, I don't mean to do this if you are only going to the Phoenix or Tucson areas! But beware of this, so you aren't shocked by it! If you tour the western US, don't make Phoenix or Tucson the point you fly to to start your trip, if you plan to rent a car there!
DO NOT GIVE MONEY TO THESE PEOPLE
They are hardly ever actually homeless, look at them, khaki pants and a polo shirt, really down on their luck huh? These people are actually tresspassing on state property while they are standing on the side of the road, so don't encourage it by giving them money, not to mention that you'd be stopping at a green light unless your first in line. Just watch out for the person in front of you getting suckered into this trap, because if your not paying attention you'll rear-end them.
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