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Things to Do in Phoenix - page 2

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Lake Pleasant Regional Park
2 Tours and Activities

With 114 miles of shoreline, the hard thing about a visit to Lake Pleasant is making up your mind what to do first. The lake is a great spot for a variety of water sports. Along with a 10-lane boat ramp, Lake Pleasant offers a full-service marina equipped to handle 1,000 boats. Sport fishing is very popular. A nice variety of fish including white bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, and black crappie swim in Lake Pleasant. Wildlife viewing includes Bald Eagles.

But you don’t have to be wet to enjoy Lake Pleasant. With numerous overlooks and seven miles of trails, hiking and biking are popular with visitors. Add 450 picnic sites and parking for 200 vehicles to the list and it’s hard to go wrong. In addition to 165 campsites, there is also a visitor center and a desert education center at Lake Pleasant.

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Mill Avenue

Named for the flour mill that still grinds away at the northern end of the strip, Mill Avenue is the Phoenix magnet for bar-hoppers and night owls.

Its position near Arizona State University in downtown Tempe ensures a constant stream of lively fun-seekers and a somewhat bohemian atmosphere. Designers sell their wares in boutiques here, and it’s the hub for fairs and festivals. Take your pick from frat-house college bars, chill-out patios, brew pubs, wine bars, pool halls, brasseries, piano bars and DJ lounge bars.

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Saguaro Lake

Located just outside of Phoenix, Saguaro Lake is the westernmost lake in the Salt River Project – a series of reservoirs on the Salt River, which include the famous Roosevelt Dam, built in order to sustain agricultural activities in the area and to provide drinking water to the Phoenix metropolitan area. Today, the lake is a recreational area famous for its fishing and its stunning scenery, characterized by Arizona’s signature cactus trees (the lake was, after all, named after the Saguaro Cactus) and dramatic landscapes of Stewart Mountain.

Saguaro Lake is the fourth reservoir of the Salt River Project, and is formed by the Stewart Mountain Dam. At 1264 hectares large and 90 feet deep, Saguaro Lake makes for a prime destination for fishing enthusiasts; rainbow and brown trout, several types of bass, crappie, sunfish, channel catfish and carp are found abundantly in the lake, which is regularly stocked by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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Homolovi State Park

Birdwatching, hiking and Hopi history brings visitors to Homolovi State Park. More than 300 archaeological sites are located in the area, and the visitor center features historical exhibits and interpretative programs year round.

With more than 4,000 acres, and an elevation of close to 5,000 feet, Homolovi is known as an excellent spot for birdwatching. Some of the birds visitors may see include the northern harrier, redtail hawks, golden eagles, kestrals, horned larks, roadrunners, ravens and burrowing owls. Hiking trails in the park are short, the longest being 1.5 miles, but many allow hikers access to archaeological sites.

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Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

Respecting wildlife and conserving its habitat is what the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center strives to teach its guests with every visit. The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWCC) rescues native wild animals and whenever possible rehabilitates and releases them back into the wild. No animal is turned away. Animals that can no longer live in the wild stay at the Conservation Center Sanctuary. SWCC has rehabilitated thousands of animals and more than 70 percent have been successfully released back into the wild.

Guided tours offer visitors a chance to learn about and get an up-close view of some of the permanent residents. Along with Mountain lions, bobcats and black bears, you might also see porcupines, Great horned owls or even catch a rare glimpse of an endangered Mexican gray wolf.

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