5 Things to Do in Phoenix


By Staff Writer Published on April 19, 2018

Sometimes, you just need to go out and have some fun. Whether you’re a student, a parent, or a grandparent—and you happen to find yourself in Phoenix—you deserve a break from the grind and to cut loose a little. Here are 5 things you should check out in and around the city.

Two Restaurants You Must Try

Rito’s Mexican Food

15643 North Reems Road #106, Surprise

Melty, melty cheese. Tender, peppery meat that melts in your mouth. Red or green sauce. And a burrito that’s as big as your forearm. Yeah. That’s Rito’s, the hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint that Phoenix natives crave. If you’re only going there once—and we’re pretty sure you’ll be so hooked after your first bite, you’ll be back again and again—try the green chile burrito. Be prepared to enter burrito nirvana.

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.

721 North Arizona Avenue #103, Gilbert

The brews are locally crafted beers made with indigenous Arizona ingredients. The menu items are made with locally sourced fare. And it all hits the spot. Try “DHW: Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers,” made with Sonoran white wheat from Hayden Flour Mills, grapefruits from Pivot Produce, and Azacca, Simcoe, and Cascade hops. It will go great with a Peanut Butter and Jalapeño Jelly Burger, with patties made from a signature brisket blend from Creekstone Farms or Local AZ Beef, and buns artfully crafted by locally based Bunz and Breadz. Not into spicy? Then go for the Mushroom ‘n’ Beer Cheese Burger.

Two Mysterious Places to See

Mystery Castle

800 E. Mineral Rd.

OK, the name sounds like an episode of Scooby Doo. But it’s a crazy-looking castle with an even crazier backstory. The castle was built by a man who disappeared. Boyce Luther Gulley abandoned his job, wife, and one-year-old daughter and vanished into thin air in the 1920s. Three years later, Gulley showed up in Phoenix and built his castle over the next 15 years. It’s made from stone, adobe, automobile parts, salvaged rail tracks, and telephone poles. It has 18 rooms, 13 fireplaces, a chapel, a cantina, and a dungeon. Parts of the castle remain unfinished.

There are no rumors of it being haunted—but it seems like the kind of place where you just might run into some kind of paranormal entity. Ruh roh. Tours are available Thursday through Sunday.

Tovrea Castle

5025 E. Van Buren Street

What is it about Phoenix and crazy castles? This castle, with elegant Old World architecture, was built to be a luxury hotel by an Italian immigrant named Alessio Carraro. One problem, though—well, two actually. First, the awful smell from the nearby meatpacking stockyards hung in the air day and night. Second, the Great Depression hit. Carraro sold the castle to Edward Ambrose Tovrea, who lived there with his family. After Tovrea’s death, the family built a giant steel pyramid on the property in honor of him. Yep. A giant steel pyramid.

The grounds are not typically open to the public, but you can reserve your spot for a docent-led tour through the nonprofit Tovrea Carraro Society.

Day Hike

Camelback Mountain

About 20 minutes northeast of central Phoenix in Echo Canyon Park

If you don’t have the time to drive four hours to the Grand Canyon, but you’re still in the mood for a weekend hike, you’re in luck. You can drive about 20 minutes from Phoenix and take on some of Arizona’s most scenic trails at Camelback Mountain. You’ll stand atop a breathtaking perch and see all of Phoenix. Beginners can enjoy the trails circling the base of the mountain. Intermediate hikers will enjoy the Cholla Trail on the east side of the mountain. And experienced hikers can look forward to the steep Summit Trail.

If you’re looking to attend school in Phoenix, CollegeAmerica has a newly built location right in the heart of this fun college town. CollegeAmerica can help you kick start your career in healthcare, business, or technology. Request more info about our degree programs today.