Updated: Jun 9
For those looking for unique things to do in Phoenix, getting out of the city center and exploring the surrounding communities can open a whole new world of activities. Located just a short drive to the northeast of the city, the town of Fountain Hills is a perfect example of one of these communities. From stunning hikes to a thriving arts community, there are plenty of reasons to make the day trip out and see the town for yourself.
First and foremost, the biggest draw of Fountain Hills is the actual fountain for which the town is named. Built in 1970 by Robert McCulloch, the fountain held the record for world’s tallest fountain for over a decade. Shooting up to 560 feet in the air, today the fountain is still the fourth tallest in the world.
The fountain sits in the middle of a man made lake and, thanks to three pumps clocking in at 600 horsepower each, runs for fifteen minutes every hour, on the hour, between 9am and 9pm each day. While the fountain alone is worth seeing, the town does an excellent job of incorporating it into celebrations, such as dying it green on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the perfect place to snag a family photo, or even take a leisurely stroll in Fountain Park and simply enjoy the sights. And after you’ve seen the fountain, the shops and restaurants in the community offer an excellent way to spend an afternoon.
The water show isn’t all that Fountain Hills has to offer, however. It is home to a thriving artistic community and once a year holds the Fountain Hills Great Fair. Now in its 32nd year, the fair welcomes hundreds of artists and craftsmen from around the world, as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to see the exhibits. For art lovers, or simply those looking for some of the best food and drink Arizona has to offer, the Great Fair is well worth the trip.
When looking for things to do around Phoenix and Scottsdale, the town of Fountain Hills should not be overlooked. It has beautiful desert views, great cuisine, and of course a world-class fountain. And it’s close enough to the city that you can take a nice day trip to the area and still have plenty of time to hike Camelback, take an ATV out into the desert, or just enjoy what the city has to offer.