If you’re thinking about staying in the Scottsdale or Phoenix area, but want something a little different, try Fountain Hills. For a small town, there’s a lot to do here, and its only 20 miles from Scottsdale and 31 from Phoenix. Close enough to take advantage of activities in either city, but with a totally different feel and experience.
Grab a picnic lunch and enjoy the world’s fourth largest fountain in Fountain Park, spouting 300 to 560 feet into the air, every 15 minutes every hour between 9am and 9pm. The fountain is a great landmark when you’ve climbed one of the adjacent mountain trails; just time your trek to the top with the fountain’s spray.
Hiking & Nature
To truly appreciate the fountain and get a panoramic view of Fountain Hills, hike the Overlook Trail. It’s a short hike (about 1.5 miles one way) with an amazing view of Fountain Lake from its highest point. Rated easy to moderate, both trailheads start near the lake on Panorama Drive and wind around some spectacular homes as you climb.
Or, try one of the Fountain Hills McDowell Preserve Trails (the Adero Canyon Trailhead) for more saguaro, desert flowers and amazing views. Part of McDowell Mountain Regional Park, this park encompasses over 21,099 acres in the lower Verde River basin with over 50 miles of multi-use trails, and tons of park-organized events and programs.
If you’re running short on time and are looking for a short hike, head to the Fountain Hills Botanical Gardens. Founded in founded in 1975, this 8-acre wildlife preserve and garden is maintained by volunteers. This .5-mile winding trail showcases Sonoran Desert plants, including saguaro, strawberry hedgehog and ocotillo cacti, brittlebush, and rock formations.
Take a trip back in time on the Dixie Mine Trail. While hikers can’t access the mine’s tunnels today, they can enjoy the rock petroglyphs from three time periods, some dating back 800 years. With a trailhead set in a beautiful gated community, in the gently rolling foothills on the east side of McDowell Mountain Preserve, the 4.3-mile trail, the Dixie Mine Trail ends near the old Dixie Mine. Winter rains do bring spring flowers – even in the desert. The cacti bloom in April, with yellow poppies and brittlebush blooming in March.
Visit the River of Time Museum for an overview of the history of the area (while enjoying some AC). This small museum is a good place to get an overview of the Lower Verde River Valley, the importance of water to the area, Four Peaks amethysts, Roosevelt Dam and the Dixie Mine.
For something different, plan your trip to our desert oasis to line up with one of the twice-a-year tours to the Four Peaks Amethyst Mine. Accessible by helicopter only, the Four Peaks Mine (discovered in the early 1900s by a miner looking for diamonds) is one of only two places in the world today producing dark purple, gem-quality amethyst. You’ll have to travel to Russia to see the other!
Festivals & Fun
There are plenty of yearly fairs and events to enjoy as well: the Fountain Hills Great Fair features arts and a carnival in February, the Fountain Hills Festival of Arts & Crafts in November, Jazz in the Hills (local and national jazz musicians, September through May), or enjoy the St Patrick’s Day Celebration when the fountain is dyed green. Schedule your southwest vacation to coincide with one of these festivals to get the most out of your stay in Fountain Hills.
And, of course you can always hit the Fort McDowell Casino or take the family tubing down the famous Salt River. Slots, bingo, poker and blackjack are just a few of the games at the Fort McDowell Casino, and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights are concert nights at the Casino’s Lucky 7 Saloon. And the Casino’s We-Ko-Pa Golf Club has two championship 18-hole golf courses, set in the edge of the Sonoran Desert with mountains surrounding the course. This amazing course is owned by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.
Fountain Hills is close enough to Phoenix and Scottsdale to take advantage of both city’s dining and nightlife. But if you’d rather stick closer to your vacation home, don’t worry, there are plenty of dining spots in Fountain Hills. Whether you are looking for tacos (El Encanto) or tiramisu (Sapori D’italia), fine dining (Flourish) or inexpensive and super casual (Senor Taco), it’s all here.
Amenities at Our Villas Estates in Fountain Hill AZ
The villa estates in Fountain Hills AZ from Parsons Villas will make the perfect vacation spot for that low key, relaxed family vacation while you enjoy the desert trails or learn about the local Indian cultures. Our Fountain Hills rentals have all the amenities you expect from Parsons Villas’ luxury villas, including Wi-Fi and cable, large flat screen TVs, and fully equipped kitchens. And, of course, there is plenty of outdoor living space in our villas, so you can take in the glorious mountain views that surround this scenic little town. Your family can enjoy the mountains from the privacy of your own pool while you grill some great steaks or burgers.
Although Parsons Villas is based in Scottsdale, we’re familiar with the surrounding areas, including Fountain Hills. Our friendly staff can help you plan your vacation, reserving the right rental, and selecting the activities that your family will love. Give us a call today!