Public art decorates the streets and golf courses sit in the shadow of mountains in this Arizona oasis where a fountain rises above the dramatic landscapes of the Sonoran Desert.
Gaze across the greenery and lakes of Fountain Hills and you might forget for a moment that you are in fact visiting a desert town. Then you’ll be brought back to reality as the sun drops and paints the sky in the orange, pink, and yellow hues that only a desert sunset can. This is by true definition an “oasis town,” one where hiking trails take you deep into the stunning Arizona countryside.
With the desert on the doorstep there is no excuse for not being adventurous. The trails in McDowell Mountain Preserve invite you to discover desolate valleys, birdlife and tall cacti by foot and bike. Venture a little further afield and you’ll find forests, lakes and rivers with opportunities for first-class camping, horseback riding and water sports. Linger long enough and you’ll start to understand why over a dozen Native American tribes settled here.
Prefer the less adventurous side of life? The town’s centerpiece lake will be your go-to spot. Contemplate the importance of water to arid towns as you watch a fountain shoot hundreds of feet into the air. If you don’t want to rest on your laurels too long, don’t worry, because between the lake and town center there are 150 art pieces to see. Learn about the artworks celebrating Western American heritage on docent-led tours held November through February. Listen to your art during the Fountain Hills Music Festival in spring.
When you’re ready for a challenge hit the green. Legendary golf course architects have made sure that playing a round of 18 holes here isn’t just a walk in the park.
Fountain Hills might be in the desert, but when you want to get back to the urban environment, remember that Phoenix is less than an hour away.