Squaw Peak Resort

Squaw Peak Resort is located at 7677 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020.  27 acres of Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and endless hours of fun.  Enjoy the 4-acre water park and recreation area featuring a lazy river, 130-foot water slide,  and 18-hole miniature golf course.


Don’t forget to use your Marriott rewards when booking.

Adams Hotel, AZ

In 1896, one of the most historic and iconic hotels in Arizona was built. It was the Adams Hotel, and it was the largest and most expensive building in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sadly, the hotel suffered from a massive fire in 1910 and was re-built shortly after. The newest version of the Adams Hotel boasted claims of being “absolutely fireproof” and the beautiful five-story structure was made of reinforced concrete, a very big advancement for the time. The hotel stayed in that location, where it remained until 1973. The Adams Hotel was eventually torn down, however, as the beautiful new Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel was built in 1975.    Courtesy of AXS.com

San Carlos Hotel, AZ

In 1879 a larger two story brick structure was built with four rooms and a bell tower. This was Phoenix’ fourth brick building and there were no other structures North of the school on what was then Center Street. The school was expanded in 1893 to sixteen rooms and served the school children of Phoenix for close to a quarter century.

1916 The schoolhouse had again been outgrown and was condemned. In 1919 the entire block was purchased by the Babbitts (relatives of former Secretary of the Interior and Governor Bruce Babbitt) to make way for a major hotel, but those plans languished.

1927 The Hotel San Carlos finally became the hotel project the growing city yearned for when Charles Harris, financed by Dwight B. Heard, purchased the hotel site and began construction.

The design was done by nationally known architects, G. Witecross Ritchie of Los Angeles, in the Italian renaissance style.

The San Carlos had its share of celebrities such as Mae WestClark GableCarole LombardMarilyn Monroe and Gene Autry.  Marilyn’s room is closest to the roof top pool.

Legend has it the hotel is haunted by the spirits of distraught hotel guests.  Some say Leona Jensen, who in May 1928 leaped to her death off the top after checking into room 720.  Hotel guests and workers are also said to have heard children. People hear voices of 3 young boys.  The story says they had been playing ball when it accidentally went into the well and ultimately drowned when they went into the well to retrieve their ball.

12 hours in the greater Phoenix area

I was making a late night airport run so I decided to spend the day on a scavenger fun hunt.  I wanted some photos representing the history of area.  I then went to the State Capitol which is closed for tours on the weekends.  The Wesley Bolin Memorial Park is a sobering reminder of those who gave all for our freedom.

A short drive towards downtown will land you at Smurthwaite House. The park has stellar photo opportunities.  I took photos of the pioneer cemetery which I have a creative sign idea to make for Halloween.   If you want a tour email pioneercem@yahoo.com.

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I returned to my car driving towards downtown and stumbled upon the Police Museum.  I took a selfie of me in a retired patrol car and got a chance to sit on a motorcycle. This would be great for kids big and small. Take time to learn about the Ernesto Miranda.  I did not know Ernesto was tried twice after the first conviction was overturned.

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The small museum is worth the time.  For lunch I grazed at Alice Cooperstown. I had No More Mister Nice Guy and Desperado playing over in my head. I was not brave enough to try  The Big Unit hotdog but several patrons did while I was dining.
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I returned to my 12 hour adventure and stopped at the Park and Swap.  I didn’t purchase anything but managed to walk around entertained for an hour.


A visit is not complete without a stop at Tempe Beach Park.  The splash park is luring for children and parents during the summer heat. I did not rent a boat but it’s officially on my fall bucket list.

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Continuing on my journey I went to Mesa.  The Idea Museum is the perfect activity for small children offering a creative outlet.  Who doesn’t want to color, create and be inspired by science.

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I did spend a chunk of my afternoon at the AZ Natural History in Mesa which is walking distance from the Idea Museum. I even panned for gold and found a couple of specks of pure fools gold.  The moving dinosaurs are lifelike and the jail in the basement was a fun bonus.

I found an old camera treasure at the Antique Mall on Main street.   I could have spent hours shopping. I will add this to my return list.

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I finished my trip relaxing at Desert Eagle Brewery.  I did a sample flight of their crafts. My favorite was the dunkel weizen.  The staff is friendly and engaging.  I always enjoy seeing businesses passionate about their creations.  I finished the day with a walk on Main Street taking pictures of the statues before my 12 mini vacation came to an end.  See you next weekend.

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12 hours fun list completed
Indian tribal buildings
State Capitol
Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza
Smurthwaite House
Phoenix Police Museum
Alice Cooperstown
Swap Meet
Tempe Beach Park
Idea Museum
AZ Natural History Museum Mesa
Antique Plaza
Desert Eagle Brewery
Mesa Main Street



Salt River Tubing

Spend the day floating on the river.  The 4 hour float is worth the 30 minute drive outside of Phoenix. There are a few tips, bring cash as they do not accept credit cards and an onsite ATM is not available.  When it comes to coolers  the foam coolers will not survive the rapids.  The first rapid has a sharp curve and we watched coolers spontaneously com-bust.  I highly recommend a stop at the closest Walgreens 3624 N Power Rd Mesa for supplies including the floating cooler pictured.  This location has inflated tubes, ice, coolers, sunscreen and any other accessory for tubing at a reasonable price.

Salt River Tubing Mesa  tubbing