Phoenix, AZ

Check out these hidden gems of Phoenix

Sandy Casariego

PHOENIX, AZ — The Valley of the Sun has so much more to offer than just Camelback Mountain, spas, and golf courses. Here's a list of some of Phoenix's best-kept secrets if you're searching for something new to do.

Roadrunner Farmers' Market

3502 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85032 | 623-848-1234

In northeast Phoenix, near Paradise Valley, you can find The Roadrunner Farmers' Market, a place that will provide you with fresh local products. Since 1990, the market has sold local fruits and vegetables, baked products, jams and jellies, natural pork, beef, and seafood, as well as artisan products. 

When visiting, the delicious, locally sourced, and responsibly obtained honey is the "hidden gem" here. Bring your dog, relax in the shade, and chat with other Phoenicians about their favorite local treats.

The Mystery Castle

800 E Mineral Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85042 | 480-506-8249

The Mystery Castle is a remarkable stone house erected in the 1930s in the foothills of South Mountain Park. The huge three-story, 18-room castle is built of stone, adobe, vehicle parts, salvaged rail lines from a mine, telephone poles, and more, in addition to mortar, cement, calcium, and goat milk. The castle contains 13 fireplaces, a chapel, a cantina, and a dungeon.

In this place, you can admire the building's unique and quirky architecture as well as the "hidden gem" of a breathtaking distance view of Downtown Phoenix. Caution: the building has some slanted surfaces and stairwells. Therefore, it's not a wheelchair, stroller, or walker-friendly.

Desert Botanical Gardens

1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008 | 480-941-1225

Desert Botanical Gardens is more than just a prickly yard. On the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail, hike to the summit of the Sonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail for mountain vistas and observe the wildflowers and flowering cactus.

The Garden Shop in the Desert Botanical Gardens is a "hidden gem" where you can stock up on watercolor cactus prints, unusual outdoor lighting, and prickly pear items ranging from margarita mix to BBQ sauce. 

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