About thirty years ago, Fountain Hills was barely a dot on the map. Now this once remote outpost boasts a population of over 23,000. With culture and art in abundance, there’s no wonder the town encourages visitors to “get out of the valley and into the hills!”
Toss a coin
You can’t miss the Fountain. A centerpiece of Fountain Park since 1970, the iconic column of water that is the Fountain dominates the skyline up to 562 feet. While the Fountain only operates at full height on select holidays (St. Patrick’s Day, July 4th and Fountain Hills’ Incorporation Day on December 5th), the jet still clears an impressive 330 feet every hour on the hour. Up to three pumps operate the spray, once celebrated by Guinness as the world’s tallest fountain. While the Guinness category is now defunct, visitors can still be inspired by the Fountain and the surrounding 30 acre lake. Just don’t sit too close to the spray—that pleasant mist on your cheek is reclaimed wastewater!
Get stage struck
The Fountain Hills Theater has been entertaining Northeast Valley residents for decades. Current season offerings include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, running January 20th – February 5th, and Leading Ladies, running March 10th – 26th, while their youth theatre looks forward to 2017 performances of Dr. Doolittle, Jr., and Anne of Green Gables. Though small, the company packs a punch: Fountain Hills Theater actors, directors and technicians have won many coveted ariZoni awards for theatrical performances. The non-profit theatre also does arts outreach programs at local schools and hosts special events within the community.
Find a festival
Fountain Hills plays host to three big festivals throughout the year. The Fountain Hills Great Fair, now in its third decade, is a three-day, juried art event held in the winter. Thousands of annual visitors flock to Fountain Hills to enjoy food and drink, arts and crafts, and live musical entertainment. Not quite so old, the Thunderbird Artists Fine Art & Wine Affaire was established in 2003. Skip the wine, but go for the art, food and music to this outdoor festival with its “captivating mountain views,” as its website touts. Finally, find a bit of luck on St. Patrick’s Day when the Emerald Isle comes to the desert, complete with Celtic music, crafts, and a bright green dye job for the Fountain!
Hit the green
Nestled at the foot of the McDowell Mountains, Fountain Hills offers spectacular views from its golf courses. SunRidge Canyon was called one of the Valley of the Sun’s “top must-play courses” by GolfNow. Eagle Mountain and Firerock Golf Clubs are also both local, and the We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (meaning “Four Peaks” in Yavapai, for the nearby summits) is just a few miles away on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. Reserve a tee time now and soak up some of that famous Arizona sunshine—there’s nothing subpar about it.
Whatever your pleasure, Northeast Valley gem Fountain Hills delights!