Surprise, located a 45 minute drive from Phoenix, Arizona, has a funny story behind its name. Founded in 1938, Flora Mae Statler, its founder, named the town Surprise as she had thought that it would have been a surprise if the town ever amounted to much. To everyone’s astonishment, however, the town today is now a bustling one that attracts visitors and remains a great town to live in.
9 out of 10 of its residents recommend it as a place to start a business and the town is pristine and clean. Surprise is also big on sports and recreation, especially during game seasons. So without further ado, here are the best things to do in Surprise, Arizona:
1. Surprise Stadium
Baseball fans, this one’s for you! The Surprise Stadium becomes the spring training ground of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. The town comes to the stadium often for many day games, free family movie nights and Fourth of July fireworks and parades so it is definitely a must-visit when there are scheduled activities. Parking is free and the stadium gains their revenue from selling good food and beer! You are bound to make some local friends here and who knows, they might offer to show you around!
The stadium has a maximum capacity of 10,000 so unless the whole town is turning up, it is unlikely that you will find yourself lacking a spot.
Address: 15930 N Bullard Ave, Surprise, AZ 85374-8844
Website: Surprise Spring Training
2. Dreamcatcher Park
Located on the Surprise Recreation Campus near the Surprise Stadium, this all-round facility caters to athletes with special needs so that they can enjoy safe and fun sports activities with their families and friends. The Dreamcatcher Park is also wheelchair and walker friendly and entrances such as gates have been widened to accommodate them. The park is barrier-free and it has been covered with a urethrane based surface for mobility and safety. The park is also home to many recreational programs and sports such as track and field.
Address: 14534 W. Tierra Buena Lane, Surprise, AZ 85374
Website: Dreamcatcher Park
3. White Tank Mountain Regional Park
The largest park in Maricopa Country, the White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a sprawling 30,000 acres wide and houses the beautiful White Tank Mountains that peak at 4000 feet. Visitors to the park can bike and hike whilst enjoying the clean and clear desert air. The park also has many different activities such as snake feeding, moonlight hikes for both the adult and the family and a summer solstice sunrise hike. Many visitors to the park seem to enjoy taking photos with the extremely tall cacti, characteristic of the White Tank Mountains. See if you manage to catch one too!
In spring, visitors can expect to be treated to many different wildflowers such as poppies and brittlebush. Visitors can also follow the Go Wild for Flowers Facebook page to keep updated on the flowers in bloom.
White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Address: 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road, Waddell, AZ 85355
4. Public Art
Surprise is home to many public art installations that is overseen by the Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission. Artworks include a large bronze obelisk dedicated to firefighters and a 27-foot welded tree called the Learning Tree which can be found at the Surprise Community Park. Challenge yourself and go for an art tour to catch all the art installations that are available! The full list of art installations can be found in the link in the snippet.
Surprise Art Installations
Website: Surprise Art Tour Map
5. Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex
Clean and well-maintained, the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex is the place to go to catch some tennis action. In fall, the complex hosts one of the stops of the PacWest Champions Tour so you can catch some real great tennis players in action! But its not only for spectatorship, a number of Surprise residents go there to practice their swings. Look out for summer classes! The complex does not have many food options so its best to bring along your own snacks and beverages.
Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex
Address: 14469 W Paradise Ln, Surprise, AZ 85374-7475
6. Granite Falls Golf Course
Surprise has 8 golf courses in total but Granite Falls has to be the most unique golf course. Surrounded by lakes, waterfalls and accompanied by elevated tees, the course gives the illusion of a challenge to the avid golfer. Play your rounds and admire the great scenery at the same time.
According to patrons, prices are lower at Granite Falls compared to other golf courses.
Granite Falls Golf Club
Address: 15949 W Clearview Blvd, Surprise, AZ 85374-4571
Website: [Sun City Grand Granite Falls](http://www.grandinfo.com/Page/23983~393060/ErrorNotFoundhttpwwwgrandinfocom80Granite-Falls-Golf-Courses-and-Pro-Shop
7. Surprise Aquatic Center
In the summer, the Aquatic center is where everybody goes for a dip or for the occasional pool party. Great if you go with families, there are age-appropriate slides for kids as well. The aquatic center also has a vortex whirlpool and diving boards. The center is located near a lake where families can fish.
Suprise Aquatic Center
Address: 15831 N Bullard Ave, 85374 Surprise, Arizona
Website: Surprise Aquatic Center
8. Coyote Lakes Golf Club
Coyote Lakes Golf Club is one of the more favoured golf courses in the west valley. Located in the west of Surprise, the course has consistently received a good 4-stars rating for Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play. Each of its carts now has a built-in GPS for you to plan and monitor your plays with ease. Besides a sprawling play area, the club also has an amazing grill and barbecue menu so you can expect to want to spend a good portion of your day here having your meal after a good play.
Coyote Lakes Golf Club
Address: 18800 N Coyote Lakes Pkwy , Surprise, Arizona 85374
Website: Coyote Lakes Golf Club
If you are new to suburbs, Surprise is definitely a good place for you to have your first suburb experience. From a thriving sports scene, many family and community centred recreational activities and entertainment, you will definitely enjoy spending at least a few days in this surprising town.
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