Explore Ruins: 15 Best Things To Do In Coolidge, Arizona - Updated 2022

Explore Ruins:  15 Best Things To Do In Coolidge, Arizona - Updated 2022
Hannah
Hannah 
Updated

Named for President Calvin Coolidge, Coolidge, Arizona offers fascinating ruins and is steeped in the history of the Hohokam people, an ancient Native American tribe. The city is known for its authentic Mexican cuisine and rugged desert landscapes, and tourists often enjoy the beautiful view of the outdoors from the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Check out our list of the 15 best things to do in Coolidge, Arizona.

1. Explore the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Greg Hume used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Estimated by archaeologists to be around 700 years old, the Casa Grande Ruins is the main attraction of Coolidge, Arizona. As you approach the ruins, you’ll see the Case Grande, or “Great House” in Spanish, rising up across the rugged desert landscape. You’ll be able to view the “Great House” up close, though visitors are not permitted inside the four-story structure. Sitting underneath a protective metal canopy, this impressive structure has withstood the test of time and is well worth a visit.

You’ll also be able to view smaller ruins, such as the remains of a Hohokam farming village, at the national monument. When you’ve taken in the structures to your heart’s content, stop by the visitor center to learn a little bit more about the Hohokam and the history of the area. Open from 9-5 every day of the week, the visitor center and monument are certainly one of the top attractions in the area.

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Address: Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, 1100 W Ruins Dr, Coolidge, AZ 85128

Price: from 5 USD

Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: Accessible by car and a short walk. Parking provided near the visitor center.

Contact: (520) 723-3172

Near by Food: Casa Palomino Mexican Restaurant

Website: Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

2. Eat authentic Mexican cuisine at Rolbeto's Mexican Food Restaurant

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Come down and get some fresh made HORCHATA OR JAMAICA.

Posted by Rolbetos Mexican Food on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A favorite among locals, Rolbeto’s offers a variety of traditional Mexican dishes. Though it’s housed in a modest building that might not turn your head, stop at any visitor center or ask a guide at another location, and you’ll hear about the delicious cuisine at Rolbeto’s.

As a drive-in restaurant, it’s perfect for a picnic in the car or at one of the picnic tables provided.

Locals describe the food as authentic-not Tex-Mex or Americanized Mexican food. Family-owned, most of the staff speak Spanish, and you’ll feel like you’ve traveled across the border to grab a bite to eat. Another perk is that everything on the extensive menu is extremely affordable.

Featured dishes include a steak and shrimp plate and a steak and shrimp quesadilla, though the restaurant also includes traditional dishes such as tacos, nachos, burritos, and tortilla soup. It even offers breakfast options like breakfast burritos.

Rolbeto's Mexican Food Restaurant

Address: 631 N Arizona Blvd, Coolidge, AZ 85128

Price: from 5 USD

Opening Hours: 7:30am - 11pm Monday-Thursday. 8am-3am Friday-Saturday. 8am-9pm on Sunday. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 1 hour required.

Access: Accessible by car. Located in Coolidge.

Contact: +1 520 7238785

Facebook: Rolbeto’s Mexican Food

3. Try artisan bread at Mediterra Bake House

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Easter weekend is upon us If you aren't dinner ready yet, don't worry - we are! Our Pittsburgh bakehouse location is...

Posted by Mediterra Bakehouse on Friday, April 2, 2021

Established in 2004 by Nick Ambeliotis, Mediterra Bake House takes pride in its artisan bread and pastries that are made from the finest ingredients. The ambitious owner took over his father’s grocery store and slowly turned it into what’s now a successful venture with stores all around the US. Whether you are craving Italian-style bread or French baguettes, you will surely find it here at Mediterra Bake House. Customers often praise them not only for the baked goods but for the friendly staff as well. So choose from their extensive menu, and you won’t be disappointed.

Mediterra Bake House

Address: 226 S Main St, Coolidge, AZ 85128, United States

Website: Mediterra Bake House

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 8am - 4pm; Sat: 8am - 2pm (closed on Sun)

4. Order Greek or American food at Pita Patio Grill

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Pita Patio Grill on Thursday, March 25, 2021

In case you get hungry after exploring the city, do check out Pita Patio Grill on Coolidge Ave. It is a hybrid restaurant that serves both Greek specialties and American classics. On their menu, a chicken or pork gyro stands side by side a double cheeseburger and a Philly cheesesteak. Their loyal customers love the delicious food, the friendly staff, and the live entertainment provided. They have singers and bands playing live music as well as karaoke nights. Check their Facebook page to see what’s on.

Pita Patio Grill

Address: 235 W Coolidge Ave, Coolidge, AZ 85128, United States

Opening hours: Wed: 11am - 3pm, 4pm - 7pm; Thu - Sat: 11am - 3pm, 4pm - 8:30pm (closed on Sun & Mon)

Nearby attractions

5. Visit the McFarland State Historic Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Arizona State Parks on Thursday, June 22, 2017

McFarland State Historic Park offers a variety of historic buildings just fifteen minutes outside of Coolidge. Opened in 1979, the park is an effort to preserve the history of the area. The main attraction of the park is a museum housed in a building which served as the county’s courthouse in 1878 and was later converted into a hospital, a public health and welfare center, and the Pinal County Historical Society Museum, until it became the museum that stands at the heart of McFarland State Historic Park today.

In the museum, browse artifacts that catalogue the early history of the area and learn about the history of the “Wild West” in Arizona. After browsing the museum, you’ll be able to take a walk down the main street of Florence and view the historical buildings of the area. If you’re interested in taking a step back in time, McFarland State Historic Park is the perfect attraction for you.

Hours for the McFarland State Historic Park are 9-5 PM every day except for Sunday, and the attraction is free, though the museum accepts donations.

McFarland State Historic Park

Address: 24 Ruggles St, Florence, AZ 85232

Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm Monday-Saturday. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: Fifteen minute drive from Coolidge to Florence via AZ-287 E.

Contact: +1 520 8685216

Near by Food: Valentino’s Eatery

Website: McFarland State Historic Park

6. Explore the sun-drenched trails at Picacho Peak State Park

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Hikes like Picacho Peak State Park are tough! Whether you're a seasoned pro or a new outdoors-person, it's important to...

Posted by Arizona State Parks on Friday, March 26, 2021

Picacho Peak State Park offers five hiking trails (from easy to difficult) to take in all the beauty of Arizona’s Sonoran desert. Wildlife abounds in the park, but it might be difficult to spot as wild animals tend to be elusive. That’s why the park rangers have set up a few spy cameras along the trails. If you’d rather have an up-close encounter with an animal, consider visiting the ostrich ranch located just 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) east of the park entrance.

Picacho Peak State Park

Address: 15520 Picacho Peak Rd, Picacho, AZ 85141, United States

Website: Picacho Peak State Park

Opening hours: 5am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 3 USD onwards

7. Have an animal adventure at Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Happy Sunday Y'all! Our baby ostrich just love relaxing on Sundays... well lets be honest they sit pretty relaxed...

Posted by Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch on Sunday, May 24, 2020

If you’re an animal person, you might be interested in touring the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. Just a twenty-minute drive from Coolidge, the Ostrich Ranch has been featured on a variety of television shows such as “Extreme Roadside Attractions” and “Arizona Highways.” You won’t want to miss this unique attraction!

The ranch is home to ostriches, as you may have guessed, but that’s not all, on the ranch you’ll also have the opportunity to see miniature donkeys, miniature goats, deer, ducks, boar goats, stingrays, and rainbow lorikeets. You’ll be able to feed the animals you can feed the ostrich right out of your hand if you’re daring enough. The miniature donkeys will also eat right out of your hand, as well as goats and ducks. If you’re more of a bird person, step into the “Rainbow Lorikeet Forest.” These absolutely stunning birds will drink nectar out of cups-you’ve just got to hold it steady for them.

The ranch also offers Monster Truck tours, where you’ll ride a monster truck through the ranch, view the animals, and learn about them.

The ranch is open to the public on weekends-Friday, Saturday, and Sunday-from 9 to 5 PM. There are a variety of packages that you can purchase to feed the animals or feed the animals and take the Monster Truck tour. The cheapest package is 10 USD per person, with free admission to the feeding area for kids 5 and under.

Though the ranch offers fun for all ages, kids especially love the opportunity to see and feed all the exotic animals.

Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

Address: 17599 E Peak Ln, Picacho, AZ 85141, USA

Price: from 10 USD

Opening Hours: 9am - 5pm Friday-Sunday. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: 30 minute drive from Coolidge to Picacho via AZ 87 S.

Contact: +1 520 4663658

Near by Food: Frankie’s Chuckwagon

Website: Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch

8. Learn about Coolidge's history at Arizona Railway Museum

Chandler-Arizona Railroad Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony the Marine used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Though it’s a 45-minute drive from Coolidge to the Arizona Railway Museum, you’ll quickly understand why this is such a well-loved attraction. Many tourists have pointed out how friendly and knowledgeable the museum staff are, which makes the experience incredibly enjoyable.

You’ll be able to view not only exhibits, but take a walk through several actual historical trains, including passenger cars, sleeper cars, dining cars, and cargo cars. You’ll be able to experience a guided tour and learn about rail travel in the 50s. The hands-on experience sets it apart from other museums.

When you’ve toured the exhibits and trains, you might consider driving up the road to Roy’s Train World, where you can view or purchase models of the trains at the Railway Museum. It’s a big hit with kids and collectors!

Be sure to stop by the gift shop before you leave and pick up a souvenir! The admission is only 2 USD, though the museum is only open on the weekends from noon to 4 pm.

Arizona Railway Museum

Address: 330 E. Ryan Road, Chandler, AZ 85286

Price: from 2 USD

Opening Hours: 12pm - 4pm Friday-Sunday. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: 45 minute drive from Coolidge to Chandler via AZ-87 N.

Contact: +1 480 8211108

Near by Food: AZ Food Crafters.

Website: Arizona Railway Museum

9. Get an adrenaline boost at Skydive Arizona

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Canopy Relative Work or CRW for short. A discipline of skydiving that involves flying the canopies close together and in...

Posted by Skydive Arizona on Monday, April 5, 2021

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you should definitely pay a visit to Skydive Arizona. Located 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Coolidge, this experienced (or aspiring) skydivers’ paradise will make it for an adrenaline-filled day out. Whether you like to experiment with your first jump accompanied by an instructor or take lessons to become a skydiver yourself, this place has you covered. They also have a parachute inspection and repair facility on site. For the younger ones and those who are not ready for the big jump, there’s a wind tunnel for a safer experience indoors.

Skydive Arizona

Address: 4900 N Taylor St, Eloy, AZ 85131, United States

Website: Skydive Arizona

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

10. Test your golfing skills at Robson Ranch Arizona Golf Club

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The fitness and sports club provides Robson Ranch Arizona residents with a multitude of choices, including aquatics...

Posted by Robson Ranch Arizona on Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Looking to play golf while on vacation in Coolidge? Drive some 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Coolidge and you will find Robson Ranch Arizona Golf Club. This 18-hole championship golf course is carefully planned, well-maintained, and equipped with strategically located bunkers that will test your skills. This semi-private golf course, which was built in 2005, also features a first-class pro shop, restaurant, and a complete practice facility. Book a tee time and enjoy an afternoon of fun and healthy competition with friends or family.

Robson Ranch Arizona Golf Club

Address: 5750 N Robson Blvd, Eloy, AZ 85131, United States

Website: Robson Ranch Golf Club

Price: 50 USD onwards

11. Book a wine-tasting tour of the Windmill Winery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account


The Windmill Winery doubles as a wedding venue for couples who wish to tie the knot while surrounded by beautiful vineyards and not far from the Gila River. Situated 10 miles (16 kilometres) northeast of Coolidge, this venue in a beautiful and historic setting offers a vast selection of locally produced wines made out of grapes that thrive in the harsh Arizona terrain. If you are planning to visit, make sure to check their website as there are always food and entertainment events hosted here.

The Windmill Winery

Address: 1140 W Butte Ave, Florence, AZ 85132, United States

Website: The Windmill Winery

Opening hours: Wed: 12pm - 5pm; Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri: 11am - 7pm; Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

12. Embark on an exciting Box Canyon ATV Tour (from USD 146.0)

Book a fun four-hour tour with Box Canyon ATV Tour, located in Florence northeast of Coolidge. Hop on a four-wheeled ATV and drive 34 miles (54 kilometres) among the Tortilla Mountains. The experienced tour guide will show you the historical petroglyphs left by the ancient Native Americans. Fast forward the time and you will also be able to see an old miner’s building and a post office dating back to the mid-1800s.

Box Canyon 3-Hour ATV Tour Near Phoenix, Tucson

Duration: 4 hours

94 reviews

13. Wander the nature trails at Veterans Oasis Park


It’s easy to see why this park has been called an “oasis”. Boasting a serene lake and 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometres) of nature trails suitable for both hikers or horseback riders, Veterans Oasis Park provides the local inhabitants with a great outdoor space. Within its 113 acres (46 hectares), you can also find an amphitheatre, a playground for kids, picnic areas, and pavilions. While here, do check out an interesting and educational installation called Solar System Walk which is a series of monuments and signs representing the planets.

Veterans Oasis Park

Address: 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., Chandler, AZ 85249

Website: Veterans Oasis Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10:30pm (daily)

Price: Free

14. Pay tribute to the Father of Arizona on Poston Butte

Poston Butte
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Aznaturalist used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Poston Butte is a 1-mile long (1.6-kilometre) moderately trafficked out and back trail near Florence. The trail starts along Hunt Highway and takes hikers up 239 feet (73 metres) to the summit of the low 1735-feet tall (529-metre) hill. The major attraction found along the trail is the pyramidal tomb built to honour the memory of Charles Debrille Poston. Poston, who was an American explorer, author, and politician, lobbied then-President Lincoln to create the state of Arizona. So, it’s not a surprise that he’s also referred to as the “Father of Arizona”.

Poston Butte

Address: Florence, AZ 85132, United States

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

15. Explore hip Downtown Chandler

Downtown Chandler
Source: Photo by Flickr user yashima used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re visiting Coolidge, Downtown Chandler is worth the 40 minutes drive. A thriving, vibrant community northwest of Coolidge and southeast of Phoenix, Chandler is certainly a hip area. The eclectic, modern architecture combined with the 20th-century buildings make the Downtown area quite unique. Aside from breweries, lounges, restaurants, and shops, many events are also organised throughout the year to attract enthusiastic visitors.

Downtown Chandler

Website: Downtown Chandler

Local food and flavor attract travelers to Coolidge

Coolidge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marine 69-71 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Come for the Casa Grande Ruins, Coolidge’s best-known attraction, but stay for the local food and flavor. You’ll certainly leave the city with a healthy appreciation of railway travel and the Wild West, and hopefully, you’ll also be able to take a few selfies with an ostrich.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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A storyteller first and foremost, Hannah has a bachelor's degree in English Creative Writing and a fascination with the written word. Over the past several years, she's gained experience as a...Read more

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