Deer Valley is on the north side of Phoenix and bumps up against Glendale and Peoria. It has an airport that is designated as a sort of relief airport for Phoenix’s main one, Sky Harbor.
It is just a small, two runway deal but has about 1,000 planes in and out every day. Traffic is a mix of general aviation and military aircraft. Some pretty cool photos can be taken here. Just make sure somebody doesn’t think you are scoping the plan out! They don’t take lightly someone recording their security measures.
There are some other cool areas near Deer Valley. The Adobe Dam regional park for instance. The main purpose of the park is to protect the commercial, industrial and mid to low density residential areas that surround it from major flooding events. I know we live in a desert, but the Phoenix metropolitan area can get some pretty significant rainstorms during the monsoon season and all of that water has to go somewhere!
This is a flood control area that has been built up as a park. It is a fun place for the kids because of all the activities. There are sports fields and courts there, go-kart racing, a golf course and even a large scale model railroad. Pretty cool right?
Deer Valley area is very close to my Phoenix studio so it is very easy to get there for team shots or other events.
Speaking about water, there is a really cool place called Wet’nWild Phoenix that is a water safari park. This is a great place to go on hot summer days – although it can be a bit crowded. It is perfect for birthday parties. There are about 15 major rides in the park and they have interesting names like Desert Racers, Monsoon Bay, and Crazy Cactus Roaring River. It opens in March and closes down as it cools off in the Valley around October.
Turf Paradise opened back in the 1950s and is a horse race track in the area for thoroughbred and quarter horses. I remember in the mid-1990s when it came up for sale. There was a big to do between Arizona Native American casino entities and a California based racetrack. It is a wonderful place to go see some beautiful horses. The races are fun to watch but the animals are just so impressive looking. Offseason you can catch motorcycle racing there. So, if you are interested in a different kind of horsepower, you can look into that.