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Peoria

As a great family or group adventure, Peoria boasts Greater Phoenix's only Smithsonian Institution affiliate, the Challenger Space Center of Arizona, offering simulated space missions and astronomy training. Peoria is also the Spring Training home of the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres. Enjoy Peoria's proximity to the recreation at Lake Pleasant, Arizona second largest lake.

Still a visionary community, the City of Peoria was established in the 1880s after a settler's vision.

Even with a setting as beautiful as the natural Sonoran Desert, Peoria's attractions are definite standouts – from the second-largest lake in Arizona to nationally-recognized sporting events, and from arts and entertainment opportunities to new independent restaurants and shopping – Peoria has it all.

Peoria is a flourishing city that is swiftly growing to one of the largest in the Valley thanks to its accessibility via the Loop 101 and soon, the completion of Loop 303 will not only allow access through the city, but also add exciting new amenities.

Peoria Sports Complex was the first two-team Major League Baseball spring training facility in the country, and is the Spring Training and player development facility for the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. The 11,000-seat Complex, with 12 practice fields and team clubhouses, is used year-round. The Sports Complex is also used for special events such as concerts, festivals, art shows, youth and adult national and local baseball tournaments.

Surrounding Peoria Sports Complex is the city's Entertainment District featuring a wide variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities including live performances at several unique venues. Arizona Broadway Theatre produces six to eight major musical theater productions each year, encompassing a wide spectrum of Broadway favorites in an elegant dinner setting.

Anchoring the Old Town revitalization project is the $13 million, 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center. Home to Theater Works, Arizona's largest community-based theater group, the center offers performances throughout the year as well as workshops and classes for all ages and performers.

Nearby, the Challenger Space Center of Arizona provides all ages an astronomical thrill. Part of an international network, the center allows groups of visitors to simulate a two-and-one-half-hour space mission, varying from a trip to the moon to a visit to a comet. The center also offers educational programs for individuals, families and schools as well as camps, stargazing, and corporate programs and rentals. With its unique affiliation to the Smithsonian Institute, access to national quality museum exhibits is the bonus.

For anyone seeking activities, The Rio Vista Park and Recreation Center is a facility so versatile, one would never have to leave. Covering 50 acres and promoting a healthy lifestyle, it includes: a skate park, sporting fields, a rock-climbing wall, indoor courts, a public gymnasium, picnic areas, sand volleyball and an urban lake which offers fishing. Plans are well underway for the construction of Peoria's second community park. This 80-acre park, scheduled to open during the summer of 2012, will feature six lighted sports fields for baseball and softball, and four lighted regulation sized soccer fields. These sports fields will also provide all the needed comfort for spectators and families as the added site amenities will make your visit a true recreational experience. Shaded playgrounds for all ages of children, water splash and play areas for youth, and picnicking areas will make your visit to Peoria's second community park memorable. You can even bring your canine pets to the off-leash dog park to run, swim, and socialize with their peers. Other attractions are also planned so come enjoy the experience and Play Peoria!

On the northern end of the city, nature enthusiasts enjoy the luminous waters of Lake Pleasant, a paradise for waterskiers, jet-skiers, scuba divers, sailors and anglers. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, thought of by many as the "Jewel in the Desert" blends unrivaled beauty with unlimited outdoor recreation. At 10,000 acres, the lake is Arizona's second-largest and appropriately named. The bass fishing is excellent, and two marinas offer a full selection of fishing boats, speedboats and Jet skis. And, visit the Desert Outdoor Learning Center, which offers excellent learning opportunities about not only the lake, but also the surrounding desert area. The 26,000-square-foot facility provides 30 different programs ranging from dinosaur history and stargazing, to life in the desert complete with guided hikes.

Anchoring the south end of Peoria, complete with canopied walkways, Park West is Peoria's premiere open-air shopping destination. This pedestrian-friendly center allows shoppers to enjoy a destination complete with upscale shopping, dining and entertainment.

 

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