Once an area of lightly populated farmland, Avondale has now become a fast developing suburb of Phoenix, just 15 miles away.
Avondale is situated by the Agua Fría River where it was originally founded in the 1890’s as Coldwater, Arizona. It later became known as Avondale due to the post office’s location near Avondale Ranch.
Like other towns in Arizona, it saw huge population growth from the 90’s onwards, not long after becoming an incorporated city in 1946.
This modern city boasts year round good weather and is conveniently situated within the Phoenix metropolitan area with easy access to the state capital.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Avondale:
1. Avondale Historic Corridor and Billy Moore Days
In the heart of the city lies Avondale’s historic corridor, home to many small, independent shops and businesses, supported by the Historic Avondale Merchants Association, which aims to maintain the welcoming cultural environment in this area.
Street art is splashed across the walls and the street are dotted with quaint shops and restaurants offering a uniquely authentic yet contemporary experience.
Many events take place in the Avondale historic downtown area depending on the time of year. The most important historic event is of course Billy Moore Days, taking place in late October.
Taking place over 4 days, the event celebrates the history of the town and its founder, William “Billy” Moore, wi5 a festival, carnival and parade.
2. Phoenix International Raceway
The ISM raceway situated on the outskirts of Avondale serves as Phoenix’s international raceway and hosts several events including two annual NASCAR race weekends.
It has also hosted hosted the CART, Verizon IndyCar Series, USAC and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
For those wanting more than a look, you can get hands on with the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience and sample the life of a NASCAR racer, or just ride shotgun.
Quench your need for speed as you shoot around the course – different packages come with varying amount of laps.
3. Monument Hill
Another popular spot with the racers, Monument Hill proves as an excellent vantage point to view events at the ISM raceway at a lower price, but that’s not all it has to offer.
In the northernmost foothills of the Sierra Estrella, Monument Hill is also home to the Gila and Salt River meridian.
The monument marks the original land survey point of all of Arizona, used in the United States Geological Survey. It is now a historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
4. Tres Ríos Base and Meridian Wildlife Area
Where three rivers meet, close to Monument Hill from which it’s name is derived, this lovely natural area is holding its own against the increasing urbanisation all around, providing crucial habitat for wildlife.
From birds to mammals, reptiles and amphibians, Base and Meridian Wildlife Area is a great location for spotting wildlife year round while walking the trails.
Visitors in early March will be able to experience the Tres Rios Nature Festival for all ages, with events such as canoeing, archery, bird watching and fishing, among other included activities.
The festival draws to a close with a concert as the sunsets over the wetlands.
5. Ak-Chin Pavilion
Spilling out on to the hillside, the hugely popular open air venue can hold 8,000 people seated within the pavilion area, and a further 12,000 on grassy slopes beyond, making it the largest capacity venue in the area.
Halfway between Avondale and Phoenix, it has had several names in the past but is currently sponsored by the Ak-Chin Indian Company, and named as such.
Known for its wonderful acoustics, Ak-Chin has seen something me big names over the years, including festivals and tours.
This place has a brilliant atmosphere if you want to hang out and see your favourite artists.
6. St. Thomas Aquinas Church
The welcoming parish at St. Thomas Aquinas Church only add to the charm of this place of worship. It is a contemporary build, with hints at classic style in the architecture, giving it a strikingly beautiful appearance inside and out.
Whether you visit to attend a service or simply to absorb the aesthetic, the traditionally catholic church is bound to make a big impression on you.
The church has steadily expanded since its foundation in the early 20th century where it started as a mission, and now serves well over 1300 families, holding six weekend masses.
7. Estrella Mountain Regional Park
In the magnificent mountain-desert setting of Estrella Mountain Regional Park, you can truly soak up the beauty of Arizona’s natural landscapes any one of the park trails.
The impressive design of the nature centre is fully sustainable and fits perfectly within the landscape. The friendly staff will be happy to help with park information and to point to in the right direction.
Within the peace of the park it is possible to hike, camp, bike and even take in the scenery by horseback.
8. Friendship Park
Perhaps the most popular park in Avondale, Friendship Park has a range of excellent facilities to satisfy everyone’s park day needs.
Children of all ages can enjoy any of the 3 playgrounds and a splash pad. Ducks, fish, and turtles can be seen and fed by the pond. Additionally, there are picnic areas, walking paths, 2 dogs parks and bathroom facilities on site.
The park also has multiple playing fields and courts, making it a popular spot for all sports people.
9. Desert Diamond Casino – West Valley
If you’re feeling lucky and have some money to spare, why not hide out in the West Valley’s very own desert casino for some games and entertainment.
Just 20 minutes from Avondale, the casino’s plot has a desert vibe, despite its location in Glendale.
Open 24 hours with food and drink available, this could be a fun way to escape the heat, spend a classy evening, or finish up a night on the town.
Play your cards right and you may even get lucky.
10. Tierra Verde Lake Park
Tierra Verde Lake Park in Litchfield, not far from Avondale, is the perfect spot to come and relax when you’re craving a break from the heat of Arizona.
With picnic spots, trails to walk, fishing areas and places to sit, you can come here to enjoy the peace, walk the dog, or watch the birds.
11. TJ’s Homestyle Restaurant
For a taste of traditional American food, this hearty local restaurant offers up old school Arizona on a plate.
TJ’s is particularly well know for its breakfasts, but you can also stop by for lunch.
This small, family run business will really make you feel at home. Expect generous portions, friendly prices, and a sense of southernly comfort.
12. Arizona Science Centre
Just half an hour away in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Centre is bursting at the seams with interactive and educational fun, encompassing all ages.
With never a boring moment among the hundreds of permanent exhibits, science will become the children’s new favourite subject as they get hands on.
But in no way is this restricted to children. The centre hosts a range of programs for different types of people, including a science social for high school teens and even a special science themed nights for adults.
13. Garden Patch Community Garden
The Garden Patch is a member based community garden which sprang up in 2011 in an effort to promote healthier lifestyles within the community.
Everyone is welcome to visit the gardens which provide fresh, ecological produce directly to the community and brings people together. The lots dedicated to producing food for food banks are just one way the Garden Patch gives back.
Many people use gardening as a de-stressing activity, and most will be happy to talk to you on your visit and share their garden knowledge.
14. Equinox Hot Air Balloon Ride
If your idea of some downtime actually involves getting a whole new perspective of Arizona up in the clouds, an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran desert sounds like the perfect adventure for you.
Leaving from Goodyear, Equinox will ensure a fun and intimate experience, sailing through the stunning scenery with no more than 6 guests at a time.
Aside from the magnificent views of desert and mountains, you couldn’t be in better hands for your Phoenix hot air ballon flight.
15. Goodyear Community Pool
In the heat of the Arizona desert, a refreshing day at the pool is just what anyone needs.
The community pool at Goodyear offers a place to cool off whether you want to have fun as a family, use the diving boards or perfect your technique as you practice more serious lane swimming.
You can also join in with multiple events from swimming lessons to fun days and movie nights or adult exercise classes.
Passionate about the role of their pool in the community, the enthusiastic staff will watch out for you and your family’s safety.