Fountain Hills, Arizona

This is a planned community established in 1970 out of what was a cattle ranch. It was purchased by Robert McCulloch in the late 1960's and designed by Charles Wood, better known as the designer of Disneyland in Anaheim. The centerpiece is a fountain, purporting to be the worlds tallest (the Jet d'Eau in Geneva Switzerland, manufactured by the same company also claims to be the world's tallest; they may be identical). Incorporated in 1989, 1997 population was about 16,000. It is bordered by the McDowell Mountains on the west, Ft. McDowell Indian Reservation on the east, Salt River-Pima Reservation on the south, and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park on the north. Most people commute out of the town to work, but Fountain Hills is home to more than 850 small businesses.

Things to Do:

See the Fountain: Located in the middle of town, it is visible throughout the area when it works, which is for 15 minutes every hour from 10 am to 9 p.m. every day. Free, just go to the park, fight off the geese, and sit on the grass. This is also a really cool place for a picnic. Occasionally, there will be a car show or something in the park, too.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park: Kind of a zoo, but geared mostly toward big cats. Unique in that there is a big swimming pool for the tigers, who play with the staff in the water. They offer dinner shows, and are open every Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 5pm, later if you are part of the dinner show. Worth it if you love big cats, or are in the area looking for something to do, but I wouldn't drive all the way out there unless your kids want to see it. Kids like it more than adults do... Tiger shows daily at 1:15 p.m. $11.95 for adults, $10.95 for seniors, $4.95 for children 4-12. Located 2 miles north of Shea Boulevard off the Beeline Highway. follow the signs right on Ft. McDowell Road. For more information call (480)837-7779.

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Last revised: October 30, 1998