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Greater Arizona: Payson

Part of my love of Mesa comes from the fact that in just minutes, you can go from desert to pines.  I've been back east.  Scenery is the same for hours and hours, state to state.  It's beautiful, but I love the diversity in Arizona's landscape.  That is why we will often post of things to do, not just here in Mesa, but those things that seem appealing in our great state.  We'll call it:  Greater Arizona.
We've posted about 4th of July festivities here in the Valley, but what about those yearning to go north?  We know some of you have your special places you go: Heber, Pine, Prescott...but today I'll talk a little about Payson.

From my house, it takes under an hour and a half to get to Payson (less if my husband is driving).  When you compare that to how long it takes to get to some places in the west valley, that's nothing.  Besides, the drive is more beautiful and hopefully less congested.

For me, growing up in Mesa, Payson was the bathroom stop on our way to visit family in Snowflake.  It signals the beginning of pines if you are going up, and the descent back to desert if you are going down.  Payson was the first girls trip my friends and I took after graduating from high school.  We had a blast shopping the thrift stores and going horse back riding on the rim.  A few months ago, Payson was my babies' first fishing trip.  Each time I'm there, I wonder why I don't take more quick day trips to the pines.

That fishing trip a few months ago was my first visit to Green Valley Park in Payson.  And lets just say I was impressed.  A playground on one side of the street and then a lake with distant mountains as a picturesque background on the other.  It was beautiful.  My kids had fun running all around with cousins and catching fish with grandpa.  I enjoyed the weather and seeing my kids thrilled.  

image from here (Sorry, not my child, but another happy child at Green Valley Park.  My camera was broken.)

Green Valley Park is the location of Payson's 4th of July festivities, so I can imagine it will be grand.  The festivities include an evening parade on Saturday and games, music, and fireworks on Sunday.  If you are even considering, I would check out all the details here.  And even if you don't make it this weekend, you should give Green Valley Park a chance sometime.    

To get to Green Valley Park, take Highway 87 to Payson.  Once in Payson, turn left on Main Street, go approximately 1.1 miles to the end of Main Street and you are at Green Valley Park.

1 comment:

Allred's said...

I lived in Payson last year before moving here and experienced this 4th of July celebration and it was fantastic. Very small town, but so great because there is room to roam and enjoy all the activities and you don't feel congested. The town of Payson makes a fantastic effort to really pull out all the stops. They have a live band at the pavilion of Green Valley Park, along with many vendors and fun activities for the kiddos. The fireworks are shot off over the lake so you can watch them in the sky or their reflection in the lake. A really cool opportunity. Just a side note, Another awesome 4th of July is a Mormon Lake. They have the rodeo during the day, along with ATV and other off road adventures right through the swampy lake. There are really really small town vendors with Watermelon on the sides of the road and their firework show is awesome!!! We attended the parade in Flagstaff, and then drove out to the lake mid afternoon and enjoyed it all there. Enjoy your weekend and thanks for a great site that I come to daily to find fun activities for the kids!