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Here's a directory of fun Southwest USA attractions that our site covers



On this page, you'll be able to discover the interesting Southwestern USA attractions that are covered in our site.

Like you, we're a family that's interested in getting out & about...seeing and enjoying all the magnificent natural and man-made spectacles that abound in the Southwest. Our site began as a collection of photos that we took on vacations and long-weekend holiday outings...which we thought might be useful to other people, as well.

We hope you find the info you're seeking in our pages. We do all of our traveling with kids or teens, however, and so there are some topics we know nothing about...such as nightlife, fine dining and casinos. But, for those topics we have knowledge about, we hope that our pictures and trip experiences can be helpful to you!

Our coverage of attractions can be spotty...and that's because if one or more of our family members haven't been there, then our website doesn't cover it. We're not a professional site, and we don't try to reiterate what you can find on travel booking sites. Whatever attractions we cover are here because we like them and enjoy them...enough to recommend to our friends and readers who might be interested in going to them, too. Since we actually LIKE the attractions we cover, you won't find much sarcasm on this site...even though snide remarks are in vogue on cooler & hipper website. We've had some rare bad experiences out 'n about, but in general, the people we meet try to run nice establishments, whether they're the owners or simply hourly employees. And, in general, we think they succeed!








Arizona attractions--list of coverage on our site

Arizona Fun

Picture: The Sealife Aquarium in AZ Mills Mall

  • Northern Arizona attractions are covered in the following pages on our site. The most comprehensive page is Things to Do in Arizona, which covers a number of attractions that can be easily seen by road-trippers on an I-40 road trip through the state. Included on this page are pictures & info about the Grand Canyon; Lake Havasu/London Bridge; Bullhead City/Laughlin NV; Flagstaff; Sedona/Camp Verde/Cottonwood; Monument Valley/Four Corners; and driving to Hoover Dam/Las Vegas from Kingman.

    Still other northern Arizona attractions, including the amazing Meteor Crater, the Petrified Forest, and Route 66 landmarks can be found on our I-40 Road Trip Planner page...which covers some of the highlights visitors may enjoy along western Interstate 40 between Oklahoma City and California.

    A few other northern AZ attraction pages on our site are the Fool's Hollow Lake Camping in Show Low, AZ (near Pinetop, if you're more familiar with that name); the Ponderosa Campground just outside of Payson; and the Lynx Lake Campground in Prescott, AZ.

  • Phoenix area:

    Our comprehensive overview page for this area is Fun Things to Do in Phoenix with Kids and Teens. This page focuses on family fun in the Valley of the Sun...including water parks, family fun centers, zoos and museums. Links to the official websites are provided, so you may conveniently click through to find info about all of our recommendations without having to hunt them up.

    We also have a few pages showing photos & info about specific, individual attractions which have proven popular with our readers, such as: the Castles 'n Coasters family fun center; the Big Surf Water Park; the Mesa, AZ Golfland-Sunsplash fun center & water park; the Westgate Center & Cardinals Football Stadium in Glendale, AZ; and Lake Pleasant Camping. Also, for those of us who miss this well-loved but now-defunct attraction, we have a page about the former Waterworld Safari water park (which was formerly on the site of the brand new Wet 'n Wild water park.)

  • Tucson area:

    We don't have many pages yet about the Tucson area. The few we've got so far are these: Gilbert Ray Campground, which is conveniently located near the Saguaro National Park & Tucson Mountain Park; the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, which is one of the attractions you'll want to see if you're staying at Camp Gilbert Ray; and the Picacho Peak state park campground, which is a good place to explore desert hiking and scenery during cooler times of the year.


    Arizona shopping information

    Picture: The Sealife Aquarium in AZ Mills MallIt has irked some of our family members in the past that good shopping information is rarely included in travel guides. So, now that we've ended up with our own travel site, then plenty of shopping information was included as a vindication for past slights! Most of our shopping info centers around Phoenix, which is where some of our family members live and shop.

  • Outlet malls: Our most popular page about Arizona shopping is, and always has been, our Arizona Mills Mall Shopping page. Because the mall is so big, the Arizona Mills restaurant and entertainment choices have spilled over onto our Phoenix, Arizona outlet malls overview page. At one time, there were more outlet malls in Phoenix, but two have converted into "regular" shopping centers (they were the Wigwam Outlets and the VF Outlet Center.)

    The Outlets at Anthem are also very popular with our readers (as well as our own family members, of course.) This attractive outdoor mall focuses tightly on favorite name-brand outlet stores, and draws flocks of shoppers particularly during major wardrobe shopping seasons and during the Christmas holidays.

  • "Regular" retail malls covered by our site include the following metro Phoenix locations: the Arrowhead Towne Center Mall; the Chandler Fashion Center Mall (along with a separate page for Chandler Mall restaurants & entertainment); the Happy Valley Town Center & Shops at Norterra; the San Tan Village Mall (with a separate page for the San Tan shopping center aka "big box" center;) and the Tempe Marketplace.




    California attractions & shopping info on our sites

    Picture: A view from Hearst CastleWhile California is an important part of the Southwest USA you won't find out much about it on Have-Fun-in-the-Southwest.com. That's because there's such an overwhelming amount of information about this populous state that we needed to put our pics & reviews onto a separate site (called Family-Vacation-Getaways.com.) We've got nearly 500 pages of helpful info on that site, which means that any individual tidbit can be hard to find. Nevertheless, a number of "gateway" pages can probably guide you to the info you're seeking:

  • Los Angeles Theme Parks list: This is the gateway page to all of our pictures & reviews of SoCal's major theme parks, including Disneyland Park, the Disney California Adventure Park, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, Sea World San Diego and Legoland California.

  • Theme Park Discounts and Coupons: Ever since the recession began, our family members and our readers have been more concerned with getting the best ticket deals possible when they visit theme parks and attractions. This is our gateway page to the various pages we have on our sites about discount tickets.

  • California Outlet Malls is our gateway page listing all the most popular outlet malls in California, and leading readers towards the pages where they can find info about the individual outlet centers on the list. We also have plenty of info about "regular" retail malls, but more so in Southern California than in the central and northern part of the state. You'll find our mall list on the Southern California Malls & Shopping page.

  • San Diego Attractions is where you'll find the list of favorite family activities in San Diego County.

  • We also have a Hollywood Attractions section for SoCal visitors who plan to view the area's attractions that are related to Hollywood and the film industry.

  • The Autumn/Winter holidays are popular reasons for our readers to visit Southern California. All of the regions theme parks hold major Halloween and Christmas celebrations. You can discover all the pictures & pages we have on those topics if you view our Southern California Halloween Fun and our Southern California Christmas Events and Activities pages.




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    Colorado attractions covered on our site

    Colorado Fun

    Denver Area Attractions

    Picture: A view from Hearst CastleOur family is spread out all over the Southwest, so we've got some kids growing up in Metro Denver, too. Hopefully, the pictures we've taken & the info we've gathered on our outings can help you decide where you'd like to take your own growing brood.

  • Things to Do in Denver, Colorado lists an abundance of choices for planning a fun family outing in the Mile High City. Included are amusement parks, family fun centers, museums, animal exhibits, water parks, and tours.

  • We also have some pages about individual Denver attractions, including pictures you might enjoy viewing. There's an entire section of information about Elitch Gardens, which includes the following pages: Elitch Gardens discounts & general information (with separate pages about Elitch Gardens roller coasters, about Family Rides at Elitch Gardens, about Elitch Gardens Hours, and about the fun-but-scary Elitch Gardens Halloween Fright Fest.

    We have 2 other individual Denver-area attraction pages on our site where you can view photos & read our reviews: the Boondocks family fun center page and the Denver Downtown Aquarium page.

    Colorado Springs:

  • Colorado Springs is another city that's filled with family attractions & activities, and we have a listing of places you might enjoy visiting on our Colorado Family Fun page. You'll also find individual pages about the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs...and a separate page about the zoo's exciting Giraffe Feeding Station, which some of the younger members of our family can't get enough of when we visit there.




    Colorado shopping info on our site

    We have two main types of Colorado shopping information on our site: Outlet Mall info & regular "retail" mall information. Since we have family members living in the metro Denver area, that's where most of our mall pictures & reviews are focused.

  • Outlet shopping in Colorado: You can find pictures & reviews of all 4 major Colorado outlet malls on our site. They are:
    The Outlets at Castle Rock
    The Colorado Mills Mall
    The Outlets at Loveland
    The Outlets at Silverthorne

  • Malls in Denver, Colorado: Our family has seen some huge changes in the popularity of various Denver-area malls over the years. Some of our favorite places to shop in the past (as recently as the '90's) don't even exist any more...while other new & beautiful shopping destinations have opened up that we now enjoy as well...or even better. You can find a list of Denver-area malls we think tourists will enjoy on our Denver, Colorado Malls page. We also have pictures & reviews of individual shopping malls, including the following---

    The Southlands Mall in Aurora
    The Flatiron Crossing Mall in Broomfield
    The Park Meadows Mall
    The Orchard Town Center outdoor mall in Westminster
    The Promenade Shops at Centerra outdoor mall in Loveland
    The Cherry Creek Mall
    The Westminster Promenade




    Nevada attractions--list of info on our site

    Nevada family-friendly fun

    Picture: Mount Charleston near Las Vegas, NevadaSome of our family members live in Las Vegas, including two little fellows who are growing up there. So, while our family may not be experts about what's going on in the casinos and nightclubs, our pictures & experiences can hopefully help you out if you'll be visiting Vegas with kids or teens. Our pictures and info about attractions in this city include the following---

  • Things to Do with Kids in Las Vegas: This is a page listing some of the family-friendly highlights of Southern Nevada. Included activities are Las Vegas amusement parks, fun centers & arcades; stage shows; museums & tours; and parks & outdoor recreation.

  • We have individual attraction pages, too, where you can see our pictures & reviews about:
    Madame Tussaud's Las Vegas wax museum
    Stratosphere Tower Rides
    Three Las Vegas Attractions for Kids: The Circus Circus Adventure Dome, the Las Vegas Zoo and Build a Bear Workshops in Las Vegas
    Two more Las Vegas Family Attractions, the Mirage Resort's Dolphin Habitat and Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden; and the Mandalay Bay Resort's attraction called the Shark Reef. Our family's not-so-great pictures of the MGM Resort's Lion Habitat are also on this page...but this attraction has closed as of January, 2012.
    Two Las Vegas free/cheap tours your family will enjoy are the Hoover Dam and the Ethel M Chocolate factory tours. (The candy tours are free, while the Hoover Dam charges a reasonable fee for their guided tour.

  • Seasonal events in Las Vegas: Our site has pictures & reviews about several popular Las Vegas holiday attractions. During October, visitors descend from around the Southwest to enjoy the Adventuredome's eerie Fright Dome Halloween event. Local families with younger children, however prefer The Springs Preserve museum's Halloween Event, a not-so-scary family activity called the Haunted Harvest. At Christmas time, both visitors and locals enjoy viewing the city's colorful & lovely Las Vegas Christmas light displays.




    Nevada shopping info on our sites

    World-class shopping exists in Las Vegas, no matter what price range that interests you.

  • Outlet malls in Las Vegas: Our family and our readers love the area's 3 terrific outlet centers. In fact, our most popular shopping page is a directory of outlet malls...in other words, it answers the question "which outlet store is where?" You can find the directory on our Las Vegas Factory Outlets page.

    We have 3 pages covering the individual Las Vegas outlet malls, as well. You can see pictures of these outlet centers & read our reviews on the following pages---

    The Las Vegas Premium Outlets-North page
    The Las Vegas Premium Outlets-South page
    The Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas (which is actually in Primm, NV at the California state line.)

  • "Regular" malls and Luxury Malls: Las Vegas offers residents and visitors more shopping opportunities than any other town its size in the country. Of particular note are the city's luxury malls, located inside several major resorts along the Las Vegas Strip. Interesting choices for "regular" mall shopping can be found in Las Vegas, as well. You can see our pictures & list of the malls we think you'll like best on our Las Vegas Malls and Shopping page.

    We have pictures and info about several individual shopping malls, as well. Those malls are the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace, the Fashion Show Mall and the Town Square outdoor mall just south of the Las Vegas Strip.












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