Located on the northern end of Peoria and about 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Lake Pleasant covers 10,000 acres. Utilized as a holding lake, its water comes from two sources, Central Arizona Project Canal and the Aqua Fria River. Managed by the Maricopa County Parks & Recreation Department, Lake Pleasant is Arizona's second largest lake and offers a wide variety of recreational activities. General camping, RV accommodations, boating, sailing, water and jet skiing, and fishing are just some of the activities offered at the lake. The Desert Outdoor Learning Center offers excellent opportunities to learn more about the lake as well as the surrounding desert area. Enjoy Peoria's "Jewel in the Desert".
The Challenger Space Center
The Challenger Space Center of Arizona has a unique affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute which offers access to national quality museum exhibits right here in Peoria. The center also offers educational programs for individuals, families and schools as well as camps, stargazing, and corporate programs and rentals. And don't forget to stop into the Galaxy Gift Shop while you are there. The Challenger Space Center of Arizona has something for everyone. For more information go to: www.azchallenger.org.
Arts and Culture
Peoria has quietly built a reputation of bringing arts and culture to the West Valley. Experience a space flight mission or gaze at the stars at the Challenger Learning Center. Anchoring the City's downtown redevelopment project is the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts which will bring critically acclaimed community theater to the area. If you like dinner with your theatre, then visit the Arizona Broadway Theatre, located right next to the Peoria Sports Complex. Looking for art? How about the West Valley Art Museum? With downtown Phoenix just a short drive away, access to the Herberger Theatre Center, Dodge Theatre, Phoenix Symphony, Orpheum Theatre, Heard Museum and more is as easy as ever.
White Tank Regional Park
White Tank Mountain Regional Park is nearly 30,000 acres, making it the largest park in the Maricopa County system. Most of the Park is made up of the rugged and beautiful White Tank Mountains, which is a freestanding range separating the Phoenix Basin of the Salt River Valley from the Hassayampa Plain. The range rises sharply from its base, at 1,400 feet above sea level, in a series of rocky ridges and fault lines to peaks of over 4,000 feet.
Historical Society Museum
History of Peoria, AZ
The City of Peoria was established in the 1880's when William J. Murphy's vision of fertile farm lands fed by water from the Salt River became reality with the completion of the Arizona Canal in 1885. Once this canal was completed, Murphy went East to interest people in settling in this new community. Mr. Murphy was successful in catching people's attention - over 5,000 acres of land in the new district was purchased by citizens from Peoria, Illinois. Four families from Peoria, Illinois were among the first to move to Arizona to occupy and work their land.
Residences in the new community sprang up, and a school and Post Office were established by 1889. More people followed the original families and Peoria continued to grow as a farming community. The farmlands were fertile and the people made a good living, despite having to battle swarms of red ants and the occasional rattlesnake in the kitchen.
Peoria was incorporated in 1954, with boundaries covering one square mile of land. The warm climate and small-town atmosphere of Peoria continued to attract people, and still do today. Currently, Peoria covers 162 square miles, and is home to over 120,000 residents. Peoria is Arizona's 4th largest city in terms of incorporated area, and 9th largest city in terms of population.