The following list is focused on the Apache Junction region of Arizona as Apache Junction is the community residing at the foothills of the Superstition Mountains.
Since it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to separate Amenities from Attractions both are listed here. Are the the Mammoth Steak House and Saloon at Goldfield Ghost Town or the Mining Camp Restaurant amenities or attractions? Both are placed in a western setting offering a western atmosphere with gift shops serving good food. Both are favored by locals and as tourist destinations.
Listings are alphabetical.
The Apache Trail, technically State Highway 88, runs north from Apache Junction passing three lakes--Canyon Lake, Apache Lake and Roosevelt lake-- then continuing on around to Globe. It is an historic highway with not only interesting history, but with amenities and attractions all along the way.
As one drives north from Apache Junction they pass through the old Goldfield Mining District with the majestic, mysterious Superstition Mountains on the their right. The Trail then climbs up and around to Canyon Lake and Tortilla Flat. A short distance beyond Tortilla Flat the pavement ends becoming a maintained dirt road. Continuing on the Trail goes to Roosevelt Lake and then around to Globe. One word of caution, as the Road approaches Fish Creek it descends sharply at what is known as Fish Creek Hill.
"The Apache Trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon and then adds an indefinable something that none of the others have.
To me, it is the most beautiful panorama nature has created."
President Theodore Roosevelt
Leaving the Junction in the first five (5) miles you pass first the turnoff to the Mining Camp Restaurant on the right signed), then the Superstition Mountain Museum also on your right, then Goldfield "Ghost Town" on your left, then the Bluebird Mine and Tackle Shop on your right again. Tortilla Flat is another 10 or 11 miles.
Apache Lake Marina and Resort: Here you will find a restaurant, an air conditioned motel with cable TV (the only such accommodation on the Trail after leaving the Apache Junction area), and a marina.
Apache Trail Jeep Tours: Located at Goldfield Ghost Town, they offer jeep tours of the historic goldfield district and foothills of the Superstition Mountains.
Blue Bird Bait and Tackle Shop: Started in 1948 this local's stop offers a mini-museum, local color, interesting jewelry and souvenirs, plus just maybe the best value for money hamburger in the area.
Dolly Steamboat: They offer cruises on Canyon Lake twice a day. cruising remote parts of the lake bighorn sheep, coyote, deer, The cruises explore remote parts of the lake where wildlife may be seen including big horn sheep, mountain lions and eagles.
Goldfield Ghost Town: Shops, eateries, narrow gauge railroad mine tour, and more in an old west setting.
Lakeside Restaurant and Cantina: Located on Canyon Lake.
Mining Camp Restaurant: Meals served family style, western fare, gift shop, and atmosphere. Sign posted off the Apache Trail.
Superstition Mountain Museum: Museum and gift shop, with outlying buildings, in one of the most beautiful of settings along the Trail.
Tortilla Flat: Once a stage stop, now serving mostly tourists and those hiking the area or enjoying Canyon Lake here one finds food, walls covered in dollar bills, plenty of atmosphere, gift shop in a unique setting.
The D-Spur Ranch/Don Donnely Stables, is located east of Apache Junction about six miles off of Highway 60 (just past Gold Canyon). Offers trail rides, overnight and pack trips, camping, cookouts and lessons.
The Goldfield Livery located at Goldfield Ghost Town they offer from 1/2 hour rides, to 1/2 day rides in the Goldfield Mountains to all day rides in the Superstition Wilderness..
The OK Corral, is the oldest stables in the area. It is located north of Apache Junction just off the Apache Trail offers a range rides similar to Goldfield Livery, a steak dinner ride and RV sites, plus the Lost Dutchman Trip -- a three day, full service event with speakers, rides and campfire tales exploring the history and mystery of the Lost Dutchman Mine.
There are so many choices and possibilities in the area from western cookouts, pizza and if one heads to Phoenix the choices almost explode exponentially. Below are two web sites that may prove of assistance.
AllStays.com offers a web site with an good portal to facilities both in the immediate vicinity of Apache Junction and to greater Phoenix area.
Trails.com's web site also offers a good portal to facilities in the immediate area (Mesa and Apache Junction), plus links to trails in the area and topos.
There are two organized cam grounds in the immediate vicinity of Apache Junction and the Superstition Mountains. One campground is an Arizona State Parks campground, the other is a KOA commercial campground.
Lost Dutchman State Park is located on the Apache Trail at the foothills of the Superstition Mountains. Its amenities include: a visitor's center selling maps and publications, picnic areas, 70 unit campground (no hook-ups), dump station, showers and group use areas.
KOA Mesa-Apache Junction Campground is located on eastern edge of Apache Junction. Its amenities include both camp sites and one room cabins, free wireless internet, swimming pool, small store, 50 amp service, hot tub and pavilion.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum: Located east of Apache Junction on highway 60 the arboretum (fee to enter) is considered by many residents to be one of Arizona's treasures. Here you will find beautiful and exotic plants. Some for sale, other visited on one of several guided walks. The plants attract local wildlife,especially birds and butterflies.
Desert Botanical Gardens: Nestled amid the red buttes of Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden hosts one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. It is one of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums.
Japanese Friendship Garden (Ro Ho En) is an authentic 3 1/2 acre Japanese Stroll Garden with tea garden and tea house. In this tranquil setting there are more than 1,500 tons of hand picked rock, stone footbridges, lanterns with more than 50 varieties of plants, flowing streams and a Koi pond.
Phoenix Zoo: Located on 125 acres with approximately 1,200 animals from 200 species the zoo is one of the largest in the Southwest.
Wildlife World Zoo: A private facility located just west of Phoenix in Goodyear it has Arizona's largest collection of exotic animals with over 2400 individual animals from 400 exotic and endangered species.
The Salt River Valley which includes Phoenix and all the surrounding towns -- including Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa and Apache Junction -- has a wealth of museums. Below are a selection divided roughly by category. All listing are alphabetical.
Art and Culture:
Heard Museum: Southwest art and cultural.
Museo Chicano: Latino art and culture.
Phoenix Art Museum: Feature permanent and traveling exhibitions, films followed by discussion and museum store.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art: Global in its focus it is the only museum in Arizona devoted to the art, architecture and design of our time.
Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum: Just what the name implies.
Arizona Capitol Museum: Located in Arizona's original capitol building the museum is part of a historic building wide display.
Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park: Focuses on the history of Central Arizona, primarily in the 20th century.
Goldfield Historic Museum: Devoted to the Superstitions, the Peralta family and movies filmed it the area.
Mesa Southwest Museum: history and natural history of the southwest, focused on the Mesa area.
Phoenix Museum of History: Dedicated to the history of Phoenix from its origins as a small, dusty settlement to the modern metropolis.
Scottsdale Historical Museum: Dedicated to preserving the prehistory, history and cultural heritage of Scottsdale and the Southwest.
Superstition Mountain Historical Society Museum: Focused on the history, folklore and wildlife of the Superstition Mountains from Amerindians, prospectors, and ranchers to the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine.
Arizona Military Museum Tells the story of Arizona's military history starting with the Spanish Conquistadors.
Hall of Flame Museum: Devoted to firefighting
Phoenix Police Museum: Devoted to law enforcement
Science and Technology:
Arizona Science Center: Includes a Planetarium