There’s no reason to ever be bored in Pinal County.
Our wide-open spaces and skies are full of the possibilities of activities that are much harder to do in crowded areas, like skydiving, farm tours, and visiting our animal friends in less-zoolike environments.
You can do yoga in a lavender field, explore a giant desert botanical park, view ancient Hohokam ruins, search for the Lost Dutchman’s gold in the Superstition Mountains (it’s all about the journey, right?), or ride or walk the Arizona Trail through the eastern county’s scenic Copper Corridor.
Our county also has all the typical entertainment options you’d find in Phoenix or Tucson — movie theaters, diverse shops and restaurants, bowling alleys and sports fields, a casino, and much more.
So here we salute all the fun opportunities to be found all over Pinal, especially those local businesses which have been here to help us jump into our lives here with both feet!
All the rush but with a harness on and great views of the Sonoran Desert! Arizona Zipline is located in Oracle and features the EcoTour, said to be the fastest zipline in the state!
The EcoTour is a total of five zipline rides allowing you to soar with the birds while checking out the desert flora below. It is an experience to enjoy with family and friends and is a great team builder for business organizations.
Two specialty tours are offered monthly during the fall and spring: The Sunset Zipline allows each person to ride the ziplines at dusk while the Moonlight Zipline gives you a starry view with headlights and glow-sticks as you ride across all five lines.
After your adventure, eat at the world-famous Peppersauce Kitchen where you can build your own burger as high as you like with Hatch Green Chile options, homestyle sauces, and more. Hours for the Peppersauce Kitchen are Thursday-Sunday 10 AM- 5 PM.
35406 S. Mt. Lemmon Rd. Oracle, AZ 85623
Located between Maricopa and Casa Grande, Sonora Wings offers a hang-gliding experience for everyone; however, you will have to train to be out on your own! First flights are with a tandem instructor where you will be able to take the controls and feel for yourself whether or not the sky is for you. You can also just go for the ride and enjoy the view.
They offer 2,000-foot or 3,000-foot Discovery Flights and the Mile High Flight, which is over 5,000 feet up and lasts about 40-45 minutes.
If you like the experience, you could potentially be up in the sky on your own in just a few weeks if you are really skilled, but it could also take decades to master. Sonora Wings will work with you.
They’re closed for the summer but you can begin planning your adventure this fall, as flights will resume this October.
11934 N Russell Road
Maricopa, AZ 85138
In 1978, Larry and Liliane Hill jumped into the skydiving business at a gravel airstrip north of Phoenix with a single Cessna 182. The Hills built their business on the rush that is skydiving, making it accessible to anyone who wanted to make the leap while promoting the sport. As operations grew, they moved to a location in Coolidge, moving to their current location in Eloy in 1991. It has since become the world’s largest skydive facility and will again host this year’s International Skydiving Championships in October.
“You will find all walks of life at our skydiving center,” says George Hargis, marketing and events coordinator. “People who come from very different backgrounds or beliefs, yet they all share the same love for the sky. There is a tight bond created by the inherent risks and the knowledge that we all have each other’s backs no matter what. There is no such thing as being a ‘outsider’ in our world, everyone belongs!”
4900 N Taylor St., Eloy, AZ 85131
Ak-Chin Circle Entertainment Center
OK, so maybe jumping out of planes or anything to do with heights isn’t for you or the family—then Ak-Chin Circle may be the all-day fun-seeking destination you are looking for!
The Center has been heavily affected by the pandemic as movie theaters, laser tag, and sports bar operations have gone through periods of closures and restrictions. At full operations, Ak-Chin Circle offers fun and food for the entire family, with bowling, arcade games, laser tag, movies, and fantastic dining at the 347 Grill. During football season, the Luxe Lounge upstairs turns into the spot to catch a game (especially if you are a Cardinals fan) or play a friendly game of billiards. On Friday and Saturday nights the lounge opens up the dance floor, hosting touring bands and local DJs. And don’t forget Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino for adult gaming is right next door!
16000 N Maricopa Rd,
Maricopa, AZ 85139
Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch
An experience for the entire family and especially if you have out-of-town visitors who want to get out to experience Arizona, Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch is conveniently located off the I-10 freeway and you’ll see it as you exit at Picacho Road.
Considered a bargain as the price is only $12 per person (ages 5 and under are free) and you can spend the day meeting all the different animals from miniature Sicilian donkeys, Nigerian dwarf goats, fallow deer, rainbow lorikeets, and even cownose stingrays! The 9-foot tall ostriches are of course the main attraction!
Founded in 1993 and opened to the public in 1999, the ranch has been going on three generations now and has been featured in television specials and voted as one of the top roadside attractions! If you are making the trip, you’ll definitely want to dress cool and comfortable as most of the experience is outdoors. Summer hours are limited but the ranch remains open year-round.
Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch
17599 E Peak Ln, Picacho, AZ 85141, USA
An educational experience like no other, Biosphere 2 is one of the world’s premier research facilities. It has moved way past the point where it started, as a closed research facility. The intent was to study space colonization, not just ecologically but also the psychological effects.
Visitors are welcomed for tours today, and among the biomes there are different ecological systems studied in a controlled setting. There are a few you would not normally see in a desert region, including a rainforest, ocean coral reef, and wetlands. You can learn about the ups and downs of Biosphere 2’s 30-year history during their tour.
Located in Oracle, in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, 32540 S. Bioshpere Rd, the facility is open daily from 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for kids (ages 5-17), and free to the kiddos under 5 years of age.