Now that cooler temperatures have arrived in Arizona, it is the perfect time to go on an autumn road trip!
One Exotic Car Rental + one Dose of Wanderlust = FUN!
Check out these unique, random, and, at times, off-the-beaten-path, sights in, and around, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe in one of our fun exotic cars. Jump in and follow your wanderlust!
The Paul Bunyan Muffler Man
© Dean Jeffery
Found in a suburban neighborhood of Phoenix, you’ll find a 20-foot tall lumberjack wielding a double-bladed ax. Private resident and collector of commercial promotional statues, Don Parks had it placed in his yard in 2007, when Lumberjack Building Materials (its former home) closed. Paul Bunyan Muffler Man shares the yard with a collection of smaller fiberglass statues.
World’s Tallest Kachina Doll
A Kachina Doll is a small carved figure representing the kachina spirit, which is said to be a deified ancestral spirit in the mythology of the Pueblo Indians. Large Kachina dolls can be found decorating many places around the southwest, but in the residential community of Tonto Hills, you’ve got the world’s tallest, a 39-foot Kachina Doll.
America’s Largest Sun Dial
© Greg Brown
Down the road from the Kachina Doll, also in the small town of Carefree (just the way a road trip should feel), you can also stop to see America’s Largest Sun Dial and the third largest sundial in the western hemisphere. Designed by architect Joe Wong and solar engineer John Yellot and erected in 1959, this giant copper fixture tells time how you would expect it to—the old-fashioned way. It’s 90 feet in diameter, the shadow-casting part is 35 feet tall, and it’s 72 feet long.
© Tony Montano
If you’ve never seen it, prepare to be transfixed. Tempe’s City Hall is a 6-story upside-down pyramid. Designed by Michael Goodwin and Kemper Goodwin, it was built during 1969-1971. Due to the heat, it was designed so that every window would be naturally shaded, keeping the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The Hall of Flame: World’s Largest Collection of Firefighter Memorabilia
Considering Phoenix had at least 30 110-degree days this year, a museum called The Hall of Flame seems appropriately located. The museum is the private collection of George F. Getz, Jr., the wealthy son of a Chicago coal baron. When he retired to Arizona in the early ‘70s, he took his impressive collection of fire engines and firefighting rigs and equipment with him. The museum traces the evolution of the fire engine, including things like the 1725 Newsham fire engine, which was built 80 years before fire hoses.
Governor Hunt’s Pyramid Tomb
On an open hilltop, that later became part of Papago Park, there sits an open-air pyramid, which entombs long deceased Arizona Governor George W.P. Hunt, his wife, his in-laws, his wife’s sister, and his daughter. A pyramid tomb on hill is a pretty bold move, but when you’re the first governor of Arizona, and dubbed “King George VII” by a friend, it is an easier feat to pull off.
Sunnyslope Rock Garden
Perhaps the most random stop to make on this road trip would be to Sunnyslope Rock Garden. It’s an eclectic collection of tiny buildings, weird masks, and rock fountains. A collection made only more random by the fact it’s located on the front yard of a house in a neighborhood that was historically settled by folks with tuberculosis who had spent the last of their of money in hopes the drier climate and cleaner air of the west would heal them. Today Sunnyslope it is one of the most socio-economically diverse areas in Phoenix. In 1952, a builder named Grover Cleveland Thompson spent 22 years building his Never Neverland (so to speak). He used shards of Fiestaware because it was cheap and rumored to be radioactive.