For about four weeks each year, Surprise welcomes baseball fans of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers out to its ballpark during Cactus League Spring Training. But, if you’re looking for things to do and places to eat the other 11 months of the year, you’ve come to the right place.
Just 45 minutes northwest of Downtown Phoenix, this cozy suburb offers a slower pace for those who seek it. Farm stands and citrus ranches beckon those looking to pick their own fruits and shop other locally made goods. Navel oranges, lemons, tangerines, tangelos and grapefruit are among the groves to meander at Cotton Lane Citrus and Justice Brothers – the latter of which is the longest continually operated citrus orchard in the state of Arizona and also hosts a pumpkin patch each fall.
There are also plenty of parks to explore, and don’t miss a self-guided tour of the Surprise Women’s Heritage Trail. Vista Center For the Arts hosts an eclectic range of or musicians, singers and bands, ranging from the Arizona philharmonic to a Selena tribute group. If you’re visiting with little ones, the horses, rabbits, chickens, ducks, sheep and goats at the West Valley Petting Zoo are excited to make their acquaintance.
Rio Mirage Cafe serves up authentic, Sonoran-style Mexican recipes that have been handed down for generations. Surprise is also home to State 48 Brewery’s original location. Opened in 2016, this local favorite is home to a 10-barrel system that produces the brand’s seasonal and specialty beers — pair with a Neapolitan-style pizza fresh out of the wood-fired oven.