Surprise! Enjoy spring baseball and more - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Surprise! Enjoy spring baseball and more

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Posted: Saturday, March 7, 2009 6:13 pm | Updated: 12:45 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Inside Arizona: Spring training is just one of the exciting happenings that makes Surprise a city on the move. Surprise, located in the northwest Valley, has emerged almost overnight.

Spring training is just one of the exciting happenings that makes Surprise a city on the move. Surprise, located in the northwest Valley, has emerged almost overnight.

With a population pushing 110,000, it has grown so popular that it earned Money magazine’s No. 1 ranking in 2006 for five-year job growth.

This thriving community is one that everyone is watching.

The seventh year of spring baseball training in Surprise goes into full swing during the month of March. The year’s annual celebration of baseball again welcomes the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers to Surprise.

Also making appearances will be college baseball teams Arizona State, Kansas and Kansas State, in addition to the return of major league baseball’s alumni game.

The 2009 spring training schedule delivers a record 34-game season at Surprise Stadium.

Every Saturday and Sunday is family fun day at the ballpark, with the APS Kid Zone featuring a carousel, clowns, face painter and “kid’s only” concession stand. In addition, the Nolan Ryan “All You Can Eat and Drink Patio” will be introduced on Saturdays and Sundays. Baseball fans also have an opportunity to view the game from a different point of view — the Home Run Party Deck, located in right-center field.

7th Annual Coca-Cola Midweek Classic

The seventh annual Coca-Cola Midweek Classic will return to Surprise with a new midweek format featuring Arizona State, Kansas State and Kansas. On March 10 and March 11, ASU will play host to Kansas State, and from March 13-15 the Sun Devils will take on Kansas.

Any game-day spring training ticket will give you admission to the college games, or you may purchase individual tickets for the Coca-Cola Midweek Classic at the Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office.

Western Heritage Trail — One Road. Endless Possibilities.

Whether you are looking for a rugged adventure or a family-friendly excursion, the Western Heritage Trail delivers an experience that can fill volumes in your travel albums and business reports.

The Scenic Driving Route to the Grand Canyon starts in Surprise. Take the Olive Avenue entrance to the White Tank Mountains and wind through the city. Be sure to stop by the Heard Museum West for history on the original inhabitants of the area, the Hohokam and Yavapai tribes.

Then take historic state Route 89 or the U.S. 60 out of town to Wickenburg and visit the Castle Hot Springs and Hassayampa River Reserve before you get into town. Immerse yourself in the cowboy culture of Wickenburg for the day and head north to Prescott after you’ve had lunch. Three points of interest and fun stops on your way to the Prescott area are the Stanton Mine, Kirkland Junction and the city of Yarnell.

Prescott offers many overnight options, and you will not be disappointed with its rich history and beautiful weather. The next day while traveling to the Grand Canyon you will drive on historic state Route 89. This is a stress-free drive, and to add to the relaxation you will want to stop in Chino Valley at organic winery Granite Creek for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon driving through Arizona communities Ash Fork and Williams before you end this road less traveled at the Grand Canyon before sundown.

From the majestic White Tank Mountains in Surprise to Prescott’s famed Whiskey Row to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, the Western Heritage Trail will challenge you, delight you, entertain you and provide you with a thousand reasons to return.

Find the monthly newspaper AZ Tourist News at participating Village Inn, IHOP and JB’s restaurants as well as your local Chamber of Commerce and convention and visitors bureaus.

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