Although they're quite different places, Arizona and Illinois have something in common: a town called Peoria. The name is somewhat ominous. It means "prairie fire." Peoria, Illinois was established first, but settlers migrated to Arizona in the 1800s seeking open space and a warmer climate for farming. Peoria today is much bigger (it's the ninth largest city in the state) and more urban. However, it has not lost its natural beauty and charm. Peoria AZ was ranked among the top 100 places to live in 2008 by Money magazine, for its quality of life.
Peoria's Early Days
Peoria was founded in the 1880s by settlers from Peoria, Illinois. However, it wasn't until the mid-1900s that the town was incorporated. Peoria's economy was traditionally dominated by agricultural activities. Although Peoria has plenty of flat, low-lying lands that support farming, its geography is much more varied. Peoria is located in the Salt River Valley, and mountains border it to the north.
Up until 1887, the area only had one main transportation route. However, with the construction of a new road in the late 1880s, Peoria developed connections to nearby towns and Phoenix. This diversified its economy and brought more settlers to the area. Eventually, the town's growth warranted the construction of a railroad called the Santa, Prescott and Phoenix Line.
While more people trickled in to Peoria, it wasn't until after WWII that the city's population growth truly took off. Construction of the nearby Luke Air Force Base also brought more residents to the area. Along with its permanent population, Peoria gets an influx of baseball players each season for spring training. This practice began in the 1970s at the Greenway Sports Complex, which became the training site for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Things to do in Peoria
Today, Peoria is a popular resort community. As such, it has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment, attractions, and events. Because of its natural beauty and history, Peoria's outdoor areas and recreational opportunities are still some of its most popular destinations.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Covering just under 12 square miles, the Lake Pleasant Regional Park is one of the area's most popular recreational areas. It extends into two counties (Yavapai and Maricopa) and offers visitors many outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, and bird-watching.
Sahuaro Ranch Park
Sahuaro Ranch Park was established in 1886. Initially, it was a working farm with fig trees, vineyards, hay fields, and an abundance of crops. Today, the park contains historic buildings preserved from its working ranch days. There are also recreational areas throughout the park, including playgrounds and areas where people can play sports. The resident peacocks are a popular attraction, and the park's lush rose garden draws the crowds with its beautiful colors and fragrances. There is also a separate dog park, and the ranch has a designated picnic area with tables available for reservations.
Pioneer Living History Museum
Founded in 1969, this museum offers fun and entertainment for visitors with regularly scheduled events and costumed staff. The museum covers approximately 90 acres of land. On this property, you'll find about 30 original and reconstructed historic buildings dating back to the late 1800s and the early 1900s. The museum's highlights include an opera house, a Peoria log cabin that survived a fierce gun battle, and a dress shop containing apparel from the 1800s.
P83 is a popular entertainment district in Peoria filled with shops, restaurants, a movie theater, and other contemporary attractions. There are many name brand stores in the area that offer premium shopping opportunities. A number of family-friendly eateries make P83 an excellent place to bring the family for a day of fun.
Peoria takes pride in its distinguished past, which is evident with a walk through the historic town center. Here, you'll find many historic buildings, museums, and artwork capturing the essence of Peoria's past and present. There are several walking tours you can join to get a better sense of the town's history, and you can even stop in at the local brewing company located in the city's original firehouse.
There's a lot to love about Peoria, but its natural beauty is one of its biggest draws. Whether you're looking to spruce up your property for seasonal visitors or want to prevent Peoria from living up to its name, let Lawn Love help. With expert lawn care services, we are here to get your garden and yard in top shape.