Only a few short hours from the Metro-Phoenix area, the White Mountains is a summer destination offering cooler temperatures, plenty of outdoor activities, and that charming small-town feel. Check out all there is to do in the area including the best restaurants to visit, summer festivals, and the family-friendly fun that awaits as you plan your getaway to the White Mountains.
White Mountains Nature Center: The White Mountain Nature Center connects people to the natural beauty of the White Mountains by providing information, close-up and personal wildlife experiences, and encouraging visitors to explore and enjoy nature. wmnature.org
Raptors Flight Show: This world-class free-flight Raptor Show features Simon and Garfunkel, Eurasian Eagle Owls, and other amazing species trained by Certified Professional Trainers to perform natural behaviors on cue. Daily training exhibitions are free to the public. An infrastructure to house more animals and a viewing patio and 250-seat amphitheater are under construction now.
Greer, Arizona: Less than an hour away from the Show Low/Pinetop-Lakeside area is a quaint little town nestled in the pines where the Little Colorado River runs right through. Come for the day, or rent a cabin for a longer stay! You’ll find creeks for splashing, lakes for fishing, and trails for hiking! Plus, you can take a trip on the longest zip line in Arizona! greerlodgeaz.com/activities
Lake Day: Grab your fishing poles, sunscreen, and some sandwiches for a lazy day on the water. Big Lake, Show Low Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Hawley Lake, and Fools Hollow Lake are just a few of the many lakes in the White Mountains. Just make sure to get a fishing license and a reservation permit if needed. pinetoplakesideaz.gov/224/lakes
Mountain Biking: Prefer wheels over feet? The White Mountains Trail System is made up of more than 200 miles of non-motorized, multi-use trails-mountain bikers of all skill levels can come here and enjoy the beautiful pines! A local volunteer organization, TRACKS, maintains these trails and offers downloadable, topographical maps of the entire trail system, which can help you pick the trail best for your family’s skill level. Don’t have a bike? Consider renting one for your trip! visitarizona.com/places/parks-monuments/white-mountain-trail-system
Boating: Whether you’re an experienced water enthusiast or wanting to test the waters, the White Mountains will be your new favorite summer destination! Bring your boat or consider renting a boat, canoe, kayak, paddleboard and enjoy one of the 50+ lakes, streams, and small rivers.
White Mountain Fun Park: Featured on our cover, this family owned fun park offers an arcade, mini golf, go karts, and a laser maze! If you’re all tuckered out on outdoor adventures on your summer trip to the White Mountains, consider this for an easy day of fun! Open year round. whitemountainfamilyfunpark.com
Horseback Riding: Get the full “western experience” when you saddle up at Porter Mountain Stables in Lakeside or the Pinetop Lakes Activity Center and Stables. Gallop through streams, ride through blooming meadows, or enjoy a sunset ride and watch the wildlife come to life. You’ll experience some of the most breathtaking scenic trails up close and personal in the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world.
Show Low 660: For all the racing enthusiasts, come out for the monthly drag races. Races take place the last Saturday of every month. Entrance is free for spectators but donations are requested for the charity of the month.
Farmers Markets: If you love purchasing fresh foods and locally made gifts then these markets will be a fun activity for you! Grab locally grown fruits and vegetables, fresh eggs, just-baked breads and treats, and handmade gifts. Pick up something special for a loved one or yourself! Visit the White Mountains Market in Pinetop-Lakeside or the Farmers Market & Art Walk in Show Low for Saturday events all summer long! showlowmainstreet.org
Pinetop Brewing Company: “Small town, big beers”— that’s the motto of Pinetop Brewing Company. Featuring wood fired pizzas, delicious burgers, and local craft beers brewed at 7000 feet, it’s a great spot for lunch or dinner! Sit inside or enjoy the beautiful weather on the outdoor patio with generous portions, refreshing drinks, and friendly staff. pinetopbeer.com
The House: With a large grass area, cornhole, picnic tables, swings, and an outdoor bar–this is a must-visit restaurant this summer! Their summer menu features street taco bars, burgers of the week, BYO mac n’ cheese, live music on the weekends, and brunch on Sundays! Plus, you can bring your furry friend along for the fun. Don’t skip the delicious handmade ice cream before you leave! thehouseshowlow.com
Charlie Clark’s: Reportedly the 5th oldest steakhouse in Arizona, and the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the White Mountains, this unique dining experience has to be in your itinerary this summer! The 2½ acre orchard features picnic tables, heavy shade trees, and an apple orchard on the historic homestead. You’ll love ordering your favorite drink from the bar converted from an old barn, busting a move on the dance floor, and playing horseshoe pits. After a long day of exploring, this is a perfect spot to let the kids run around! charlieclarks.com
Show Low Days: June 9-10. This event features activities like battle of the badge, live music, vendor booths, delicious food, and more. Children will enjoy games, rides, and lots of fun! Show Low Days is a fun and festive event that brings together locals and tourists alike to celebrate the town’s community spirit and heritage. showlowchamber.com
White Mountain Balloon Festival: June 23-25. Take your White Mountains adventure to new heights this year and see beautiful hot air balloons up close and personal! The skies will come to life while you enjoy live music, local food vendors, and fun activities for the whole family. wmbfaz.com
Heber-Overgaard 4th of July Festival: July 1-2. Come out and celebrate Independence Day with cooler weather, vendors, foodtrucks, live music, activities, games, a hometown parade, and the largest hand-lit fireworks display in Arizona! heberovergaard.org
Hummingbird Festival: July 29, 8 a.m. to noon. A free, family-friendly festival which will include a variety of activities such as a live wildlife exhibit, a critter photo booth, hummingbird banding, kids crafts, an on-site food truck, and more! springervilleeagarchamber.com