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Fresh air: Phoenix’s Encanto Park named among best in nation

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PHOENIX — The Valley of the Sun is famous for our hot summers, but we’re also pretty well known for having some of the best weather in the country during other parts of the year.

We also have some great ways to mark that weather — hiking trails, lakes and one of the best parks in the nation.

Really.

Lifestyle website Thrillist said Phoenix’s Encanto Park is one of the nation’s best 15 city parks.

The site said it selected the 222-acre park because it has a lot to offer Phoenicians — think an amusement park, golf courses and swimming, among other activities — within a short drive from the central part of the city.

The park has also been highly rated by Forbes.

Encanto Park is located near 15th Avenue and McDowell Road. It was built in the 1930s and designed by William G. Hartranft, who wanted to build something that would rival San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park or San Diego’s Balboa Park — the former was named the fifth-best city park in the nation by Thrillist, while the latter was named the second-best.

Thrillist said Forest Park, in St. Louis, Missouri, is the best city park in the nation. Built to host the 1904 World’s Fair, it has numerous museums, the country’s biggest outdoor theater and a waterfall.

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