Looking for lodging in Sun City, Arizona, presents a unique problem to visitors who are not familiar with the planned community for seniors. When Sun City opened for housing sales in 1960, the curving roads of the city were surrounded by desert and little else. Founder and builder Del Webb included lodging in his plan, but as the desert gave way to development, Sun City’s streets became land-locked by the adjacent communities of Surprise, Peoria and Youngtown.
Saguaro cactus and mountain views are common in Sun City.
In 1960, the first of Del Webb’s Hiway House motels opened in Sun City along with a nine-hole golf course and a recreation center. Trace the city’s origins to the intersection of 107th and Grand avenues, but don’t expect to see much of what was the original town site. In 1963, Hiway House became a King’s Inn; in 1989, it was torn down to make way for a shopping center.
The layout of Sun City’s circular neighborhoods with curving roads and green spaces is in stark contrast to the rest of the Valley of the Sun’s east-west and north-south roadway grid pattern. North-south roads generally are numbered, while east-west avenues are named. Major intersections are a half-mile apart. Grand Avenue is the exception, running northwest to southeast across the valley. Active railroad tracks parallel Grand on the east side. For traveling east or west, use Beardsley Road, Union Hills Drive, Bell Road, and Peoria and Olive avenues.
Lodging on Grand
Look for motels on Grand Avenue in Youngtown on the south side of the road, east of the Agua Fria’s dry river bed. Overnight at the Best Western Inn and Suites of Sun City, and start the morning with complimentary breakfast burritos. Exercise the brain with free high-speed wireless Internet connection,s and give the body a workout in the pool. The nearby Motel 6 Phoenix/Sun City has a heated outdoor pool and free cable television. Youngtown and Sun City restaurants are just a few minutes away by car.
Motels on Bell
Just west of Sun City and east of Sun City West off Bell Road, the Windmill Inns & Suites welcomes guests to a resort-like setting with palm trees surrounding three-story buildings and an outdoor pool. Quality Inn & Suites of the Sun Cities is in the same Surprise neighborhood. Use the heated indoor pool, hot tub and exercise room year-round. There is a guest laundry on site; some rooms have refrigerators and microwaves. Both inns have continental breakfasts. A variety of restaurants are just a few minutes away in Surprise, Sun City and Sun City West.
- arizona desert image by John Keith from Fotolia.com