Arizona and water in the same sentence? How can it be? “Arizona doesn’t have water” is a common misconception. It’s all just desert right? Wrong! Believe it or not, Arizona is filled with beautiful lakes, rivers, creeks and water activities that draw in people from around the world to explore. While many of our water activities require hiking gear or a boat, there are still several ways to have water fun without putting on a bathing suit!
Recently, we explored Scorpion Bay at Lake Pleasant in Peoria, Arizona. It was the beginning of January and the water was too cold to even dip our toes in, so we had a challenge. Could we find something fun to do there? You bet!
First, let’s start with the basics!
How to get there:
Lake Pleasant is a beautiful body of water located west of the 1-17 off Carefree Highway. It’s about a 10 minute drive from the freeway. Lake Pleasant is huge and allows big boats, small boats, water sports, jet skis, paddle boards, canoes and more.
Lake Pleasant offers rentals for boats, jet skis, sailing pontoons, paddle boards and more. Click here for information.
Are you a hiker? Lake Pleasant has beautiful hiking trails where you can explore the outdoors along the water. Click here for information.
In addition to the basics, visitors can also fish, experience a massive slide during the warmer months and simply walk around the marina.
Is there food at Scorpion Bay? You bet! In fact, there is a beautiful restaurant! Dillon’s Bayou has a big indoor restaurant and Whiskey Bar with a live stage, arcade and either sit-down or takeout available. Enjoy the outdoors by sitting on their dock patio and eat along the water. Kid’s drinks are free!
If you don’t feel like a sit-down restaurant experience, Scorpion Bay has a general store where they sell snacks, ice cream and drinks. They even have a dinner cruise! Click here for details.
Plan My Day For Me!
Now that we’ve told you the basics about Lake Pleasant, we are here to share a sample day with you!
If you have small children and the thought of boating is just too stressful at this season of life, that’s ok! You can still enjoy the day in a fun way!
Step One: Enter Lake Pleasant through Scorpion Bay off Carefree Highway just west of the 1-17
Step Two: Proceed to the white and blue entrance and pay $6 per car to park.
Step Three: Go LEFT and park in the dirt parking lot at the top. You might be confused at first (like we were) because it looks like a really LONG walk to the water. A mile at least. However, don’t fret! Once you park, head over to the waiting area for the golf carts! Our Lake Pleasant friends think of everything. Volunteers drive the golf carts to and from the parking lot so you don’t have to walk the whole way. They will drop you off right in front of Dillons! They even drive the golf carts on the actual dock. Our kids loved the experience. It was fun for them simply doing that!
Step Four: Once you get to the marina, now you can play! If it’s cooler weather and you don’t feel like getting in the water, we recommend eating on the patio at Dillons. Kid’s drinks are free and the portions are big and easily shared. Bring 25 cents and you can get a handful of duck food to feed the ducks along the dock. After you eat, head inside and enjoy arcade games like Big Buck and oversized family games like Chess and Checkers. Check the website for details on live music.
You can easily spend hours enjoying the marina, Scorpion Bay at Lake Pleasant. In warm weather months, the rentals will be available and there are areas where you could hop in the water. The huge slide looked like a lot of fun for those with a little daredevil in them!
Tips before you visit:
- Bring cash and change to tip your golf cart driver and pay for duck food and arcade games.
Scorpion Bay at Lake Pleasant is a fun and a reasonably priced activity that the entire family will enjoy, even when the weather isn’t in the triple digits! They are open year-round but the general store isn’t always open.
Are you more of a visual person? Take a look at our Youtube video to know what to expect!