Secrets of Phoenix revealed

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
Secret pool in Paradise Valley By Jesse Rieser Secret pool in Paradise Valley By Jesse Rieser

PHOENIX -- The Valley of the Sun is full of hidden surprises, but if you don't look closely you just might miss them.

The May 2012 edition of PHOENIX Magazine has unveiled several unique treasures that might even surprise the folks who have spent a lifetime here.

"Secrets of the City" features stories about secret pools, bowling alleys and urban legends proven to be true. Reading this may have you headed out the door ready to embark on a Valley adventure.

The Valley is home to several secret tunnels

Rumor has it, an underground escape tunnel is in place for the mayor of Phoenix. It's one that is said to connect City Hall with nearby buildings. Mayor Greg Stanton’s office remains tight-lipped about its possible existence, but another tunnel was discovered in this part of town during Light Rail construction. 

Metro crews found a 4-by-5-foot tunnel near the Westward Ho.

This one is believed to be part of a primitive air-return system for the 85-year-old building’s original cooling unit.

According to the magazine, the tunnel terminates somewhere in the Westward Ho’s basement and remains off-limits.

Romantic wine cellar

If you're searching for a romantic place to wow your sweetheart, the wine cellar at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn will likely do the trick.

Three wine vaults house over 500 wines tucked inside a subterranean wine cellar. This place is a gem!

The venue can be reserved for private parties but on Tuesday nights, the underground hideaway plays host to something called Tuesday Taste. Think improvisational cuisine lead by executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco. 

Those who reserve a spot at the eight-person table are asked about the foods they like and dislike.

Then a custom meal is created and paired with unique wines from all over the world. 

To top things off, elegant stemware showcases the flavor of each wine.

Hidden Treasure

The Valley has long been a hot spot for those in search of secret treasure, somewhere in the Sierra Estrellas.

Located just 15 miles southwest of Phoenix, the South Phoenix mountain range contains one of the most rugged mountain ranges in Arizona.

The most persistent of the legends involves a stash of gold in a cave somewhere near Montezuma Head.

What was once believed to be a tall tale was made semi-credible by the existence of a 19th century Spanish gold mine in the area.

Modern treasure hunters are encouraged to "look for the Old Stone House" at 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear. For more information call 623-932-3811.

Elvis-themed Wedding Chapel

Forget going to Vegas for that Elvis-themed wedding.

Did you know Apache Junction is home to the Elvis Memorial Chapel?

You can find it at the Superstition Mountain Museum, 4087 N. Apache Trail, Apache Junction. 

The chapel is available for weddings. The museum showcases memorabilia from movies filmed at Apacheland Movie Ranch, including Charro, starring Elvis Presley.

For more of PHOENIX Magazine’s "Secrets of the City" issue, check newsstands Valleywide or call 480-664-3960 or subscribe today so you don’t miss another issue!