Boyce Luther Gulley always dreamed of building his own castle (800 E. Mineral Rd., 602/268-1581, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thurs.-Sun., closed June–Sept., $5 adults, $2 children 6-15). One fine day in 1930 he disappeared, leaving his wife and daughter behind. His whereabouts remained unknown until his death in 1945, when both Gulley and his castle were identified. Gulley's daughter, Mary Lou, now presides over the castle. She and assistants lead tours through the main house (decorated with Native American baskets and rugs), the caretaker's room (with its "Stairway to the Rainbow"), the Saguaro Room (built around a saguaro skeleton), the wedding chapel (with a Grand Canyon North Rim fireplace), and the Dug Out bar. Everything from Stutz-Bearcat wheels to discarded bricks went into the imaginative and whimsical architecture.
The castle is seven miles south of downtown Phoenix near the entrance to South Mountain Park. Drive south on Central Avenue, turn left on Mineral Road, and continue eight blocks. Alternatively, you can drive south on Seventh Street to its end at Mineral Road, then turn left and proceed one block.
On to East Phoenix