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Payson is located in Gila County northeast of Phoenix between Camp Verde and Show Low along Highway 87 near the East Verde River and Tonto Creek.

Payson is situated within the Tonto National Forest.

Visitors are urged to visit the official visitor center, located on the west side of Highway 260 and Main Street. Payson is located in Arizona's Rim Country. Payson, nestled in the rolling mountains south of the Mogollon Rim, was first known as Green Valley, but, because of its size and shape, was sometimes called Long Valley or Big Valley. When the town was platted in 1882, it was called Union Park, population 40. In 1884, the town's name was changed to Payson in honor of Congressman Louis Edward Payson of Chicago, who helped the settlement obtain a post office.

Today, tourism is the primary industry of the area, although ranching, mining and smelting remain important elements of the area's economic base.

Merritt Retreat Center and Lodge |
Arizona State Parks Tonto Natural Bridge State Park |
Bed and Breakfasts and Country Inns Porterfield House |
Motels, Hotels and Resorts Mountain Meadows Cabins | Village at Christopher Creek |
Vacation Rentals Village at Christopher Creek |

See more Arizona Cities and Towns.

03/01 Coming to The area
National Festival of the West Scottsdale AZ March21-24 Nation Festival of the West is the country's largest celebration of the Old West and the American Cowboy.
Arizona Renaissance Festival Apache Junction AZ March30-31 In addition to village street and pathway events, the Festival has twelve stages of ongoing shows performing every half-hour. From the daily opening ceremony to the closing cannon shot, every Festival minute and every Festival acre is filled with mirth, merriment and marketplace exhibitions.
10th Annual Polish Festival Phoenix AZ April13-14 Authentic Polish food, beef, raffle, live entertainment, fun activities for kids.
Prickly Pear Festival Superior AZ August24 The historic copper mining town of Superior hosts a new prickly pear festival featuring a morning “how to pick and juice ‘em” class by Jean Groen.
St. George Feast of the Middle East Phoenix AZ October4-6 Enjoy Kibbee,(Ground Meat and Burghul Mixture)that is virtually the national dish of any Middle Eastern country, very lean beef or lamb are finely ground and mixed with cracked wheat and spices, then baked in olive oil. Also Shish Kabobs and Chicken Shawarma. Watch the St George Dancers.
Arizona Exposition & State Fair Phoenix AZ October11-November3 The Arizona Expo and State Fair is held every year. Events include the All-Indian Rodeo, motorized events, animal displays and competition, cooking contests, youth activities, and competitive entries. There is also an annual concert schedule that is announced prior to the fair. Exhibition buildings and grounds include the Agriculture Center, Arizona Plaza Building, Avenue of Flags, Cattle Barns, Exhibit Building, Grandstand-Arena, Hacienda Home Arts Center, Wesley Bolin Building, and the Party Gras.