Casa Grande is a city in South Central Arizona that is largely a commuter town for people working in Tuscon or Phoenix. It was the site of an interment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, and has played a prominent role in baseball in the United States.
Casa Grande is approximately halfway between Phoenix and Tucson of over 53,000 people (2020). It is named after the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, about 20 miles (32 km) northeast. "Casa Grande" is Spanish for "big house".
The economy of Casa Grande used to be based on rural, agricultural industries such as cotton and dairy farms. Over time, the city has become home to many Phoenix or Tucson urbanites who own homes in Casa Grande. Most residents either commute north to work in the Phoenix metropolitan area, or to the south, to work in Tucson.
Ehrmann Commonwealth Dairy operates a major dairy processing facility in the town that opened in 2013 and employs about 110 people.
Casa Grande was founded in 1879 by the Carter Family during the Arizona mining boom due to the presence of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Casa Grande grew slowly, and suffered several setbacks both in 1886 and 1893, when fires ravaged the town, destroying all wooden housing structures within it. When the mining boom slowed in the 1890s, the town was nearly abandoned, but with the advent of agriculture, the town remained alive and well. Casa Grande was home to a collective farm society which was part of the New Deal.
During World War II, from 1942 to 1945, a Japanese-American relocation camp was set up outside of Casa Grande, known as the Gila River War Relocation Center. Two notable people that were interned there were future actor Pat Morita and baseball player Kenichi Zenimura, who constructed a baseball field and set up a league in the relocation camp.
Casa Grande has played a prominent role in semi-pro and collegiate baseball. The Casa Grande Cotton Kings, who were founded in 1948, qualified to play in the National Baseball Congress World Series ten straight times by winning Arizona state championships in the 1940s and 1950s, and were reactivated in the 2000s. They are now members of the Pacific Southwest Baseball League.
Casa Grande has a hot desert climate, typical for the Sonoran Desert. The city experiences long, extremely hot summers and brief winters consisting of mild afternoons and chilly evenings. The area averages only 9.07 inches (230 millimeters) of rain per year. The coolest month on average is December, with highs averaging 68 °F (20 °C), and lows typically averaging around 37 °F (3 °C). Along with the rest of southern Arizona, the community is prone to dust storms and in the summer months is affected by the North American Monsoon, which brings high winds and heavy rain.
- Phoenix Bypass Route on Interstate 8(I-8) begins from exit 199 of I-10 and goes 347 mi (558 km) west to San Diego through Yuma and Calexico/El Centro. Travelers going towards Los Angeles can go west on Interstate 8 to Gila Bend (exit 119) and go north on AZ-85 to Buckeye (exit 112 of I-10) where they can re-enter I-10 to bypass heavy local traffic in Phoenix.
- & go 35 mi (56 km) north-south between Exit 112 of I-10 (west of Buckeye) to Exits #115 (eastbound access)/119 (westbound access) of I-8. They serve as a bypass around Phoenix for travelers traveling between Los Angeles and Tucson and those traveling between San Diego and Phoenix. This interchange is 60 mi (97 km) west of Casa Grande via I-8. The Historic US 80 and AZ 85 are separate roads, running north-south, parallel to each other along the Gila River between Gila Bend and Buckeye.
- Interstate 10 (I-10) Casa Grande is located about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson and is accessible by car along Interstate 10. Local access into Casa Grande are through exits #185 to 211. Going from Phoenix to Tucson on I-10, the freeway goes north and south but are signed "East to Tucson" and "West to Phoenix".
- Gila Bend Hwy goes 28 mi (45 km) from exit #150 of Interstate 8 into town.
- State Route (SR) 87
- West Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway goes into town as Jimmie Kerr Blvd and into Eloy as Frontier St. Going 21 mi (34 km) northwest to Maricopa.
- 1 Greyhound, (bus stop) Love's Travel Stop at 5000 N Sunland Gin Rd (Off of Exit 200 of i-10.), toll-free: . As this is just a pick-up and drop-off point, tickets should be purchased beforehand online or over the phone. There are no local public transportation in Casa Grande or Eloy so travelers will have to arrange onward transportation to/from the Greyhound bus stop at Love's.
- Amtrak, 44605 W Mercado St, Maricopa, Arizona. The nearest station is in Maricopa, Arizona, 21 mi (34 km) northwest of town. It is served by two routes: the Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle. The station is a small building to offer an indoor waiting room. Limited services so tickets should be purchased beforehand online or over the phone to be presented to the conductor at boarding. There are no Amtrak Thruway buses to Casa Grande so travelers will have to use taxi, rideshare (Uber, Lyft, etc) or be picked up by local contacts to get into Casa Grande.
- 2 Casa Grande Municipal Airport, 3225 N Pinal Ave, ☏ . The city of Casa Grande operates a public general aviation airport. Transient tie-downs are available: the first three days are free, $4 per day thereafter.
- 3 Eloy Municipal Airport.
The nearest airports for commercial flights are in Phoenix (PHX IATA), 42 mi (68 km) north and in Tucson (TUS IATA) at 78 mi (126 km) south via I-10. Travelers typically would rent a car and drive to Casa Grande.
There is no public transportation, so a car is essential.
- Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, in nearby Coolidge — 20 mi (32 km) northeast.
- 1 Casa Grande Art Museum, 319 W 3 St, ☏ . Oct-May: W Th Sa 1PM-4PM.
- 2 Casa Grande Main Street District, 110 W 2nd St, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. Downtown Casa Grande has a number of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A helpful map of the most interesting buildings can be downloaded here.
- 3 The Museum of Casa Grande (Casa Grande Valley Historical Society), 110 W Florence Blvd, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep-May: Th-Su noon-4PM. Exhibits historic artifacts and photographs from the region. $5 adults, $4 seniors, free for kids.
- 1 Pinal County Fair, 512 S Eleven Mile Corner (7 miles east of I-10), ☏ , email@example.com. Annually in late March. $8 adults, $4 children 6-12 yr, free children 0-5 yr.
- 2 Agri-Country Bluegrass Festival, 512 S Eleven Mile Corner (Pinal County Fairgrounds), ☏ . late January. This annual three-day festival hosts musical bluegrass acts from across the US. There is also a classic car show, food, and other entertainment. $8 adults, free for kids 12 and under.
- 3 Shamrock Farms Tour, 40034 W Clayton Rd, Stanfield, ☏ (reservations). Oct-May: Tu Th Sa. Tour a working dairy farm. Reservations required prior to visit. $9 (adults), $7.50 (seniors and military), $6 (children 2-12 yrs).
- 4 Skydive Arizona, 4900 N Taylor St, Eloy, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 SkyVenture Arizona, 4900 N Taylor St, Eloy, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Indoor skydiving.
- Promenade at Casa Grande, 1005 N Promenade Pkwy. It is pretty utilitarian, an open mall type layout with contemporary retail businesses and also some eateries. Tel: +1 520-426-3055.
- 1 Bedillon's Restaurant, 800 N Park Ave, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-F 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9PM; Sa 5PM-9:30PM; closed Su-M. American food for special occasions.
- 2 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, 2281 E Florence Blvd, ☏ .
- 3 McMashers Sports Bar & Grill, 1355 E Florence Blvd #139, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-2AM daily.
- 4 Robson Ranch Bar & Grill, 5750 N Robson Blvd, Eloy, ☏ (reservations).
- 1 Quality Inn Casa Grande I-10, 665 N Via Del Cielo Rd, ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Free wi-fi and breakfast. $113 (Feb 2022).
- 2 Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort, 26000 W Gila Bend Hwy, ☏ . The resort's restaurants and watering holes provide a variety of casual and upscale dining and entertainment options. From $178 (Feb 2022).
- 3 Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 805 Cacheris Ct, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Free wi-fi and breakfast; pets accepted.
- 4 MainStay Suites (email@example.com), 851 County Rd (I-10), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Extended-stay hotel.
- 1 Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, 575 N Marshall St, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-5PM.
- Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, in nearby Coolidge — 20 mi (32 km) east.
- North to metro Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun.
- South to Picacho and Picacho Peak State Park for some hiking, or continue towards Tucson, the Old Pueblo.
|Routes through Casa Grande|
|Yuma ← Dateland ← Jct N S ←||W E||→ Merges into|
|Phoenix ← Chandler ←||W E||→ Eloy → Tucson|