Are you planning a trip to Phoenix, Arizona? Even though a lot of people enjoy visiting downtown Phoenix, there are a lot of enjoyable day trips within and around the city.
You might want to take some time to visit Scottsdale, Tempe, or even up to downtown Sedona as well. You might want to take a day trip to explore a few golf courses in Fountain Hills or go hiking in the desert to admire the saguaro cactuses in their natural habitat. You might even want to swing by the Grand Canyon or take a look at some Native American history and culture in the Phoenix area.
If you are looking for the most enjoyable things to do during your visit to Phoenix, take a look at the list below!
1. The Desert Botanical Garden
The Sonoran Desert is truly unique, but those who think that the desert landscape and desert plains are nothing but sand and dirt are in for a surprise. There are actually plenty of desert plants to see, and that is something that you will appreciate if you swing by the Desert Botanical Garden. There are actually plenty of green plants in the desert, and this botanical garden has more than 140 acres. There are fun events that take place, you can take a look at some beautiful scenery, and you can even enjoy a meal at one of the delicious restaurants. Learn about what it means to live life in the desert by taking a look at the Desert Botanical Garden.
2. South Mountain Park
If you would like to get some of the top views of the local area, you should check out South Mountain Park. The Southwest is truly unique, and you can appreciate that if you take in some of the views from this beautiful park. You might be able to see if you people hiking and biking, and you can watch the sunrise or sunset. If you want to challenge yourself with a hike, then consider checking out Dobbins Lookout. It is one of the most challenging hikes in the valley, so you can get in your exercise while appreciating the amazing views.
3. The Musical Instrument Museum
Even though there are lots of Phoenix museums from which to choose, the Musical Instrument Museum is one of the most popular. It is one of the few global instrument museums, and it has pulled together instruments from all over the world. When you purchase your ticket, you’ll receive a headset. Then, you can check out instruments from every continent in the world. You can watch people play them, and learn about the unique history. Be sure to check out the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum, and don’t forget to listen to some live music!
4. Camelback Mountain
If you are looking for a way to get some exercise while also exploring some amazing views, then consider giving Camelback Mountain a try. This is a fun hike that is nestled near Phoenix and Scottsdale. There are multiple hiking trails from which to choose, so you can tailor your visit to meet your skill level. Some of the hiking trails are easy, while others are grueling. Furthermore, there’s a good chance that you will see other people following the same path, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost! When you are done, consider getting a beer and a burger to reward yourself! Do not forget to bring your camera so you can take some pictures!
5. Taliesin West
One of the attractions you have to visit in Phoenix is Taliesin West. This amazing feat of imagination was the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famous architects of all time. He lived here during the winter from 1937 to 1959. You should be sure to tour the house, and it serves as the campus for students who attend the local school of architecture. The house is situated at the base of the McDowell mountains. The idea for the home’s unique construction was inspired by nature in the surrounding area. Many of the stones used to build the house came from areas nearby.
6. Tempe Town Lake
If you enjoy aquatic activities, you can still do so even in a city that doesn’t get a lot of rain. Tempe is the epitome of a college town. It is the home of Arizona State University, relatively close to Phoenix, and has lots of enjoyable activities. If you swing by Tempe Town Lake, you can go rowing, sailing, or kayaking. You might even want to go fishing! You’ll see plenty of people running, and you might want to bring a picnic basket to relax and enjoy a meal! Be sure to take some time to explore the town. There are lots of great restaurants, and you may want to pop in a few of the boutiques.
7. The Japanese Friendship Garden
If you have had your fill of the desert, then it is time to get away from it just a bit. You may want to check out the Japanese Friendship Garden. The entire garden is between 3 and 4 acres in size. You can check out a koi pond that has hundreds of fish, relax by the giant waterfall, and indulge in some traditional Japanese culture. The garden also has a lot of lanterns, footbridges, and even a tea house that has an occasional tea ceremony. The garden was built because Phoenix has a sister city in Japan, Himeji.
8. Check Out the Golf Courses
If you love to golf, you have come to an amazing location to do so. Phoenix is known for its amazing golf courses. There are more than two hundred of them in the metropolitan area, and Phoenix doesn’t exactly get a lot of rain. Therefore, there is a great chance that you will get an opportunity to swing those clubs a few times! Regardless of whether you want to try the Top Golf side of things or go out and play an actual round, you can do it all in Phoenix! There is a reason why this is a popular city for people who love golf. You might even want to check out some of the fancy private ones as well!
9. Explore the Local Wine Scene
You may not realize that Arizona is actually one of the top wine countries in the United States. There are countless wineries that you can check out, so consider taking a day trip while doing some traveling from winery to winery. Regardless of whether you want to explore the wine professionals in Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, or Scottsdale, you do not have to travel very far. You might even want to check out Central Phoenix or South Phoenix to taste some of the best wine that the state has to offer. A few options you may want to check out include Carlson Creek Vineyard and LDV Winery.
10. The Phoenix Arm Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum is a bit small, so it is easy for people to overlook; however, it is absolutely something that you should not miss. Even though the museum is not very big, it has works from some of the greatest artists in the world. Furthermore, the exhibits rotate from time to time, so you should come back often to see if they have put anything new on display. Sometimes, the museum will advertise when they get something new, so be sure to keep your eye out for updates on social media. You might even see a few Picasso paintings during your visit to the art museum!
11. Papago Park
If you love unique parks, then be sure not to overlook Papago Park. This is one of the oldest parks in Phoenix, but it is still one of the most popular. It has gathered individual pieces of history from Phoenix over the years. At one point, the ground was a reservation for Native Americans. During the Great Depression, the park was a fish hatchery that provided food for people who lived in the area. Now, this is a great place to not only get some exercise but also explore a slice of Phoenix history. Take some time to check out this park during your visit! Do not forget to see the Hole in the Rock!
12. The Arizona Science Center
If you take a look at a travel guide while visiting Phoenix, you will probably find the Arizona Science Center on the list. This is one of the top science centers in the country, and there are attractions for people of all ages. For example, you may want to check out the door in the planetarium for a truly unique show. Or, you may want to participate in the astronaut exhibition. There are both permanent exhibits and rotating ones, so you can come back often to take a look at different events, learning experiences, and shows. You might even want to plan a party here!
13. The Children’s Museum
In addition to the fun science center, there is also a children’s museum located in the Valley of the Sun. It is a giant hangout for people of all ages, but of course, there are some parts of the museum that might only be accessible to smaller humans! There are plenty of obstacle courses, learning exhibits, and opportunities to make a few new friends! You might want to encourage your children to wear some elbow pads and knee pads if they want to take advantage of everything that the museum has to offer! If you want to explore it as well, then you might want to wear some pads, too!
14. Take in an Arizona Diamondbacks Game
If you love sports, then you have come to the right place. Arizona is home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phoenix Suns, and the Arizona Cardinals. If you visit during the summer, you want to check out the Arizona Diamondbacks. They are the local baseball team, and they have some of the best players in all of Major League Baseball. Furthermore, tickets are usually not that expensive, so consider making some time to go to a game at Chase Field!
15. The Heard Museum
Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the area surrounding Phoenix was inhabited by Native Americans. Now, The Heard Museum has been established to pay homage to American Indian art and culture. That is why this museum has tens of thousands of works created by Native Americans. You may spot some jewelry, Navajo textiles, and amazing ceramic works. There is still a significant Native American influence in and around Phoenix, and you will gain a better appreciation for it if you swing by the museum to take a look at the exhibits. Do not pass up the opportunity to see something truly unique!
16. The Pueblo Grande Museum
During your visit to Phoenix, you will see plenty of Native American ruins, history, and culture in the region, and one of the best locations is the Pueblo Grande Museum. You can learn about the Hohokam Indians who used to live in the area. The exhibits rotate from time to time, so do not forget to come back several times to make sure you don’t miss anything. There are plenty of other ruins to check out, such as Montezuma’s Castle, which you will see on the way to Sedona.
17. Enjoy the Phoenix Nightlife
During your visit to Phoenix, you should take advantage of opportunities to explore the nightlife as well. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a night owl, there are plenty of fun events that take place across the city, particularly on the First Friday of every month. If you want to stay up-to-date on everything the city offers, then be sure to check out what people post on social media. That way, you don’t miss out on an opportunity to get some discounts on food and beverages or explore some live music!
18. Explore Roosevelt Row
If you really want to do some sightseeing, then check out the arts district on Roosevelt Row. This is one of the best places to explore some street art, so do not forget to bring your camera! Some of the best local artists will put their work on display right there on the street, so this is a great opportunity to check out some of the talented people who live in the area. Even though a lot of people think about the desert, the area has so much to offer, and much of it will be on display when you visit Phoenix and check out the street art here!
19. Check Out Old Town Scottsdale
If you want to branch out and explore the greater Phoenix area, do not forget to check out Old Town Scottsdale. This is one of the top things to do, and you can see what life was like in the old west. This is a family-friendly town with lots of fun things to do, including unique shops, restaurants, and opportunities to purchase a slice of history. There are also some hiking trails to explore in the area, making this one of the top getaway opportunities. You may also want to check out Butte and Flagstaff, but do not overlook this opportunity to explore the wild west!
20. Tres Rio Wetlands
There is a lot of environmental conservation taking place around Phoenix. Even though a lot of people think that the desert doesn’t have a lot of plants and animals, there are actually plants and animals that live here that cannot live anywhere else. Therefore, these wetlands were established as an environmental conservation project. It includes more than seven hundred acres around the Salt River, and the entire area was restored to the same condition that it was during the early 19th century. Now, there are numerous plants and animals, including hundreds of species of birds.
21. The Hall of Flame Fire Museum
22. The Enchanted Island Amusement Park
In the heart of Encanto Park, you and your family will love to visit the Enchanted Island Amusement Park. The theme park features a variety of rides and plenty of other entertainment options. Each ride has its own height requirement, so depending on the height of your child, he or she may or may not be able to ride everything. The safe bets are the C.P. Huntington Train and Encanto Carousel.
There’s even a splash zone in the park for you and your kids to cool off on those extra hot desert days.
Check Out The Best Phoenix Things To Do
These are just a few of the top things to do when you visit Phoenix. There is a long list, and you might not be able to accomplish everything on a single trip. Therefore, you should consider coming back for a repeat visit.
Remember that there are some things that happen seasonally as well, so do not forget to take a look at events that might be taking place during your trip. Do not forget to check out Glendale, do some horseback riding, and explore Goldfield Ghost Town as well! There is something fun for everyone in Phoenix!