The Top 20 Things to Do in and Around Phoenix

Positioned within the coronary heart of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a lot to supply in the case of breathtaking landscapes and cultural richness. Town is tucked right into a valley, with jagged mountain peaks throughout, making it an outside fanatic’s dream.

There are many issues to do in and round Phoenix, and these are my prime 20 you may’t miss:

1. South Mountain Park & Protect

This municipal park is in contrast to another in the USA. In actual fact, at over 16,000 acres, it’s one of many largest within the nation! There are greater than 50 miles of trails for mountain climbing or biking, and in the event you make it to the highest of South Mountain to Dobbins Lookout, you’ll get the most effective views of the realm. South Mountain Park & Preserve is a spot that nature lovers gained’t need to miss.

2. Camelback Mountain

You’ll discover what locals take into account to be the most effective view of Phoenix on the prime of Camelback Mountain, so why not climb up and see it your self? It’s smack-dab in the midst of the Phoenix Valley and is straightforward to get to from downtown. There are two trails to the highest: Echo Canyon and Cholla. Each are tough, so put together your self for a difficult trek, along with your reward being the epic view from the highest. Discover extra data about climbing Camelback Mountain here.

3. Papago Park

A chicken’s-eye view of Papago Park

Papago Park is a vital a part of Arizona historical past, because it was as soon as house to a Native American reservation, fish hatchery throughout the Nice Despair, VA hospital, and different essential websites. These days, it’s frequented by Phoenix residents and guests who need to get pleasure from Arizona’s beautiful desert views and plentiful crops. Hike the quintessential Gap-in-the-Rock Path or go to Governor Hunt’s Tomb.

The following merchandise on the checklist is definitely a part of Papago Park, however you would go to all of it by itself:

4. Desert Botanical Backyard

There’s a false impression that deserts are simply sand and tumbleweeds, however in actuality there’s a wealth of plant variety, together with hundreds of sorts of cacti and succulents. Plant lovers will discover Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Backyard particularly enchanting, with over 55 acres to discover and plant species from everywhere in the world to admire.

Apart from merely taking within the backyard’s magnificence, you can too try the calendar to see if there shall be any workshops or occasions throughout your go to.

5. Japanese Friendship Backyard

Throughout the USA, yow will discover Japanese friendship gardens. There’s a well-known one in San Diego, however this one in Phoenix has character and attraction of its personal. The gathering of Japanese crops gives a burst of greenery, plus the standard decorations and general serenity of the backyard are certain to carry you a way of peace.

6. Misplaced Dutchman State Park

Misplaced Dutchman State Park will get its identify from a legendary misplaced gold mine. It’s one of the beloved state parks close to Phoenix due to its beautiful mountain vistas and engaging historical past. Benefit from the lengthy and winding mountain climbing trails on the foot of the Superstition Mountains, however keep for an event or two.

7. Goldfield Ghost City

Near Canyon Lake within the Superstition Mountains is an American relic, the Goldfield ghost city. You’ll find such deserted cities all through Arizona, Nevada, and different states, and in the event you’ve by no means been to 1, it’s definitely an insightful expertise. Goldfield was as soon as a booming mining city however was vacated in 1926. Now it serves as a vacationer attraction and makes an excellent cease on a full-day Sonoran desert tour, like this one.

8. Haunted Downtown Tour

Can’t get sufficient of the spooky feeling of Goldfield? Think about this haunted downtown tour of Phoenix when you get again to city. I like creepy ghost excursions as a result of usually they embrace fascinating historic details a couple of metropolis’s darkish previous. This one isn’t any exception, and your information will fill you in on a few of Phoenix’s most mind-boggling tales.

9. Canyon Lake

Should you’re visiting Phoenix throughout the summertime, getting a bit outdoors of city to chill off in a lake ought to positively be in your itinerary. Canyon Lake, only a 45-minute drive outdoors of Phoenix, within the Superstition Wilderness of the Tonto Nationwide Forest, is a beautiful oasis good for water actions reminiscent of kayaking, swimming, or boating.

Canyon Lake can also be identified for its Dolly Steamboat excursions, which you’ll guide here. You may also camp at Canyon Lake if you wish to spend extra time there. Learn up on Arizona camping tips here.

To see extra of the Apache Path, try this full-day tour, which stops at Canyon Lake for a cruise.

10. Saguaro Lake

One other pristine lake within the Tonto Nationwide Forest, Saguaro is right for each a soothing day on the water and an thrilling journey. You’ll find secluded spots on the east finish for tenting or hanging out on shore, or cruise by means of on a sailboat. There are additionally jet-skis and wakeboards for rent for a extra adventurous go to.

An alternative choice is to do a self-guided kayak tour across the lake. Book here.

11. Salt River

One other water oasis, Salt River is a peaceable place to discover and take within the surrounding nature. It’s the most effective locations to kayak; take into account taking a kayak tour. Salt River can also be house to wild horses and bald eagles, so maintain a watch out to see some wonderful animals when you paddle.

12. Phoenix Artwork Museum

Should you’re like me, you like artwork museums however get overwhelmed by their dimension. You gained’t have to fret about that at this small however mighty establishment. The Phoenix Art Museum gives a pleasant assortment of each well-known artists like Georgia O’Keeffe (my private favourite) and Pablo Picasso, whereas additionally that includes native abilities. Take a look at the everlasting assortment or pop in to see what non permanent displays are on show.

13. Heard Museum

Devoted to the development of Native American artwork, the Heard Museum has a formidable assortment of over 40,000 items, starting from Navajo textiles to Hopi katsina dolls and the whole lot in between. Not solely will you have the ability to admire Native American artwork, however you’ll additionally get a glimpse into the indigenous historical past of the area. This can be a can’t-miss museum in Phoenix.

14. Musical Instrument Museum

Take a look at a rigorously chosen assortment of musical devices from all all over the world — spanning 6,000 years — on the Musical Instrument Museum. Even in the event you’re just a bit curious in regards to the historical past of musical devices, you’re certain to be captivated by this native favourite. Journey the world by means of music within the Geographic Galleries, or strive your hand at taking part in some devices within the Expertise Gallery. Plan your visit to the Musical Instrument Museum here.

15. Roosevelt Row District

In downtown Phoenix lies the Roosevelt Row District, the guts of town’s artwork scene and one of the pedestrian-friendly elements of city, in which you’ll get pleasure from recognizing the colourful murals as you stroll across the space. There’s additionally a excessive focus of artwork galleries, cafés, and eating places within the neighborhood, so that you’ll need to spend a while right here for certain.

Should you occur to be in Phoenix on the primary Friday of the month, take into account becoming a member of the First Fridays Art Walk to take a look at native artists’ work.

16. FilmBar

This quirky movie show/bar is ideal for a enjoyable evening out. I’m not an enormous fan of conventional film theaters as a result of I discover them stuffy and a bit boring. FilmBar, nonetheless, has an identification of its personal and also you’ll quickly see why it’s a far cry out of your common movie show. It gives friends one thing extra thrilling, serving up grownup drinks in addition to popcorn and even tamales, plus an excellent collection of basic, worldwide, and offbeat films.

17. Tempe Seashore Park

Only a 20-minute drive from downtown Phoenix is Tempe Seashore Park, a 25-acre park in close by Tempe. It’s a stunning place to spend a day mountain climbing, picnicking, or paddling on Tempe City Lake. The park hosts a wide range of occasions, from festivals to concert events, all in opposition to the scenic backdrop of downtown Tempe.

18. Sizzling-Air Balloon Experience

Phoenix and the encircling desert landscapes are unbelievable to soak up from the air. As you rise as much as 3,000 toes on this hot-air balloon adventure, you’ll have the ability to see downtown Phoenix, Camelback Mountain, Lake Nice, and State Farm Stadium.

19. Montezuma Fort Nationwide Monument

A well-liked day journey from Phoenix, Montezuma Fort Nationwide Monument gives a glance into the previous, particularly the ingenuity of Native Individuals who constructed expansive dwellings into the edges of limestone cliffs. Much like the mind-blowing indigenous structure of Mesa Verde, Colorado, these constructions by the Sinagua folks have been constructed to final, and they also did. Don’t miss out on a visit to Montezuma Castle to study extra.

20. Sedona (Day Journey)

If Phoenix is your base however you need to visit more of Arizona’s coolest cities, add Sedona to your itinerary, only a two-hour drive from downtown Phoenix. Generally known as the state’s epicenter for all issues spiritual healing, Sedona has an off-beat vibe that pulls guests who admire the nice outdoor and touring consciously.

For extra concepts, try our publish about the best things to in Sedona.


With so many locations only a fast drive away from downtown, renting a automobile is the most effective transportation possibility when visiting Phoenix. Preserve this vibrant metropolis as your base when you enterprise to the outskirts or different cities.

Have you ever been to Phoenix? What different locations would you add to this checklist?

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