Sun worshippers and people trying to escape the snow and cold in the winter are drawn to Phoenix by its warm, dry climate. The city provides an incredible variety of resorts and hotels, as well as a wealth of artistic and cultural attractions, old-world neighbourhoods, dining, and shopping.
Many visitors simply come to enjoy the outdoors. One of the most popular activities in Phoenix is golfing, but you can also go hiking, biking, camping, and rock climbing.
If you plan to stay longer than a few days, you might want to think about taking some day trips from Phoenix to nearby cities and tourist hotspots. Communities like Sedona, Prescott, and Jerome are easily accessible. You could even take a trip to the Grand Canyon if you’re up for a long day.
The Phoenix Metropolitan Region, which encompasses Scottsdale, Mesa, and Phoenix, is dispersed over a wide area. Using our list of the top things to do in Phoenix, you can schedule your sightseeing in advance and save time.
Garden of the Desert
The Desert Botanical Garden, a stunning complex that merges art and nature, is situated in Papago Park. The grounds are dotted with art works, which give this lovely area a new perspective.
Tens of thousands of plants reside in the 140-acre complex, which also showcases samples of desert vegetation from around the world. Due to special gardens created to draw hummingbirds and butterflies, this is an excellent area to see them as well.
The property is surrounded by a network of extensive paths, so expect to spend a lot of time walking. The plants awaken and bloom in a variety of colours throughout the spring, making it an especially pleasant time to visit.
Phoenix, Arizona, 1201 North Galvin Parkway
the official website, dbg.org
2. Museum of Musical Instruments
With a collection of more than 6,800 instruments from nearly 200 nations and territories, the Musical Instruments Museum is among the biggest of its kind in the world.
Five permanent galleries, including the Geographic Gallery, the Artists Gallery, the Mechanical Music Gallery, the STEM Gallery, and the Experience Gallery, where you may try out some of the instruments, are housed in a magnificent edifice. Additionally, you may observe skilled artisans repairing instruments in the Conservation Lab.
The museum presents international musical instruments and live performances as part of a number of Signature Events and unique travelling exhibits. The facility’s 300-seat theatre hosts concerts.
Phoenix, Arizona, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard
Mim.org, the official website
Taliesin West 3.
The renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter residence and architecture school, Taliesin West, is situated in Scottsdale. The building, which is located in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, serves as both the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture’s residence and the global headquarters of the foundation.
This is a wonderful addition to any agenda for Phoenix, even if you have only the slightest interest in architecture. The visits provide in-depth information about Wright’s life, the school, and the building.
From 1937 through 1959, Wright and his apprentices built all of the buildings in this location using local resources including redwood and rubblestone. You can observe students working in the main drafting studio at Taliesin, which is still a functioning school of architecture.
Scottsdale, Arizona, 12345 North Taliesin Drive
Official website: TaliesinWestTours.html at www.franklloydwright.org
4. Phoenix Area Hiking Trails
Looking for outdoor activities to engage in? A morning or day spent taking a stroll through the desert is always enjoyable, and Phoenix has a variety of hiking trails suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Short, straightforward routes are ideal for birders and wildlife enthusiasts, while challenging hikes up mountains like Camelback Mountain are at one extreme of the spectrum. Some of these can be found near Papago Park at the trailhead for Lost Dog Wash.
Mormon Trail and Pinnacle Peak, which are located in between these two, provide a little bit of a challenge and height along with stunning vistas.
See our list of the best hikes in the Phoenix region to help you plan your excursion for a more thorough look.
Heard Museum 5.
The renowned Heard Museum in Phoenix, which opened in 1929, is known for showcasing the art and culture of the Indian groups who once lived in the Southwest. The Heard is renowned for its incredible collections of kachina dolls, pottery, jewellery, textiles, and basketry.
Native American traditional and contemporary art can be found in the museum’s exhibit galleries and outdoor courtyards. Families may learn about native history and take in traditional arts in this fantastic location.
You can explore the outdoor sculpture garden or take a tour of the museum’s gardens outside. The museum also includes a really nice courtyard-style outside café with a changing menu of dishes designed to go well with the current show.
Phoenix, Arizona, 2301 North Central Avenue
the official website is heard.org.
Old Town Scottsdale, no. 6
Old Town Scottsdale in the Phoenix area is one of the top destinations for fun and eccentricity. A variety of trinkets and other things are sold in distinctive stores built in buildings with covered walkways in the Western style, particularly to tourists.
Some of the finest galleries in the city, showcasing magnificent pieces by renowned painters, are located just up the street from the tacky shops. Scottsdale’s downtown is a great spot to see and be seen.
Additionally, Old Town offers a wide variety of eateries, several of which have lovely patio areas ideal for people-watching. The location, at the crossroads of East Main Street and North Scottsdale Road, is conveniently accessible by foot.
A two-hour Scottsdale Segway Travel is a good way to tour the area and see the sights. This will lead you through Old Town, through various historic sites, and along the waterfront.
Top-Rated Attractions for Visitors & Things to Do in Scottsdale
South Mountain Park No. 7
With more than 16,000 acres of arid terrain, Phoenix’s South Mountain Park/Preserve is one of the country’s biggest city parks. The park’s miles of trails are perfect for mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking. The Mormon Trail is one of the most well-known trails.
Fantastic views of the desert and the city may be seen in the distance. Come here after dark if you’re looking for nighttime activities in Phoenix to enjoy a spectacular view of the city lights.
Mount Suppoa, the park’s highest point, is 2,690 feet high, although Dobbins Overlook, the highest lookout that is accessible by road or trail, is 2,330 feet high.
Phoenix, Arizona, 10919 South Central Avenue
www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/south-mountain is the official website.
8. Flame Hall Fire Museum
The Hall of Flame Fire Museum honours firefighters who have died in the line of duty or been recognised for their bravery while also providing a historical perspective on the industry.
The museum has artefacts from as far back as 1725 on display, including vintage fire engines and several unusual forms of fire extinguishers. Although the history of firefighting in America is primarily the focus, there are also displays from Europe and Japan, providing a more global perspective on the profession.
The names of those murdered since 1981 are listed in the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes. Additionally, there is a memorial for the law enforcement personnel and firefighters lost in the World Trade Center tragedy in 2001.
Phoenix, Arizona, 6101 East Van Buren Street
Website of the band: hallofflame.org
Papago Park 9.
Southeast of the city is home to the lovely natural region known as Papago Park. This park is a fantastic place to start if you’re seeking for things to do and enjoy in Phoenix. Here, you may go on hikes through nature trails, climb the park’s towering red rocks, bike along the many paths, or even play golf.
This is a well-liked location for strolls, especially early in the day before the heat of the day, and you’ll see Phoenix residents making the most of this urban retreat.
The Elliot Ramada and the Double Butte Loop trails are the two most well-known of the park’s many trails. These two pathways go up to the unusual rock outcroppings that are the park’s defining feature. Animals, mainly rabbits but occasionally bighorn sheep, can be seen on occasion.
The Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo are both situated in Papago Park.
www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails/locations/papago-park is the official webpage.
Phoenix, Arizona, 625 North Galvin Parkway
Phoenix Art Museum 10.
The Phoenix Art Museum contains a permanent collection that includes works from the American West, the Far East, and Europe’s Renaissance and Baroque periods. Additionally, the museum showcases fashion design, live performances, and movies.
A work of art in and of itself, the 203,000 square foot skyscraper has a typically modern appearance. It mixes art and architecture with the southwest landscape and was created by New York architects Tod Williams/Billie Tsien & Associates in the middle of the 1990s.
In addition to reflecting the community’s ongoing dedication, the museum’s foundation in 1959 and subsequent growth into one of the premier art museums in the American Southwest also illustrate Phoenix’s transformation from a small desert town to the modern city.
Phoenix, Arizona, 1625 North Central Avenue
the official website, phxart.org
Eleven. Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is recognised for housing Sumatran tigers and orangutans, as well as more than 1,400 other creatures, many of which are endangered species.
The facility’s four different trails include the Children’s Trail, Arizona Trail, Tropics Trail, and Africa Trail. Pack your swimsuits and towels because the zoo also offers kid-friendly activities, splash pads, and play areas.
The Phoenix Zoo’s animal interactions are a particular feature of every trip and unquestionably a highlight. Your kids will enjoy walking through the open exhibit at the Monkey Village as you take pictures of the monkeys swinging by.
The Red Barn is another sight that will cause squeals of delight. Goats, lambs, and horses are all eager to interact with small children in this petting zoo. The gentle giraffe encounter, the Stingray Bay adventure, and the perennially popular camel rides are other activities.
Additionally, the zoo includes a 4D theatre where you can fully immerse yourself in the movie with water, fragrances, and wind effects. When it’s uncomfortable outside, this is a fantastic indoor option. Take a spin on the Endangered Creatures carousel, where each species is different, if you’ve had your fill of the animals.
Phoenix, Arizona, 455 North Galvin Parkway
the official website is located at phoenixzoo.org.
OdySea Aquarium 12.
Even though it would seem strange to find a massive aquarium in the middle of a dry desert, everything somehow works together to provide a fun maritime learning experience. With 200,000 square feet, the OdySea Aquarium is the largest of its kind in Arizona and a great place to escape the dry environment and enter a water-based one.
Three distinct touch pools are located around the property, just follow the path around each corner and level to find fresh and exciting exhibits. The idea is to imagine yourself as a raindrop that falls from the heavens into freshwater before travelling through streams and rivers to reach the ocean. The route is lined with more than 70 exhibits, many of them interactive.
There are about 6,000 aquatic creatures here, including penguins, sharks, stingrays, otters, and octopuses. Even a sloth, together with tropical birds, can be seen on the Odysea.
The facility offers educational exhibits, one of the most distinctive of which gives you the impression that you are in a submarine. You can engage in helmet diving, where you drop into a fish-filled pool while wearing a special diving gear, or you can interact with penguins, both of which cost extra.
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, 9500 E Via De Ventura
Website of official interest: www.odyseaaquarium.com
Arizona Science Center 13.
The Arizona Science Center contains seven galleries with hundreds of interactive exhibits, each with a different subject. A 200-seat planetarium and an IMAX theatre are also on the property. Families should do this in Phoenix, especially on days when the weather isn’t cooperative.
The Science Center hosts six annual trademark events, such as Weird Science Halloween, Science with a Twist, and Snow Week, during which Science Park hill is transformed into a mountain of actual snow and blanketed with 75 tonnes of it.
Phoenix, Arizona, 600 East Washington Street
www.azscience.org is the official website.
14. Museum of the Arizona State Capitol
The historic State Capitol, constructed in 1900 and used as the seat of government until 1974, is surrounded by lovely gardens. A free museum with an emphasis on Arizona history has been established inside the massive state building.
The distinctive Arizona flag, constructed from 113,998 Lego bricks, is one of the must-see attractions. The exhibits are scattered across four floors. In the state, one mile is represented by each Lego brick.
Along with the USS Arizona display, other noteworthy elements include the Arizona Takes Shape exhibit, which charts the evolution of the state from its days as a territory to the present.
Check see the memorial statues on the Capitol Mall and Wesley Bolin Plaza for a sobering experience.
Phoenix, Arizona, 1700 West Washington Street
Website of official interest: azlibrary.gov/azcm