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Phoenix is a city that attracts many people. It has a warm, dry climate and offers a lot of arts and culture. There are also plenty of historic neighbourhoods and shopping districts to explore. You can find some fantastic resorts and hotels here, too. The outdoors are a big attraction in Phoenix, with plenty of opportunities for golfing, hiking, biking, camping, and more.
As you settle into your stay in Phoenix, you may find yourself eager to explore the many attractions and activities that the area has to offer. If you're looking for something a little different, why not consider taking some day trips to nearby towns and attractions? Sedona, Prescott, and Jerome are all charming towns within easy reach, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can even make the trip to the Grand Canyon.
The Phoenix Metropolitan Area is large and diverse, so be sure to plan your sightseeing to make the most of your time here. With our list of best things to do in Phoenix, you'll be able to make the most of your stay!
1. Explore the hiking trails
Phoenix, Arizona, is a great place to spend some time outdoors. With plenty of hiking trails for all levels of hikers, there's something for everyone to enjoy in the desert landscape. A morning or day walk through the desert can be a peaceful and dreamy way to spend your time.
Camelback Mountain is a renowned hiking spot for adventurers seeking an exciting climb. The Lost Dog Wash Trailhead, on the other hand, is perfect for birders and nature lovers looking for a stroll through the park. As you hike along the trail, you'll find that it gently winds its way up through the mountains. Along the way, you'll be treated to beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.
If you're looking for a medium challenge, make your way to Mormon Trail or Pinnacle Peak. They offer a bit of elevation and an exciting hike while still providing stunning views of the area. No matter where you go on this trail, you're sure to have a wonderful experience.
2. Visit the Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instruments Museum is one of the largest and most diverse of its kind globally, housing a collection of more than 6,800 instruments from nearly 200 countries and territories.
From traditional drums and flutes to electric guitars and synthesizers, the museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the history and cultural significance of music around the globe. Whether you're a music lover or simply curious about the world around you, the Musical Instruments Museum is sure to delight and inspire. The building housing the museum is just as impressive as the collection itself. It includes five permanent galleries. You can even see the master artisans at work in the conservation lab.
The museum is host to some fantastic travelling exhibits and a variety of Signature Events that feature unique instruments and music from all around the world. If you're looking for an exciting musical experience, be sure to catch a concert in the museum's 300-seat theatre.
3. Stroll through the Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals. It's exceptionally well known for its Sumatran tigers and orangutans, both beautiful and endangered. Four different trails lead through the facility, each with its unique landscape and attractions. The zoo also has activities, such as splash pads and playgrounds, so bring your swimwear and towels.
As you enter the Phoenix Zoo, the Animal encounters are a special part of any visit. They indeed are a highlight, with monkeys swinging by in the Monkey Village petting zoos with goats, sheep, and horses at the Red Barn. At Stingray Bay, you'll have an encounter that will generate squeals of delight as you meet these amazing creatures. And don't forget to experience the popular Camel Rides. It's an adventure your kids will love!
The Phoenix zoo is a wondrous place, and it's especially amazing when the weather outside is unbearably hot. Inside, you can take a break from the heat and enjoy a 4D movie experience. With water, smells, and wind effects, you'll feel like you're right in the movie!. Each animal is unique, and it's a fun way to learn about them!
4. Get artistic at Phoenix Art Museum
The art museum in Phoenix has a long and rich history that dates back to just after Arizona became a state in 1912. The museum was inaugurated in 1959 and is well-known for its impressive modern art collection, which includes pieces from Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Henri Rousseau.
The European art collection at the museum features Renaissance and Impressionist paintings. In contrast, the museum's Latin American art collection is absolutely stunning, with works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and other amazing decorative arts and furniture.
The Thorne Miniature Rooms are a delight to behold, as each exquisitely decorated interior scene is a joy to explore. Antique furniture is used to bring these scenes to life on a 1:12 scale, making the experience even more enchanting. It's hard to resist the allure of these miniature worlds, as each one is a masterpiece in its own right.
5. Take in the view from South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park is one of the most magnificent urban parks in the United States. Boasting over 16,000 acres of pristine desert terrain, it's easily navigable by an astounding 60 miles of trails perfect for hiking, cycling and horseback riding. This Phoenix Point of Pride is definitely a place to visit if you're looking for an outdoor adventure!
You can also go on a horseback tour that will take you to see the beautiful petroglyphs. These ancient rock carvings are a sight to behold, and there are special tours to see them. You'll be able to explore the Wild West on your own adventure.
At South Mountain Park, you'll find the elephant trees and chuckwallas that are unique to the Sonoran desert. This park is a great place to learn about the desert habitat's plants, animals, and human history. You can also find tips for recreating in the park. South Mountain Environmental Education Center is a great resource for learning more about the Sonoran desert.
6. Cool off at Big Surf Phoenix
Big Surf has been a Phoenix tradition for generations, and it's easy to see why. With its giant wave pool and variety of water slides, the park is perfect for cooling off summer. Big Surf is a must-visit attraction in Phoenix whether you're young or old.
The waves in the Big Surf pool are so big they can accommodate surfers! But Surfers had to share the pool with regular bathers. Of course, now it doesn't happen because of safety reasons.
You can rent rafts and boogie boards at the water park during normal hours. If you're looking for a thrill, you can try out the high-speed Hurricane Slides, Tornado Twisters and Black Hole. Or, if you're looking for something a little more relaxing, you can check out Kilauea Cove and White Serpentine.
There's a big child-friendly area for the children so they can have just as much fun as the rest of the family. With various water attractions and shaded areas, Big Surf is the perfect place to spend a hot day in Phoenix.
7. Shop till you drop at Biltmore Fashion Park
Biltmore Fashion Park is an upscale shopping mall in Phoenix that features a variety of high-end stores and restaurants. With its convenient location and beautiful setting, it's no wonder that Biltmore is one of the most popular shopping destinations in the city.
Some of the stores you'll find at Biltmore Fashion Park include Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Coach, and Michael Kors. You can also find various restaurants to satisfy any craving, including The Capital Grille, P.F. Chang's, and Brio Tuscan Grille.
The mall is set in the beautiful Phoenix mountain preserve, so you can enjoy the scenery while you shop. There's also a valet service, so you don't have to worry about finding a parking spot. Whether you're looking for a new outfit or want to window-shop, Biltmore Fashion Park is the perfect place to spend an afternoon in Phoenix.
8. Get a taste of history at Heritage Square
Heritage Square is a living museum in Phoenix that celebrates the history and culture of the Southwest. With its six historic buildings, the square tells the region's story from the Native American era to the present day.
You can explore the exhibits at your own pace or take a guided tour. The square also hosts various special events throughout the year, including concerts, art shows, and food festivals.
Heritage Square is a great place to learn more about the history and culture of Phoenix and the Southwest. With its interesting exhibits and beautiful setting, it's sure to be a favourite destination for visitors and locals alike.
9. Get lost in the beauty of the Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is a wonderfully complex place, breathtakingly combining art and nature. Art installations are scattered throughout the gardens, adding an extra layer of beauty to the space. It's impossible not to be enchanted by this place.
The Desert Botanical Garden is home to more than 50,000 plants, representing more than 2,500 species. You can stroll through the gardens at your own pace or take a guided tour. The garden also offers a variety of educational programs for both children and adults.
There are designated gardens for different plants, including cactus, succulents, and botanical gardens. You can also find gardens that are designed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
The extensive trails around the property wind their way through fields of vibrant wildflowers in every color imaginable. You'll want to spend a significant amount of time walking, taking in all the beauty around you. The springtime is particularly lovely, as the plants come to life with blooms in every color of the rainbow.
10. Dine at one of the city's best restaurants
Phoenix is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, and there's something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a casual meal or an upscale dining experience, you'll find what you're looking for in Phoenix.
Some of the most popular restaurants in Phoenix include The Mission, Pizzeria Bianco, and Ladera. If you're looking for Mexican food, you can't go wrong with Taco Guild or the Gallo Blanco. And if you're in the mood for seafood, Scottsdale's Mastro's Ocean Club is a must-try.
No matter what you're in the mood for, you'll find it in Phoenix. With its diverse selection of restaurants, there's something to satisfy every craving. So next time you're in the mood for a great meal, head to Phoenix and experience all the city has to offer.
11. Visit Taliesin West
Taliesin West is a stunning architectural marvel located in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona. This was the winter home and architecture school of the celebrated architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is now the international headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
If you're even remotely interested in architecture, a visit to Taliesin West is a must-do while in Phoenix. The tours offer in-depth information on the unique architecture, the school, and Wright's life. You'll be able to appreciate the buildings and grounds in a whole new way after taking a tour.
As you walk around the Taliesin West buildings, you can feel the history and craftsmanship of their construction. The materials used—rubblestone, redwood, and more—were all sourced from the area and built by Wright and his apprentices. Even today, Taliesin is a working school of architecture, with students hard at work in the main drafting studio. It's a fascinating place to explore and feel the history of American architecture come alive.
The desert landscape provides a stunning backdrop for this one-of-a-kind property that is truly a must-see for anyone interested in architecture or design.
The best places to visit in Phoenix are the ones that evoke memories and a sense of awe. These places make you feel alive and are definitely worth the visit. When you're in Phoenix, be sure to check out these eleven amazing places. You won't regret it!
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