Don’t let the soaring summer temperatures in Phoenix keep you from enjoying the city and all it has to offer, from outdoor activities in the Sonoran Desert to indoor attractions shielded from the sun. Here are some ways to find relief when it's hot out.
Things to do in Phoenix
Welcome to Phoenix
Phoenix’s fair skies and warm temps draw winter-weary travelers to this sun-drenched corner nicknamed the Valley of the Sun. The capital of Arizona, Phoenix serves as home to a variety of cultural institutions. Join a small-group or private tour to experience the Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, and the unique Museum of Musical Instruments. Or follow your guide to the Desert Botanical Garden, which showcases the abundant flora of the Southwest, which thrives in the hot, arid climate. Check out plentiful golf courses and ballparks that serve as baseball spring training facilities and home to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Foodies will find plenty to love: Book a culinary tour that tempts with Southwestern fare and wine and beer tastings. Beyond the metropolitan city, discover the dry, rugged desert landscape on an all-terrain vehicle tour, a hiking tour via one of the many trails, or on a horseback excursion. Or reach for the skies with a hot-air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert at sunrise or sunset, with just a splash of Champagne. Phoenix makes a great departure point for forays to see the Grand Canyon’s Painted Desert. Or venture to points north, such as Sedona for its magnificent Red Rocks and nearby American Indian ruins.
Top 10 attractions in Phoenix
Camelback Mountain is an iconic mountain visible throughout most of the phoenix metropolitan area. Towering over the city at 2,704 feet (824 meters) above sea level, the mountain was named after its very obvious resemblance to a resting camel. The mountain features unique sheer red sandstone cliffs as well as a variety of desert wildlife. Some of its more popular desert animals include Rock Squirrels, Gila Monsters, Javelinas, Coyotes, and Grey Foxes. These natural wonders make the mountain a very popular hiking and rock climbing location. Although it is possible to hike to the top of Camelback, both trails are a strenuous undertaking and are only recommended for advanced hikers. Echo Canyon Recreation Area does, however, offer two easier hiking options for those less advanced hikers. All trails offer the ability to experience desert wildlife up close, as well as admire Camelback’s unique geological formations....
Historic Heritage Square takes you back in time to Arizona’s Victorian past. The square is home to the only remaining residential structures of the original Phoenix town site. Heritage Square features eleven Victorian buildings, each with its own unique design, history, and purpose....
You could think of Phoenix’s South Mountain Park as a large outdoor playground. Actually, a very large outdoor playground. With more than 16,000 acres to explore, according to the Trust for Public Land, South Mountain Park is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the United States. With more than 50 miles of trails, South Mountain Park is a favorite among horseback riders, hikers and mountain bikers. But drivers can take in the scenery too. A little more than five miles up the Summit Road, there are Valley wide views to be had at Dobbins Lookout. If you’re inspired, keep going to the Gila Lookout for a view of the Gila River Valley. The drive is scenic, so take it slow to safely enjoy the view. There are many steep sections and blind curves and cars share the road with bikers and hikers....
As a non-profit organization, the Arizona Science Center‘s main goal is to entertain and educate people of all ages about science. They opened in 1984 as a small, 10,000 square feet (3,048 square meters) museum featuring select hands-on exhibits. Since its humble beginning, the Arizona Science Center has quickly grown into one of the most popular local attractions in Arizona. Today the Arizona Science Center stretches over 120,000 square feet (36,576 square meters) and is one of the most high-tech museums in the world. With over 40,000 square feet (12,912 square meters) of gallery space, they currently feature over 300 hands-on exhibits in five different themed galleries. There are daily shows in their multi-media Dorrance Planetarium as well as in the giant, five-story IMAX Theater. The Arizona Science Center is designed around the concept of making learning fun. Exhibits are created to be interactive, encouraging visitors to learn from doing....
Designed as a 50th anniversary present for his wife, the Wrigley Mansion was constructed in 1932 by enterprising gum salesman William Wrigley Jr. The mansion sits atop a hill, providing scenic views of the mountains and Phoenix landscape below. The Wrigley family sold the property in the early 1970s. After changing ownership several times, it looked as though the mansion was going to be demolished in 1992, until the Hormel family purchased the Mansion and restored it with the intention of sharing it with the public. The on-site restaurant is a popular spot to grab a bite to eat or celebrate a special occasion. Guided tours of the Wrigley Mansion provide details about its history and fun tidbits like ghost stories that have been told over the years. Some tours include lunch at the Wrigley Mansion as well....
From the 1796 oil-painted image of George Washington by Gilbert Stewart featured on the dollar bill, to modern couture fashion, ancient Japanese samurai armor-wear and even works by Monet or special exhibits featuring drawings by the likes of Michelangelo, the Phoenix Art Museum is vast and varied in its collections....
Mystery Castle is located in South Phoenix, in the foothills of South Mountain Park. The “Castle” was built in the 1930s by Boyce Luther Gulley for his daughter Mary Lou Gulley. After being diagnosed with tuberculosis, Gulley unexpectedly left his wife and daughter and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. There, he began building a home to give to his daughter. He lived much longer than expected and spent 15 years building the 8,000 square foot (743 squared meters), 3-story ‘castle’. In 1945, Bruce Gully passed away and left the house to his teenage daughter, Mary Lou, and her mother. They both moved in shortly after and Mary Lou still lives there today. The real story however, is not why Boyce Gulley built the house, but how! The Mystery Castle is made entirely of found and inexpensive materials, featuring everything from automobile parts, to telephone poles, to rail tracks....
Enjoy an action-packed day at Castles N’ Coasters in Phoenix. Spanning 10 acres (four hectares), the theme park offers a wide range of attractions that appeal to the young and old, including roller coasters, a carousel, mini-golf courses, go-kart, bumper cars and boats, an arcade, ziplines, an obstacle course, and more....
Those Phoenicians love their sport, and Chase Field is where they head to cheer on their team, in the first retractable-roofed natural-grassed stadium in the country. This legendary baseball stadium in downtown Phoenix is the home ground of the Arizona Diamondbacks major league baseball team....
Top activities in Phoenix
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Discover the top things to do in Phoenix.
- Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
- Grand Canyon Day Tour with Sedona and Navajo Reservation
- Small Group Grand Canyon Helicopter and Ground Trip From Phoenix
- Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Phoenix
- Small-Group or Private Deluxe Phoenix and Scottsdale Day Trip
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Things to do near Phoenix
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