Phoenix, also known as the ‘Valley of the Sun’ is the capital of the southwestern US state of Arizona. A bustling city in the middle of the desert with temperatures that hover at around the mid-40’s C, it has much more to offer than resort life.
Bursting with attractions and synonymous with budget-friendly activities such as desert adventures, city exploration and family fun, there is much to consume you on a visit, these are some of them.
Explore the Desert Botanical Garden
Located in Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden is one of the world’s largest collections of desert flora and truly a plant lover’s paradise. The 140-acre complex was founded in 1937 and is home to more than 50,000 desert plants as well as 139 rare plant species from all over the world. The Garden itself offers interesting and inspiring experiences to more than 300,000 visitors each year.
Hiking Trails around Phoenix
If you are looking for something to do outdoors, a walk through the desert is an ideal way to spend a day and Phoenix offers a full range of hiking trails for all manner of hiker. One of the most popular hiking trails in the Echo Canyon is Camelback Mountain. The Camelback’s summit rewards with spectacular views of Phoenix and Scottsdale. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset (or around 7 pm) and entry is free. Be sure that you are well prepared, have water and snacks and don’t get lost.
Get Active in South Mountain Park
At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the United States. The highest point in the park is Mount Suppoa at 2,690 feet, but the highest lookout, which can be reached by trail or road is Dobbins Lookout at 2,330 feet. The park is full of trails, wildlife and is ideal for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. South Mountain Park offers spectacular views of the whole city. You can go there after dark for an incredible look at the city lights.
Visit Heard Museum
If you’re a history or art lover, The Heard Museum is a place you must see. Dating from 1929, the museum is dedicated to the advancement of Indian art. The Museum offers first-hand stories of American Indians along with displays of contemporary and traditional art by American Indian artists and those influenced by American Indian art.
Visit Phoenix Art Museum
The world-class Phoenix Art Museum houses a collection of more than 18,000 works covering the art of the European Renaissance and Baroque period, the Far East, and the American West. It is also known as the United States’ largest art museum for visual art. Designed by New York architects Tod Williams, Billie Tsien & Associates in the mid-1990s and expanded by them in 2006, it integrates art and architecture with the southwestern landscape. Oh, and also be sure to check out the popular Thorne Miniature Collection rooms from different historical periods, scaled down to hatbox size.
Visit Musical Instrument Museum
Located about 20 miles north of downtown Phoenix, and as the world’s largest museum of its kind, the Musical Instrument Museum is home to more than 15,000 musical instruments and associated objects from around the world. There are five permanent galleries, including the Geographic Gallery; the Artists Gallery; the Mechanical Music Gallery; the STEM Gallery; and the Experience Gallery, where you can play some of the instruments.
Explore the Papago Park
Papago Park is a wonderful natural area right in the city, dotted with red rock and wither-sculpted buttes, is located near the Phoenix zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens. There you can enjoy hiking along nature trails, scrambling up the red rocks that dominate the park, cycling, and golfing. The park has a multitude of trails, but the two most popular are the Elliot Ramada and the Double Butte Loop trail.
Discover the Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden in Phoenix was created to express the positive bond between the people of the United States and the people of Japan. Modelled after the traditional strolling gardens throughout Japan, Phoenix’s own Japanese Friendship Garden provides a serene and peaceful setting that often plays host to traditional tea ceremonies, informative workshops and group activities like tai chi classes. Let’s be real, we could all use a little Zen these days, right?
Explore the Old Town Scottsdale
This downtown district guarantees a good time. Shopping, food and fun are only the tip of the iceberg in Old Town Scottsdale. Unique shops housed in buildings with Western-style covered walkways sell a variety of trinkets and other goods, primarily aimed at tourists. The area is dense with clubs, bars, and lounges, making it easy to have a great time and meet new people.
Visit Arizona State Capitol Museum
If you’re travelling with a history lover, a stop at the Arizona Capitol Museum is mandatory. Visit for a taste of Arizona’s time as a territory and the early days of its statehood. From flags documenting Arizona’s history to the USS Arizona display, there’s plenty to explore. Set among beautiful gardens is the old State Capitol and built in 1900, it was the seat of government until 1974.
How to get there to Phoenix
Transport is a little hard if you don’t own a car or prefer not to self-drive. If you’re looking for a Chauffeur service in Phoenix is the ideal and right way to get to your preferred destination especially if you are a business traveller and seek to visit and make any type of business this might be an ideal choice. Now that you have some inspiration for (nearly) free fun in Phoenix, it’s time to plan your trip.