15 Attractions & Things to Do in Phoenix

If you love the sun, live in Phoenix. The warm and dry climate attracts people who want to escape the snow and ice during the winter months. The city offers a great selection of arts and cultural attractions, historic neighborhoods, and fun shopping and dining. You will find some of the best resorts in the country here, too.

Phoenix is a great place to be outdoors. Golf remains a popular activity, but hiking, biking, camping, and rock climbing are also very popular in this desert climate.

If you spend more than just a few days in the area, consider doing some day trips to nearby towns and attractions. Towns like Sedona, Prescott, and Jerome are within easy reach. If you are feeling adventurous, you can even go to the Grand Canyon.

The Phoenix Metropolitan Area is a large urban area with large cities in it. It includes the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale. If you’re planning a trip to Phoenix, plan it ahead of time to save time with our list of places you can see while there:

See Also: 15 Top-Rated Sights & Things to Do in Chicago

1. Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instruments Museum is the largest of its kind in the world, housing over 6,800 instruments from almost 200 countries and territories.

The museum is in a spectacular building. It has five galleries, including the Geographic Gallery, the Artists Gallery, the Mechanical Music Gallery, the STEM Gallery, and the Experience Gallery. In the Experience Gallery, you can play some of the instruments and watch craftsmen restore instruments in the Conservation Lab.

The museum hosts special events like live music and traveling exhibits. The museum is your place to hear an array of instruments from around the world. Don’t miss the Signature Events, including concerts, live music, and traveling exhibits.

2. Taliesin West

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was the winter home and architecture school of the acclaimed architect. The building is nestled in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains. It’s now the international headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Even if you have only a small interest in architecture, like me, this tour is worth your time. The detail of the various buildings and the school is fascinating. I loved hearing about Wright’s life, too.

Wright built his own home and studio, Taliesin, by hand. The buildings were constructed out of natural materials such as stone and redwood. They were built between 1937 and 1959. Wright was a former teacher here and the main drafting studio is still being used by his students today.

3. Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is a natural space that’s also an art space. It’s a place where people can see nature, but also where artists have been invited to express themselves in their own way. Visitors can see art installations throughout the garden, adding another dimension to the already exquisite environment.

A visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is a walk through the world’s deserts. The 140-acre complex is home to tens of thousands of plants, including examples from North Africa, South America, and Australia. Here, you can see hummingbirds and butterflies, and will also find gardens designed to attract these creatures.

The trails around the property are expansive. You should plan on spending hours walking around the property. The spring is by far the best time to visit, because the flowers will bloom and you’ll see many colors.

4. Heard Museum

The Heard Museum was established in 1929. It is located in Phoenix and is devoted to the art and culture of the Indian peoples of the American southwest. It has amazing displays of basketwork, pottery, jewelry, textiles, and a large collection of kachina dolls.

The museum offers a great way for families to learn about Native American history. Visitors can see traditional arts and crafts that have been handed down from generation to generation. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn about the past.

The museum features a lovely outdoor sculpture garden, where you can enjoy the excellent art and take a break from the museum’s indoor exhibits. If you want to eat lunch or dinner, you can dine outside in the café courtyard. The café’s food is always changing and features special dishes that complement the current exhibit.

5. Hiking Trails around Phoenix

You are looking for something to do outdoors. Arizona has a rich history of desert exploration and hiking trails. Hiking in Phoenix is always a pleasant way to spend the day, and there are trails for all levels of hikers.

Hiking trails can be extreme or easy, depending on the hiker. The most adventurous trails will include Camelback Mountain or the city of Phoenix’s hiking trails. These are for hikers who like a challenge. Other hikers prefer the short, easy trails. These include Papago Park and the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead.

If you’re looking for a little more of a challenge, consider hiking the Mormon trail or Pinnacle Peak. Both offer beautiful views and a relatively rigorous hike. For more information, check out our list of the top twenty trails in Phoenix.

6. Old Town Scottsdale

If you’re looking for something unique, Scottsdale is the place to go. In fact, there’s a great spot in Scottsdale called Old Town. You’ll find all kinds of quirky shops and fun stuff like jewelry and clothes, but it’s mostly geared toward tourists.

Scottsdale is a city famous for its shopping. If you’re looking to see the best of the best in the city, check out some art galleries. These galleries feature work by some of the most famous artists in the world. In downtown Scottsdale, visitors can experience Scottsdale’s bustling nightlife.

The Old Town Scottsdale is filled with restaurants, but the best ones have outdoor seating. The area is walkable and can be found at the intersection of Main Street and Scottsdale Road.

A fun way to tour the Scottsdale area and see the sights is on a two-hour Segway tour. It will take you along the waterfront, past some of the historic sites, and through Old Town.

7. Hall of Flame Fire Museum

At the Hall of Flame Fire Museum, you can learn about the history of firefighting, paying respects to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty and celebrating those who are heroes. The museum is a great experience for all ages, from the youngest member of your family to your grandparents who grew up watching firefighters.

A firefighting museum is a place for the history of fire extinguishers and fire engines. The focus is on America, but it also shows international exhibits. It’s a place where you can learn about the history of extinguishing fires in general.

The National Firefighting Hall of Heroes is located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and it preserves the names of firefighters who were killed while preventing fires since 1981. There is also a memorial to firefighters and police officers who were killed at the World Trade Center in 2001.

8. Papago Park

You won’t find a more beautiful natural area in the city than Papago Park. The park has hiking trails, red rocks, and even a golf course. You can bike around the city and take in the view of the gorgeous Arizona desert.

Phoenix is a popular place for people to walk, especially in the morning before the heat of the day. They come here to take full advantage of this urban oasis.

The park has a couple popular trails. One is the Elliot Ramada trail, and the other is the Double Butte Loop trail. Both of these trails take you to the top of weird rock formations that are a key feature of the park. You can sometimes see wild animals, but usually only rabbits and bighorn sheep.

Papago Park is a large urban park in the heart of Phoenix. It’s a great place to visit and is home to the Phoenix Zoo, as well as the Desert Botanical Garden.

9. Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum is a collection of art that spans the European Renaissance and Baroque period, the Far East, and the American West. The museum also features modern and contemporary works, fashion design, live performances, and films.

The original building of the National Museum of the American Indian was designed by New York architects Tod Williams/Billie Tsien & Associates. It is a work of art in and of itself. The architects were able to integrate art and architecture into the southwest landscape and create a museum that is distinctly American.

The Phoenix Art Museum was founded in 1959 and has since become one of the most well-known art museums in the southwest. This can be attributed to the museum’s growth from a small desert town to a metropolis.

10. Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is a popular tourist destination. It’s home to thousands of animals, including endangered species. But it’s especially well known for its Sumatran tigers and orangutans.

The zoo has four different trails, each of a different climate. The Africa Trail is lush and green, the Tropics Trail is sunny and hot, the Arizona Trail is sandy and dry, and the Children’s Trail is safe for children to play. The zoo also has many children’s programs and even a splash pad. It’s a great place to go for a day trip with your family.

The Phoenix Zoo is definitely the best place to visit. You can get up close with animals in the Monkey Village. This is an open-air exhibit, so you’ll get some great pictures of your kids and monkeys swinging in the trees.

The Red Barn is a zoo where you can pet animals, including goats and sheep. Your kids will squeal with delight as they walk on a path and get to interact with horses. They can also have an encounter with giraffes and ride camels. The most popular activity is riding a camel.

The zoo has a 4D theater. It’s like going to the movies, but with water and wind effects. If you can’t handle the heat, you can go inside and watch a movie with this cool new technology. There’s also a carousel with animals that are endangered. They’re all unique, so you’ll never know what to expect.

11. South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park in Phoenix is a massive city park, covering over 16,000 acres in the desert. The Mormon Trail is a popular hiking path that goes through the park. One hike can take up to four hours, and the trail follows a dirt road for the first part of the trail. Eventually you reach a place called Mormon Point, which offers beautiful views of the valley below.

This restaurant has a great view. If you’re looking for a place to eat at night in Phoenix, you want to come here. It offers a great look at the city lights.

The highest point in the park is Mount Suppoa at 2,690 feet, but one of the best views you can get is from Dobbins Lookout at 2,330 feet.

12. Arizona Science Center

The Arizona Science Center in Phoenix has hundreds of interactive exhibits. These can be found in seven galleries with unique themes. The center also has an IMAX theater and a 200-seat planetarium. This family activity is a great choice when the weather is bad or if you just want to get out of the house.

The Science Center has six signature events, including a Halloween party with a weird science theme; a holiday event called Science with a Twist; and Snow Week, where the hill is covered in 75 tons of real snow.

13. Arizona State Capitol Museum

Arizona’s State Capitol was completed in 1900. The beautiful building is set among gardens and was the seat of government until 1974. Arizona residents can visit the impressive state building, now a free museum, which focuses on the history of the state.

The Lego exhibit is on four floors, and each floor shows the history of Arizona. One of the most memorable displays is the Lego flag made of 113,998 bricks. The length of the flag represents the distance from Mexico to California, which is 1,990 miles.

The museum also plays host to the Arizona Takes Shape exhibit. It showcases the state’s development from when it was a territory to the present day. Visitors can also take a tour of the USS Arizona exhibit, which shows the history of the ship through photographs and artifacts.

If you want to be intellectually challenged, check out the memorial monuments at the Capitol Mall and Wesley Bolin Plaza.

14. North Mountain & Shaw Butte

Phoenix is a great place for hiking. North Mountain Preserve is one of the most popular areas to hike. The preserve is 2,104 feet at its highest point and 2,149 feet at its tallest. Together these two mountains form a huge landmark feature in Phoenix.

For more experienced hikers, there are advanced trails that lead to the summit. However, there are also trails for those who are less experienced. These trails offer access to all levels of hiking abilities, and they provide a lovely opportunity to see the local flora and fauna. One species you can see is the saguaro cactus.

If you’re going to explore the North Mountain, be sure to stop at the visitor center. There, you can learn about the local history and wildlife, refill your water bottles, and get advice on the best trails to take.

15. Phoenix Children’s Museum

With a mission to inspire children to explore and create, the Phoenix Children’s Museum has been open for nine years. These fourteen galleries are full of interesting displays that captivate children.

There are a bunch of different exhibits at the museum. Some of them include Noodle Forest, Blockmania, Pedal Power, and the Texture Café. Playologists are always there to help you.

A word about the proximity of the Arizona Science Center and the Children’s Museum. Both are conveniently located in downtown Phoenix, which is the center of commerce for the city. Both are excellent for entertaining children with science and art.

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