Many people picture cacti and tumbleweeds when they think of Arizona’s capital. While Phoenix does indeed have those things, it has so much more to offer. Phoenix is known for its year-round sunshine, luxurious spa resorts, world-renowned golf courses, and unparalleled natural beauty. With geological wonders and breathtaking mountainscapes that extend farther than the eye can travel, Phoenix is an adventurer’s sanctuary. From picturesque hikes through the Sonoran desert to lavish meals downtown, this vibrant city has something for everyone.
Phoenix is a desert city where the sun rarely stops shining, so you should expect heat no matter what time of year you travel. From the summer months of June to August, temperatures reaching triple digits are not uncommon. If you can bear the heat of the summer, this is when you will likely find the best deals on Phoenix travel. However, for the most optimal weather, your best bet is to travel between the months of November and April. During these months, temperatures range from the upper 60s to low 80s. When it comes to packing, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and light layers for the cool desert evenings.
The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), located just a few miles from the heart of downtown, is the best way to get directly to Phoenix. Visitors can choose to opt for a rental car for convenience purposes, but it’s not a requirement for getting around in Phoenix. With an abundance of taxis, rideshares, and public transportation; you will have no issues getting from one destination to the next. The Valley Metro Rail runs throughout the metropolitan region, stopping at major tourist attractions in Phoenix along the way. For a more active way around, you can also explore the city by bicycle with the Grid Bike Share program.
Whether you’re an avid hiker looking for your next adventure or a lover of the arts hoping to be inspired, you can find it all right here. Phoenix features an array of exciting things to do and see for all types of travelers.
Desert Botanical Garden
Located in the historic Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden is home to over 50,000 desert plants. This 140-acre living museum is ideal for nature lovers looking to spend time outdoors without hiking up a towering mountain. With flourishing collections of unique desert plants like agave and cacti, including nearly 400 species deemed rare or endangered, there is no shortage of incredible flora to feast your eyes on. Bring the whole family along and stroll through one of the five themed trails that run throughout the gardens, ending your day with a delightful farm-to-table meal at the on-site restaurant.
Not for the faint of heart, Camelback Mountain is one of the highest peaks in Phoenix and boasts jaw-dropping views to match. This prominent local landmark is a popular destination for adventurers, with two hiking trails that range from sweat-inducing to downright hard. The Cholla Trail, the more beginner-friendly of the two, is a 1.5-mile trail that heads up the mountain at a somewhat gradual incline. For a slightly shorter but more challenging hike, take on the arduous 1.2-mile Echo Canyon Trail. Bring along sunscreen, plenty of water, and a camera—you won’t want to miss out on the remarkable photo ops at the top of Camelback Mountain.
Musical Instrument Museum
With vast collections of over 15,000 musical instruments and objects from nearly 200 countries, the Musical Instrument Museum is the largest museum of its kind in the world. Take a musical tour around the globe to get a glimpse of unique instruments like drums carved from tree trunks in the Oceania Gallery and a 500-year old Japanese mouth organ in the Asia Gallery. After an exciting day of traveling through the world of music, stay for a live concert in the Musical Instrument Museum’s impressive 300-seat theater.