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Things to do in Phoenix

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

#1
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

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The Grand Canyon is a humbling testament to nature’s power. Carved by the mighty Colorado River, this northwestern Arizona wonder is 277 miles (444 kilometers) long and more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) deep. It’s no wonder Grand Canyon National Park is one of America’s most popular attractions, with over 6 million annual visitors.More
#2
Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale

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Old Town Scottsdale ranks among the Southwest’s top retail destinations, particularly for shoppers looking for Southwestern and Native American art and jewelry. The area is also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of the West, and the Scottsdale Historical Museum.More
#3
Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium and Safari Park

Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium and Safari Park

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Arizona’s Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium and Safari Park makes up the largest collection of exotic animals in the state. Many of the animals are endangered species; most recently the zoo welcomed a pair of cheetahs. The park offers a variety of animal encounters to increase awareness. From sea lion shows and petting zoos to giraffe feedings and stingray pools, there is no shortage of face time with the animals.Most recently, the Safari Park was added bringing the total size of the park to over 80 acres. Visitors can experience panoramic views of Africa’s most interesting habitats, including lions, baboons, antelope, and jackals. ‘Dragonworld' features ectotherms, including a large white crocodile, which use their environment to control body temperatures. At times there are even baby animals in the baby nursery that can be visited. Boat, train, and tram rides make the park easily accessible and extra fun.More
#4
Mission San Xavier del Bac

Mission San Xavier del Bac

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Located in nearby Tucson, Mission San Xavier del Bac is a Spanish Catholic mission dating from 1692 when it was founded by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit missionary. At the time the area was an Indian village, and Kino was the first non-Indian to visit the place, which was then known as Wa:k (although he wrote “Bac,”). It is he who called for the construction of the church, named in honor of San Francisco Xavier; however, the church needed to be rebuilt after 1770 due to destruction from Apache attacks.Because at this time Spanish Jesuits were banned from the Americas, it was rebuilt under the eye of the Franciscans. This is a unique facet of Mission San Xavier del Bac, as it’s one of the few Arizona missions still led by Franciscans, with mass still taking place. Additionally, the church is touted as the oldest European structure in Arizona still intact, and often the country’s best example of Spanish Colonial architecture.As soon as you arrive at the site, you’ll understand why it’s known as the “White Dove of the Desert.” The structure is done in white adobe with a sand-colored ornate entrance, which appears striking against the cacti-filled desert landscape. Inside, original statuary, frescos and sculptures bring history to life with such beauty even non-religious visitors can appreciate it. In fact, the artwork is a highlight of a visit. It is recommended to take a tour with a docent -- which typically take place 9:30am, 10:30am 11:30am and 12:30pm, although call first to confirm -- to really grasp the history of the mission and understand what you’re looking at in the church and museum areas. Before leaving, light a prayer candle and browse the gift shop for a momento of your trip.More
#5
Wrigley Mansion

Wrigley Mansion

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An Italian-style mansion set in the Arizona desert, the Wrigley Mansion was the vacation home of wealthy chewing-gum entrepreneur William Wrigley, Jr. and his wife Ada in the 1930s. Now a historic landmark and a fine restaurant, the mansion is a popular destination for special occasions, historical tours, and wine tastings.More
#6
Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain

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Visible throughout most of Phoenix, Camelback Mountain rises 2,704 feet (824 meters) above the Sonoran Desert. The red sandstone formation gets its name from its resemblance to a resting camel, and it’s one of the metro area’s most popular spots for hiking, rock climbing, and other outdoor adventures.More
#7
Montezuma Castle National Monument

Montezuma Castle National Monument

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One of the most well-preserved ruins in North America, the 1,000-year-old Montezuma Castle was once home to ancient farmers known as the Sinagua Indians. Although the majestic ruins were given a “castle” title, they were actually a multi-family cliff dwelling. In 1906, the site was declared one of the United States’ first national monuments.More
#8
Sonoran Desert

Sonoran Desert

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Get away from it all in the breathtaking Sonoran Desert, a 100,000-square-mile (260,000-square-kilometer) region that spans Arizona, California, and parts of Mexico. Though it’s the hottest of four deserts in North America, its two rainy seasons sustain unique animals and plants, including the only remaining jaguar population in the United States.More
#9
Apache Trail

Apache Trail

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Originally built as a copper trade route, the Apache Trail now guides travelers past steep desert mountains, cliff dwellings, lake shores, eroded canyons, and old mining towns. This scenic road winds 120 miles (193 kilometers) through Arizona’s Superstition Mountains, from the outskirts of Phoenix to the vast Theodore Roosevelt Lake.More
#10
Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest

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Encompassing about 3 million acres (1,214,057 hectares), the Tonto National Forest is the country’s fifth-largest forest. The altitude ranges from 1,300 to 7,900 feet (396 to 2,408 meters), allowing for diverse flora, fauna and landscapes throughout. In fact, while in one part of the forest you might find a cactus-filled desert, in another you’ll walk through rugged mountain dotted with pines. You’ll also find beautiful lake beaches for peaceful relaxation and aquatic pursuits.The main reason people visit Tonto National Forest is the outdoor recreation. There are eight wilderness areas in Tonto National Forest, including Four Peaks Wilderness, Hell's Gate Wilderness, Mazatzal Wilderness, Salome Wilderness, Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic Area, Salt River Canyon Wilderness, Sierra Ancha Wilderness and Superstition Wilderness. Each of these offers its own unique experiences. For example, while the Four Peaks Wilderness Area is known for its Four Peaks landmark and 16 designated hiking trails totaling about 40 miles (64 kilometers), the Salt River Canyon Wilderness is where experienced white water rafters go.More

Trip ideas

How to Beat the Heat in Phoenix

How to Beat the Heat in Phoenix

How to Spend 3 Days in Phoenix

How to Spend 3 Days in Phoenix

Grand Canyon Tours from Phoenix

Grand Canyon Tours from Phoenix

Top activities in Phoenix

Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Phoenix
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Apache Trail and Dolly Steamboat Tour
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Sedona Day Trip from Phoenix
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Sedona Day Trip from Phoenix

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Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in Phoenix with Breakfast
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Custom Grand Canyon Day Trip

Custom Grand Canyon Day Trip

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Sedona with Jerome and Montezuma Castle One-Day Van Tour
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Recent reviews from experiences in Phoenix

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Quick & Amazing Way to See The GC!!!!!!!
Sheana_W, Feb 2022
Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
This is the perfect way to see the Grand Canyon in one day without a car.
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Perfect tour for first-time visitors in Sedona
Kyuho_H, Nov 2021
Small Group or Private Sedona Red Rock and Native American Ruins Day Tour
This tour provides you a perfect path to visit the most famous sites in Sedona.
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It was a good day
Patricia_S, Feb 2022
Grand Canyon Day Tour with Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon
We were lucky to see elk, up close and personal; mule deer and a wild horse!
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Great tour to see Sedona in one day if you don’t have a car
Reiko_S, Jan 2022
Small Group or Private Sedona Red Rock and Native American Ruins Day Tour
Although Sedona is almost 2 hours away from Phoenix, we were able to see and experience many great scenery.
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Awesome experience and worth time.
Bonita_W, Nov 2021
Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
I was able to see the most breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon and Diane, our tour guide was such a great part of the experience being so memorable.
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Stars o ertje desert
Bob_R, May 2020
After Dark Desert Tour and Navigating the Night Sky
We really enjoyed getting out into the Sonoran desert away from Phoenix to see the stars.
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Great Experience
Ashley_L, Feb 2020
Custom Grand Canyon Day Trip
Mike was an amazing guide, and this was a great way to see the Grand Canyon in a single day from Phoenix.
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fabulous experience
Eley_G, Oct 2019
Sedona and Grand Canyon Single Day Tour
if you are in phoenix, do not miss this tour to see sedona and the grand canyon.
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Truly outstanding. What a fantastic...
Michael B, Aug 2017
Signature Tour - Grand Canyon South Rim with Ground Tour
The trip from Phoenix gave a great opportunity to see the interesting parts of northern AZ.
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Robert was great!
Ashley_W, Oct 2021
Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
Took a trip to Phoenix/Scottsdale with my best friend and her friend, she always wanted to see the Grand Canyon so we booked this tour.
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This is a must trip for anyone...
Linda G, Feb 2017
Small Group or Private Apache Trail Day Tour with Dolly Steamboat from Phoenix
We were lucky enough to see bald eagles and mountain goats.
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Good for solo travelers
Vanessa_M, Aug 2021
Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
Good way to see the Grand Canyon without having to drive.
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It was a great day!
cmz151, Apr 2019
Custom Grand Canyon Day Trip
We thought the best way to see the Grand Canyon during our trip to Phoenix was to book a private tour and we couldn’t have been more right.
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We were already looking forward to...
Sandie_A, Oct 2017
Small Group or Private Tombstone & San Xavier Mission Day Trip from Phoenix
While there, it's a must to see the re-enactment.
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I think the best highlight of this...
Loretta_B, May 2018
Sunrise Sonoran Desert Hot Air Balloon Ride from Phoenix
While on the hot air balloon we got to see the overview of phoenix as well as the valley and few animals roaming around.
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I came to Phoenix to visit my son...
Catherine A, Oct 2017
Adventure Tour - Grand Canyon West Rim with Skywalk
I came to Phoenix to visit my son for his Birthday.
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Awesome Grand Canyon tour
Velma_A, Jun 2021
Small-Group or Private Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
I’m so glad I ran across this tour when I was searching for things to do in Phoenix.
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My friend Michele was recently...
Brandon_Q, Mar 2017
Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Phoenix
My friend Michele was recently visiting me from Paris France and was looking for some out of the ordinary ways to see the beautiful deserts of the Phoenix area so I suggested a Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Ride and boy was I glad we did!
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This is a great way to see and...
Ben S, Mar 2017
Semi-Custom Apache Trail Day Trip Including Dolly Steamboat and Superstition Mountain
This is a great way to see and understand what your seeing.
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This tour is highly...
HoiSzeLucasta_N, Sep 2016
Small Group Grand Canyon Helicopter and Ground Trip From Phoenix
Also, we were told non-helicopter riders could only get to see about 10 of the Grand Canyon on the ground, while helicopter riders get to see up to 60 of it!!

People Also Ask

What is Phoenix known for?

Phoenix is known for its year-round sunny weather, expansive desert landscapes, and baseball spring training headquarters. A hub for outdoor enthusiasts, Phoenix makes a great base for exploring the Sonoran Desert and landmarks like Camelback Mountain. Culture seekers can get their fill at Heritage Square or nearby Scottsdale.

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What to do when it's hot in Phoenix?

When temps rise past the triple digits in Phoenix, stay cool at some of the city’s indoor attractions, like the Arizona Science Center or Phoenix Art Museum. Take the kids to the SEA LIFE® Aquarium or LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, or head to nearby Scottsdale for air-conditioned shopping at Fashion Square mall.

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Is Phoenix worth visiting?

Yes. Phoenix is a popular destination for outdoor adventurers and visitors seeking refuge from cold winter climates, though summers can be scorching. It's at the doorstep of the Sonoran Desert and Tonto National Forest for easy access to hiking, mountain biking, and ATV tours.

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What is there to do in Phoenix for a day?

If you have just one day in Phoenix, explore local history at the Arizona Capitol Museum, or enjoy a meal in style at historic estates like the Wrigley Mansion and Arizona Biltmore. Get outdoors with a hike up Camelback Mountain or along the scenic Apache Trail in the Superstition Mountains.

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What activities do people do in Arizona?

Wide-open desert landscapes like the Sonoran Desert and Monument Valley make Arizona a popular destination for hiking, mountain biking, scenic drives, and ATV tours. A rim walk along the Grand Canyon is a must for first-time visitors, while stylish Sedona and Scottsdale are havens for shopping, dining, and wellness.

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What is the number 1 attraction in Arizona?

Drawing more than 6 million visitors annually, the Grand Canyon is Arizona's top attraction. Carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, this natural wonder is a staggering gorge that runs a mile (1.6 km) deep into the desert’s sandstone bluffs.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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