What to do in Phoenix, AZ

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Camelback Mountain showing landscape views and a sunset

Phoenix Attractions

Presiding just about exactly in the middle of nowhere, Phoenix is a desert city in Arizona with more to offer than cacti and mountain views. The landscape here is riddled with golf courses, trails, and lots of parkland. On top of outdoor activities, which can be difficult to enjoy in the summer heat, there are fun things to do in Phoenix indoors all year round. Go to the Phoenix Art Museum, spend your day at a rejuvenating spa, or savor some vino at a local winery. Any way you cut it, the attractions in Phoenix make a visit here worth the trek through the desert.

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What to do in Phoenix

Free Things to Do in Phoenix

A trip to Phoenix need not cost a fortune. You can leave your wallet at home if you check out:

Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center - Chat to the friendly staff or curator and learn more about the fascinating collections on exhibit here.

Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix - This well-known local landmark is a wonderful backdrop for some selfies.

Phoenix City Hall - If you're intrigued by bygone eras, this is one attraction you really should visit.

Heritage Square - This busy spot is a popular rendezvous point for locals and tourists alike.

Burton Barr Central Library - If you'd love to explore some of the more important or interesting places in the community, start here.

Saint Mary's Basilica - Inject a bit of spirituality into your travels by checking out this sacred site.

Sunnyslope Mountain - Take your camera and let Mother Nature stimulate your imagination.

Patriots Square Park - Whether you can tell your geraniums from gerberas, you'll no doubt find beauty in this spectacular display.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Phoenix

Despite what some might consider a relatively homogeneous geographic landscape, consisting primarily of cacti and rocks, Phoenix has a diverse cultural landscape. Neighborhoods in the Valley of the Sun range from bustling to suburban, with a lot of Mexican influence and a diverse selection of food and art. Whether you’re in town on a family vacation, business trip, or getaway with friends, there is a neighborhood in PHX that is right up your alley.

Downtown — Downtown Phoenix is the commercial hub of the city, and it also hosts Phoenix’s major sports arenas and theatrical halls. Museum buffs should also head here for their choice of interesting exhibits.

Biltmore District — You can find high-end shopping in the Biltmore District. The neighborhood is also near the Arizona Biltmore Resort, which is practically a local institution and dates back to 1929.

Chandler — Shopaholics can also indulge in Chandler, which is a suburban city in the greater Phoenix community. Aside from a large shopping center, this area also hosts the Chandler Center for the Arts.

Scottsdale — Scottsdale is also a separate city, yet remains one of the top things to do in Phoenix as it is fewer than 12 miles away. Take time for a massage on Resort Row, and visit Old Town Scottsdale for fine restaurants and boutiques.

Day trips from Phoenix can land you in neighboring areas, such as Prescott and Sedona, in just a few hours.

Things to See in Phoenix

From the artsy to the athletic, there are plenty of things to see in Phoenix. When you seek air conditioning, or simply want to relax and be entertained, take in a show at a Phoenix theater. Venues like the Orpheum Theater put on musicals, dramas, and dance performances throughout the year. Walking through Heard Museum is another of the top things to do in Phoenix, AZ. This museum showcases art from Native Americans, paying tribute to cultures native to the southwest. The Arizona Science Center has hundreds of interesting exhibits. If you want a bit more excitement, head over to the University of Phoenix stadium for an Arizona Cardinals™ game, soccer match, or other event.

Sightseeing in Phoenix

Phoenix is filled with trails perfect for biking and hiking. Locals often hike Camelback Mountain or Piestewa Peak, though plenty of less rigorous trails are available. The Phoenix Zoo has a diverse array of animal habitats for a family-friendly outing, and adults can cap off the day with an ale tasting at local breweries like the Desert Eagle Brewing Company and San Tan Brewing Company. Adrenaline junkies can also find plenty of adventures in Phoenix, including hot air balloon rides, skydiving, and hang gliding.


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Frequently asked questions

What to do in Phoenix on a sunny day?
What to do in Phoenix on a rainy day?
What is Phoenix famous for?
Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale and Taliesin West should be at the top of your sightseeing list in Phoenix.
What should I not miss in Phoenix?
Don’t head home without checking off the following list of wonderful attractions:

  • Camelback Mountain
  • Talking Stick Resort Arena
  • Arizona State University
  • Gila River Arena