While there are many places to visit in Phoenix, Arizona, not all of them are place that you should cancel all your other plans for. If you find yourself planning a trip to Phoenix, make sure to schedule some of these into your itinerary. As the capital of the state, the city is vibrant and there is always some you can do. Many places are inexpensive and kid-friendly, too. It is also the largest city in Arizona, which means that if you are looking for the best place to travel in the state, this is the way to go.
10. Heard Museum
The Heard Museum features 12 different exhibition galleries for guests to explore and a number of outdoor sculpture gardens, as well. Exhibits showcase Native arts and cultures. The museum is dedicated to accurately portraying the art and cultures of Native Americans. The museum offers free guided tours at noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. every day. Check times to make sure you are going on the tour you prefer, however, as not all tours explore the same exhibits. You may also schedule private group tours, if that is what you prefer.
9. Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlor
For the 21 and over crowd, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlor is a must-visit. The building is a former prohibition headquarters for the state that has been transformed into a fun and stylish cocktail lounge. The bar doesn’t just do drinks, however. You can also have an amazing fine dining experience while you enjoy an array of specialty drinks created in-house. Located in the heart of downtown, you should have no problem finding this gem. You should also check out the company’s social media pages to see great images of both the food and drinks you can get here.
8. Carnival of Illusion
Be aware that this show is for those 12 and older as, although it is clean, it isn’t for young audiences. Shows at Carnival of Illusion include audience participation, so keep in mind that you may be asked to join in on the fun. Going to Carnival of Illusion may require a bit of advanced planning, as there are a limited number of seats to keep the setting intimate. If this sounds like something you would like to do during your visit to Phoenix, get tickets today, as many shows sell out. There are two shows each evening that the show runs, so check out the company’s website to see which works best for your schedule.
7. Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloons
If you are looking for a romantic get-away within your romantic get-away, be sure to book a flight with Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloons. For added romantic value, you can take a sunrise or sunset flight and see the sky at its most colorful. This is a bit pricier than other entertainment options for the city, but will definitely be an experience you will never forget. Tickets range from $99 to $375 per person, so be prepared to drop some serious cash. You should also purchase tickets in advance, as there are limited seats and they might fill up quickly.
6. Arizona Science Theater
If you are looking for a kid-friendly activity in the city, you should check out the Arizona Science Theater. Not only is it kid-friendly, but it is also an educational experience for the kiddos. Not only are there a few permanent exhibits, but there are also a number of featured exhibits at any time. You can also check out the Planetarium and IMAX theaters for shows that will not only hold the attention of the kids, but the adults as well. General admission is under $20 per person, but pricing does vary depending on what you want to get out of the experience. Check the theater’s website for full pricing.
5. Arizona State University Art Museum
If you are looking for an activity that won’t break your budget, squeeze a visit to the Arizona State University Art Museum into your weekend plans. Admission is free, so you can enjoy your time at this museum without worry. While at the museum, you can browse 12,000 different pieces that are mainly created by American and Latin American artists. The museum isn’t open on Sundays, however, so you should be sure to plan your visit for another day. Check out the museum’s website for hours, and they change around the school year.
4. Camelback Mountain
Camelback Mountain is one of the popular tourist attractions in Phoenix. With two popular trails, Echo Canyon and Cholla, hikers have a couple different options. Echo Canyon is an intense hike and Cholla offers the best views of both Phoenix and Scottsdale. If you would feel more comfortable with a guided hike, you have that option, as well. Guided hikes come with a guide who is both CPR and First-Aid Certified. Your guide will share background information with your group as you traverse the mountain. They can also take those amazing photos you wanted, too!
3. Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo has been around for more than 50 years, and guests are still amazed at the beauty that can be seen there. At the zoo, you can experience a cool 4-D Theater where you can learn more about wildlife. This family attraction is located only four miles from Sky Harbor International Airport and only eight miles from downtown. The zoo is open different hours depending on the time of year, so be sure to check out the website before you plan your visit. This zoo is interactive, so many exhibits, such as Stingray Bay and Monkey Village, allow guests to be close to and sometimes even touch the animals. This is a favorite among kids.
2. Castles ‘n Coasters
Castles ‘n Coasters has something to offer everyone in the family. This huge theme park features a number of rollercoasters, theme park rides and arcade games. You can even play mini golf and ride go-karts. There are also a number of different rides and playground equipment for the children who are too young to ride on the other rides. You can even ride the Sky Wire Zip-Line to get a great aerial view of the whole park. There are a number of different park packages that get you different access to the park. Also, the park isn’t open year-round, so make sure to check their website to see hours and pricing.
1. Desert Botanical Garden
Only four miles from Sky Harbor International Airport and nine miles from downtown, Desert Botanical Garden is a great place to explore with your friends or family. There are a number of different trails you can take through the garden to see all the beauty the desert truly has to offer. A few tips for visitors include wearing comfortable footwear and putting on sunscreen. You should also be aware that you can’t bring outside food or beverages to the gardens. You should, however, drink plenty of water while you are out exploring the gardens. While the Garden’s hours are pretty constant, there are times where hours are cut short, so you should visit the Garden’s website to check the hours before planning your visit.
With all of the things to do in Phoenix, it can be difficult to choose which ones you want to schedule (or not) into your trip. There is literally something for everyone in this city, so all visitors can find something that will make them happy. There are many different outdoor activities that allow visitors to see the unique Arizona landscape. The city is also home to many different adult-only and kid-friendly activities, so you can completely customize your trip. These cities have a lot to offer, so get out and enjoy its unique culture and landscape.