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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 15 things to do in Phoenix

#1
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
#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
Tonto National Forest

Tonto National Forest

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From pine-clad valleys to lakeside beaches; rocky mountain canyons to cacti-dotted desert—the Tonto National Forest boasts a diversity of natural landscapes to tempt any adventurer. Stretching over 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares and reaching altitudes of up to 7,900 feet (2,408 meters, it’s the largest national forest in Arizona.More
#4
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
#5
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
#6
Superstition Mountains

Superstition Mountains

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Surrounded by the cacti-dotted valleys of the Sonoran Desert, the jagged peaks and sheer cliffs of the Superstition Mountains are one of Arizona’s most photographed natural wonders. Hugging the southern borders of the Tonto National Forest and reaching heights of 6,266 ft (1,910 meters, the mountains are a firm favorite among hikers and rock climbers.More
#7
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
#8
McDowell Sonoran Preserve

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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If there’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, McDowell Sonoran Preserve just might be it. With more than 30,000 acres, including the McDowell Mountains, visitors can hike it, bike it or even climb it.With more than 120 miles of trails, picking which way to go can be tough, so ask the experts. Most mornings McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Pathfinders are on duty at the Brown's Ranch Trailhead, Gateway Trailhead, Lost Dog Wash Trailhead, Sunrise Trailhead and Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Pathfinders have all sorts of information and suggestions to insure a fun, safe day on the trails.Fit families will enjoy the way the Family Passport keeps everyone moving together. Scavenger hunts for animal tracks, rocks and other nature provided attractions can provide inspiration for hours of exploring. When you visit five Preserve trailheads (Gateway, Lost Dog, Sunrise, Tom’s Thumb and Brown’s Ranch) and get your passport stamped you’ll win a Preserve bandana.More
#9
Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument

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The Tuzigoot National Monument is made up of the remains of a pueblo building on a hilltop outside of Clarkdale, Arizona.Built and occupited by the Sinagua people from roughly 1000 to 1400 C.E., the Tuzigoot village buildings include some with two or three stories. The ruins cover 42 acres, and you can see pithouses (entered via ladders through doors cut into the roof) and petroglyphs. There are other Sinagua ruins in the area, but this is the largest. There are artifacts recovered from the excavations of the Tuzigoot site on display in the visitor center.The name “Tuzigoot” is an Apache word, and the site was named by an Apache who was on the archaeological excavation crew in the 1930s when the site was found. The name means “crooked water,” referring to a nearby river.More
#10
Heritage Square

Heritage Square

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Occupying one of the oldest residential areas in Phoenix, Heritage Square comprises 10 fully restored Victorian buildings dating back to the original townsite in the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors can tour house museums, dine at award-winning restaurants, or even catch a ballgame at Chase Field next door.More
#11
Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium and Safari Park

Wildlife World Zoo Aquarium and Safari Park

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Sprawling across more than 80 acres (32 hectares, this massive wildlife park outside Phoenix is more than just a zoo. It’s home to Arizona's largest collection of exotic animals, from the African savanna to the Pacific reefs and everywhere in between. Conservation talks, feedings, and amusement rides make for a full day of family fun.More
#12
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
#13
Mission San Xavier del Bac

Mission San Xavier del Bac

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With its snow-white adobe bell towers and ornate facade rising out of the cacti-studded Sonoran Desert, Mission San Xavier del Bac embodies its nickname—the “White Dove of the Desert.” Founded by Jesuit missionaries in 1626, it’s among the oldest Catholic sites in the US, renowned for its unique architecture and rich iconography.More
#14
National Comedy Theatre (NCT)

National Comedy Theatre (NCT)

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Enjoy an evening of improv comedy and laughter at the National Comedy Theatre (NCT) in Phoenix. Inspired by the hit television showWhose Line Is It Anyway, the NCT offers a spontaneous comedy show with plenty of audience interaction. See two teams of professional comedians perform scenes and compete to be the winner of the show.More
#15
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)

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This iconic contemporary art museum is located on 21-acres of local park in the heart of Scottsdale and showcases between nine and 12 exhibitions each year. Visitors who venture to this popular attraction will find some of the best examples of art, design and architecture in the Southwest.Travelers agree the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is an ideal place to escape the city’s heat while taking in some fabulous pieces. But since the museum is relatively small, it’s good to check ahead to be sure it’s not between exhibits.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

Centipede Tour - Guided Arizona Desert Tour by ATV
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Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Phoenix
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Centipede Tour - Guided Arizona Desert Tour by UTV
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Salt River Kayaking Trip

Salt River Kayaking Trip

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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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Adventure Tour - Grand Canyon West Rim with Skywalk
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Sedona Day Trip from Phoenix

Sedona Day Trip from Phoenix

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Custom Private Day Tour to Grand Canyon

Custom Private Day Tour to Grand Canyon

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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Phoenix

star-5
Great time at the Grand Canyon
Shelby_C, Aug 2022
Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
If you only have a day to see the Grand Canyon from Phoenix this is the way to go.
star-5
Wonderful canyon experience
Cassie_V, Jun 2022
Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
Very long drive from Phoenix bit well worth ot to see the canyon.
star-5
We enjoyed this tour very...
Marjorie_D, Mar 2022
Best of Phoenix VIP Private Day Tour
With our new friend in Phoenix, we have fallen in love with the City!
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A splendid, informative, and fun snapshot of the Valley!
Michael_D, May 2022
3 Cities & Nature. Morning or Sunset. Art, Food, Shop. Phoenix, Scotts, Tempe.
Learned a bit about cactuses; got to see some shi-shi houses in Scottsdale; and saw some great murals in Phoenix.
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Perfect tour for first-time visitors in Sedona
Kyuho_H, Nov 2021
Small Group 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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Best way to visit for a day trip
Andrea_G, Jun 2022
Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
We have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon in person and found this day trip while searching options in the Phoenix area.
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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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Great tour of Sedona! We were in...
Jennifer B, Dec 2017
Small Group Sedona Red Rock and Native American Ruins Day Tour
We were in Scottsdale/Phoenix for 4 days ans really wanted to see Sedona but didnt have time to do an over night.
star-5
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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This is a must trip for anyone...
Linda G, Feb 2017
Small Group Apache Trail Day Tour with Dolly Steamboat from Phoenix
We were lucky enough to see bald eagles and mountain goats.
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Great way to see the Grand Canyon!
Amanda_S, Apr 2022
Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip from Phoenix
This was a wonderful way to see the Grand Canyon!
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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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Fun and affordable!!
Deb_M, Sep 2021
Salt River Kayaking Trip
The rapids were a bit scary (mostly because I didn’t want the phone to fall in the water and be lost inside its waterproof bag when I fell out).
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Quick & Amazing Way to See The GC!!!!!!!
Sheana_W, Feb 2022
Small-Group 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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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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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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We were already looking forward to...
Sandie_A, Oct 2017
Small Group Tombstone & San Xavier Mission Day Trip from Phoenix
While there, it's a must to see the re-enactment.
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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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All about Phoenix

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
MST (UTC -7)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

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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