The Ultimate Guide: Things To Do In Phoenix

Looking for things to do in Phoenix? Our guide makes planning easy and fun!

Things To Do In Phoenix

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1. Explore the Musical Instrument Museum

The Musical Instrument Museum is a treat for the ears and one of the greatest museums in America. It houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of musical instruments from around the globe. With over 15,000 instruments on display, visitors can explore the rich history and diversity of music from different cultures and time periods. From rare guitars to African drums and harpsichords, the museum offers an interactive experience where you can learn about how music works and even try out some instruments yourself.

2. Soar over the desert in a hot air balloon

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the desert from a whole new perspective with a hot air balloon ride. Floating above the stunning landscapes of Phoenix, you'll have a bird's-eye view of the iconic Grand Canyon and the sweeping desert vistas. With experienced pilots guiding the way, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery while capturing stunning photos and videos. Choose from sunrise, sunset, or even full-moon rides for an unforgettable adventure.

3. Admire the plants at the Desert Botanical Garden

Escape the desert heat and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Desert Botanical Garden. With over 100 acres of lush gardens to explore, this popular attraction showcases a stunning collection of cacti and succulents, as well as unique plant collections from Australia. Take a stroll through the dedicated bird and butterfly rooms, and don't miss the chance to see the garden's unique saltwater pools. For easy access, hop off at Central Avenue Station, as the Metro Light Rail runs right past the garden.

4. Stare into the depths of the world-famous Grand Canyon

No visit to Phoenix is complete without a trip to the world-famous Grand Canyon. This natural wonder is a must-see for any traveler, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. Choose from hiking tours, scenic helicopter rides, or airplane adventures to explore the 277-mile-long natural icon. Make sure to visit iconic sites like Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Scenic Hermit Road.

5. Watch NASCAR at the Phoenix International Raceway (or drive one yourself!)

If you're a fan of fast cars and adrenaline-pumping action, head to the Phoenix International Raceway for a NASCAR event. Experience the thrill of watching professional drivers compete in high-speed races. For a truly immersive experience, book a VIP package that includes paddock tours, pit lane access, and a gourmet lunch with racing legends. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at driving a NASCAR car yourself.

6. Marvel at the view from Hole in the Rock

For a stunning view of downtown Phoenix, head to the iconic Hole in the Rock at Papago Park. This short and easy hike offers incredible views of the city skyline and is a popular spot for photographers. After enjoying the view, explore the rest of Papago Park, which is home to the Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Garden, golf courses, museums, and prime picnic spots.

7. Ride through the desert on an ATV!

Experience the thrill of off-roading in the heart of the Sonoran Desert with an ATV tour. Expert guides will take you on an exciting adventure through the rugged desert landscape, providing insights into the area's geology and history. Discover hidden gems and enjoy breathtaking views that you wouldn't be able to access by foot or car. ATV trips typically cover 25 to 30 miles and last for two to three hours.

8. Run around Red Rock Canyon

Escape the city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Red Rock Canyon. With 286 acres of lush greenery surrounded by stunning orange-tinted sandstone rock formations, this natural oasis is a crowd favorite. Explore hiking trails that lead to ancient ruins, relax on a trolley ride, or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. The canyon is also a great family-friendly day trip option, with plenty of picnic spots and opportunities to spot wildlife.

9. See the city with a segway tour

Explore the city in style with a segway tour. Zoom around Phoenix and discover its hidden gems, historic neighborhoods, and vibrant street art. With a range of options available, including small group and private tours, a segway is a fun and unique way to see the Sonoran Desert or Tempe Town Lake. Whether you're a first-time rider or an experienced segway enthusiast, these tours offer a memorable experience.

10. Get drunk on Shakespeare at the Rose Theater

Experience Shakespeare like never before at the Rose Theater in Phoenix. Watch as classically-trained actors perform one of Shakespeare's plays, with a twist. One of the actors will down five shots of liquor before going on stage, and the others will have to attempt to salvage the performance. This unique and entertaining show takes place in a glam cocktail bar and library with over 10,000 books. Get ready for a night of laughter and unforgettable moments.

11. Challenge your mind in an escape room

Put your problem-solving skills to the test in an escape room. Gather a group of friends or family and enter a themed room where you'll be "locked" inside. Solve clues, crack riddles, and unlock the next clue until you find the key to escape. Puzzle Effect offers escape rooms that range in difficulty level and theme, from realistic scenarios to fantasy worlds. Escape The Room AZ has multiple locations and offers thrilling experiences like the Western Bank Heist. Great Room Escape and Alcatraz Escape Games also provide unique and immersive escape room experiences.

12. Go cruising on the iconic Dolly Steamboat

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Canyon Lake aboard the iconic Dolly Steamboat. This historic steamboat has been delighting passengers since 1925, offering scenic daytime adventures and romantic dinner cruises. Cruise along the sparkling waters, surrounded by stunning desert landscapes. Enjoy delicious cuisine, live entertainment, and stunning views of the lake and its wildlife.

13. Fly high on a biplane adventure

Embark on an exhilarating biplane tour and get a unique perspective of Phoenix from the sky. Whether you're an aviation buff or simply looking for a solo adventure, a biplane tour promises an unforgettable experience. Enjoy breathtaking views and take in iconic sites from the air. Choose from different packages, including scenic sightseeing tours and hands-on flying lessons.

14. Hike through the Sonoran Desert!

Experience the raw beauty of the Sonoran Desert with a hike through its diverse landscapes. With its unique weather patterns, this desert hosts incredibly rare wildlife, including Mexican wolves and bighorn sheep. Explore the many hiking trails available, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks. Join a pre-organized tour to learn more about the area and its fascinating history.

15. Take your bestie to the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and find tranquility at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix. This peaceful oasis covers 3.5 acres and features unique plant life, traditional architecture, and a charming tea house. Take a stroll through the calming gardens, sit by the trickling water fountains, or participate in a traditional tea ceremony.

16. Explore underwater wonders at SEA LIFE

Dive into a whole new world at SEA LIFE Aquarium Arizona. This enormous underwater wonderland is a must-visit for families and marine enthusiasts. Explore the 2 million gallons of water and get up close with fascinating ocean creatures, including sharks, penguins, and turtles. With interactive exhibits and educational programs, SEA LIFE offers a fun and educational experience for all ages.

17. Chug along the Verde Canyon Railroad

Embark on a scenic train journey through the stunning Verde Canyon aboard the Verde Canyon Railroad. This unique tour takes you through some of Phoenix's most impressive geology, offering views that are typically inaccessible by car. Learn about the area's fascinating history from knowledgeable guides and enjoy the picturesque scenery. For an extra special experience, book a social winery or brewery tour and indulge in local drinks along the way.

18. Tour the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park

Immerse yourself in the animal kingdom at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. Voted as one of the top zoos in America, this park is home to over 2,000 animals representing 500 different species. Get up close and personal with the animals through hands-on programs and experiences. Don't forget to stop by the nursery to see the newest additions to the zoo.

19. Start building at Legoland Discovery Center

Let your creativity run wild at Legoland Discovery Center. This popular attraction offers a range of interactive exhibits, including thousands of Lego displays and a thrilling Kingdom Quest Laser Rider. Explore the Lego-themed attractions, enjoy the 4D cinema experience, and browse the gift shop for the latest Lego releases.

20. Get Lost in the Phoenix Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the world of art at the Phoenix Art Museum, the largest art museum in the Southwestern United States. With over 19,000 works of contemporary, modern, and worldly art, the museum showcases a diverse collection. Don't miss the photography exhibits, thanks to the partnership with the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography.

21. Step back in time with a Tombstone day trip

Experience the Wild West with a day trip to Tombstone. This historic mining town is known for its old saloons, rich history, and gold mining stories. Take a step back in time as you explore the town's historic sites and learn about its fascinating past. For a more immersive experience, book a pre-arranged day trip that includes a visit to the nearby mining town of Bisbee.

22. Take the kids to the Children's Museum of Phoenix

Unleash your child's creativity at the Children's Museum of Phoenix. With interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, this museum offers a fun and educational experience for kids of all ages. Let them explore science, arts and crafts, and obstacle courses while learning and having fun.

23. Release any frustrations at the Simply Smashing Rage Release Room

Need to blow off some steam? Visit the Simply Smashing Rage Release Room and let loose! This unique experience allows you to release your frustrations by smashing various objects, from crockery to printers. Suitable for adults and kids over 8, it's a fun and cathartic activity that's sure to put a smile on your face.

24. Climb up the famous Camelback Mountain

Embark on a challenging hike up Camelback Mountain, one of Phoenix's most iconic landmarks. This strenuous hike rewards you with breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and surrounding landscapes. If the hike is too intense, you can still enjoy the view from surrounding restaurants or resorts.

25. Enjoy the outdoors at South Mountain Park and Preserve or Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Phoenix is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and South Mountain Park and Preserve and Phoenix Mountains Preserve are top destinations for nature lovers. South Mountain Park and Preserve is one of the largest managed parks in the country, with over 80 kilometers of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails. The Phoenix Mountains Preserve offers stunning viewpoints, mountain biking trails, and photogenic moments. Hike to the summit of Piestewa Peak for panoramic views or take a relaxing walk along the Dreamy Draw Nature Trail.

26. Pedal around town with a bike tour

Explore Phoenix on two wheels with a bike tour. Burn some calories while enjoying different scenery, from historic neighborhoods to alleys filled with street art. If you're up for an adventure, opt for a mountain bike tour in the desert for a thrilling experience.

27. Relax and recharge at the spa

After a day of exploring, treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation at one of Phoenix's top spas. Aji Spa, The Phoenician Spa, Tierra Luna Spa, and Alvadora Spa offer a range of treatments and wellness experiences that will rejuvenate your body and mind. Indulge in massages, body therapies, and unique treatments that incorporate desert botanicals and healing crystals.

28. See the sights of Sedona

Escape the city and visit the enchanting town of Sedona, a wellness oasis known for its stunning natural beauty and spiritual energy. Explore hiking trails that lead to breathtaking vistas, pamper yourself at luxurious resorts, and browse new-age shops. If you have more time, take a tour that also includes a visit to the Grand Canyon and Oak Creek.

29. Spend an afternoon at the Heard Museum

Immerse yourself in American Indian art and culture at the Heard Museum. With a collection of over 130 years of art and artifacts, the museum offers an in-depth look into Native American history and traditions. Explore exhibits that showcase Navajo weaving, Pueblo embroidery, and other cultural artifacts. Check the museum's website for upcoming events and festivals.

30. Make your own chocolate during a visit to Cerreta Candy Company

Indulge your sweet tooth and explore the world of chocolate at Cerreta Candy Company. Take a tour of the candy factory and learn about the candy-making process. Get hands-on and create your own chocolate bar or participate in a chocolate teddy bear decorating activity. It's a fun and delicious experience for kids and adults alike.

31. Kayak the stunning Salt River

Escape the summer heat and cool off with a kayaking adventure on the Salt River. Explore the scenic beauty of Tonto National Forest and keep an eye out for wild horses. You can also try paddleboarding on Saguaro Lake or go tubing for a more relaxing water adventure.

32. Go on an outdoor adventure around Lake Pleasant

Discover the beauty of Lake Pleasant, a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy activities such as stargazing, picnicking, swimming, and camping within the park's 9,454-hectare perimeter. Explore hiking trails, go fishing for largemouth bass, or rent a boat and explore the lake at your own pace.

33. Do yoga... with goats!

Add a unique twist to your yoga practice by participating in a goat yoga session. These adorable animals, along with other furry creatures like cows and hedgehogs, join you during the yoga class. It's a fun and lighthearted experience that is sure to put a smile on your face.

34. Jump from a plane at 18,000 feet!

Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush with a skydiving adventure. Take a leap of faith and freefall from 18,000 feet, enjoying the breathtaking views as you descend. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced skydiver, there are options available for everyone. Book your skydiving experience online to save up to 50%.

35. Feel the thrill of indoor skydiving!

If you're not quite ready for a real skydiving experience, try indoor skydiving at iFly Indoor Skydiving. Experience the sensation of freefalling and somersaulting through the air in a safe and controlled environment. Strap on a flight suit and enjoy the feeling of weightlessness without the fear of a faulty parachute.

36. Take the kids to OdySea Aquarium

Take your family on an underwater adventure at OdySea Aquarium. With 2 million gallons of water and a wide variety of marine life, this aquarium offers a captivating experience for all ages. Get up close with sharks, penguins, and other fascinating creatures through VIP encounters and hands-on interactions.

37. Get splashed at Hurricane Harbor

Cool off from the Arizona heat at Hurricane Harbor. This family-friendly water park offers a wide range of attractions, from thrilling water slides to relaxing pools. Anaconda, an enclosed flume slide, is a favorite among thrill-seekers. Parents can relax at the go-slow Paradise Island while the kids enjoy the water.

38. Watch a ball game at Chase Field!

Catch a baseball game at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, grab a hot dog, and cheer for your favorite team. With its fully retractable roof, you can enjoy the game no matter the weather. Check the schedule for upcoming games and book your tickets in advance.

39. Dine like a king at Wrigley Mansion

Experience fine dining at its best at Wrigley Mansion. This stunning mansion, built in 1932, is now a popular restaurant that offers an exquisite culinary experience. Enjoy a meal at Geordie's Restaurant, led by Chef de Cuisine Ashley Goddard, or visit Jamie's Wine Bar for a relaxing evening.

40. Feed the giraffes at the Phoenix Zoo

Visit the Phoenix Zoo and get up close with beautiful giraffes and other exotic animals. Explore the zoo's various exhibits, including playful elephants and majestic tigers. Don't miss the opportunity to participate in a monkey show or dip your hand in the stingray-filled touch pools. The Phoenix Zoo offers a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

41. Clear a building at the Shoot House

Channel your inner action hero and experience tactical military training at the Shoot House. With head-to-toe gear and fake firearms, you can work through a range of storming scenarios. This unique experience provides a taste of what it's like to be in the shoes of a SWAT team member.

42. Witness a castle in the desert!

Visit the Mystery Castle, a whimsical castle in the middle of Phoenix. Built by a creative father, Boyce Gully, for his daughter, Mary Lou, in the 1930s, this unique castle stands as a testament to love and imagination. Constructed using stone, car parts, and even goat milk-infused cement, the castle is a must-see for kids and adults alike.

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