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Things To Do In Phoenix : 29 Adventures

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Phoenix, Arizona

You might be searching for things to do in Phoenix because you have a convention or business trip scheduled. Perhaps you’re planning your next family vacation. Whatever your reasons for asking, you’ll find the answers here.

City Facts

Population-wise, Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the U.S. with over 1.4 million people. The metro area is also one of the largest in the country and includes numerous cities and communities, such as Scottsdale, famous for its golf courses and Fountain Hills, famous for its manmade fountain that shoots water more than 500 feet into the air on an hourly basis.

The city itself covers almost 518 square miles and is mostly flat except for the mountains that you’ll see as soon as you fly in. The mountains appear to have been dropped down onto the flat desert floor and create dramatic changes in elevation, rather than a gradual ascent. Many of the outdoor things to do in Phoenix are in the mountain parks.

The generally flat terrain allowed the city planners to lay out the streets on a precise grid-work pattern. Because of that, even the crowded downtown area is easy to navigate. The streets are wide and open-spaced. Parking is relatively easy.

Best Times to Visit

The location is the Valley of the Sun, an accurate name as the sun shines on the Phoenix area 85% of the time. The climate is subtropical, which means that the winters are mild, but the summers are very hot.

Most people agree that the best time to visit for fun is in the late fall, winter or very early spring. Spring is very nice because of the desert wildflowers. The cacti bloom and the variety of colors is breathtaking.

By late May, the temperature reaches or exceeds 100 degrees on more days than not. The heat usually lasts until early September. By contrast, the temperatures in January, February and March range from the mid 50’s to the high 70’s and the nighttime low rarely dips below 35 degrees. It’s great weather for golfing!

It is the climate and the scenery that attracts many visitors to the area. The numerous golf courses are also major attractions. The Phoenix Open is held annually in the area, but is actually in Scottsdale, a city that borders Phoenix to the east. If you’re interested in having a little tournament of your own, check out the AZ Skins Golf Tour while you’re in town. The company organizes golf competitions for amateurs.

Things to do in Phoenix: Attractions, Tours and Adventures

You can figure out what to do in Phoenix regardless of when your trip is scheduled. There are hundreds of attractions, tours and adventures going on year round. Here’s a look at some of your best choices.

One of the Phoenix tours should definitely be on your itinerary. The Legacy Tour is beautiful and unforgettable. The tour takes you through numerous homes designed by world-famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The homes were designed to take full advantage of the beautiful desert scenery.

The Legacy Tour “Under the Stars” is an evening visit to Wright’s winter home, Taliesin West, one of the major tourist attractions in the area. The tour experience is enchanting as the pool reflects the lights of the home and the twinkle of the evening stars. The extensive sky lights in the home give you a view of the desert sky that you won’t forget.

Of course, the canyons are the main attraction in the area. Canyoneering tours have become a popular choice for people who like adventure. If you sign up for a tour, you’ll find yourself hiking, wading, swimming and rappelling through the nearby canyons. This is one of the adventures that you can schedule year-round.

Another cool thing to do in Phoenix is skydiving. If you are up for adventure, skydiving can give you the thrill of a lifetime. You can skydive on your trip even if you’ve never done it before. Phoenix Area Skydiving specializes in first-timers by putting safety first. In case skydiving is something you have done before, the company offers jumps for all skill levels.

If you want to take flight, but prefer a more relaxing adventure, you can take a hot air balloon ride over Phoenix. You can float calmly through the air for an hour, anytime of year, assuming the weather cooperates.

The Sonoran Desert surrounding the valley of the sun is a must stop during a visit to Phoenix. There is no better way to experience the natural desert than by joining an off-road tour in Phoenix.

Where to Stay

As you are deciding what to do in Phoenix, you might also think about where to stay. There are hundreds of hotels and numerous resorts in the vicinity. These three are award-winning, comfortable and get good reviews from former guests.

  • JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and SpaJW Marriott at Desert Ridge
    This resort is a major convention center and a popular choice for family vacations, partly because of the acres of pools on the grounds. Located in northern Phoenix, the resort has numerous amenities including a full-service spa, multiple tennis courts and a variety of restaurants. Rooms are comfortable and all have private balconies or patios.

  • Hotel Palomar Phoenix
    The Palomar is located downtown right in the middle of everything. It is considered a “boutique” hotel; small enough for the staff to give you personalized service. It is the home of the Blue Hound Kitchen, one of the restaurants featured in the places to eat section below.

  • Arizona Grand Resort
    One of the things to do in Phoenix to stay cool is located at the Arizona Grand: the Oasis Water Park. The park covers 7 acres of the grounds and is fun for people of all ages. The water park is only one of the attractions at the Grand. There are hiking trails and an 18-hole golf course with well-maintained greens and beautiful views of the desert.

Where to Eat

Figuring out what to do in Phoenix can make you hungry. Everyone has to eat and there are hundreds of places to choose from in the area. These are three of the more “unique” choices.

  • Pizzeria Bianco
    Foodies agree that one of the things to do in Phoenix is to eat at the Bianco. This is not a chain and it’s not your ordinary pizzeria. It is gourmet pizza at its best. Chef Chris Bianco is a James Beard award winner. One of his popular creations is called the Wiseguy. It is a white pizza made with fennel sausage, covered with slices of roasted onion and topped with house-smoked mozzarella cheese. The Bianco is located on Adams Street in Phoenix.

  • Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails
    Located at the Hotel Palomar on Jefferson Street, the Blue Hound has a variety of unique menu items to choose from. If you are in the mood for something different, you might order the Kentucky fried quail over foie gras, the duck flatbread with pickled kumquat or the monkfish schnitzel.

  • The Breadfruit
    The warm tropical weather could put you in the mood for Caribbean food. The Breadfruit on Pierce Street is the place to go for Caribbean fare. The menu features items like rum-laced smoked mussels, jerk chicken and guava-glazed pork belly. The entrees are typically served with grilled corn on the cob and sliced pineapple. Unlike some of the restaurants in town, prices at the Breadfruit are reasonable.

Hopefully, you have some ideas now about where to eat, where to stay and what to do in Phoenix. You’re sure to have an unforgettable adventure!

Additional Resources for Phoenix

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Grand Canyon Airplane Tour - South Rim Deluxe by Westwind Air Service

Air Adventures in Phoenix, Arizona
Just a better way to see the Grand Canyon from Phoenix! Slow down and relax during a comfortable, narrated tour to the Grand Canyon South Rim over the most scenic areas of Arizona.  Along the way, enjoy the view from the air as you pass over the Tonto ...

Colors and Canyons - Grand Canyon Air and Ground by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
There is not much else on earth more spectacular than viewing the Grand Canyon from directly over the widest part in a helicopter with wrap-around views! This tour from Phoenix/Scottsdale enjoys the best of both worlds with a ground and air tour of the Grand ...

Downtown Phoenix Culinary Tour by Taste It Tours

Culinary Arts in Phoenix, Arizona
Experience Phoenix's Downtown Culinary Culture Join this well established downtown Phoenix culinary tour to enjoy the restaurants that have truly impacted the local culture. Participants will have the opportunity to truly learn why Phoenix has become one of ...

2 Day/1 Night Grand Canyon Stay via Sedona by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
2-Day Tour of Sedona and Grand Canyon with an overnight at Grand Canyon. Experience Sedona, paired with the best Grand Canyon views on this 2 day tour. You will be treated to two full days of touring, which include Sedona, among the world famous red rock ...

Scenic Sedona from Scottsdale with Jeep Tour by Pink Jeep Tours

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Experience the best of both worlds! For an unforgettable excursion to spectacular Sedona, climb aboard our luxurious, custom built Mercedes Benz tour vehicle to enjoy a day with our knowledgeable guides. On our way we’ll visit the ancient cliff dwellings at ...

Evening Dine Around Culinary Tour by Taste It Tours

Culinary Arts in Phoenix, Arizona
Popular Phoenix culinary experience! This is the one and only evening culinary tour of downtown Phoenix and it has been a BIG hit for visitors and locals. All within a laid back atmosphere guests will experience the taste of some exceptional food. This ...

1 Hour Guided Horseback Trail Ride by Macdonald's Ranch

Horseback Riding in Scottsdale, Arizona
Enjoy a short 1 hour Scottsdale Horseback ride! Your trip to the Valley will be a memory that you enjoy very much and not soon forget. You will leave the city and enjoy the peaceful and scenic Sonoran Desert on one of our horses.  Conveniently located ...

2 Day/1 Night stay in Sedona with Grand Canyon Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
2-Day Tour of Sedona and Grand Canyon with an overnight in Sedona. Experience sunrise and sunset in Sedona, paired with the best Grand Canyon views. This 2 day tour offers a full day in Sedona among the world famous red rock formations as well as a full tour ...

Sedona Airplane and Jeep Tour by Westwind Air Service

Airplane Tours in Phoenix, Arizona
By air and ground is the perfect way to see Sedona! Enjoy a narrated, scenic flight over the Tonto National Forest and Mazatzal Wilderness. Wind up the Verde Valley and enjoy a breathtaking over-flight of Sedona. Upon landing from your at Sedona you will be ...

Sedona Day Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Explore the highlights of Sedona in a day from Phoenix/Scottsdale! We take the burden out of driving and navigating your way around an un-familiar area. Guests will have the chance to explore ancient Native American ruins, marvel at the spectacular ...

ATV Sonoran Desert Tour by Stellar Adventures

Atv Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Join your Chief Adventurer on a Guided ATV Excursion through the Majestic Sonoran Desert. Immerse yourself in the history of this forbidden frontier. Discover the abundant flora and fauna which inhabit the Tonto National Forest. Experience the thrill of ...

Apache Trail Full Day Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Arizona's first historic highway! Only minutes from the city, the Apache Trail is a true wilderness adventure and a perfect day in the Sonoran desert. Arizona's first designated "Historic Highway" and a scenic byway, the original Apache Trail was a ...

Sedona and Grand Canyon 3 Day 2 Night Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Experience sunrise and sunset in Sedona, paired with the best Grand Canyon views. This 2 day tour offers a full day in Sedona among the world famous red rock formations as well as a full tour of the Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona's wonder of the world ...

Tombstone Day Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Now this is history! Known as the “Town to Tough to Die”, Tombstone was home to the true men and women of the West.  Outlaws, businessmen, miners, and cattlemen flocked to the area in the late 1870’s for their chance to strike it rich.  With such a ...

Sedona Airplane Tour by Westwind Air Service

Airplane Tours in Phoenix, Arizona
Enjoy Sedona and still have plenty of time left in your day! Experience the breathtaking beauty of Arizona on this scenic air tour that begins at Deer Valley airport in North Phoenix. Soon after departing you will see the rugged isolation of the Tonto ...

2 Day/1 Night Grand Canyon Train Ride and Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Experience the beauty of Sedona, the unique history of Route 66 and the Grand Canyon on your 2 day tour with a ride on the famous Grand Canyon Railway. You will be treated to two days of touring, which include an overnight in Williams Arizona, the famous ...

Apache Trail Half Day by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Road trip to the famous Superstition Mountains! Only minutes from the city, the Apache Trail is a true wilderness adventure and a perfect day in the Sonoran desert. Arizona's first designated "Historic Highway" and a scenic byway, the original ...

Grand Canyon South Rim Airplane Tour by Westwind Air Service

Airplane Tours in Phoenix, Arizona
Perfect Grand Canyon Tour for the the time conscious traveler! Begin your air tour with a one hour flight from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon.  Along the way, enjoy the view from the air as you pass over the Tonto National Forest; make a scenic pass ...

Phoenix City Highlights Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
As we tour the Valley of the Sun, you will be treated to sights of famous architecture, modern art, desert views, and the individuality that make this desert oasis magical.  The half-day City Highlights tour showcases the largest county by population in ...

Grand Canyon Day Tour by Detours Of Arizona

Sightseeing Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Visit three spectacular locations in one day without having to deal with the hastles of driving and finding your way around. Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and the Navajo Nation await your visit with our fully guided sightseeing tour in comfort from ...

M1009 Military Blazer Tours by Stellar Adventures

Jeep Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Built for the military on the popular Blazer platform from GM, the M10-09 features a 6.2L Diesel engine with upgrades like a heavy duty suspenion and rear gov-lock to make it comfortable and handle well off-road. This unique experience takes you to a remote ...

Sonoran Desert Tomcar Tour by Rezdy Company

Atv Tours in Cave Creek, Arizona
#1 Ranked Off-Road Adventure in the Valley! A Tomcar is an off-road buggy perfect for the desert environment.  Originally designed for the Israeli Defense forces are equipped with independent front and rear suspension and a wide wheel base making for one ...

Scottsdale Hot Air Balloon Private Champagne Flight for 2 by Aerogelic Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning in Scottsdale, Arizona
See Arizona's wonders as never before Escape from the norm with a hot air balloon ride over the scenic Sonoran Desert preserve in the North Phoenix, Scottsdale and Arizona areas. Take a private champagne flight to explore the desert's abundant native ...

4 Peaks Hummer Tour by Stellar Adventures

Hummer Tours in Scottsdale, Arizona
Explore one of Arizona's most picturesque trails. Nestled in the heart of the Tonto National Forest, the trail winds through two of Arizona's most beautiful mountain ranges: The 4 Peaks and The Supersion Mountains. Enjoy beautiful views of Saguaro Lake. ...

Phoenix / Chandler Hot Air Balloon by Aerogelic Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning in Chandler, Arizona
See the world as it wakes up in the early morning light Discover Chandler and the South Phoenix Valley as never before on an aerial city tour by hot air balloon. Gaze down on towns from Peoria to Queen Creek and view the area's highlights from a whole ...

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5450 E. Deer Valley Dr.
Phoenix
AZ
85054
United States