Travel guru Samantha Brown visited some of the best spots in Phoenix for season three of her PBS series, "Samantha Brown's Places to Love." Here's where you can find some of those places, including the Desert Botanical Garden, Musical Instrument Museum, Taliesin West, and more. Check your local PBS listings, or watch the episode online here.
Desert Botanical Garden
One of the top 10 things to do in Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden is known for its winding paths that span 50 acres, showcasing a wide variety of desert flora in the beautiful Papago Park. The garden is a must-see spot when visiting Phoenix, especially if you're looking to get some good photos. Chances are the garden will have some unique art installations, or it will be hosting one of its annual events, such as Las Noches de Las Luminarias or the Devour Culinary Classic. Read more about the garden here.
Musical Instrument Museum
Another one of Phoenix's top 10 attractions, the MIM has the largest collection of musical instruments in the world. You can hear thousands of instruments from all over the world as you tour with a headset synced to the galleries, and even try your hand at playing some of them too. The MIM Music Theater also hosts concerts from international performers year round.
The Farm at South Mountain
The Farm at South Mountain is a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city - even though its only a few minutes away from the action. The space is filled with canopies of pecan trees, an organic garden, three restaurants, two venue spaces, and more. It's the ideal place for a picnic or brunch, or even a romantic dinner at Quiessence, where farm-to-table was the norm before farm-to-table was even a thing.
Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright created this space as his winter home, and also used it as a grounds to teach future architects, such as Paolo Soleri. Taliesin West offers tours of the grounds, showcasing how Wright was inspired by the desert landscape. It's consistently been one of Greater Phoenix's best attractions, and in 2019, the home was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
Husband and wife duo Dwayne Allen and Danielle Leoni have created a big impact with their small restaurant in downtown Phoenix. The Breadfruit & Rum Bar is one of the only spots to get great Caribbean cuisine in the Valley, and Leoni has become a master of Jamaican food in the kitchen, while Allen handles the impressive lineup of cocktails. Leoni's work has made her one of the most respected chefs in Greater Phoenix, and she has become synonymous with sustainable cooking, working with institutions like Arizona State University and the James Beard Foundation. Learn more about the duo and their work here.
The former home of iconic architect Paolo Soleri is a must stop spot for desert-inspired architecture and art, especially Soleri's famous Cosanti wind bells. Soleri and his work have become an integral part of Arizona design, with spots like the Soleri Bridge and Plaza in downtown Scottsdale and the experimental city Arcosanti in Yavapai County. Cosanti offers tours, workshops, and shopping.
Black Theatre Troupe
The Black Theatre Troupe formed in the 1970s to highlight the African American experience and culture, and has been putting on unique and underrepresented performances in the Phoenix area ever since, including pieces like "The Wiz," "Fences," and "Detroit 67." The troupe has been performing at downtown Phoenix's Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center since 2013, where the season runs from September through April.