Phoenix's perpetual sunshine might tempt you to find a secluded resort and spend all your days sipping margaritas next to the swimming pool. Don't give in. Exploring our city and finding things to do in Phoenix's desert horizons will broaden yours.
Take it from a local. Greater Phoenix writers share their thoughts about the city—and how to spend quality time in it—in the hope their stories will inspire your travel ideas.
In search of tangible things in a digital age, a local writer finds where to ditch screens and go old school in Central Phoenix.
In Midtown and Uptown, eat/drink/shop gathering places thrive where strip malls once stood.
Hiker who’s traversed the state (twice) on the AZT shares her favorite trail segments near Phoenix.
Craft beer, waterfalls, a bat cave and more: They're all in a day's walk along Phoenix's canals.
Jewelry designer Alex Ozers forges brass and copper into wearable art that feels aged by desert forces.
These intra-city road trips allow you to travel from Point A to Point Beautiful…and be back home in time for dinner.
Who needs a car when a ‘conveyor belt’ can transport you between Central Phoenix dining and drinks?
This multi-mountain trek inspires hikers to look beyond Phoenix’s iconic peaks.
A leisurely float puts rivergoers up close to wild mustangs, blue herons and bald eagles.
A transplanted Southerner satisfies her hankering for the tastes of home at these local joints.
Bitter & Twisted barman Ross Simon takes writer on a tour of his favorite Central Phoenix cocktail spots.
Ariel Bracamonte’s passion project—a retro arcade bar—is a game changer for downtown Phoenix’s nightlife scene.
Ex-Phoenix cop shows off his softer, sweeter side by cranking out some of the city’s best frozen treats.
At his shop in the cowboy town of Cave Creek, Eric Watson crafts hats that last a lifetime.
A local writer and bona fide pizza fanatic gives us the rundown on Phoenix’s formidable pizza scene.
Rent a Grid Bike and pedal off on a two-wheel tour of Central Phoenix's arts and culture scene.
This taxidermist’s shop in Central Phoenix is the place to go for freeze-dried bats and beetle earrings.
Your trip, your way. Find inspiration for your Phoenix vacation with these four-day itineraries created by our travel experts and loyal locals.
Feel the sun on your skin and the dirt beneath your feet with these desert adventures.
Savvy spenders can enjoy the best of Phoenix without breaking the bank with these activities and attractions.
Go where the locals go. Live like a Phoenician at these neighborhood hangouts.
Experience bucket-list destinations—such as Grand Canyon National Park and Sedona—by day and be back in town by night.
Experience Phoenix's Old West roots with horseback rides through the desert and a visit to native culture museums.
Find family fun that entertains both parents and children alike at interactive museums, the Phoenix Zoo and wild water parks.
Wine. Dine. Unwind. Repeat. Soothing spa days, wine tastings and retail therapy await.
Go beyond the bleachers and experience fun-loving fandom. Golf in the footsteps of pros, get behind the wheel of a racecar and more.
Lavish yourself in luxury and bold adventure with fine Phoenix dining, upscale shopping and pulse-pounding experiences.
Desert adventures, urban exploration, family fun, and more: Find attractions and things to do that suit your vacation desires in the categories below.
Get a lay of the land and find things to do in each of Greater Phoenix's different regions with the interactive map below.
Some of the nation’s biggest sports events and concerts take place in Glendale, site of University of Phoenix Stadium (home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals) and Gila River Arena (home to the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes). White Tank Regional Park—the largest of metro Phoenix’s six county parks—preserves ancient petroglyphs.
Arizona’s largest and most cosmopolitan city is framed by rugged terrain, including the red rocks of Papago Park and the signature spine of Camelback Mountain. Restaurants and bars fill adaptively reused buildings in Midtown and Arcadia; Mexican food and murals spice up 16th Street; and vintage shopping and LGBTQ nightlife flourish in the Melrose District.
Here resides the lion’s share of Greater Phoenix’s famous resorts—as well as the region’s reputation for cowboy chic. Scottsdale boasts the Southwest’s largest shopping mall and a nationally renowned dining-and-nightlife scene. Paradise Valley packs a dozen resorts into 15 square miles, and the rustic towns of Cave Creek and Carefree celebrate Western ways with cowboy bars and live bull-riding.
Estrella Mountain Regional Park is a favorite West Side destination for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Phoenix International Raceway, in Avondale, hosts two NASCAR events each year. Goodyear—named after the tire-and-rubber magnate—is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., and Ohioans flock there each March to watch the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians participate in spring training. Litchfield Park is home to the venerable Wigwam resort.
Culture, commerce and college life coalesce in the epicenter of Phoenix. This is where you’ll find indie restaurants, live music, pro sports, craft brews and cocktail culture. Historic neighborhoods like Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue share an urban footprint with modern marvels like CityScape and the Phoenix Convention Center. No car is required here, thanks to Valley Metro Rail and Grid bike share.
This corner of metro Phoenix is defined by university life, family fun and the ruggedly beautiful Superstition Mountains. Arizona State University is located in Tempe, which plays host to some of the region’s biggest outdoor parties. Mesa is an agritourism hub and the spring-training home of the Chicago Cubs, and Gilbert boasts a burgeoning downtown filled with independent eateries.
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