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.
Your trip, your way. Find inspiration for your Phoenix vacation with four-day itineraries created by our travel experts and loyal locals.
Explore our most popular itineraries below or check out the full series.
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.
Find family fun that entertains both parents and children alike at interactive museums, the Phoenix Zoo and wild water parks.
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.
Check out some highlights below or see the complete series.
Gritty, urban and cool, this downtown neighborhood is the next Phoenix frontier.
Phoenix's Seventh Avenue "gayborhood" welcomes all to its diverse mix of LGBTQ-friendly eateries, shops and galleries.
Craft beer, waterfalls, a bat cave and more: They're all in a day's walk along Phoenix's canals.
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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