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.
We may swap snow for sunshine here in the desert, but that doesn’t mean we lack for holiday fun and festivities.
Get the scoop on celebrating the season with outdoor ice skating, holiday light displays, seasonal performances, special shopping events and more.
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.