Looking For Things To Do In Phoenix? I bet you are since you landed here.
First off welcome to Phoenix, a city that holds a special place in our hearts after years of exploring its vibrant streets and embracing its unique spirit.
We have become seasoned travelers of this desert oasis, immersing ourselves in the sun-drenched landscapes, diverse culture, and endless adventures that Phoenix has to offer.
From hiking and biking the trails to indulging in the local culinary scene, we have come to know this city like the back of our hands.
Join us as we share our in-depth knowledge and firsthand experiences, guiding you through the very best that Phoenix has to offer.
Get ready to embark on a journey through a city that feels like a home away from home, as we uncover the hidden gems and genuine charm that make Phoenix an unforgettable destination.
Top Attractions In Phoenix
Phoenix is a city that offers lots of attractions to suit every traveler’s interests. From natural wonders to cultural landmarks, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this city.
1. Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden is home to over 50,000 plants, representing more than 4,000 species of cacti, succulents, agaves, and other desert-adapted plants.
As you stroll through the garden’s trails, you’ll see an array of shapes, textures, and colors that define these hardy desert plants. The spring season is particularly magical, as the garden comes alive with vibrant blooms and the delightful fragrance of blossoming flowers.
Butterfly Lover? The Butterfly Pavilion showcases a variety of butterfly species if you’re into butterflies.
Good To Know: Be sure to visit during different seasons, as the garden’s ever-changing displays offer new perspectives and surprises throughout the year.
👀Don’t miss out on seeing the Hole In Rock (more on this below) and the Hall of Flames Museum (also more on this below) when you visit the Desert Botanical Garden; they’re both less than a mile away.
Good To Know: Head out on a guided tour in Spring to the Sonoran desert where you’ll find these plants in their full glory. Blooming and Beautiful!!
2. Taliesin West
Taliesin West, an architectural masterpiece right outside of Phoenix in Scottsdale, captivates visitors with its unique design and historical significance.
As an example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic architecture, it showcases his innovative design principles, such as using local materials and integrating the structure with its natural surroundings.
The inventive elements of Taliesin West make it an inspiring architectural gem.
Built as Wright’s winter home, studio, and architectural laboratory, Taliesin West offers insight into the creative process and evolution of ideas of one of the greatest architects of all time.
Taliesen West has a history as a hub for students, cultivating a legacy of architectural education and groundbreaking ideas.
It offers visitors a unique opportunity to directly encounter the brilliance of Frank Lloyd Wright, immersing themselves in his concepts, design principles, and philosophical perspectives in an experiential manner.
3. Japanese Friendship Garden
Experience tranquility and escape the heat of city life at the Japanese Friendship Garden. This 3.5-acre sanctuary has features like cascading waterfalls, fountains, and beautiful trees, providing an ideal setting for contemplation and meditation.
Don’t miss out on the must-see Koi pond and waterfall when you visit the Japanese Friendship Garden. These attractions are personal favorites! Take a virtual tour of the garden here.
Fun Fact: The giant koi fish in the pond have resided here since the garden opened almost 30 years ago.
These intelligent fish have adapted to survive the changing seasons by seeking warmth at the bottom of the pond during winter and diving to cooler depths when the desert heat becomes overwhelming.
4. Phoenix Zoo (In Papago Park)
Looking for a family-friendly destination that combines wildlife encounters, educational experiences, and outdoor fun? Phoenix Zoo is the answer.
Phoenix Zoo is located in Papago Park, near downtown Phoenix, making it a great location to see other Phoenix attractions if you’re up for the adventure.
With over 3,000 animals representing more than 400 species, the Zoo offers a fantastic opportunity to encounter wildlife from around the globe.
The zoo is divided into four themed trails: Arizona, Africa, Tropics, and Children’s. You’ll see native species like the Mexican gray wolf and mountain lion, as well as exotic creatures such as African lions, Sumatran tigers, and Bornean orangutans.
Good To Know: Phoenix Zoo offers several up-close animal experiences. The Giraffe Encounter lets you feed these gentle giants, while Stingray Bay allows you to touch and feed stingrays as they glide through the water.
Check the zoo’s daily schedule for animal presentations, where you can learn fascinating facts about the animals
✅ Be Sure to Read About The “Hole in The Rock” and Fishing At Papago Park further down so you can take full advantage of your visit to Papago Park.
5. Roosevelt Row Murals- One Of Our Favorite Things In Phoenix
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture while in Phoenix. Make sure to explore the Roosevelt Row Arts District, commonly known as ‘RoRo.’
This pedestrian-friendly area features a variety of large-scale murals and graffiti artworks created by both local and visiting artists, providing ample opportunities for great photos.
Additionally, take the time to discover the unique mix of galleries, boutiques, and restaurants that give this vibrant neighborhood its charm and character.
Here are a few of our favorite murals to see throughout downtown Phoenix:
- 1 ½ Street mural at The Churchill (901 N. First St.)
- Tyson Krank at the alley west of Fifth Ave. on Fillmore St.
- Lalo Cota collaboration at Carly’s Bistro (128 E. Roosevelt St.)
- 1 ½ Street mural at The Churchill (901 N. First St.)
- 1 ½ Street mural at The Churchill (901 N. First St.)
- Doug Bale, Miguel Ibarra and Aaron Lim at Trans Am (1506 W. Grand Ave.)
- Maggie Keane at Rodriguez Boxing Club (1350 W. Roosevelt St.)
6. Rosson House Museum And Heritage Square
📍 Google Maps | Website | Phone: (602) 258-0048 | Hours: Vary By Day See Website | Entrance: FREE To Walk Around Square Tours $15 adults, $8 children, Free under 5, Free To Heritage Square Member | ☞Rossen Museum Admission Tickets.
Heritage Square offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history, housing various cultural buildings, including the Rosson House Museum, which highlights the city’s intriguing past.
Built in 1895, it was originally the residence of Dr. Roland Rosson and his family. The house showcases the exquisite craftsmanship and ornate details characteristic of the Victorian era.
As we strolled through the square, we were pleasantly taken aback by the preserved Victorian architecture, gardens, and busy cafes and restaurants.
It was an unexpected surprise to stumble upon this quaint little square nestled in the heart of downtown Phoenix.
Here are some recommendations around Heritage Square
- Stemistry– Discover a unique experience at the luxury flower bar where you can customize your own bouquet while sipping on a one-of-a-kind coffee creation.
- Que Sazón– Once a food truck, this restaurant has now expanded into a full-service establishment, serving an array of South American cuisine, including ceviche, tacos, empanadas, tapas, and more.
- Pizzeria Bianco & Bar Bianco– Wood burning oven serving up pizzas and entrees made with homemade mozzarella, fresh baked breads and locally grown veggies.
- Latha- Coming Soon!!!
7. Wrigley Mansion
Perched on a hill in Phoenix, this historic landmark offers panoramic 360-degree views. The iconic Wrigley Mansion, brimming with rich history, now serves as a popular event venue and premier dining destination.
Indulge in a delightful meal at Geordie’s Restaurant and Lounge or unwind with a drink at the bar while witnessing a breathtaking sunset.
If you’re looking to explore the mansion, guided tours are offered, providing a glimpse into its history and sharing captivating ghost stories.
📸🤳🏼For all you influencers and Insta famous people! Wrigley’s Mansion offers the opportunity to book a private photo shoot for those interested. For $250, you’ll have access to both indoor and outdoor areas, allowing you to capture memorable photos throughout your session.
Fun Fact: Constructed in 1932 by William Wrigley Jr., the visionary behind the chewing gum empire, the Wrigley Mansion stands as a remarkable 50th anniversary gift for his wife, Ada.
8. Walk Around Historic Grand Avenue Area
If you’re searching for areas with a unique and charming energy, look no further than the Grand Avenue neighborhood in northwest Downtown Phoenix.
This eclectic neighborhood, known for its quirky vibe, features an array of galleries, studios, vintage shops, and restaurants, making it an ideal destination for those seeking something distinctive.
During our visit, we stumbled upon a fantastic local brewery and vibrant, colorful street art murals that adorned many of the buildings.
These murals, with their abstract designs and thought-provoking messages, added to the neighborhood’s funky and bohemian character. Check out this map of the Historic Grand Avenue area.
- Testal Mexican Kitchen– Delicious Mexican food (burritos tacos and bowls ALSO vegan options) They even serve breakfast
- Desert Sun Plaza– Vibrant mixed-use plaza for shopping and retail
- Wayward Taphouse– Beer and wine bar with a chill and welcoming vibe. Be sure to check their social media page for upcoming events and food trucks
- El Charro Hipster- A Mexican inspired restaurant with a fantastic vibe, live music and great food! If you like street tacos or mole Go HERE! The street tcos are affordable and the mole burrito is delish.
- Braggs Vendor Market– A seasonal outdoor market with local vendors held in the Bragg’s Pie Factory parking lot
- Grand Avenue Brewery-A unique cozy gem in the Grand Avenue district, fantastic beer, friendly staff, and a great menu with Mexican inspired foods offering plenty of smoked meat options served with hatch chiles!
- Cha Cha’s Tea Lounge– Great vibe great teas and snacks if you get hungry
- Bikini Lounge– Dive bar cash only. Gets lively at night but it’s a bit quieter when you arrive at 4:00 🤷♀️. (I know I know we were thirsty, what can I say🤣)
9. Phoenix Walking Ghost Tour– A Spooky Thing To Do In Phoenix
A Phoenix Walking Ghost Tour offers an eerie and thrilling exploration of the city’s haunted history.
As night falls, the tour begins, immersing visitors in the mysterious and supernatural side of Phoenix. The guide leads the way, sharing spine-tingling stories and accounts of ghostly encounters that have been passed down through generations.
The tour may take visitors to some of Phoenix’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Arizona State Capitol, the Hotel San Carlos, and the Orpheum Theater, each with its own eerie history and paranormal stories.
The guide will share the stories of the restless spirits said to haunt these places, and participants may even encounter strange occurrences and inexplicable sensations along the way.
10. Tovrea Castle
Tovrea Castle, is an architectural landmark, that stands as a testament to the city’s rich history and the vision of its creators.
The castle’s four-story, tiered design, often compared to a wedding cake, is a distinctive blend of architectural styles, including Pueblo Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Italianate.
It features a rounded façade with multiple balconies and terraces, offering panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape and the city of Phoenix. The 44-acre property is home to the Carraro Cactus Garden, a meticulously desert garden showcasing a variety of native cacti and other desert flora.
Today, Tovrea Castle is open to the public for guided tours, offering a glimpse into Phoenix’s history and the vision of the Carraro family.
The castle has become a popular attraction for its unique architecture, cactus garden, and the fascinating stories that surround its creation and evolution.
11. Mystery Castle
Mystery Castle, a quirky and unconventional architectural marvel, is locate, at the base of South Mountain.
This structure was built by Boyce Luther Gulley, who abandoned his family in Seattle and moved to Phoenix in the 1930s after being diagnosed with tuberculosis.
Over the course of 15 years, Gulley single-handedly constructed the castle using found materials, native stone, and recycled objects, ultimately transforming his vision into a unique and whimsical dwelling.
The sprawling, 18-room castle features a maze-like layout, with a series of courtyards, alcoves, and narrow stairways. The eclectic design incorporates a mix of architectural styles and artistic elements, including a chapel, a wishing well, and a dungeon.
Gulley’s resourcefulness is evident in the use of repurposed materials such as automobile parts, telephone poles, and even remnants of the historic Phoenix streetcar line.
Today, Mystery Castle continues to be a fascinating Phoenix attraction, drawing visitors who are intrigued by its peculiar charm, unconventional design, and the enigmatic story of its creator.
The site is maintained by the Mystery Castle Foundation, which offers guided tours, ensuring that the curious legacy of Boyce Luther Gulley and his imaginative creation lives on.
☞Looking For Things To Do In Downtown Phoenix Specifically? Read This!
Sporting Events in Phoenix
12. Footprint Center (Previously Know As Talking Stick Resort Arena)
The Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix is a state-of-the-art complex that hosts an exciting range of live events, from thrilling concerts to action-packed sporting events.
With the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and Arizona Rattlers calling it home, this arena is a must-visit for sports enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable experience.
13. Chase Field
Chase Field stands out as one of the most iconic Major League Baseball stadiums in the United States, renowned for its retractable roof and unique swimming pool.
This state-of-the-art facility offers an air-conditioned environment, ensuring millions of baseball fans can comfortably enjoy watching their favorite teams in action.
14. Spring Training Baseball Game
Attending a Spring Training baseball game is an experience that every baseball fan have on their bucket list.
Held in Arizona and Florida, Spring Training offers a unique opportunity to witness Major League Baseball (MLB) teams as they prepare for the upcoming season
The atmosphere is more relaxed and intimate compared to regular-season games, allowing for a great experience. The smaller stadiums and the laid-back setting provide excellent opportunities for interaction with players, such as autograph sessions, and catching a glimpse of both seasoned stars and promising rookies.
Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or simply seeking a fun outing, Spring Training may be something that interests you.
15. Civic Space Park
📍 Google Maps | Entrance: FREE
With its distinctive urban design, the park provides a refreshing and rejuvenating oasis in the heart of the city. Designed with sustainability in mind, the park boasts a cooling and invigorating atmosphere, with 70% of the area shaded.
Its strategic location near the downtown campus of Arizona State University makes it the ideal green space to complement the bustling city center.
16. Margaret T. Hance Park
📍 Google Maps | Entrance: FREE
Also in downtown Phoenix, you’ll find Margaret T. Hance Park, named after the city’s first female mayor. Spanning 32 acres, this park is a hub of attractions, including the Japanese Friendship Garden, Irish Cultural Center, McClelland Irish Library, Phoenix Center for the Arts, and Burton Barr Phoenix Central Library.
For dog owners, don’t miss the Hance Park Dog Park, situated on the west side of the park. It’s a dedicated space for your furry friends to enjoy and socialize.
17. Encanto Park
Encanto Park is a popular urban getaway that provides a peaceful escape from the city. Spanning over 220 acres, this park offers well-kept green spaces, a fishing lagoon, and a variety of activities for everyone.
The park’s main attraction is the lagoon, where you can rent pedal boats for a relaxing ride on the water. Golf lovers will appreciate the well-maintained golf course, and fishing enthusiasts can indulge in their hobby at the lake.
Good To Know: Encanto Park was conceptualized by William G. Hartranft, a millionaire philanthropist, who envisioned a park of similar scale to Balboa in San Diego and Golden Gate in San Francisco.
18. Enchanted Amusement Park At Encanto Park
Families with children will appreciate Enchanted Amusement Park which has a train, carousel ride and more. This family-friendly amusement park has been recognized as one of the top parks in America by Forbes, ensuring that you’ll have an unforgettable experience.
19. South Mountain Park and Preserve
As one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, South Mountain Park and Preserve offers a wealth of natural beauty and outdoor activities.
Covering more than 16,000 acres, the park has desert landscapes, mountains, and a diverse range of flora and fauna.
With over 50 miles of trails, it provides great opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and even horseback riding.
The park’s trails cater to different skill levels, from easy walks to more challenging hikes. The Summit Trail is a popular choice for those seeking a rewarding challenge. It leads to the summit of South Mountain, offering sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding desert and cityscape.
While exploring South Mountain, make sure to visit the petroglyphs left by the ancient Hohokam culture. These remarkable rock art pieces can be discovered along various trails, including Judith Tunnel accessible Trail, Telegraph Pass Trail, Kiwanis Trail, Mormon Loop Trail, Desert Classic, Mormon Trail, and Holbert Trail.
Good To Know: Dobbins Lookout, at 2,330 feet, is the highest point in the park
Unique Places and Things In Phoenix
20. The Churchill-Drink Eat And Shop
For a one-of-a-kind experience that combines food, craft beer, and local shopping, visit The Churchill in downtown Phoenix. Built from repurposed shipping containers, this trendy and welcoming space serves as a hub for a variety of local businesses.
Featuring ten small businesses, from established to new ventures, The Churchill is the perfect destination to discover and support Phoenix’s dynamic community. However, do note that the venue tends to be bustling with children, contributing to a lively and family-friendly atmosphere.
Pro Tip: For those looking for an adults-only experience, plan to visit The Churchill on weekends after 9 pm, when the atmosphere shifts to a 21-and-over vibe.
21. Pemberton PHX
Pemberton PHX is much more than just an attraction; it’s a dynamic gathering place that showcases food trucks, local vendors, and incredible art installations.
As the day turns into night, the energy amps up with live music and exciting events that keep the party going until late.
We stumbled upon this hidden gem in Downtown Phoenix and were immediately drawn in by it’s vibrant and diverse atmosphere.
Whether you’re in the mood for a drink, delicious food, or live entertainment, Pemberton PHX has you covered. It’s the perfect spot to relax, socialize, and immerse yourself in the best of what Phoenix has to offer.
22. First Fridays Downtown Phoenix
For an incredible night out in Phoenix, don’t miss Downtown Phoenix’s First Fridays! Held monthly, this art walk takes place along Roosevelt Avenue, spanning from 7th Ave to 7th Street.
During these events, galleries extend their hours, allowing you to explore art into the evening. You’ll also encounter vibrant pop-up markets, live music, and street food.
It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s artistic scene and enjoy a memorable evening.
Fun Things To Do Phoenix
23. Castles N’ Coasters- A Family Fun Things To Do in Phoenix
If you’re into amusement parks with roller coasters and rides Castles N’ Coasters is an exciting park that offers a thrilling and fun-filled experience for visitors of all ages.
From the adrenaline-pumping loops of the Desert Storm coaster to the twists and turns of the Patriot coaster, thrill-seekers are sure to get their dose of excitement. For those looking for a tamer adventure, there are plenty of other things, including mini golf, bumper cars and an arcade.
When hunger strikes, Castles N’ Coasters has you covered with food options too. From quick bites like pizza and burgers to ice cream and refreshing beverages, there’s something to satisfy every craving.
24. Top Golf
Topgolf has revolutionized the concept of golfing and brought it to a whole new level of fun and excitement.
The traditional driving range is transformed into a high-tech entertainment hub. Players hit golf balls onto a massive outfield, aiming for various targets to score points and compete with friends or other players.
Aside from the game itself, Topgolf offers food and drinks. From finger foods and appetizers to full meals and specialty cocktails, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
What sets Topgolf apart is the lively and social atmosphere it creates. The venues are designed to cater to groups of friends, families.
Good To Know: Top Golf offers half price Tuesdays
25. Cobra Arcade
If you’re searching for a hip spot in downtown Phoenix, look no further than Cobra Arcade Bar! This one-of-a-kind venue offers a fantastic blend of vintage arcade games, craft beers, and delicious cocktails.
Situated near the convention center and ball park, Cobra Arcade Bar is the perfect spot to relive your favorite childhood games, including pinball! They even have you covered with a happy hour special from Monday to Friday, running from 4 pm to 7 pm.
Good To Know: this arcade bar is for visitors aged 21 and over.
26. Comedy At Stand Up Live
Comedy at Stand Up Live promises an evening filled with laughter, entertainment, and an unforgettable comedy experience. Located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, this comedy club showcases top-notch stand-up performances by both established and emerging comedic talents from around the country.
Stand Up Live is known for bringing in a diverse range of comedians, each with their own unique style and comedic approach. Whether you prefer observational comedy, sharp one-liners, or hilarious storytelling, there’s a comedian on the lineup to suit every comedic taste.
In addition to the top notch comedy performances, they offer a full bar with drinks to enhance your experience 🤣. Go ahead and sip on your favorite beverage as you enjoy the laughter-inducing show.
27. Adult Bowling At Cham Pang Lanes
Châm Pang Lanes in Phoenix is not your ordinary watering hole. It’s a one-of-a-kind place that lets you embrace your inner child in a whole new adult way. By seamlessly merging a champagne bar with a bowling alley, you can sip on a glass of bubbly while lacing up your bowling shoes, ready to conquer the lanes.
When you need a break from the action, head over to the champagne bar. Treat yourself to a refreshing glass of bubbly, raise your glass in celebration of a strike or a toast to your friends.
28. Find Stardust Pinbar- A Unique Thing To Do In Phoenix
Ziggy’s Magic Pizza Shop in downtown Phoenix has a unique and mysterious feature: a secret entrance to Stardust Pinbar, a David Bowie-inspired game bar next door.
To access it, simply stroll into the pizzeria’s back room and pass through a mock-up of a walk-in freezer door.
Once inside, you’ll find a glammy lounge with an illuminated dance floor, Bowie-themed art and cocktails, and a variety of pinball games to enjoy.
Phoenix Theater & Performing Arts
29. Orpheum Theater
Don’t miss the legendary Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. This iconic landmark, built in 1929 with its stunning Spanish Baroque-style architecture, is a true gem. I
nside and out, it will leave you in awe. What makes the Orpheum Theatre truly special is its extensive lineup of events and performances.
Whether you’re into live music shows, ballet, or Broadway musicals, this magnificent theatre is the perfect venue to experience outstanding performances in all their glory.
20. Ballet Arizona
Ballet Arizona is a captivating ballet company that graces the stages of Phoenix with its enchanting performances. With a commitment to artistic excellence and a passion for storytelling, Ballet Arizona has become a cornerstone of the city’s vibrant arts scene.
If you’re into ballets shows attending a performance here is an immersive experience. The precision and fluidity of the dancer’s moves are awe-inspiring, as they effortlessly glide, leap, and pirouette across the stage. The ballet’s storytelling unfolds through the expressive gestures and captivating expressions of the dancers, evoking a range of emotions and creating a deep connection with the audience.
31. Herberger Theater Center- A Cultural Thing To Do in Phoenix
Located in Downtown Phoenix at Van Buren and Second Streets, the Herberger Theater Center is a dynamic and thrilling destination for theater, comedy, and music performances.
As one of the city’s largest performing arts venues, it presents a diverse range of shows, including opera, musicals, and dance.
The center boasts three distinct stages, including Stage West, the renowned home of the Arizona Theatre Company, and the intimate 480-seat Kax Stage. Prepare to be captivated by the remarkable performances hosted at the Herberger Theater Center.
Good To Know: During our visits to downtown we have often seen pop-up shows on the weekends around the corner from the entrance to the theatre so be sure to keep your eyes open for a free outdoor performance.
Go To A Casino For A Mini Vacation
32. Gila River Resorts & Casinos
With multiple locations across the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Wild Horse Pass, Lone Butte, and Vee Quiva, Gila River Resorts & Casinos provides a range of options for guests to choose from. Each location has its own unique atmosphere and offerings, catering to a variety of preferences and interests.
Gila River Resorts goes beyond just gaming, providing a delightful dining experience that caters to all tastes. With a wide range of dining options, from upscale to casual restaurants and buffets, guests can indulge in a diverse array of flavors.
But the entertainment doesn’t stop at the dining table. The casino offers a vibrant lineup of entertainment options to keep guests entertained. From live music performances and concerts to side-splitting comedy shows and special events, there’s always something happening that will captivate visitors.
33. Talking Stick Resort And Casino
Talking Stick Resort and Casino is a premier destination located in Scottsdale, Arizona, offering a bit more luxury to visitors. As one of the most prominent resorts and casinos in the region, Talking Stick is renowned for its top-notch amenities, exciting gaming options, and unparalleled hospitality.
Nestled amidst the stunning desert landscape, the resort boasts a modern and sophisticated ambiance that reflects the spirit of the Southwest.
When it comes to gaming, Talking Stick Casino delivers a thrilling experience that caters to both seasoned players and novices.
Talking Stick Resort offers a wide range of amenities and activities beyond gaming. Take a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool and soak up the Arizona sunshine. Food lovers will be enjoy the diverse dining options, from upscale to casual restaurants.
When it comes to entertainment, Talking Stick Resort hosts a vibrant lineup of live performances, concerts, and special events throughout the year. With its dynamic range of entertainment options, I’m sure you’ll have a great time.
Outdoor Shopping Malls And Farmers Markets
CityScape is a vibrant and bustling outdoor entertainment hub located in the heart of downtown Phoenix. This mixed-use complex offers a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
One of the highlights of CityScape is its dining scene. With a diverse range of restaurants there’s something to suit every palate and budget.
35. Desert Ridge Marketplace
Desert Ridge Marketplace is a shopping, dining and entertainment destination that offers a unique and enjoyable outdoor retail experience.
One of the standout features of Desert Ridge is its expansive outdoor space, which sets the stage for outdoor concerts and events throughout the year.
The marketplace has an eventful event calendar with live music and outdoor events that you can check out here.
Favorite Restaurants At Desert Ridge Include:
- Sid’s Garage– Trendy and vibrant hangout spot offering a unique combination of American comfort food, and craft beer, perfect for both car enthusiasts and food lovers.
- Thirsty Lion Gastropub– Happy hour everyday from 3-6. Be sure to try out the Ahi Poke Stack
- Barrio Queen -Popular Mexican restaurant known for its delicious tacos, fresh guacamole, and vibrant atmosphere.
Listen to Live Music in Phoenix
36. Crescent Ballroom
If you want an amazing live music experience or a fun evening of drinks and delicious food in a former auto shop, head straight to the Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix.
As we walked around the city, we couldn’t help but notice the lively atmosphere and people enjoying food and drinks at the Crescent’s outdoor seating. Intrigued, we decided to check it out for ourselves. Inside, we were blown away by the lounge area that serves great drinks and dishes from Cocina 10 Kitchen.
The Crescent boasts an impressive lineup of shows, so make sure to check their calendar for all the details.
37. The Nash Jazz & Blues Club
The Nash Jazz & Blues Club is a popular music club to enjoy live jazz and blues performances from local and internationally acclaimed artists.
As you step into The Nash, you are enveloped by the inviting atmosphere that pays homage to the rich history and soulful nature of jazz and blues music. The club’s warm and welcoming ambiance sets the stage for an unforgettable evening of captivating performances.
Good To Know: In addition to live performances, The Nash also serves as an educational hub for jazz and blues. The club offers a range of educational programs, workshops, and masterclasses to nurture and inspire the next generation of musicians.
38. The Van Buren
If you’re a music fan make sure to add Van Buren to your itinerary when visiting the city. Situated in the heart of Phoenix and formerly a vintage auto dealership, this revitalized concert hall is now a hotspot for an incredible night out.
Featuring an impressive lineup of thrilling new acts and vibrant nightlife experiences, Van Buren has welcomed renowned stars such as Sting, Billie Eilish, Death Cab For Cutie, and Dua Lipa.
Good To Know: The Van Buren occasionally hosts surprise or last-minute shows featuring well-known artists or special guest performances. These impromptu shows are not always heavily promoted or announced in advance, so be sure to follow their social media accounts to be the first to know about shows.
🌚Looking For Things To Do At Night In Phoenix? Read This!
Outdoor Activities In Phoenix
39. Golfing In Phoenix
Here’s a disclaimer. I am NOT a golfer HOWEVER, I know that lots of people come to Phoenix to enjoy its world-class golf courses.
In fact, Phoenix and its surrounding areas offer some of the best golfing experiences in the country, with over 200 courses that cater to players of all skill levels.
One of the reasons Phoenix is a popular destination for golfers is its exceptional climate. With over 300 days of sunshine per year, golfers can enjoy a round of golf almost any day of the year.
In addition to the outstanding courses, Phoenix also offers exceptional golf amenities, including pro shops, on-site dining options, and golf lessons and clinics with certified instructors.
The city is also home to several prestigious golf events, including the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the most attended and well-known tournaments on the PGA Tour.
40. Hot Air Balloon Rides
If you’re ready to step it up a notch in Phoenix why not take a hot air balloon ride? Phoenix is one of the most popular places in the world to experience a hot air balloon ride.
With its breathtaking landscapes, clear skies, and mountains, the city provides the ideal backdrop for a memorable ballooning adventure.
Good To know: Hot air balloon rides typically take place in the early morning hours when the winds are calm and the temperatures are cooler, providing the best experience for seeing the vibrant colors of the sunrise and the sprawling desert landscape below.
One of the most remarkable aspects of a hot air balloon ride is the tranquility and serenity it provides. The gentle movement of the balloon creates a peaceful and meditative experience, allowing you to disconnect from daily life and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the moment.
Good To Know: After your hot air balloon ride, you’ll have the opportunity to partake in a time-honored tradition in ballooning – a traditional champagne toast. It’s a delightful way to celebrate and commemorate your unforgettable experience in the skies.
41. Watch A Sunset At Dobbins Lookout South Mountain
Dobbins Lookout provides visitors with a panoramic view of the desert landscape and the city below. It is a highly sought-after lookout point thats close to the city.
One of the highlights of Dobbins Lookout is the opportunity to witness beautiful sunsets. As the sun descends, the sky becomes a vibrant canvas of colors, creating a true spectacle.
Additionally, the lookout offers a vantage point to admire the city lights at night, adding a touch of magic and romance to the atmosphere.
To reach Dobbins Lookout, visitors can drive or hike up the winding roads and trails of South Mountain. Once at the lookout, you’ll be greeted by vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Dobbins Lookout is also a gateway to numerous hiking trails that wind through South Mountain Park. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, there are trails suitable for all levels.
Good To Know: As one of the most popular lookout points in the area, it tends to get crowded during sunset hours. Don’t be like us and arrive right before sunset 🙄. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time so you can find a place to park.
42. Hole in the Rock At Papago Park
Papago Park, located in Phoenix, Arizona, is home to a unique natural formation known as the “Hole in the Rock.” This di geological feature has become a popular destination, offering a blend of natural beauty and historical significance.
Once you reach the site, you notice that the Hole in the Rock is indeed a natural opening in the rock formation, resembling a large window or portal.
It’s a testament to the forces of erosion that have sculpted the landscape over thousands of years.
Good To Know: While the Hole in the Rock is an awe-inspiring natural wonder, it also holds historical significance. The indigenous Hohokam people, who inhabited the area centuries ago, left their mark on the rock with petroglyphs, ancient rock carvings that tell stories of their culture and way of life. Exploring the rock’s surface reveals these intricate designs, serving as a reminder of the rich history of the land and the people who once called it home.
43. Fishing At Papago Park
Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona, not only offers picturesque desert landscapes and hiking trails but also provides an excellent opportunity for fishing enthusiasts to indulge in their favorite pastime. With its tranquil ponds and abundant fish species, Papago Park offers a serene and rewarding fishing experience.
Before casting your line, make sure you familiarize yourself with the local regulations and guidelines to ensure compliance and protect the park’s ecosystem. These regulations typically cover aspects such as catch limits, bait restrictions, and fishing methods.
44. Jeep Tours Of The Desert
Taking a jeep tour in the Sonoran Desert surrounding Phoenix, Arizona, is a captivating and immersive adventure that offers a unique perspective of the desert landscape. With its close proximity to the city, you can easily escape and delve into the wonders of the Sonoran Desert.
The Sonoran Desert is known for its biodiversity, and as you traverse it, you’ll see the abundance of unique plant life. The iconic saguaro cacti, with their towering presence, dominate the landscape, while barrel cacti, ocotillos, and various species of desert flowers add splashes of color to the surroundings.
A jeep tour is a fantastic thing to do in Phoenix that takes you along dusty trails, through sandy washes, and up rocky hills, providing a thrilling off-road experience.
45. Hike Camelback Mountain-One Of Our Favorite Things To Do In Phoenix
Camelback Mountain is one of the most iconic hiking destinations in Phoenix. This challenging trail offers two main routes: the Echo Canyon Trail and the Cholla Trail. Both trails provide stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding Sonoran Desert. T
he hike involves steep inclines, rocky terrain, and scrambling, making it a moderate to difficult adventure. Remember to bring plenty of water and be prepared for crowded conditions, especially during weekends and peak seasons.
46. Hike Piestewa Peak
Piestewa Peak: Formerly known as Squaw Peak, Piestewa Peak is another popular hiking spot in Phoenix. It offers a variety of trails catering to different skill levels.
The Summit Trail, the most popular and strenuous option, ascends to the summit, providing breathtaking views of the city. This trail involves steep inclines, rocky sections, and well-maintained steps.
If you’re seeking a less strenuous hike, you can opt for the Circumference Trail, which circles the base of the mountain and offers a more relaxed experience. Ensure you have appropriate footwear, sun protection, and ample water.
Top Museums in Phoenix
47. Phoenix Art Museum
Visit the Phoenix Art Museum, a renowned world-class art museum situated in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.
With a vast collection of over 20,000 works of art from various parts of the globe, the museum showcases an extensive range of artistic expressions, from contemporary pieces to historical artifacts.
Immerse yourself in the diverse mediums represented, including photography, ceramics, and fashion design, as you embark on a captivating journey through the world of art.
48. Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is a destination that caters to music and cultural enthusiasts. It features a wide collection of musical instruments from around the world, interactive exhibits, and live performances, creating an immersive and educational experience.
Good To Know: In addition to the exhibits, the MIM offers a schedule of live performances and events. Concerts feature popular musicians, while educational programs and workshops provide further opportunities to connect with diverse musical traditions. You can check the schedule of events here
49. Hall of Flame Fire Museum
The Hall of Flame Fire Museum is a unique attraction dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of firefighting and the brave individuals who have dedicated their lives to this noble profession.
Established in 1961 by George F. Getz Jr., the museum houses one of the largest collections of firefighting equipment and memorabilia in the world, spanning across centuries of fire service history.
The museum’s expansive collection includes over 100 restored and preserved fire apparatus, dating from the early 18th century to the late 20th century.
These exhibits offer visitors a fascinating look into the evolution of firefighting technology and techniques over the years.
The collection features a wide array of fire engines, hand-pulled hose carts, ladder trucks, and other firefighting vehicles, providing an in-depth understanding of the equipment used by firefighters throughout history.
🌵🐒🪨Don’t miss seeing the Desert Botanical Garden, the Phoenix Zoo and “Hole In The Rock” at Papago park they’re all less than a mile away.
50. Arizona Science Center
Located in downtown Phoenix within Heritage Square, this interactive museum is dedicated to fostering scientific exploration and education.
With a wide array of captivating exhibits and hands-on activities, visitors can delve into topics like electricity, magnetism, human anatomy, and space exploration.
Alongside its permanent exhibits, the center features rotating displays on various scientific themes, covering subjects such as environmental sustainability, biology, physics, and technology.
Designed to be interactive and engaging, these exhibits encourage visitors to learn through hands-on experimentation and exploration.
Insider Tip: Head to Pizzeria Bianco, known for its mouthwatering wood-fired pizzas or grab a coffee at Stemistry a unique experience where you can customize your own bouquet while sipping on a one-of-a-kind coffee creation.
51. S’edav Va’aki Museum (Formerly Pueblo Grande Museum)
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (602) 495-0901 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 4:45 pm Monday-Saturday, 1 pm – 4:45 pm Sunday (October-April); 9 am – 4:45 pm Tuesday-Saturday, Closed Sundays & Mondays (May-September) | Entrance: $6 adults, $3 youths 6-17
S’edav Va’aki Museum, offers a journey into the ancient history and culture of the Hohokam people. Situated on a 1,500-year-old archaeological site, Visitors get a glimpse into the ancient Hohokam culture through well-preserved ruins, interactive exhibits, and educational programs that showcase the history, art, and lifestyle of this prehistoric civilization.
52. Heard Museum
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Heard Museum, one of downtown Phoenix’s top attractions. Situated on North Central Avenue, this museum, founded in 1929, is committed to promoting American Indian art.
With an extensive collection boasting over 40,000 pieces of Native American art, it is a must-see for those seeking to deepen their understanding of Native American culture and history.
Other Fun Things To Do Around The Phoenix Area
- Kayak Tempe Town Lake
- Visit Old Town Scottsdale