Phoenix is the largest city and state capital of Arizona, in the southwest of the US. It has a long history and was founded in 1867. Phoenix has earned the nickname ‘Valley of the Sun’ due to the high temperatures it enjoys year-round. The city is home to 1.6 million people. It is the only state capital in the US with an excess of 1 million residents. Phoenix has a high percentage of younger people, so it’s always an exciting city to visit. The staple of the economy in Phoenix is agriculture. It is famous for growing cotton and citrus, farming cattle, and mining for copper.
The city has a wide range of attractions, so let us help you out if you’re thinking about things to do in Phoenix!
Phoenix Zoo is the largest non-profit and privately-owned zoo in the United States. It covers 125 acres of land in the iconic Papago Park Phoenix. It is home to around 3,000 animals. It often comes top of places to visit in Phoenix. It always seems to have a new animal or ten to share with its visitors. Recently, it has welcomed Flamingo eggs and the endangered Black Footed Ferret through its doors.
Phoenix Zoo tends to go a little bit further than other zoos and has the only walkthrough Monkey Squirrel habitat in the US. It’s also home to some animals we bet you’ve never heard of, like the Gerenuk and the Siamang!
Tickets required, available online or at the ticket office, $14.95-$24.95
There are so many interesting museums in Phoenix that it can be difficult to see them all! Narrowing them down comes down to personal taste, but there’s certainly something to interest everyone. Heard Museum covers the diverse Native American heritage and culture. Sonora Desert Museum highlights the plants and wildlife of the nearby Sonora Desert. The Musical Instrument Museum is split into continents and country and has an enormous range of exhibits. It even has the piano that John Lennon composed the classic song, Imagine.
The Wells Fargo Museum is an interesting glimpse into the history of the company in Arizona. The museum explores uniquely Western history, like Wyatt Earp, the Stagecoach and gold mining. Not far from Wells Fargo is the Phoenix Museum of Police. This explores the history of the Phoenix Police Department, Arizona Rangers and other branches of law enforcement. If you want to see how it feels, you can even take a short trip to a replica of an old wooden jail. Probably don’t stay too long, though! There’s no limit to the museums you can visit on your list of things to do in Phoenix.
Tickets required for specific museums
Castles N Coasters Family Amusement Center
This 10-acre park has lots of rides and roller-coasters. It’s always a big hit with all the family, regardless of age. It has Wild West themes and Middle Eastern designs. There are lots of sunny outer areas, as well as plenty of indoor arcades. There are also 4 18-hole golf courses, 2 roller-coasters, a log flume, and sky diving drop rides.
Although the larger rides won’t be able to take little kids, there’s still plenty of less-scary fun for them to enjoy. Who can say no to miniature golf, bumper boats, and bumper cars? We know we can’t…
Tickets required, available from entrance, from $10.99 upwards, depending on the package.
Desert Botanical Garden
Comprising 130-acres in Papago Park Phoenix, Desert Botanical Garden is chock full of amazing desert species. There are 50,000 outdoor plant displays, 4,482 species in the Living collection, and 379 rare and endangered plants. The Desert Botanical Garden is very much an eco-tourism attraction. It allows you to enjoy plants and flowers in their natural habitats.
There are numerous hiking trails and areas to relax and take it easy. The Patio Café will also take care of all your refreshment needs. There’s a shop onsite to inspire your own garden at home. There’s always an exciting range of events on offer, too. The evening Flashlight Tours provide a great night out for all the family.
Tickets required, available at entrance, $9.95-$24.95
Arizona Science Center
The Science Center is one of the best things to do in downtown Phoenix. It’s just one of and many great museums in Phoenix. Located in city’s Heritage and Science Park, it’s home to a 5-storey IMAX theater and a Planetarium. There are 350 interactive exhibits and a rolling range of visiting exhibits throughout the year.
The Science Center is a great thing to do in Phoenix with kids. Its education program offers a range of field trips, science camps, daily demonstrations, and presentations. There’s even an adult’s night in case you want to leave the kids behind and take the night off.
Tickets required, available at entrance, $13–$19.95
If you’re looking for something more unusual in your list of Phoenix attractions, then head to Papago Park. You can check out Governor Hunt’s Pyramid Tomb! The First Governor of Arizona, WP Hunt, had the tomb built in 1931 for his late wife. The pretty but unusual white pyramid now also houses him, his wife’s family and his daughter.
It’s set high on a hill in Papago Park and has wonderful panoramic views over Phoenix. It’s not only an unusual attraction but also a great free thing to do in Phoenix.
Frequently Asked Questions By Travelers About Phoenix
We’ve compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what to do in Phoenix. The questions cover a range of topics and will help you to research and plan your trip to the city.
Things To Do in Phoenix This Weekend
Phoenix has a never-ending cycle of things to see and do. Even in the mad heat of July, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. The return of Netflix smash-hit Stranger Things has influenced July’s ‘80s Night’ at the Van Buren, for example.
Phoenix’ Poet Laureate, Dorothy Dombrowski, is also hosting the Phoenix Poet Society at Changing Hands Bookstore. If comics are your kind of thing, then head on over to Bookmans for the free Phoenix Independent Comic Show. Music lovers can catch Ted Nugent at the Celebrity Theater during July. Regardless of your tastes, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Phoenix this weekend!
What Are Unique Things To Do in Phoenix?
Papago Park Phoenix offers visitors the unique experience of picnicking in the Hole-in-the-Wall. This mountain-side hollow has great views and can get some shade from the hot Phoenix sun. Or, why not take a trip to Goldfield Ghost Town? It’s an abandoned town from 1892. You can even pan for gold and keep any you find. It’s unlikely to make you rich, but you never know your luck!
Things To Do in Phoenix At Night
As we already mentioned, Hunt’s Pyramid is a great choice for an evening activity. If you visit before dusk, you can take advantage of the beautiful desert sunset. Another popular evening activity is stargazing at Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Looking up will show you the amazing desert sky and looking down lets you see the amazing lights of the city. For indoor activities, head to the popular Listening Room for a night of an acoustic set and a glass of wine.
What Is There To Do in Phoenix Today For Free?
Taking a drive along the scenic Apache Trail is one of the most popular free things to do in Phoenix. You can explore amazing canyons, unique desert plants, and beautiful wildflowers in bloom. Or head to Roosevelt Row for free things to do in Phoenix downtown. Here, you can take in the edgy and arty side of the city. There are plenty of cute boutiques and some fantastic colorful murals in this walkable district.
What Are The Best Things To Do in Phoenix?
It’s difficult to narrow this down from the extensive variety of things to do in Phoenix. Papago Park Phoenix has to be up there as one of the most iconic spaces. This is mainly due to its red sandstone and unusual shaped buttes. Lovers of architecture will love the Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in Phoenix. The David Wright House and the Arizona Biltmore Hotel are amongst the most famous.
Phoenix is a really exciting city and a great place to spend time. There’s an excellent mix of cultures, and who can resist some spicy South West cuisine? The city has plentiful accommodation to suit all budgets. It’s served by several airports; Sky Harbor International, Deer Valley, Glendale Municipal and Phoenix Goodyear. It’s hard to be disappointed with a visit, or to run out of things to do in Phoenix. We promise once you’ve visited for the first time, you’ll want to come back again and again!