Sometimes, bigger really is better. Phoenix (the “Valley of the Sun” to locals) invites you to enjoy major destinations for recreation and relaxation, must-visit venues in the culinary and cocktail kingdoms, and long-standing arts, civic and cultural institutions. And that just scratches the surface of things to do in Phoenix.
Be a good sport(s fan)
The Valley Metro public light rail system pulls up right outside Chase Field, the downtown Phoenix ballpark that’s home to MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks. Footprint Center, the arena that’s home to the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and the IFL’s Phoenix Rattlers, is just a few blocks west. On any game day, you’ll find flocks of fans pre- and post-gaming at nearby sports bars, upscale eateries and neighborhood taquerias.
Get back to nature
South Mountain Park Preserve, the nation’s largest municipally managed park, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts to experience Phoenix activities. Hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders have more than 50 miles of trails, while bicyclists can test their endurance on the roadways that climb across three mountain ranges. On “Silent Sundays,” the park even closes its main road to motor vehicles, allowing cyclists and hikers to enjoy the roadways without the buzz of automotive traffic.
Discover next-level relaxation
The luxury resort scene in Phoenix includes a long list of historic and modern properties that go big. Families enjoy epic-sized pools with monumental play features. Wellness travelers find spa treatments and fitness programs that add euphoria to vacation days. And for those who find their bliss on a golf course, many of the area’s top resorts boast some of the best year-round courses in the country.
Whet your palate …
Some of the country’s most innovative restaurateurs hone their culinary creations and prowess in Phoenix. The best-known restaurants in Phoenix have racked up regular plaudits from national newspapers and magazines and nominations from the James Beard Foundation. In 2022, local chefs and restaurants were named semifinalists in eight different categories.
… Then wet your whistle
The city’s cocktail and craft brew culture are as strong as some of the pours you’ll find therein. While beer and cider drinkers sample flights and drafts at a local microbrewery or meadery, those in search of higher spirits can content themselves with a well-composed tipple in one of the city’s many other popular gathering spots.
Embrace creative culture
The galleries and exhibits at the Musical Instrument Museum draw from a collection of more than 8,000 instruments from around the globe, including opportunities to see and hear the instruments played … and sometimes play them yourself. Those who might prefer to leave the playing to the professionals, meanwhile, can reserve tickets for a Phoenix Symphony or Arizona Opera performance at Symphony Hall, one of many performance venues that make downtown a cultural center with a vibrant arts scene all around.
Discover more about desert life—then and now
One of Phoenix’s first cultural institutions, the Heard Museum has grown into an international destination to learn about Native American art and history, while the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park is a must-see Phoenix attraction that takes visitors on a path to remnants of a ballcourt and platform created by the Hohokam people who lived in this area from A.D. 450 to 1450. And at the 140-acre Desert Botanical Garden, more than 50,000 desert plants illustrate the beauty and variety of desert plant life.
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