Things to Do in Phoenix, Arizona Here are some recommendations for places to go near the Phoenix, Arizona area

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Things to Do in Phoenix, Arizona

Here are some recommendations for places to go near the Phoenix, Arizona area:
Arizona Biltmore
Known throughout the world as the "Jewel of the Desert," the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa has 39 acres covered with lush gardens, glistening swimming pools, and Frank Lloyd Wright-influenced architecture. Set in the heart of Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore has been a favorite of celebrities and U.S. presidents throughout its colorful history. While you are strolling the grounds of the resort, be sure to stop and see Frank Lloyd Wright's Biltmore Sprites. A walk around the property is free, of course, and the surrounding neighborhood is one of the premier locations in town.

Arcosanti is an experimental town that began construction in 1970 in central Arizona, 70 mi (110 km) north of Phoenix, at an elevation of 3,732 feet (1,130 meters). Architect Paolo Soleri, using a concept he calls arcology (a portmanteau of architecture and ecology), started the town to demonstrate how urban conditions could be improved while minimizing the destructive impact on the earth.

Arizona Science Center
A relatively new Phoenix attraction, the Arizona Science Center is located in the downtown area. There over 300 hands-on permanent exhibits, as well as special changing exhibitions. A planetarium show and giant-screen films are also available for an additional charge to the admission price. People of all ages will have a great time exploring!

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum brings together plants from the Earth's many and varied deserts and dry lands. Approximately 3,200 different desert plants can be found within the arboretum, and most of them can be seen along the 1.5 mile main trail. During wildflower season, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is especially beautiful, displaying all the wonderful colors of the desert. Are you a bird lover? More than 250 species of birds have been recorded at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. learning and playing.
Camelback Mountain
In central Phoenix stands one of the city's most prominent landmarks. Camelback Mountain is a favorite with more experienced hikers. It is a popular attraction, though, so it can get crowded. It is named Camelback Mountain because its shape resembles that of a camel lying down. It is the highest peak of the Phoenix Mountains.
Castles 'n' Coasters
It's got the only roller coaster in town. This year-round amusement park has rides, an arcade and miniature golf. Castles and Coasters is located on the perimeter of Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix.
Cave Creek Trailride

Phoenix, Arizona horseback riding at Cave Creek Trail Rides! Dress up in our optional cowboy gear of hats, boots, and chaps and take part in  a guided Arizona trail ride through the Sonoran Desert. Horseback riding in Arizona offers great views of Phoenix and the surrounding desert. Our cowboys and cowgirls will introduce you to the mining history of Cave Creek, AZ and unique flora and fauna  while on the back of a gentle mountain horse. 623-742-6700

Children's Museum of Phoenix

This museum built especially for kids that are 10 and younger will keep them entertained (and learning) for hours. It is located in downtown Phoenix, and it's three stories of entertaining activities and exhibits that will have them climbing, painting, rolling, driving, shopping, reading and more.
COFCO Chinese Cultural Center

Distinctive Asian shops and cuisine are surrounded by a traditional Chinese garden. Visit the upscale Asian supermarket for fresh fish daily. Gardens surrounding the area feature ponds and replicas of statuary and pagodas from cities in China. Restaurants like the Sampan Seafood Restaurant offer a variety of carefully prepared Asian cuisine. COFCO Chinese Cultural Center is located just south of Interstate-10 and 44th street, directly across from the Marriott Residence Inn downtown location. See website for complete visitation particulars.

Cosanti Foundation

Visit the site where earth-formed concrete structures contain the ceramic workshop and foundry where the famous Soleri windbells are made and sold.

Deer Valley Rock Art Center
In May 2000 Phoenix named this wonderful attraction in the northwest part of the city a Phoenix Point of Pride. This is the location of the Hedgpeth Hills petroglyph site. There are more than 1,500 recorded petroglyphs on almost 600 boulders. Bring your binoculars!
Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is located in Papago Park in central Phoenix. This Phoenix Point of Pride combines desert plants with desert wildlife that can both be seen from short trails that are well marked. Items of interest are described in guidebooks. Check the events calendar for classes, workshops, concerts and more.

Drive Apache Trail
The Apache Trail will be one of the most memorable drives you'll ever take. Your adventure will begin in Apache Junction, about 25 miles east of downtown Phoenix. The 46 miles between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Lake provides not only the most scenic part of the trip but also the most challenging driving. Please don't close your eyes! Along the way, you'll pass (or you can stop) at the Lost Dutchman State Park, Goldfield Ghost Town, Saguaro Lake, the Canyon Lake Recreation Area, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam site, and the Tonto National Monument. The Apache Trail has been designated a USFS Scenic Byway by the U.S. Forest Service, as well as an Arizona Scenic Historic Byway. It's a great day trip! Seriously--if you are a nervous driver or passenger, this drive might not be for you.
Encanto Park
One of the oldest parks in Phoenix, you'll find a playground, pool and small boating area at Encanto Park. There are two golf courses. What really sets Encanto Park apart is Enchanted Island, an amusement park for the little ones.
First Friday
On the First Friday of every month downtown Phoenix opens up to shuttle bus riding folks who wander in and out of art galleries, studios, and art spaces enjoying the evening air, the variety of creativity, and the ambiance of the event.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West

A few miles northeast of Scottsdale, Arizona there is a living memorial to a great American architect. Nestled in the foothills of the rugged McDowell Mountains and surrounded by the spectacular Sonoran Desert lays a sprawling complex called Taliesin West. It was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Taliesin West today houses The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The Frank Lloyd Wright Memorial Foundation, and The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. To get the full impact and understanding of the project and the man, I recommend you take one of the tours.

The Grand Canyon- Arizona’s Wonder of the World

One of nature’s most captivating creations, the Grand Canyon forms a colorful chasm more than a mile deep and 277 miles long. Featuring endless scenic vistas, rugged campsites and remote hiking trails, the Grand Canyon is more than a beautiful sight; it’s a destination that will leave you awestruck – and entertained – for days.
Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting
The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting has almost an acre of fire history exhibits, with over 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969. It's one of our best kept secrets in the Valley of the Sun.
Heard Museum
If you want to see and learn about the history and culture of Arizona, this Phoenix Point of Pride is a must see. Located in downtown Phoenix, it is one of the best places to experience the myriad cultures and art of Native Americans of the Southwest.
Japanese Friendship Garden
Right near downtown Phoenix you'll find a hidden treasure of harmony and tranquility. It is Ro Ho En, the Japanese Friendship Garden and Tea House. Open October through May.
Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot

About one and a half hours north of Phoenix are two National Monuments that are well worth a day trip from the Phoenix area. Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot are managed by the National Park Service, and there is small fee for entry. The museum at Montezuma Castle provides good information, but needs a bit of refurbishment. The Visitor Center at Tuzigoot, however, is very well done. Both monuments are very interesting, but for the younger crowd Tuzigoot will be the more popular of the two since you can actually walk up, in and around the structure. Hiking is involved unless you stay in the museums, so if that isn't appealing to you, you might have to skip this trip.

Mystery Castle
It isn't really a mystery, and it isn't really a castle. No ghosts here. Take this tour of a highly unusual home in South Phoenix built in the 1940s and 1950s.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum, or MIM, is located in north Phoenix and opened to the public in 2010. Visitors here can see and experience thousands of musical instruments from more than 200 countries.
Orpheum Theatre
There are several worthy theatres in Phoenix, but the Orpheum might be my favorite simply because of the ambiance of the venue. It was originally built in 1929. The City of Phoenix bought the theatre in 1984 and it is the city's last remaining example of theatre palace architecture. The theatre was restored and re-opened in 1997. This Phoenix Point of Pride is the only theatre designated as historic in the Valley.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park

At Out of Africa Wildlife Park, you get a completely different view of wildlife. That's because this isn't a zoo. Here, exotic animals from all over the world roam in spacious habitats, giving you a chance to see these beautiful creatures and their natural behavior up-close. And, with exciting shows like Tiger Splash, Wonders of Wildlife and Predator Feed, Out of Africa is like nothing you've ever seen.

Papago Park

Located near downtown Phoenix, there are many wonderful activities at Papago Park. Besides being a great urban retreat, there are fishing lagoons, a very popular municipal golf course, hiking trails, unique museums like the Hall of Flame fire fighting museum, and an archeological site. You probably will need a couple of days to enjoy all that this Phoenix Point of Pride has to offer.

Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum has been open since 1959 and is is one of the largest general visual arts institutions in the Southwest. The collection includes over 17,000 works and spans the centuries. The Phoenix Art Museum emphasizes American Art, Asian Art, European Art of the 14th-19th Centuries, Western American Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Spanish Colonial and Latin American Art, 18th-20th Century Fashion Design, and the Thorne Miniature Rooms. There are also exhibits and special programs for the younger art lovers.
Phoenix / Scottsdale Casinos

Find Your Way To Phoenix Area Casinos. Several of the Central Arizona Native American tribes have casinos that are located in or in close proximity to populated areas in the Greater Phoenix area.

  • Apache Gold Casino 
    Located 5 miles east of Globe on Hwy 70
    San Carlos, AZ 85550

  • Gila River Casino - Lone Butte
    1200 S. 56th Street
    Chandler, AZ

  • Casino Arizona - Salt River
    101 and McKellips
    Scottsdale, AZ

  • Gila River Casino - Vee Quiva
    6443 N. Komatke Drive
    Laveen, AZ

  • Casino Arizona - Talking Stick

    Loop 101 and Indian Bend Road

    Scottsdale, AZ

  • Gila River Casino - Wild Horse Pass
    5550 W. Wild Horse Pass
    Chandler, Arizona

  • Fort McDowell Casino
    SR 87 & Fort McDowell Rd
    Fountain Hills, AZ

  • Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino
    15406 Maricopa Road
    Maricopa, AZ

Phoenix Theatre
Phoenix Theatre is Arizona’s longest running arts organization, having produced over 1,000 productions since its start in 1920. It was previously known as Phoenix Little Theatre. It is located right next to Phoenix Art Museum.
Phoenix Zoo
This Phoenix Point of Pride is the nation's largest privately-owned nonprofit zoo. It has more than 1,300 animals, including 150 endangered or threatened birds, mammals and reptiles from around the world. The Arizona Trail at the Phoenix Zoo focuses on plants and animals of the American Southwest.
Piestewa Peak Recreational Area

Formerly known as Squaw Peak. Right in the middle of Phoenix you'll find one of the most popular places for climbing a mountain. There are two main attractions at this Phoenix Point of Pride: the Summit Trail and the Circumference Trail. It's 1.2 miles to the peak's summit and offers a spectacular view. It can be crowded at times.

Phoenix is the home of PING golf clubs, and the company offers a free factory tour of the manufacturing facility. A limited number of spots are available for this tour, and reservations in advance are required. Call well in advance to reserve your place on this interesting tour for the avid golfer.
Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum

Great food at great prices. Wonderful atmosphere for those looking for a historical cultural experience of the old west. Lots of fun for the family. Phoenix, Arizona

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park
Near downtown Phoenix there is a very unique place where you can visit the actual site of an ancient Hohokam village. A Phoenix Point of Pride, the Pueblo Grande Museum is located at 46th Street and Washington. Easily accessible by METRO light rail, it also makes for an interesting and easy-to-get-to visit for travelers who have a few hours to spend on long layovers at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse

Rawhide has got to be the best place to take kids from back east that want to be cowboys and cowgirls. At Rawhide you can experience gunfights, stunt shows, stagecoach rides, desert train rides, enjoy the petting ranch, bull riding, gold panning, camel rides, see a working blacksmith, shop in western shops, play games, and go horseback riding. Many of the activities at Rawhide require an admission fee of between $2 and $5. There are also plenty of holiday western-themed events here. Of course, you could just go to Rawhide for the dinner and show, and leave the kids at home.

Scottsdale Art Walk
There are more than 100 art galleries in Scottsdale. You can enjoy Scottsdale ArtWalks every Thursday evening, year-round (except Thanksgiving) from 7 - 9 p.m. Each week, Scottsdale Gallery Association members host special exhibits - many with artist receptions - and join together for an informal come-and-go “open house” throughout the district. Casual and eclectic, it’s a great time to visit the galleries and learn about featured artists. Several times per year, the Scottsdale Gallery Association holds Special Event ArtWalks with live music along the streets and special themed events.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on modern and contemporary art, architecture and design. There are five galleries that showcasing changing exhibitions and works from the Museum's growing permanent collection. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art features an outdoor sculpture garden. The Museum presents a variety of educational programs and special events for adults and families, including lectures, docent-led tours, workshops and classes.

Sports Teams

Phoenix is home to major professional sports franchises: the NFL Cardinals, MLB Diamondbacks, NBA Suns, WNBA Mercury and NHL Coyotes. Of these, the Suns and Coyotes are currently in their seasons. The Suns play at US Airways Center downtown ( for schedule and ticket info) and the Coyotes play at Arena ( for schedule and ticket info)

South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park is the world's largest municipal park covering 16,500 acres. Petroglyphs, hiking trails for all levels, biking, horseback riding and scenic drives and, of course, picnicking, are the most popular activities at this spot in southern Phoenix.
Symphony Hall
Phoenix Symphony Hall is an important attraction not so much for the building, or the festivals and events that occur at the plaza outside, but for its major tenant, the Phoenix Symphony. In these days of more sports, more movies, and more shopping malls, wouldn't it be nice to enjoy some world class music performed by Arizona's only full-time, professional symphony orchestra? You bet it would.

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