The Ultimate Guide to Things to Do in Phoenix

Laura Williams

Updated on:

Photo by Joe Cook on Unsplash

If you’re planning a trip to Phoenix, Arizona, you might be wondering what there is to do in the city. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of things to do in Phoenix, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a culture seeker, a foodie, or a family with kids. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve compiled a list of the top things to do in Phoenix, so you can make the most of your trip and experience all that this vibrant city has to offer. From hiking trails and museums to local cuisine and nightlife, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive into the best things to do in Phoenix!

Phoenix is a city with a rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking scenery. Known as the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix is the capital and largest city of Arizona, and home to numerous attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new to discover in Phoenix. In this guide, we’ll explore the top things to do in Phoenix, including outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, family-friendly attractions, and more. So, get ready to explore the best of Phoenix and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Outdoor Activities

Outdoor Activities  - <a href="">Photo Source</a>
Outdoor Activities – Photo Source

Phoenix’s sunny weather and beautiful scenery make it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, you’ll find plenty of options to explore in and around the city. Here are some of the top outdoor activities to add to your Phoenix itinerary:

  1. Hiking Trails and Parks: Phoenix is known for its scenic hiking trails and parks, including Camelback Mountain, South Mountain Park, and Papago Park. These trails offer stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains, and range from easy to difficult, so there’s something for every skill level.
  2. Golf Courses: With over 200 golf courses in the Phoenix area, golfers of all levels can enjoy a round or two in the sunshine. Some of the most popular courses include TPC Scottsdale, Troon North Golf Club, and the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club.
  3. Water Sports and Activities: If you’re looking for some fun on the water, you can rent a paddleboard, kayak, or canoe at Tempe Town Lake or Lake Pleasant. You can also take a scenic desert river rafting trip, or try your hand at fly fishing in the Salt River.
  4. Botanical Gardens and Parks: Phoenix is home to several beautiful botanical gardens and parks, such as the Desert Botanical Garden, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the Phoenix Zoo. These parks offer a tranquil oasis in the midst of the city, with a variety of plants and wildlife to admire.
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No matter what type of outdoor activity you prefer, Phoenix has something for everyone to enjoy.

Indoor Activities

Indoor Activities - <a href="">Photo Source</a>
Indoor Activities – Photo Source

When the Arizona heat becomes too much to handle, Phoenix offers plenty of indoor activities to keep you entertained. From cultural experiences to family-friendly fun, here are some of the top indoor activities in Phoenix:

  1. Museums and Galleries: Phoenix is home to several world-class museums and galleries, including the Heard Museum, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Musical Instrument Museum. These institutions offer a diverse range of exhibits and events that are sure to satisfy any cultural enthusiast.
  2. Shopping and Dining: Phoenix has a thriving shopping and dining scene, with numerous malls, markets, and restaurants to choose from. Some of the most popular shopping destinations include Scottsdale Fashion Square, Biltmore Fashion Park, and the Phoenix Premium Outlets.
  3. Entertainment Venues: If you’re looking for a night out, Phoenix has plenty of entertainment venues to choose from. Catch a concert at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, or take in a show at the Orpheum Theatre or the Arizona Theatre Company.
  4. Indoor Playgrounds: For families with children, indoor playgrounds such as the Play Factory, Uptown Jungle Fun Park, and Makutu’s Island offer a fun and safe environment for kids to burn off some energy.

Whether you’re seeking culture, cuisine, or family fun, Phoenix’s indoor activities have something for everyone.

Food and Drink

Cocina Madrigal Tacos + Tequila - Photo Source
Cocina Madrigal Tacos + Tequila – Photo Source

Phoenix’s food and drink scene is as diverse as its population, with a wide range of cuisines and flavors to explore. From street food to fine dining, here are some of the top places to eat and drink in Phoenix:

  1. Southwestern Cuisine: Phoenix is known for its Southwestern cuisine, which blends Mexican, Native American, and cowboy flavors. Some of the must-try dishes include green chili pork, carne asada, and fry bread. Some of the popular restaurants include Barrio Cafe, The Mission, and Los Dos Molinos.
  2. Craft Beer and Cocktails: Phoenix has a thriving craft beer and cocktail scene, with numerous breweries and bars to choose from. Some of the top spots include Four Peaks Brewing Company, O.H.S.O. Brewery, and Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour.
  3. International Cuisine: Phoenix also boasts a diverse range of international cuisines, including Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, and Indian. Some of the best restaurants in these categories include Da Vang, Thai Basil, Pomo Pizzeria Napoletana, and Little India.
  4. Food Trucks and Markets: For a more casual dining experience, Phoenix’s food truck and market scene is not to be missed. Check out the Phoenix Public Market, the Roosevelt Row Arts District, or the Street Eats Food Truck Festival for a taste of some of the city’s best food trucks and vendors.
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No matter what type of cuisine or dining experience you’re in the mood for, Phoenix’s food and drink scene has something to offer.

Family-Friendly Activities

Butterfly - Photo Source
Butterfly – Photo Source

Phoenix is a great destination for families, with a variety of activities and attractions suitable for all ages. From outdoor adventures to educational experiences, here are some of the top family-friendly activities in Phoenix:

  1. Phoenix Zoo: The Phoenix Zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, including elephants, lions, and giraffes. In addition to its exhibits, the zoo also offers a variety of programs and events for families, including zoo camps, animal encounters, and behind-the-scenes tours.
  2. Arizona Science Center: The Arizona Science Center is an interactive museum that offers hands-on exhibits and educational programs for children and adults alike. Some of the most popular exhibits include the planetarium, the Forces of Nature exhibit, and the flight simulator.
  3. Water Parks: Phoenix’s warm weather makes it the perfect destination for water parks, and the city has several great options to choose from. Wet’n’Wild Phoenix, Hurricane Harbor, and Big Surf are all popular water parks that offer a range of rides and attractions for all ages.
  4. Outdoor Adventures: From hiking to horseback riding, Phoenix offers a variety of outdoor adventures that are suitable for families. Explore the Desert Botanical Garden, take a hot air balloon ride, or go on a guided tour of the Sonoran Desert.

With its wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions, Phoenix is a great destination for families looking to make memories together.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Straight Up Whiskey Bar
Straight Up Whiskey Bar – Photo Source

When the sun sets, Phoenix comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. From live music to comedy clubs, here are some of the top places to experience Phoenix’s nightlife and entertainment:

  1. Live Music Venues: Phoenix has a thriving live music scene, with numerous venues offering a variety of genres and styles. Some of the top venues include the Crescent Ballroom, The Van Buren, and The Rebel Lounge.
  2. Comedy Clubs: Laugh the night away at one of Phoenix’s top comedy clubs, such as Stand Up Live, Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, or The Improv.
  3. Casinos: For a bit of excitement and gaming action, head to one of Phoenix’s many casinos, including Talking Stick Resort, Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, or Casino Arizona.
  4. Bars and Nightclubs: Phoenix has a variety of bars and nightclubs to suit all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back pub, a trendy cocktail bar, or a high-energy nightclub, you’re sure to find it in Phoenix.
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No matter what type of entertainment you’re in the mood for, Phoenix’s nightlife scene has something to offer. With its variety of venues and attractions, you’re sure to have a night to remember.


As you can see, Phoenix is a vibrant city with a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in Phoenix.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, we hope this guide to the top things to do in Phoenix has helped you plan your trip and discover some new and exciting places to explore.

So why not book your trip to Phoenix today and experience all that this amazing city has to offer? From its stunning natural beauty to its rich history and culture, Phoenix is a destination that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

Don’t miss out on the back to school activities that Phoenix offers.

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