Phoenix is a unique city with a definite vibe of it’s own! There’s so much to do, and it’s HOT during the Summer, but the venues make it look cool with early morning hours and the people love to be outdoors! It’s a definitely great place to visit all year round! From Spring Training to hikes, horseback riding, camping and more, we loved it! Here’s my list of the most must-do things in Phoenix! Of course, we did the Grand Canyon and Sedona, too, but hey, that’s a whole other list!
March was perfect weather in Phoenix, even though it was still snowing in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon! We swam almost every day in the pool at our hotel, but we still enjoyed cool evenings and we were outside almost constantly! We drove in to Arizona on I-40 to Flagstaff, then the amazing 89A through Sedona. From Phoenix, we headed down to Tucson and then back to Texas on I-10, which gave us a nice roadtrip through so many scenic parts of the state, and if you have the time, it’s a route I’d definitely suggest!
The Arizona Boardwalk is home to Pangea: Land of the Dinosaurs, which we were also able to visit for FREE with our PogoPass! We had such a great time! There is also Ody-Sea Aquarium, Butterfly Wonderland and coming soon, Paradise Earth! We loved it and really can’t wait to visit again when Paradise Earth opens!
West Wind Glendale 9 Drive In Watch a movie under the stars at this fun drive in on the outskirts of Phoenix! Grab some chairs to sit outside your car, and their concession stand has great food and movie staples! Even during the Summer, it was nice after dark to sit outside, especially with a good breeze!
Phoenix Zoo This is such a great zoo, and during the Summer you can even Cruise the Zoo in your own car on select days! For those who prefer to walk , there are plenty of places to play and cool off while you’re there! I love that during the Summer, the zoo opens at 7am so you can visit before things really heat up! It was 106 degrees on our visit in June, so we took the guided tram tour when it warmed up! Best of all, 7am in Phoenix is 9am in DFW, so we were already up and ready to go! We used our PogoPass, which included FREE admission to the zoo!
Hot Balloon Rides over the Desert Check out Rainbow Ryders for a sunrise or sunset balloon ride! Here’s a tip and book early, we had to reserve months in advance! If you don’t have months to plan, sunrise trips are much less popular!
Desert Botanical Garden Enjoy the diversity of the desert, see butterflies or join in on one of their fun events!
Float the Salt River searching for Wild Horses All I really wanted to do was see the wild horses, but if you give me the chance to float in a tube or kayak, then I’m all in! Salt River Tubing will hook you up with tubes and a shuttle service, and Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch rents kayaks! I fell so much in love with the wild horses that I joined the facebook group, Salt River Wild Horses – Advocate, just so I can see pictures of them everyday! Even if you’re not interested in the horses, the cold water of the Salt River is just a great way to beat the Arizona heat!
Take a trail ride through the Sonoran Desert, surrounded by Seguaro Cactus! If seeing wild horses wasn’t enough, I wanted to go horseback riding in the desert, too! Cave Creek Trail Rides was just about perfect! They had wonderful, well-cared for horses, and even boots, chaps and cowboy hats to dress up in! Because of the Phoenix heat, they just aren’t open during the Summer, but they load up all the horses and take them up to Idaho for trail rides in the Sawtooth Mountains!
Visit Old Town Scottsdale Cute shops and restaurants make Old Town Scottsdale a must visit! We didn’t take a segway tour, but we had a group come through and they looked like they were having so much fun with Scottsdale Segway Tours.
Hike to the Summit of Camelback Mountain The strenuous 2.5 mile climb to the top of Camelback Mountain is worth the effort! Go early as it really is hot, and take plenty of water! Another great trail is the Hole in the Wall Trail at Papago Park!
Arizona Science Center is a great museum for kids and adults, with hands-on exhibits, a planetarium and much more!
Goldfield Ghost Town is a fun destination with activities for the whole family, including a zip line, gem mining, a tour of the gold mine, and after dark…. a ghost tour!
Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction We lucked into reserving, very last minute, into reserving Cabin #5, which is just the best cabin! It sits at the end of a row of 5 cabins, and gives you an unobstructed view of the Superstition Mountains! The cabin had a queen bed and two sets of bunkbeds. Restrooms were a short walk away. The park has great trails in the mountains, including the 1-mile Prospector’s View Trail. Next time I’m going to attempt the 4-mile Siphon Draw Trail.
Golfland Sunsplash Water Park The waterpark wasn’t open during our Spring visit, but I plan on taking a float and staying there when we return this Summer!
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