Best Things to do in Phoenix both for locals and tourists
For both tourists as well as the locals Phoenix has more to offer than simply resort life in its hot and sunny climate. It is definitely advised to look in each part of Phoenix for what the district does best. In the morning you can visit museums in Downtown Phoenix, in the afternoon do some shopping in Scottsdale, and finish the day with a party in Tempe. The next day, go on a hike in Carefree and later catch a major league baseball spring training game in Mesa. If baseball is not your choice of sport then watch some football or hockey in Glendale. A walk through the Desert Botanical Garden and a hike up Camelback Mountain are also must do activities in the Phoenix area. To spend some of your money you can either choose to visit the city's outdoor and indoor shopping malls or those who are feeling that a little bit of luck is visiting them can try it out at one of the reservation casinos. Below in the first list I put together a number of indoor activities for both locals wanting to rediscover their home city and tourists exploring this diverse state capital. In the second part outdoor activities are collected.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Botanical garden is home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world. This unique museum comprises 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits. With a 63-year legacy of environmental stewardship, the Garden has become nationally and internationally recognized for its plant collections, educational and research programs.
Phoenix Art Museum
Housed within a prime example of contemporary architecture is one of the largest art museums in the Southwest (with more than 17,000 works of art, some of them dating as far back as the Renaissance). From Diego Rivera to Frederic Remington, Henry Moore to Frida Kahlo, the Phoenix Art Museum's permanent collection caters to a wide variety of tastes, and often welcomes top-notch traveling exhibits. Be sure to check out the popular Thorne Miniature Collection, and if you're traveling with kids, make sure to take advantage of the museum's youth-oriented activities.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instrument Museum, located about 20 miles north of Phoenix, invites travelers to check out its collection of more than 6,000 instruments from around the world. On the first floor of the museum, visitors will find instruments, concert footage, clothing of renowned musicians and more. Visitors can see how instruments are preserved and restored in the first-floor Conservation Lab before actually playing instruments in the Experience Lab, also on the first floor. Many parents said their children especially enjoyed experimenting with the instruments in the Experience Lab, advising future visitors to make it the last stop on their visit because the kids will not want to leave.
On the upper floor, rooms are divided by geographic region, with each offering a unique collection of instruments. In each section, instruments are accompanied by streaming audio and video of the instruments being played to help put them in cultural context.
The museum also showcases live music, hosting approximately 200 concerts every year in its theater. The featured artists represent an eclectic variety of genres. You can access a full concert schedule and buy tickets on the museum's website. In addition to general admission, the museum offers summer camp, school tours and group tours.
Arizona Science Center
Seek refuge from the broiling Phoenix weather in the Arizona Science Center, where interactive displays teach kids about everything from electricity to weather patterns to outer space. Explore 350 hands-on science exhibits, experience the excitement of a five-story-screen theater, and travel to space in a planetarium. Other popular exhibits include exhibits on sound, gravity and psychology. An IMAX Theater also offers family-friendly, educational entertainment.
The Phoenix Zoo is a great place to enjoy nature without your little ones dying of boredom. There are multiple trails that wind through the numerous habitats represented on this 125-acre chunk of land. The zoo houses a variety of animals, including baboons, Sumatran tigers, Asian elephants, Galápagos tortoises and Komodo dragons. Take younger tots to the Big Red Barn petting zoo or to the giraffe encounter where they can get some facetime with the animals. When their little legs start to tire, consider the 30-minute narrated safari train tour, which only costs a few dollars and provides a good orientation of the zoo.
As the highest peak in Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is probably the most scenic hiking spot in the city. Soaring 2,704-feet high, Camelback's summit offers spectacular views of Phoenix and Scottsdale and can be reached from the 1.2-mile (incredibly steep) Summit Trail. If you're looking for a more low-key hike, the 1.5-mile Cholla Trail on the east side of the mountain offers a more gradual incline, at least until you near the summit. You can also try one of the several beginner-friendly trails that circle Camelback's base. Hiking Camelback Mountain is best attempted earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon when the desert heat is bearable. But no matter when you decide to climb, make sure you have plenty of water and sunscreen.
Desert Botanical Garden
Sprawling across 50 acres in Papago Park, the desert may seem like the last place you'd expect to find flora. Yet the Desert Botanical Garden is home to thousands of species of cacti, trees and flowers from all around the world. The garden's brightly colored plants sharply contrast the Sonoran Desert's cinnamon-red buttes, and numerous hiking trails — like the "Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert" and the "Desert Wildflower" trails — allow you to experience the region's natural wonders the way early settlers once did. The Desert Botanical Garden also hosts numerous events, including bird-watching expeditions and outdoor concert series.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West
Frank Lloyd Wright began building his desert masterpiece Taliesin West in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. Located on the beautiful Sonoran desert in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in northeast Scottsdale, the site offers a broad range of guided public tours. Visitors experience Wright’s brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces.
South Mountain Park
At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park/Preserve is one of the largest municipally operated parks in the country, according to the Trust for Public Land. It boasts 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking for all ability levels.