Traveling to Phoenix and looking for some killer activities to keep you and the rest of your party smiling all day? Check out our top 10 recommendations for what to see and do in Phoenix.
In a state known for its deserts, you may be surprised to find rafting listed at the top of this list. It’s for this very reason that the water oasis known as the Salt River is an absolute must-see and must-experience while visiting Phoenix. Check-in with Arizona Rafting and take a half-day, full-day, or multi-day rafting trip down the majestic Salt River, which runs through gorgeous canyons and then through the mystic Sonoran Desert.
The Heard Museum is devoted to the art and culture of the Indian peoples of the Southwest. The Heard is noted for its amazing displays of basketwork, pottery, jewelry, textiles, and a large collection of kachina dolls. The museum’s exhibit galleries and outdoor courtyards feature traditional and contemporary Native American art. Outside, you can wander through the outdoor sculpture garden or take a garden tour of the museum.
Desert Botanical Garden
When you think of the desert, chances are you think of sand and shades of brown. The Desert Botanical Garden is there to debunk the myth that there is little or no green in the desert. It’s a 140-acre botanical garden with more than 50 thousand plants. You can walk the tranquil paths through the garden, attend fun events, dine at their restaurants, and learn about life in the desert.
Tempe Beach Park
A desert oasis in the middle of the Phoenix Metropolitan area, Tempe Town Lake offers a variety of exciting events and activities to enjoy year-round. Tempe Town Lake, located adjacent to Downtown Tempe, provides a recreational haven for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, rowing, walking, fishing, or picnicking.
Musical Instrument Museum
The Musical Instruments Museum is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with a collection of more than 6,800 instruments from almost 200 countries and territories. Housed in a spectacular building are five permanent galleries, including the Geographic Gallery, the Artists Gallery, the Mechanical Music Gallery, the STEM Gallery, and the Experience Gallery, where you can play some of the instruments. You can also see master craftsmen at work restoring instruments in the Conservation Lab.
Wrigley Mansion, a breathtaking landmark originally constructed in 1932 by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., sits at the top of a hill, showcasing the mountains and the city below. Its architecture includes curated elements of Spanish, California Monterey, and Mediterranean styles. Curious about the history of the Wrigley Mansion? Ever wonder about those ghost stories? Grab your camera, bring your questions, and take a tour!
Goldfield Ghost Town
Goldfield Ghost Town, once a thriving mining town, is now a tourist attraction where visitors enjoy tours of the mine and town alongside gunfights, ziplines, and a ride on the town’s narrow-gauge railroad. Besides strolling around its sizeable site, you can also pan for gold, try out its shooting range and learn a bit about the history of the ghost town at its small museum.
This walkable arts district has something for every member of the family. The downtown area is lined with art galleries, boutique shops, studio spaces, and restaurants. The area hosts all types of events from the monthly First Fridays Art Walk to the annual Pie Social. Great for art lovers, Roosevelt Row is decorated with street art, and the award-winning galleries have exhibitions on rotation from a variety of well-known artists.
Arizona Science Center
The Arizona Science Center is home to over 350 permanent hands-on exhibits and features a number of nationally traveling exhibitions. Along with daily demonstrations throughout, the Science Center provides shows in the Dorrance Planetarium and in a five-story, giant screen IMAX Theater. The Science Center is located in Heritage and Science Park in the heart of downtown Phoenix.