15 Best Things To Do in Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and one of the most popular tourist towns in the United States. The town is situated at a height of about 1117 feet and receives more sunlight than any other town. Thus it is also called the Valley of the Sun. Located at the center of the Sonoran Desert, and this town is one of the country’s greenest and wettest deserts. A lot of tourists visit this town for its variety of things and also to get closer to nature. If you ever visit this town, you can be sure that you will not get bored since this town has something for everyone. With tons of activities to do and delicious food and drinks, this must be on the top of your vacation list. This list of 15 best places to visit in the Phoenix will help you plan your holiday and make sure that you truly enjoy being here.

Let's explore Phoenix points of interest and 15 best things to do in Phoenix:

1. Japanese Friendship Garden 

Japanese friendship garden - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

The Japanese Friendship Garden, also known as the Ro Ho En is the place you need to visit if you wish to spend time with nature. Here you will find a calm environment and a lot of greenery to feast your eyes on. This garden contains more than fifty different species of plants and about a thousand ton of handpicked rocks. With a delicately sculptured landscape in the background and a half acre Koi pond, this place is perfect for relaxing and getting rid of stress. The garden was built with the coordination between Phoenix and Himeji, Japan. After a trip to the garden, you can also enjoy some afternoon tea at the Japanese Tea House. 

2. Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum 

phoenix musical insrument museum - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

If you are a musician then you will surely love the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum. Even if you are not one, then also you will be fascinated by the varieties of musical instruments exhibited there. You will be able to learn all about their history and how they are constructed, and you can even try them out in the Experience Gallery. The museum has more than six thousand instruments sourced from over two hundred countries. Some of the instruments were even played by legends in the music world such as Carlos Santana, John Lennon, and Elvis Presley.

3. Heard Museum

If you want to learn about the native Indians in the southwest of the country then the Heard Museum will let you do just that. Established by Dwight and Maie Heard in 1929, this museum shows off the culture of the Native American. Here you will find local stories intertwining with artwork which makes for an astonishing piece of art. The museum conducts several festivals and art exhibitions, and you are free to choose any one of them. You can easily spend anything from a few hours to a full day if you enter this museum. 

4. Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium

This zoo is among the top five zoos in the country, and so you can be sure of some quality experience here. You will see some of the most exotic animals and birds in this zoo. Feed a giraffe or enjoy a ride on an elephant, either way, you can be sure of some entertainment for your entire family. There are about fourteen thousand animals in the zoo, and they include more than thirty endangered or threatened species. The zoo also has several educational tours and programs for the entire family, and you can also sponsor an animal if you choose to.

5. Tovrea Castle 

Tourist attractions in Phoenix - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

The Trovea Castle is something straight out of a Disney movie. Built like a wedding cake and located at the top of a hill, this castle is a popular attraction in the town. The castle was earlier a resort, but then it became a Phoenix Points of Pride. Surrounding the castle is thousands of cacti in different varieties. Once you reach up there, you will be able to see the entire desert landscape. A worthy trip if you wish to see a beautiful castle atop a hill. 

6. Kierland Commons

The Kierland Commons is a mixture of outdoor and indoor shops and restaurants. This is a prime spot in the town, and you will find all kinds of shops and restaurants around here. The sheer variety of shops will keep you interested for hours, and if your kids accompany you, then they can have some fun by the fountain. After your shopping, you can sit down and enjoy some delicious food from the restaurants and the bars making the atmosphere much livelier.

7. Arizona Science Center 

Arizona science center - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Science may have been boring for you, but in the Arizona Science Center your perception is sure to change. With more than three hundred permanent hands-on exhibits, you can enjoy a day filled with learning. You can try out making a paper plane that actually flies or print out something with the help of a 3D printer. There is also a planetarium and an IMAX movie theatre. After a long fun day, you can enjoy some local hot delicacies at the nearby food joints. 

8. Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum contains a number of contemporary pieces of art in a spacious building. There are several varied and unique exhibitions to feast your eyes on. This museum has earned the distinction of being the largest art center in south-west America. This center conducts many educational programs for kids and live performances. You can also pick up some mementos from the Art Museum gift shop. Your kids are surely going to enjoy the time spent in here. 

9. The Wrigley Mansion 

Phoenix AttractionsImage Source: wikimedia.org

Made by none other than the chewing gum pioneer William Wrigley Jr. this mansion has twenty-four rooms, twelve bathrooms and sixteen thousand square foot of total area. This mansion is humongous, and a tour of this mansion will surely take a few hours. The mansion also has a fine dining restaurant where you can enjoy delicious food. The mansion offers beautiful views of Phoenix. 

10. Enchanted Island Amusement Park

If you are accompanied by your kids then the Enchanted Island Amusement Park is a must visit for you and your kids. The park was constructed and designed keeping in mind kids from 1 to 10 years of age. This park contains the famous Encanto carousel and many more fun filled rides which the kids can safely enjoy. The fish-filled lagoons, boat rides, and the arcade are the favorites among the kids. You can also rent out bikes and carts. The open grassy areas with ponds filled with geese and ducks lets the kids have a fun time playing around and exploring. 

11. National Historical Fire Foundation

Here you will be able to know all about fire-fighting and its history since this museum is dedicated to preserving all ancient fire-fighting equipment and devices. There are about ninety fire-fighting instruments dating back to 1725 which have been completely restored. There is also a Hall of Flame Fire Museum and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which is dedicated to firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. This is a nice place to visit and spend a day commemorating the heroic deeds of the brave firefighters. 

12. Children’s Museum of Phoenix

This museum has about three hundred playa areas where kids can safely play and have fun. Apart from the play areas, kids will get a chance to know and learn a lot of things. The kids can have fun in the Desert Den and Noodle Forest and will get an opportunity to learn by observing various art projects. They can also spend time riding tricycles through small tunnels and also learn about gravity in the ball track area. The adults can either accompany the kids or simply relax in the sitting arrangements provided by the museum. 

13. Chase Fields

If you are a baseball fan or not, the Chase Fields will surely astonish you. The field is a popular attraction among the locals as well as tourists. This field is the home of Arizona Diamondbacks and has a retractable roof and is air-conditioned. There is also a swimming pool and other activities that you can do with your family and kids. The field has real grass which makes it more amazing. If you are not much of a baseball fan, then you can check out the other facilities too. 

14. Carnival of Illusion

This is a very popular show and is highly rated. By attending this show, you will have a chance to include a bit of magic into your life. In this show, old world tricks are shown in an intimate parlor, where you get transported away to another world, a magical world. The magic is presented with skill and plenty of humor so your entire family can enjoy this show. Two of the stars, Susan and Roland, often invite the audience into their tricks which makes the show much more interesting. 

15. Papago Park

This is a municipal park that helps in conserving the desert ecosystem. You can enjoy a variety of adventure sports such as cycling and biking in the desert. There are also a number of lakes in this area where you can relax and appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the place. 

These are some of the things that you can do while in Phoenix. You can rest assured that Phoenix will not let you get bored with its host of activities and places to visit.

Author: Arundhati Bhand
An animal lover at heart, marketer by education and artist by passion, Arundhati aims to seek out to all that satisfies her diverse interests. She believes that it is only through experiences that one learns, and a traveller of sorts, she strives to ...

Must see places in Phoenix ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Phoenix and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 3434 times in trip plans
    Desert Bontanical Garden

    Tags: Outdoors, Garden, Botanical Garden, Observatory

    Address: 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    As a result of the interest of a few citizens to conserve the ecosystem of the region, this large garden inside the Papago Park was set up. It was founded by the Arizona Native Cactus and Flora Societ...Read more

  2. # 2 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 1900 times in trip plans
    Camelback Mountain

    Tags: Outdoors, Mountain, Observatory, Educational Site

    Address: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a beautiful mountain that forms a very important landmark of the Metropolitan Phoenix. The name is derived from the fact that from a distance the shape of the mountain represents the hump of a...Read more

  3. # 3 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 1189 times in trip plans
    South Mountain

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, River, Observatory

    Address: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

    Timings: 05:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    This is the largest municipal park in the city and also one of the largest urban parks in North America as well as the whole world. This park has been designated to the position of the “Phoenix ...Read more

  4. # 4 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 1006 times in trip plans
    Arizona Science Center

    Tags: Science Museum, Outdoors, Educational Site, Adventure

    Address: 600 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This mission is to promote the importance and values of science and its relation with human beings. There are a number of permanent exhibits as well as a few temporary ones. So, it is ensured that you...Read more

  5. # 5 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 616 times in trip plans
    Papago Park

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, Observatory, Educational Site

    Address: 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, United States

    Timings: 06:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    This Municipal Park is not only a “Phoenix Point of Pride” but also listed in the Register of Historic Places in US. This is a beautiful hilly desert park that is also known as the Tempe P...Read more

  6. # 6 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 331 times in trip plans
    Hall Of Flame Museum Of Firefightingx

    Tags: Museum, Outdoors, Observatory, Educational Site

    Address: 6101 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ 85008, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is the National Firefighting Museum that has successfully conserved the many firefighting equipments that have been used all over the world for firefighting activities. It is thus a very importan...Read more

  7. # 7 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 376 times in trip plans
    Wrigley Mansion

    Tags: Outdoors, Landmark, Observatory, Educational Site

    Address: Phoenix, AZ, USA

    Timings: 11:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    This is a landmark building of the city that sits on top of a 100 ft high hillock and thus gives a spectacular view of the whole city that lies on its foothills. It was built in between 1929 and 1931 ...Read more

  8. # 8 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 265 times in trip plans
    St. Mary's Basilica

    Tags: Church, Religious Site, Outdoors, Observatory

    Address: 400 E Monroe St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    This church is officially known as the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Roman Catholic Church under the Diocese of Phoenix. It is the 1st Roman Catholic Church i...Read more

  9. # 9 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 347 times in trip plans
    Japanese Friendship Gardens

    Tags: Garden, Bridge, Bird Watching

    Address: 1125 N 3rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This garden also known as the ‘Ro Ho En’ is a Japanese style stroll garden. It consists mainly of a tea garden and tree house. It is a part of the sister cities project of Phoenix, Arizona...Read more

  10. # 10 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 201 times in trip plans
    Carnival Of Illusion

    Tags: Outdoors, Observatory, Entertainment, Performance

    Address: 2400 E Missouri Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85016, United States

    Timings: 04:00 pm - 09:00 pm Details

    This is simply an awesome way to spend an evening wrapped in illusion and magic. So much light, fun, music and laughter will just enchant you and you will not even have a moment to get bored here. Thi...Read more

  11. # 11 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 224 times in trip plans
    Pueblo Grande Museum

    Tags: Museum, Park, Ancient Ruin, Archaeological Site

    Address: 4619 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 04:45 pm Details

    These are a collection of Pre Columbian archeological sites and ruins in the modern city of Phoenix. There is a platform mound and also irrigation canals here. All these are together known as Pueblo G...Read more

  12. # 12 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 281 times in trip plans
    Phoenix Mountain Preserve

    Tags: Outdoors, Mountain, Park, Hiking Trail

    Address: 15800 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85022, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a collection of parks on the mountain area that has been designated to the position of Phoenix Point of Pride. All these parks are marked with desert vegetation and a number of hiking and walk...Read more

  13. # 13 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 240 times in trip plans
    Wells Fargo History Museum

    Tags: History Museum, Exhibition

    Address: 145 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is a classic western museum with an extensive collection of the glorious past of the city. The exhibits include everything from art pieces to transportation history, mining as well as firefightin...Read more

  14. # 14 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 207 times in trip plans
    Brass Armadillo Antique Mall

    Tags: Entertainment, Mall, Arts And Crafts

    Address: 12419 N 28th Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85029, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    This is a mall or a chain of stores that showcases and sells antique objects including furniture, decorative, jewelries, art pieces, outfits and much more. Apart from the arts and sculptures they also...Read more

  15. # 15 of 2660 Things To Do in Phoenix | Added 118 times in trip plans
    Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center

    Tags: Art And Culture, Landmark, Historical Site, Entertainment

    Address: Phoenix, AZ, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    This large building is in the heart of the city and forms a very important landmark of Phoenix. This has since several years been the destination for hosting trade fairs, exhibitions and other public ...Read more

Explore the best things to do in Phoenix. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Save 7% Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip
    Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip542 Reviews

    Duration: 13 Hrs

    Experience the scenic beauty of Arizona on this small-group day trip from the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. Visit one of the world...

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  • Save 7% Grand Canyon Helicopter and Ground Tour From Phoenix
    Grand Canyon Helicopter and Ground Tour From Phoenix199 Reviews

    Duration: 13 Hrs

    Experience the scenic beauty of Arizona on this small-group day trip from the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. Visit one of the world...

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  • Save 7% Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Morning Ride
    Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Morning Ride81 Reviews

    Duration: 3 Hrs 30 Mins

    A morning hot-air balloon ride over Phoenix is an exhilarating experience. After your flight, enjoy a gourmet champagne break...

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  • Save 7% Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in Phoenix with Breakfast
    Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in Phoenix with Breakfast1 Reviews

    Duration: 4 Hrs

    Just north of Phoenix, enjoy a 45-minute hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert. Once you arrive, watch as your balloon...

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  • Mystery Castle

    800 E Mineral Rd

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Tovrea Castle

    5041 E Van Buren St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Rosson House

    139 N 6th St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • The South Side Of Phoenix

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Smurthwaite House

    1317 W Jefferson St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Icehouse Arts and Entertainment

    429 W Jackson St

    Historic and Protected Sites
View On Map
  • Stingray Bay

  • Bird Pond

  • Canyon Lake Az

  • Chaparral Lake

    5090 N Hayden Rd

  • Maricopa Lake

    11800-12016 N 114TH Ave

  • Desert Belle Cruise Saguaro Lake

View On Map
  • Penske Racing Museum

    7125 E Chauncey Ln

  • Children's Museum of Phoenix

    215 N 7th St

  • Phoenix Police Museum

    17 S 2nd Ave

  • Arizona Military Museum

    5636 E McDowell Rd

  • Martin Auto Museum

    17641 N Black Canyon Hwy

  • Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

    4619 E Washington St

View On Map
  • Enchanted Island Amusement Park

    1202 W Encanto Blvd

    Amusement Parks
  • Discretions

    3304 N 27th Ave

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Imagination Avenue

    10614 N 32nd St

    Amusement Parks
  • Castles N' Coasters

    9445 N Metro Pkwy E

    Amusement Parks Burgers
  • Legend City Studios

    521 W Van Buren St

    Amusement Parks
  • Pump It Up

    9378 E Bahia Dr

    Amusement Parks
View On Map
  • The Vig Fillmore

    606 N 4th Ave

    American Bars Burgers
  • Mother Bunch Brewing

    825 N 7th St

  • The Yard

    5632 N 7th St

    American Bars Cafes, Coffee and Tea Houses
  • Joe's Grotto

    13825 N 32nd St

    Bars Restaurants Music and Show Venues
  • Dodey's Bar

    3114 E Cactus Rd

    Bars Burgers
  • 27th Avenue Bar and Grill

    2038 N 27th Ave

    Barbecue Bars
View On Map
  • Poker Union

    717 W Union Hills Dr

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Jacks All In Social Club

    4226 W Dunlap Ave

    Casinos and Gaming Hotels and Motels
  • The Flop

    2007 W Peoria Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
  • VIP Limo

    2710 E Washington St

    Casinos and Gaming Resorts
  • Leisure Time Slots

    2508 W Morningside Dr

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Casino Arizona

    524 N 92nd St

    Casinos and Gaming Restaurants
View On Map
  • Salt River Tubing

    Natural Parks
  • Estrella Mountain BMX Park

    15660 W Roser Rd

    Natural Parks Dog Parks
View On Map
  • Paradise Valley Park

    17642 N 40th St

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Friends of Hance Dog Park

    323 W Culver St

    Dog Parks
  • Townsend Park

    520 E Lynwood St

    Dog Parks
  • Bad Dog, Chewey

    Dog Parks
  • Dog Park

    Deer Valley Village Apartments

    Dog Parks
  • PHX Mountain Preserve Dreamy Draw Trailhead

    Dog Parks
View On Map
  • Red Roof Jumping

  • Rio Salado Rowing Club

    515 W 1st St

  • Tempe Beach Park Amphitheater

  • 548 Pebble Beach

View On Map
  • North Mountain/ Shaw Butte

    12950 N 7th St

  • Murphy Bridle Path

    Bethany Home Rd

  • Beverly Canyon Trail

    8800 S 46TH St

  • Telegraph Pass Trailhead

    14251 South Desert Foothills Parkway

  • South Mountain Park - Pima Canyon Trailhead

    9904 S 48TH St

  • Echo Canyon Summit Trail, Camelback Mountain In Phoenix, Arizona

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