Things To Do In Phoenix & Things To See In The Valley

Boat, Fish, Water-Ski, Float the Salt.

There’s a bonanza of water recreation in and around Phoenix. The lakes of Saguaro, PleasantCanyon, and Bartlett are all within about an hour’s drive from the Phoenix area depending upon your starting point. During the summer months, “tubing down the Salt River” is a popular activity. Tempe Town Lake is a great place to canoe, stroll, and picnic in the shadow of ASU Sun Devil Stadium. For both kids and adults, there are 15 urban park lakes throughout the area that are regularly stocked with trout, catfish, and other fish varieties.

Hiking and Back Packing

Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, mountains, and lakes, the Phoenix area is an ideal place to experience nature by hiking the numerous trails in and around the Valley of the Sun. Spring and autumn are usually the best times to hike. Most hiking trails are rated easy to moderate, but there are some difficult climbs that will challenge the seasoned hiker. Check out Camelback MountainPiestewa Peak, the McDowell Mountains, and South Mountain, the nation’s largest city park.

Biking in the Phoenix Area.

There are endless road and mountain biking fun in Greater Phoenix. One of the most popular places is South Mountain Park where bikers are rewarded with tremendous views of the city. Over 2 million people trek and bike this mountain preserve each year on both easy and very difficult climbs.

Papago Park (the Phoenix Zoo is there) is a great place for the novice biker with awesome scenery. North Mountain Preserve in north Phoenix also features great biking trails for both the experienced and the novice. Also, consider the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt in Scottsdale on a paved flat path that is about 10 miles long. Or try the shores along Tempe Town Lake in Tempe AZ. There are also great biking trails in the Cave Creek area north of Phoenix.

Horseback Riding and Trail Rides.

Phoenix is the nation’s fifth largest city, but people still like to play cowboy here and there are a lot of wide open spaces where you can saddle-up and take a tranquil ride into the Sonoran Desert sunset. You’ll find plenty of stables spread throughout the Valley including South Mountain and Carefree. There are working ranches that offer dinner trail rides and there are horseback riding guides that will lead groups on riding expeditions. Also see Dude Ranches.

Tours and Guides.

One thing Phoenix has plenty of…..outdoor adventure. Take a jeep or hummer tour into the mountain wilderness. Fly on a hot air balloon high above the city below. Hike and bike with professional guides who know where the best trails can be found. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, hire a fishing guide for a day, a weekend or a week. Or sit back in the comfort of a tour van and see the best sights in Phoenix and beyond with guides that will highlight the tour with narrative history.

Golfing In Metro Phoenix.

Phoenix and Scottsdale are America’s favorite golf destinations. Just ask Robb Report, Conde Nast, Golf Digest and Golf Magazine who continuously bestow prestigious golf awards. There are over 200 golf courses in the Greater Phoenix area and most of them are public golf courses. And there is an abundance of professional golf schools in the area. Test your skill with that little white ball on lush traditional tree-lined courses or around massive boulders of granite framed by desert vegetation.

Phoenix Area Museums.

There is a significant number of museums in the Phoenix area. The largest museum in the southwest and the crown jewel of the Valley is the Phoenix Art Museum which contains over 17,000 works. The world-acclaimed Heard Museum features a myriad of Native American cultures and art. The Museum of History is located in Downtown Phoenix. Another major museum is the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Adults and children will love the Arizona Science Center and the Challenger Space Center. View a list of the major museums in Greater Phoenix.

Annual Events and Festivals.

There are so many major annual events and festivals in the Metro Phoenix and Scottsdale area. If you’re an auto-buff, try the annual Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction. The Parada del Sol Parade and Rodeo, the annual Renaissance Festival, the Ostrich Festival and the Fiesta Bow Tempe New Year’s Eve Block Party are among some of the most popular things to do and see. If you are a college football enthusiast, the Fiesta Bowl and Insight Bowl are held in the Valley. And don’t overlook NASCAR events, MLB Spring Training or the Phoenix Open, the most attended spectacle on the PGA Tour.

Phoenix Area Casinos

There are seven gaming casinos in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. Gila River Casinos has three locations – Wild Horse Pass, Vee Quiva, and Lone Butte. Casino Arizona has two locations in Scottsdale. Fort McDowell Casino is near Fountain Hills and Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino and Resort is south of Phoenix in the town of Maricopa.

Things To Do