Phoenix is not just a desert town where you’ll want to sun yourself in the pool all day. There are numerous activities to keep you busy while visiting the Valley of the Sun, including these six tourist attractions you won’t want to miss.
Explore Beautiful Desert Plants
The Desert Botanical Garden houses the best collection of arid-land plants from deserts all around the world. This unique outdoor setting has 50,000 plant species displayed along five themed trails. Conservationists have organized the trails around the themes of conservation, desert living, and desert wildflowers. Set up a tour and check for seasonal events during your trip. You can even grab lunch at the Garden’s Patio Café. The Gateway Trail in Scottsdale is also a neat place to hike and explore the desert wildlife.
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t have an educational experience. At the Arizona Science Center, which features a planetarium, a five-story giant-screen theater, and daily live science experiment demonstrations, you’ll be totally immersed in the world of science. Children of all ages will enjoy learning about the different sciences while exploring 300 interactive exhibits, each featuring fun hands-on activities. There are several Areas of Focus in seven themed galleries, including Health and Medicine, Technology and Innovation, and Early Childhood Education. The Veterans Memorial Coliseum is also a great place to visit for a more educational experience. You can find plenty of hotels near these attractions at Hipmunk.com to make your stay easier.
Soak Up Local Culture
The Heard Museum is internationally acclaimed for its mix of culture and arts of the American Indians in the Southwest. Over 200,000 visitors a year come from around the world to see the Indian artists who call the museum home. There are 11 exhibit galleries and outdoor courtyards that display traditional and contemporary American Indian art. You can buy authentic Native art at the Heard Museum Shop or contemporary fine art at the Berlin Gallery. The Cantina is available for coffee and snacks.
Visit the Animals
The Phoenix Zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals living along its five unique paths. Indoor and outdoor event venues offer fun and educational seasonal activities. The Zoo also provides a variety of food and retail vendors scattered throughout the trails. Check the Zoo’s website for up-to-date event information to see what’s happening during your visit.
Become a Zen Master
The Japanese Friendship Garden is a three-and-a-half acre sanctuary that’s a symbol of friendship between Phoenix and Himeji, the Valley’s sister city in Japan. Purple leaf plums, Japanese maples, and Afghan pines are just some of the plant species you’ll come across in this Zen garden. Take a stroll through the different exhibits, relax in the shade of one of the larger trees, and center yourself. It’s a great way to recover from all the running around you’ve been doing on your vacation.
Cosanti is a natural compound in the middle of Paradise Valley, featuring eco-friendly buildings, art studios, garden walkways, and Solari Wind Bells. Each building was designed by the famous Paulo Soleri using a combination of architecture and ecology, taking advantage of natural solar power and shaded cooling.
There are plenty of fun activities you and your family will enjoy while vacationing in Phoenix. Be sure to check schedules for hours of operation and current events. Have fun!