Whether or not you’ve spent time in America’s sixth largest state, consider these can’t miss attractions in the capital city of Arizona, Phoenix.
Snowbirds know a thing or two about escaping the frigid climate that is Canada in the winter. They’re often found heading south of the border to sunny, hot Arizona. In February, British Columbia averages temperatures of 3 °C. In Arizona, 16 °C. Much more comfortable, wouldn’t you agree?
If you’ve been lured to Phoenix (known to many as the Valley of the Sun), by the promise of sunshine, golf courses and relaxation, be sure to check out these other attractions.
1. Visit Papago Park
Nearly 1,500 acres, Papago is any outdoor enthusiast’s heaven. Spend a day or two exploring all that the Park has to offer.
Hike Papago Park Trails
Do your research before taking off, but trust that there’s a path for every ability in Papago. From short hikes to multi-day missions, make time to take in the dry heat and sprawling park views.
If you’re familiar with my travel adventures, you’ll know I’m torn in my opinion on zoos. In any case, the Phoenix Zoo took an entire day to explore—I’d clocked tens of thousands steps by the time I left the facility home to giraffes, elephants, monkeys, turtles and more.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden was undoubtedly my favourite garden. The trails wind for ages, thoughtfully wrapped around cacti, flora and fauna and the most beautiful Spanish-style architecture.
2. Kick it like a local on Roosevelt Row
Roosevelt Row is downtown Phoenix’s walkable arts district, home to art galleries, restaurants, bars and boutique shops in a landscape dotted by colourful street art.
Walk one side, then the next and appreciate all that Phoenix has to offer—a diverse range of inspired artistry and music.
3. Take in a local sports game
Ball so hard? So does Phoenix. Enjoy a Phoenix Suns or Mercury basketball game, or check out a Phoenix Rising soccer game. While they’re not not part of the MLS, the Rising is still home to some incredible athletic ability.
4. Get cultured!
Take your pick of museums in the area! From the Art Museum showcasing everything from Renaissance paintings to modern day artifacts, to the Heard Museum highlighting Native American culture all the way to the Musical Instrument Museum. There’s sure to be something you’re keen to learn more about in Phoenix.
5. Stay comfortably and eat well
Here at TLW we’re big fans of InterContinental Hotel Group hotels (aka IHG Hotels & Resorts). You’ll know that if you’ve read our piece on how and why to choose a boutique hotel. Kimpton hotels are also within the chain and offer a cool experience for those who like to colour a little outside the lines. Kimpton is known as the pioneer of boutique hotels and their hotels center around art, wellness, highly touted dining and eclectic, playful designs.
Consider a stay at Kimpton Hotel Palomar—you won’t be disappointed.
As for where to eat, add FEZ to your list. The retro feel diner, located seven minutes walking from Roosevelt Row, won’t disappoint. In fact, I ordered a number of dishes to share with my travel buddy because of the many extraordinary options.
If you’re more into wood fired pizza, grab a slice from Pomo. You can’t go wrong with a pie and prosecco!
This article scratches the surface of what Arizona has to offer. Coming from a future snowbird, I’ll be back to enjoy the great state. In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine and hospitality and see for yourself!
Deana is a writer, content marketer, operations manager, and big dreamer. For her, travel amounts to architecture gazing, market shopping and people watching at sidewalk cafés. Most importantly, when traveling she wanders endlessly on foot.