Fun Things to do in Phoenix
So, you’ve heard living in Phoenix is all the rage, but what is everyone really up to out there in the desert? If you didn’t already know, there are so many fun things to do in Phoenix, and this desert oasis offers something for everyone.
Top Fun Things to do in Phoenix, Arizona
Go for a hike
With year-round great weather and stunning desert topography, hiking isn’t just a pastime in Phoenix, it’s a way of life. Whether you’re one to hit the trail at dawn and start racking up the miles, or just enjoy a leisurely, easy hike with the whole family in tow, you can find it all in Phoenix.
Perhaps the most famous hike in Phoenix is the Camelback Mountain Hike. Camelback can be seen from all over Phoenix, making it a landmark in the Valley of the Sun. Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly outdoorsy, you have to hike Camelback at least once if you really want to call yourself a Phoenician.
The hiking opportunities grow even more if you’re willing to take a little drive. Saguaro National Park, for instance; is just about two hours away from Phoenix, and here hikers can enjoy countless trails weaving throughout the towering saguaro cacti, the iconic resident giants of the Sonoran Desert.
Learn More: Pros & Cons to Living in Phoenix, Arizona
Enjoy sports galore
Did you know Phoenix is one of only 13 cities in the United States to have a home team represented in all four major professional sports leagues. Perhaps the most well-known sporting event in Phoenix is the major league baseball spring training games, held in Phoenix every late winter/early spring. If you want to catch a pro game, the Arizona Diamondbacks, The Arizona Cardinals, The Phoenix Suns, and the Arizona Coyotes all call Phoenix home. That’s a lot of games throughout the year!
If you want to get in on the sports action yourself, there are plenty of places to find some green and throw a ball or two. Reach 11 Sports Complex offers 18 soccer fields, 4 baseball fields, restrooms, and concessions. Some of these fields require advance reservations, so be sure to call ahead before you decide to schedule a pick-up game.
Work on your golf swing
With an endless summer, it’s easy to see why Phoenix is a golfer’s paradise. But the prime golf weather in Arizona is actually during the winter, when the desert cools off from the scorching summer heat. For the competitive golfer, courses throughout the Phoenix area host plenty of amateur competitions throughout the year. If you’d rather catch a glimpse of the pros at work, The Phoenix Open, part of the PGA Tour, is also held in Phoenix annually.
In the many suburbs of the Phoenix Metro Area, you can find over 200 golf courses offering beautiful views of the desert landscape. Though golf can be an expensive sport, not all of the golf courses in the area are wildly expensive. Encanto Golf Course, Estrella Mountain, and many others offer discounted rates to tee off.
Learn More: 8 Things I Hate about Living in Phoenix
Get out and try something new in this thriving foodie scene.
The foodie scene in Phoenix is absolutely exploding, and if you want to get a little taste of everything, the Fresh Foodie Trail is the way to do it. Meandering throughout Mesa, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, the Fresh Foodie Trail was cultivated to incorporate local small businesses and restaurants into the tourist attractions of Phoenix. Local vintners pour their finest wines, and farm-to-table restaurants serve the freshest produce and meat in all of Arizona.
You don’t have to go on an adventure to try something delicious in Phoenix; you can’t go wrong anywhere in town. Phoenix is known for its fresh and vibrant fare, and many of the restaurants and street food you find throughout town are locally owned and operated. While there is without a doubt a plethora of Mexican fare due to Phoenix’s southwestern location, you can find just about everything you could possibly want. Seafood, steak, Korean BBQ, Sushi…whatever you’re craving, you can find it!
Kick back and take a little staycation
Whether you have just moved to Arizona or have lived there for years, you’ve undoubtedly learned about the art of the “staycation” because it’s definitely a thing. The idea of going to a resort or hotel in your own city (or very nearby) might sound like a waste of money, but on the contrary, this is a great way to get away for a fraction of the cost of a real vacation. Often you can find great deals to the many local Phoenix resorts, golf courses, and spas, and on top of your discount, you’re saving any airfare expenses you would have spent leaving the state.
Staycations are especially convenient when all you’re looking for is some true relaxation, or just need to lay by a pool when the summer gets too hot. You can lay by the pool all day in Cabo, too, but it’s going to be a lot more expensive! If you like to gamble or take in a show, many of the casinos around Phoenix are beautiful, high-end, and can serve as your very own little mini-Vegas.
Learn More: Living in Phoenix vs Living in Denver
Lesser-known fun things to do in Phoenix
Check out what’s new downtown at First Friday
On the first Friday of every month, downtown Phoenix hosts First Fridays. This 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm event means something different every month, but the idea is always the same: highlighting any and everything local and creative. From art, to vendors, to small businesses, and so much more, everything you find at First Friday is designed to help cultivate a feeling of community and support.
One of the best things about this outing is that you can control your budget. Of course, it’s a great idea to support all of these wonderful vendors and business owners, but you don’t have to buy anything! Just strolling around and exposing yourself and your family to art, culture, and maybe some new treats is a win/win situation.
Get in from the heat and visit a museum
Though it isn’t one of the most well-known aspects of Phoenix living, there’s a great deal of art, culture, and history in the area. Strolling through the many museums and art galleries in Phoenix is a fun and affordable way to spend a day, and you can spend as much or as little time in each as you would like. Whether you are interested in art, natural history, local history, and culture, or even a fun place where kids can be hands-on with their learning, Phoenix has something to offer every museum-goer.
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Take advantage of the many Phoenix festivals.
You might think Phoenix is full of snowbirds, but it has a thriving party and festival scene. Hey, grandma likes to get out and have some fun, too! With all that warm weather, Phoenix hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year. You might love them because they can be a fun way to get outside and eat, drink, and be merry. You might hate them because they bring traffic into town and drive up prices of local amenities.
Regardless of how you feel about festivals, you might not realize just how many unique festivals there really are in Phoenix. Celebrating everything from tacos, to Mac and Cheese, to beer (looking at you, Oktoberfest) there might be a Phoenix festival with your name on it!
Visit the critters at The Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens
If you have little ones, the Phoenix Zoo is almost a guaranteed hit. Big kids love it, too! Even if you don’t necessarily consider yourself a lover of botany, you will be amazed by the gorgeous desert plants and beautifully landscaped walkways throughout the Desert Botanical Gardens. Best of all, both of these activities are pretty budget-friendly when you buy a season pass, allowing you to go as many times as you like and even enjoy park pass holder perks. (Both parks even put up holiday lights and decorations, so they double as fun family Christmas activities!) – Underrated.
Sip, Sip, Hooray!
The wine scene in Arizona is perhaps one of its most underrated foodie perks. There are so many local wineries in the greater Phoenix area. Phoenix even has its own wine trail! If you want to go a little bit further and make a fun wine trip out of it, there are a few great wineries in the Flagstaff area offering local wines and a cozy atmosphere. You don’t have to go far to experience the bounty of Arizona’s fruit. Best of all, with all that sunshine, there’s always a place to grab a little table outside and sip al fresco.
Looking to call Phoenix AZ home?
So much to do, so little time! Unless you live there, that is, then you have all of the time in the world! If you are ready to call Phoenix home, reach out to me at AZLiveStyles and let me help you find your perfect home in the Phoenix Metro Area.