Top 5 things to do in Phoenix, Arizona

The Phoenix, Arizona population has been growing rapidly, and there’s a reason American’s are flocking to this city like 19th century pioneers hitting the Oregon Trail. Excellent weather, affordability, and countless things to do in Phoenix make this desert gem the perfect place for any American to call home.

A taste of the cowboy lifestyle mingles with modern amenities, and the “in touch with nature” lifestyle beckons to those yearning to leave the desk life behind.  The temperate climate calls like a siren to those digging their cars out of New England snow. And if nothing else, the tacos just can’t be beat.

With all the great weather and beautiful landscape, let’s check out some of the best things to do in Phoenix, Arizona.

Five of Best Things to do in Phoenix, Arizona


#1 Great Hiking

You can’t have a list of activities in Phoenix without starting off with the incredible hiking. Whether you are ready to hit the trail at dawn and start racking up the miles, or just looking for a casual stroll with a cup of coffee, you can find it all in Phoenix.

Perhaps the most famous hike is the eponymous Camelback Mountain Hike. This popular Phoenix hike traverses Camelback Mountain via two different trails, the Echo Trail and Cholla Trail. Hikers can choose the best trail for their ability level, making this central hike accessible to many. Camelback Mountain can be seen from all over Phoenix, making it a landmark and token of Phoenix life. 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.

panorama view of Phoenix from a hiking trail, top things to do in Phoenix Arizona

Pinnacle Peak is another highly trekked trail in the Phoenix area. With an elevation gain of only 1,300 feet, you can see everything on the trail from the casual hiker to the outfitted trail runner. During the winter months, it’s not uncommon to see rock climbers dotting the red walls, so keep an eye out for them!

If you’re really looking to get in some hiking miles, the Superstition Ridgeline Trail covers over 10 miles, and rewards hikers with stunning views of the Superstition Mountain Range.

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.

#2 Epic Professional Sports in Phoenix

For the sports lover, you’ll never run out of fun spectator sporting events in Phoenix. Phoenix is actually 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. Thank you, beautiful weather! (I don’t think anyone wants to be playing baseball at Boston’s Fenway Park in February!)

baseball game at spring training, top things to do in Phoenix Arizona.

In downtown Phoenix, you’ll find the Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, nestled right in the middle of the action. The downtown area is extremely walkable, making it easy to grab a drink and a bite before or after catching a game.

  Other major league teams such as the Arizona Cardinals, The Phoenix Suns, and the Arizona Coyotes also call Phoenix home, so if you aren’t necessarily a baseball fan, you still have plenty of exciting sports to choose from.

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.

#3 Golfing in Phoenix

With an endless summer, it’s easy to see why Phoenix is a golfer’s paradise. Prime golfing season in Arizona is actually during the winter, when the desert cools off from the scorching summer heat and offers outdoorsmen and women cool days with which to enjoy the Arizona outdoors.

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.

  If you aren’t on a budget, the experience at the famed Arizona Biltmore Golf Club can’t be beat. Nestled in the center of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, this sprawling plot of real estate ranks as some of the most expensive land in the state. The Biltmore hosts two golf courses, The Links and The Adobe courses.  Known to be highly exclusive, the courses at The Arizona Biltmore have hosted U.S. presidents, Hollywood celebrities, countless professional golfers, and of course, anyone willing to shell out the exorbitant fees for an incredible experience. But it’s not just about the golfing at The Biltmore, you can really make your time there special with a visit to one of the spas on the property, or enjoying a dip in the multiple pools. If all that golfing took it out of you, all you have to do is mosey over to the lazy river and enjoy the ride!

view of a Phoenix Arizona golf course, top things to do in Phoenix Arizona.

#4 Hot Air Balloon Rides

What’s better than taking in the breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert? Doing so with a bird’s eye view! That’s right, Phoenix is home to a plethora of hot air balloon companies! It’s not uncommon on a beautiful day in Phoenix to see brightly colored hot air balloons drifting around the vast, blue sky.

If you think this outing sounds a bit on the pricey side, many of these companies offer group discounts. The popular discount website Groupon almost always has coupons for hot air balloon rides, you just need to purchase them ahead of time and bring the voucher with you.

  You can plan a ride for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary, or just an extremely awesome date. Some companies even offer wedding packages (that are surprisingly affordable!) if you’re looking for a grand adventure to kick off a lifetime of wedded bliss! Sunrise and sunset hot air balloon rides are particularly popular. And much like the hot air balloon wedding, proposals are pretty common as well, so if you’re looking for the perfect place to pop the question, 20,000 feet above the desert might be just the spot. Just don’t drop the ring!

hot air balloon over Phoenix Arizona, top things to do in Phoenix Arizona.

#5 Fresh Foodie Trail in Phoenix, Arizona

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. But don’t for a second think only tourists are diving into this culinary adventure!

There’s plenty to try to keep locals coming back for more, and obviously, you can’t stop until you’ve tried it all! Local vintners pour their finest wines, and farm to table restaurants serve the freshest produce and meat in all of Arizona. Each location along the trail was chosen for its unique and quality ingredients, and indeed you’ll find some treats you may never have fathomed; such as the famed olive oil cupcakes from Queen Creek Olive Mill.

group meal on a table, top things to do in Phoenix Arizona.

Different foods along the trail shine during each season: citrus in the winter, peaches in May, and the olive harvest coming in during October.  If you want to hit the trail but don’t know where to start, a comprehensive brochure of the entire trail can be found here.

  The trail isn’t strictly for locally sourced fruits and veggies, though. Carnivores can find mouth watering briskets, like that of Jalapeno Bucks; where melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked brisket is served alongside plenty of homemade hot sauces. Whatever your palate is craving, you can find something both satiating and unique on the Fresh Foodie Trail. The trail is all about encouraging sustainable agricultural practices, and a stop at Agritopia will envelope visitors in a beautiful agrarian paradise.

Mesa locals can plant their own urban gardens in shared plots on the farm, allowing even the most urban dwellers to channel their inner green thumb. Practices like composting and sustainable irrigation are encouraged and employed, and everyone lends a helping hand to neighbors and visitors alike.

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Thinking of moving to the Phoenix Metro Area?

If you thought Phoenix was all cacti and sweltering summers, now you know just a little bit more about all the exciting activities this desert oasis has to offer. Does the delectable food and outdoor paradise have you thinking of moving to Phoenix? I’d love to hear from you! Reach out today to AZ Livestyle Group and let’s find your Phoenician dream home!