It’s really hard to pick only ten as there are MANY great things to do in the Phoenix area…but here are my TOP FIVE picks!
1. Desert Botanical Gardens. This is a great place to visit if you are from out of state…or even if you live here! Located in Papago Park, these gardens offer visitors an opportunity to learn about desert flora while taking a nice, easy walk. Visit them here for more information.
2. The Heard Museum. The foremost showcase of Native American art and culture in the U.S., the Heard Museum reveals the cultures of tribes in the region through exhibits, demonstrations and live performances and displays the work of contemporary Native American artists. Artists demonstrate their work during the week and musicians perform on most weekends. Find out more about this great place here.
3. South Mountain Park. At over 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park/Preserve often is referred to as the largest municipal park in the country. It boasts 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking for all ability levels. You can get horses at Ponderosa Stables and have a real Arizona experience. Check it out here.
4.Climb Piestewa Peak. Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw Peak, is part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. If you decide to hike the Summit Trail, though, you won’t be alone. According to the City of Phoenix. it is one of the most heavily used trails in the nation with 4,000 to 10,000 hikers per week. The elevation of Piestewa Peak is 2,608 feet; the total elevation gain for the Summit Trail is 1,190 feet. That might not sound high, but hikers of all levels can get a great workout climbing this mountain, and get a great view of the city when they get to the top.
5. Visit the Phoenix Zoo. The Phoenix Zoo is one of the younger zoos in the country but they can provide a fun day of animal watching for the family. The Phoenix Zoo has more than 1,000 animals on exhibit. If you want to see everything at the Phoenix Zoo, it will take several hours and quite a bit of walking as they have about 2-1/2 miles of walking trails. In the summer it is advisable to get there as early as possible, since many animals head for shade and hide during the heat of the day. Visit their web site here.