Phoenix

Things to do in Phoenix

Some of the most popular things to do in Phoenix involve exploring its desert landscape. Hikers can reach a panoramic view of the city along Camelback Mountain's red rock-rimmed hiking trails. Or, for a closer look, visit the Desert Botanical Garden, home to countless species of colorful plants.

Art lovers can add the Bentley Projects to a list of what to do in Phoenix. The downtown warehouse district features many of the city's top galleries, displaying avant-garde pieces by its top local artists. Guided art walks are also held each month.

The resorts themselves boast many headliners when it comes things to do in Phoenix. The area is home to many a world-class golf course, along with upscale spas and fine dining options.

For a look at local history, be sure to include stops in Old Town Scottsdale and downtown's Heritage Square on your list of what to do in Phoenix. Both are anchored by well-preserved Victorian structures and local history museums.

Instead of a poolside lounge or round of golf, visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s former studio and retreat (now home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation). Daily guided tours are kept small and last from one to three hours.

Three-day rafting trips along the Colorado River, from $725 per person.

Far-sighted preservationists saved this hill from becoming little more than a grand backyard of one of the mega-mansions that surround the North Scottsdale peak.

Even if it didn’t house one of the world’s premiere collections of Native American art, you’d want to hang out in this space. The Spanish Colonial-style architecture harkens to 1929, when the Heard family’s then-modest collection of Native American crafts opened to the public.

Troon North Golf Club offers two award-winning golf courses designed by Tom Weiskopf, The Pinnacle and The Monument, ranked 21st and 44th in the nation, respectively, by Golf Magazine.

Cindy Dach stocks her “art boutique” with bright red Moleskine calendars, the latest Miranda July stories, and locally made jewelry—including handcrafted silver rings, crystal earrings, and glittery poker-chip necklaces.

On the first Friday evening of every month, Artlink, Inc., a nonprofit organization run wholly by volunteer art enthusiasts, hosts a free self-guided tour of galleries, studios, and shops in the downtown area.

This red-hued beauty is an attractively rugged cliff perfect for hard-core hikers. Its Echo Canyon trail, which starts at 5700 North Echo Canyon Parkway, winds 1.2 miles to the top of the 2,704-foot summit—a steep elevation gain of more than 1,200 feet.

Treat your companion to turquoise and silver pieces at this high-end jewelry and art store. Within this sandstone shop, the inventory includes authentic pieces of Native American pottery, sand paintings, kachina dolls, and even furniture.

In an effort to lure non-museum types, this trendsetting institution began sponsoring SMoCA Nights a few years back.

An agent since 2006, Cassandra Bookholder, who works with Camelback Odyssey Travel, specializes in custom trips to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. One of Bookholder’s current favorite places to send clients is Australia’s Pretty Beach House hotel, located 60 miles north of Sydney.

Across the Salt River, the steel-and-glass Tempe Center for the Arts hosts film screenings and poetry readings.

Sarah Walker’s large, concrete-floored shop feels like a museum for the urbane—with beautiful displays of work by clothing designers such as Hazel Brown and Gary Graham. Their pieces are simple yet elegant, in neutral shades of cotton and raw silks.

Matt Pool spent years fighting the city in order to open this watering hole.