Phoenix

Phoenix Travel Guide

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.

You know what they say about casinos—once you’re inside, day and night blend and time stops. Same goes for the ones that ring metro Phoenix, so choose by location.

Hybrid drinking, dining and retail-clothing space

Known as one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces, Taliesin West was built in 1937 as Wright's winter home. Still inhabited by a team of architectural experts and students, Taliesin West is a living desert complex in northeast Scottsdale at the base of the McDowell Mountains.

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

Across the street from the Phoenix Art Museum, Bunky Boutique shares a space with Giant Coffee in the white, cube-like Merz Project Building.

Located at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, T. Cook’s restaurant serves Mediterranean dishes like slow-roasted lamb stuffed with baba ghanoush and stuffed squash blossom with sautéed local farm vegetables.

Built in 1964 and christened by Willie Mays (who hit the first spring training home run there) Phoenix Municipal Stadium is more than home to the Oakland A’s spring training. This 8,000-seater includes media facilities, party suites, a media level patio, and a picnic area.

A favorite among well-to-do housewives and their teenage daughters, this boutique stocks an irresistible mix of new jewelry, body products, and garden accessories, plus fanciful greeting cards and Japanese stickers.

The focus of the local arts scene is First Friday, an art walk that took off in 2003 and continues to flourish; it draws thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to downtown Phoenix on the first Friday of the month from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Camelback Odyssey Travel’s Karen Benson draws upon her 28 years of experience to craft a memorable spa, adventure, or ski vacation for her clients. One of Benson’s signature trips is a spa getaway in India, complete with ayurvedic treatments and stops in Agra and Jaipur.

Even if there isn’t a show scheduled at this historic 1929 theater and former vaudeville house, take a free, guided tour of the renovated facility. Its ornate Spanish-influenced, Baroque Revival style is flush with zodiac symbols; and the painted ceiling resembles a starry night sky.

The maroon awning beckons locals to this Phoenix restaurant and wine bar. Located in the base of an apartment complex and within steps of the light rail, Portland's is a popular after-work stop. Neighbors gather around the circular bar for no-fuss cocktails and comfort fare.

The City of Phoenix estimates that this summit’s trail is one of the most heavily used in the country; it draws an estimated 4,000 to 10,000 hikers per week.