The mere mention of Phoenix, Arizona would make even the Americans wince as they instantly remember the intense dry heat in the state. I even read that spouses refuse to move into any place in Arizona making the state full of eligible bachelors.
However, Phoenix, the capital of Arizona has much to offer both to the residents and tourists. The Valley of the Sun as it is aptly called, Phoenix’s art and culture have beckoned the art buffs from the other states of the U.S. Apart from great treat to the eyes, there is no dearth of varied food and drinks, vibrant nightlife, wonderful resorts, relaxing spas and extensive golf courses.
Shall we look into the attractions to see and things to enjoy in Phoenix?
1. Desert Botanical Garden Phoenix, Arizona
Even under extreme heat conditions, there are plants that thrive happily such as cactus. The so-called Desert Botanical Garden is a sprawling 140 acre located in Papago Park where you can see a range of cacti that are native to Arizona.
The cactus garden is home to a mind-boggling 21,000 plants and here is an interesting fact about cactus. Do you know that some of the cacti are considered as ‘endangered’? We thought the word ‘endangered’ applies only to wildlife! No wonder the Desert Botanical garden is the pride of Arizonians.
2. South Mountain Park, Phoenix, Arizona
While the mountain itself appears bald that is devoid of any notable vegetation, it is still a tourist attraction because of some very rare flora and fauna.
Coming to the rare fauna, look at this creature.
Yes, it is a lizard that thrives in dry heat conditions only and is called, “Chuckwalla”.
For the flora enthusiasts, there is the ‘elephant tree’.
It is not just a single tree, buddy, but there are many of them in the South Mountain Park, Phoenix.
The South Mountain Park invites hikers with nearly 100 km of trails that is also suitable for cycling and uniquely, for horse riding too.
Surprisingly, the South Mountain Park is ranked as the largest municipal park in the entire United States! Can you believe it?
3. Piestewa Peak, Phoenix
If only you can reach the Piestewa Peak located at 2,610 feet, you will be able to spot the following mountains of Arizona that are in the vicinity of Phoenix city.
- Pinnacle Peak
- McDowell Mountains
- Tabletop Mountain
- Superstition Mountains
- Four Peaks
- White Tank Mountains
- Sierra Estrella
- Bradshaw Mountains.
- Woolsey Peak
- Harquahala Mountains
- Papago Mountains
- Hieroglyphic Mountains
OMG! And we thought Phoenix has nothing for the tourists? How wrong are we?
For such varied views, you only need to climb less than 2 km!
Flora in Piestewa Peak, Phoenix
As expected, the flora mainly includes varieties of cacti that include:
- Prickly pear
- Jumping Cholla
As far as the different colored shrubs in Piestewa Peak, you can identify:
- Brittle Bush (that is what you see on the image above)
- Palo Verde
- Desert Lavender
- Ironwood trees
Wildflowers in Piestewa Peak
- Mexican Gold Poppies
- Purple scorpionweed
- Orange colored Desert Globemallow
Oh, I am sure the Piestewa Peak would make a botanist spend several hours collecting samples of so many species of plants.
Fauna in Piestewa Peak
There is no dearth of wild animals and mountain birds that have made the Piesweta Peak as their habitat.
- Ringtail cat
- Horned lizard
- Gila Monster
- Cottontail rabbit
- Gambel’s Quail
- Cactus Wrens
- Turkey vultures
Looking at such a large range of flora and fauna, the Piesweta Peak alone would demand a full day of sightseeing.
4. Four Peaks Brew, Phoenix
I am sure you will be tired of exploring the Piesweta Peak in the scorching sun and you would welcome a cool atmosphere where you can drink a glass of Scottish Ale. Your destination should be the Four Peaks Bar located in 8th Street, Tempe, where you can order the Kilt Lifter, the famed ale.
5. Roosevelt Row, Phoenix
It is a street for art lovers to linger around and gaze at the myriad art and culture displays created exclusively by the local Arizonians.
6. Camelback Mountain, Phoenix
What a name for a mountain that suggests the several walking trails which can be strenuous such as the Echo Canyon trail and the Cholla Trail!
The peak stands at a height of 2700 feet.
7. The First Friday show, Phoenix, Arizona
I would advise you to plan your trip to Phoenix so that you are there on the first Friday of a month. On this day, the entire downtown of Phoenix is turned into a carnival of food, drink, fun, and frolic.
The street will see several food trucks loaded with local cuisine. There will be live music played with gaiety by the local residents. You can shop a myriad of art and gift paraphernalia.
8. Oak Creek Vineyards and Winery, Cornville, Arizona
Are you a wine lover? At least, if you just love to taste various wines, this is your place to be. If you think the place is crowded with hundreds of wine tasters, try other wineries such as the Javelina Leap Winery or Page Springs Cellars. All of them are located not very far from each other.
Oh, I forgot! Here is the address of Oak Creek Vineyards
#1555 N Page Springs Rd, Cornville, AZ 86325
For your information, Cornville is 167 km from Phoenix.
9. Coffee and Cakes at Lux Central, Phoenix
Address: 4402 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012, USA
This is a famous joint for coffee and cakes. The aroma of coffee and the baking of pastries would not allow you to ignore, inviting you to enter. The ambiance is certainly missing here but that is made up with the freshly brewed local coffee and homemade pastries.
Oh, of course, beer is also served and a few cocktails too.
10. Welcome Diner, Phoenix
This is a highly recommended restaurant in Phoenix where their biscuits and jams are famous. In fact, it is mentioned at the top of the menu. Do not forget to try their French fries topped with braised jackfruit. What a combination!
Address: 929 E Pierce St, Phoenix, AZ 85006, USA
11. Salt River, Phoenix.
It looks like a mountain stream only to me. However, it is a river and that too, a tributary of Gila River which itself a tributary of River Colorado. Oddly, the Salt River was born to the White River and the Black River. In addition, numerous mountain streams empty into the Salt River. There are boating facilities available in the Salt River whose water is certainly not ‘salty’.
The Salt River flows through the Tonto National Forest, the fifth largest national forest in the country.
12. Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix
The various musical instruments are aesthetically arranged and displayed in a cool environ. As you gaze through the museum, you can learn a bit of the history of music. Among the various musical instruments on display, you are shown the piano used by none other than the legendary John Lennon.
Location of the Musical Instruments Museum
#4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA
13. Butterfly Wonderland, Scottsdale, Phoenix
Scottsdale is only about 21 km from Phoenix.
Address: 9500 East Vía de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, USA
There is a rainforest in Scottsdale that is home to over 3000 species of butterflies. 3000 species of butterflies would certainly light the place colorfully-eh? Kids would love to see so many butterflies in one place.
To make thousands of butterflies to live in one small enclosure, there must surely be a range of wildflowers too.
There is a well-stocked aquarium too nearby.
14. Wet ‘N” Wild Waterpark
Wet ‘N” Wild Phoenix is a waterpark is the largest water theme park in the state of Arizona.
Address: 4243 W Pinnacle Peak Rd, Glendale, AZ 85310, USA
There are several waterslides of which, many are kids-friendly. The names of some of the waterslides are:
- Mammoth Falls
- Maximum Velocity
- Phoenix Flyers
15. Castles N’ Coasters
Address: 9445 N Metro Pkwy E, Phoenix, AZ 85051, USA
If you happen to travel with your family ( I am sure you would, after reading this blog post till the end), your first sightseeing destination in Phoenix would be the Castles N’ Coasters, an amusement park that offers numerous rides, a golf course with 18 holes. Children will have an added fun activity option at the video game arcade.
16. Phoenix Zoo
It’s a private zoo that houses about 3000 animals and birds, some of which are highly protected as they are said to be endangered.
Address: 455 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix
Some of the common animals that you can see are the tigers and lions.
17. Children’s Museum
Finally, here is one place that you should take your children. It’s a Children’s Museum that offers hundreds of interactive games for the children. Once there, I foresee some difficulty for you to pull them away.
Address: 215 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034, USA