Whether you’ve just moved to Phoenix or you’re stopping in for a visit, there are plenty of things to do to feed your wild side. Phoenix is one of the biggest and most diverse cities in the southwest. There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Phoenix AZ.
However, it’s tough to know where to start if you’re not familiar with the city. To make things easier for you, this article will contain 15 of the best things to do in Phoenix, no matter what you want to enjoy.
1. Musical Instrument Museum
If you’re looking for a truly unique and educational experience and one of the best things to do in Phoenix, check out the Musical Instrument Museum. The Musical Instrument Museum has one of the largest collections of instruments in the world.
Their collection includes rare types of instruments from around the world and many different cultures. The MIM in Phoenix also has some of the rarest musician-owned instruments on the planet, including a piano owned by the late, great John Lennon.
In addition to being educational and fun, the MIM also hosts regular concerts and events. So, whether you’re looking to take in a special concert or want to see a ton of rare instruments, the Musical Instrument Museum should definitely be on your list of things to do in Phoenix.
2. Dobbins Lookout South Mountain
If you want to take in scenic views of the city from above rather than explore the city itself, check out the Dobbins Lookout South Mountain. At an elevation of 2,000 feet, Dobbins Lookout on South Mountain is the highest point in Phoenix to which you can drive your car.
Dobbins Point is located in the South Mountain Park/Preserve and is accessible by road and hiking trails. Once you’re finished with Dobbins Lookout, you can explore the rest of the park, which consists of more than 16,000 acres.
Whether you’re an outdoorsy person or simply want to drive to the best view in the city, make sure to put Dobbins Lookout on your list of things to do in Phoenix.
3. Desert Botanical Garden
Sticking to the idea of fun things to do in Phoenix that are perfect for all interest levels, the Desert Botanical Garden is a must. When most people think of the desert, they think of sandy hills, arid conditions, and lifeless terrain.
However, at the Desert Botanical Garden, you can experience a whole new side of the desert. The 140-acre botanical Garden is home to more than 50,000 plants and flowers that you can only find in the desert.
The Desert Botanical Garden is also a place of education, research, and development where you can learn more about the desert surrounding you. Once you’ve spent enough time walking through the Garden, take a load off at one of the restaurants and event centers on the grounds.
4. Hike the Many Phoenix Mountain Parks
If you want to get out and see the nature side of Phoenix, there are plenty of hiking trails waiting to be explored. The South Mountain Preserve is just the tip of the iceberg.
You also have Ursery Mountain Regional Park, White Tank Mountain Regional park, and much more. Each of these parks offers a unique blend of trails that are great for hikers of all experience levels.
Make sure to download the AllTrails app to find a trail near you suitable for your hiking proficiency.
5. Phoenix Art Museum
Getting back into the heart of the city, the Phoenix Art Museum is a great place to visit. The Phoenix Art Museum offers thousands of exhibits on a rotating basis, including rare items from around the world.
The Phoenix Art Museum is also one of the most unique things to do in Phoenix. Exhibits like the Fireflies Infinity Mirror Room will blow your mind with how beautiful and mesmerizing it is.
6. Canyon Lake and the Dolly Steamboat
Take a tour on the Dolly Steamboat for another truly unique experience and one of the best things to do in Phoenix. The Dolly Steamboatoperates on Canyon Lake and has been offering luxury tours since the early 1980s.
In addition to offering breathtaking views of Canyon Lake, the Dolly Steamboat also provides delicious dinner and unforgettable memories. You can choose between twilight, morning, wildlife, and a variety of dinner cruises.
7. Wildlife World Zoo
Whether you like animals or not, the Wildlife World Zoo is easily one of the best things to do in Phoenix. At over 200 acres large, the Wildlife World Zoo combines a traditional zoo and an aquarium.
They specialize in exotic animals and provide the largest collection in the state. Specifically, the Wildlife World Zoo has animals from Africa and South America, but they’re accepting of any exotic wildlife.
To see everything the zoo offers, you’ll have to split your time between the aquarium, the Safari Park, Dragon World, and Adventure Land.
8. Visit the Roosevelt Arts District
Another one of the best things to do in Phoenix is taking a drive through the Roosevelt Arts District. Once you arrive, park your car, get out, and take in all that the District has to offer.
The Roosevelt Arts District, aka Roosevelt Row, is located between 7th Street and 7th Avenue and is best known for its street art and murals. It’s located in one of the city’s oldest parts and is one of the most popular things to do in Phoenix.
In addition to street art, there are also tons of bars, restaurants, and local shops to check out. Parking your car and taking a walk through Roosevelt Row never gets old, and there’s a good chance you’ll be back for a second visit.
9. Check Out Local Wineries
Although you may not have known it, the area around Phoenix is home to some of the top wineries in the country. While these wineries aren’t directly in the city, they’re only several hours away by car, which makes Phoenix a great starting hub for either region.
If you don’t want to drive to the wineries themselves, many of them have tasting rooms within the Phoenix city limits. So, if you’re a wine junkie and want to do some winery hopping, check out the many options in and around the Phoenix area.
10. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Another one of the truly unique things to do in Phoenix is going for a hot air balloon ride over the city. There are several companies offering hot air balloon tours, and they each offer a memorable experience and breathtaking views.
11. Check Out the Grand Canyon
A trip to Phoenix isn’t complete without taking a drive out to the Grand Canyon, located in Grand Canyon National Park. Once you arrive at the park, you can either go for a hike into the historic canyon, take a guided tour, or simply stand at the top and take in the unbelievable views.
No matter what you decide to do at the Grand Canyon, it’s always one of the most memorable things to do in Phoenix.
12. Visit Sea Life for Aquatic Fun
Located in Tempe, Arizona, just a few miles southeast of Phoenix, you’ll find Sea Life. Sea Life is one of the premier aquariums in the southwestern United States and is often considered the best aquarium in Arizona. As such, it’s also one of the best things to do in Phoenix if you’re staying in or near the city.
Sea Life is over 26,000 square feet and offers hundreds of animals and interactive displays to view. You can see everything from massive sharks to exotic fish and everything in between.
13. Visit the Legoland Discovery Center
If you’re visiting the city with your family and are looking for one of the best things to do in Phoenix with your kids, check out the Legoland Discovery Center. The Legoland Discovery Center is one of the premier fun centers for kids in the country.
You’ll have the opportunity to go on several rides, shop for new legos, and build lego structures until your heart is content. You can even save money by buying combo tickets for both the Discovery Center and Sea Life if you want to explore both locations!
14. Run Around Red Rock Canyon
Getting back into the great outdoors for one of the final outdoorsy things to do in Phoenix, let’s head out to Red Rock State Park. Red Rock State Park is located in Sedona and is home to Red Rock Canyon, one of the country’s top canyons outside of the Grand Canyon.
Once you’re finished exploring Red Rock Canyon, head into the heart of Sedona and explore the dozens of shops and restaurants throughout the city. Sedona is just a stone’s throw from Phoneix and is well worth the drive!
15. Go Skydiving
If you’re looking for one of the most exciting things to do in Phoenix, you should definitely go skydiving. Just as with hot air balloon rides, Phoenix is home to many instructors and planes offering skydiving trips.
If you’re not ready for full-on skydiving, you can try indoor skydiving first. No matter which type of skydiving you choose, you will surely have an unforgettable time!
Wrapping Up the Best Things to Do in Phoenix
As you can see, there’s no shortage of great things to do in Phoenix. It’s one of the most beautiful, diverse, and scenic cities in the country.
If you explore Phoneix and it feeds your adventurous side, check out Things to Do in Mesa, AZ next.