Phoenix Travel Guide 2024

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix AZ

Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix AZ

Desert Botanical Garden Imagine a place where you can gaze upon the most beautiful species of cacti in the world.…

2024 Phoenix Visitors Guide

The metropolitan area of Phoenix is located in the southwestern state of Arizona. The valley is surrounded by several mountain ranges including White Tank Mountains, South Mountain, and the Superstition Mountains. There are several cities that make up the metropolitan area of Phoenix. Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler are located to the east of Phoenix. Glendale, Sun City, and Peoria are among the cities located to the west of Phoenix.

Phoenix is a popular destination for thousands of visitors every year. The city offers visitors, and residents, close to three hundred days of sunshine every year. The winter months are the most popular time for people to travel to the area. The average temperatures in Phoenix during these months range from the low sixties up to the higher seventies. There are cooler days, and days with rain on occasion, however, for the most part, the days are fairly warm and sunny.

There are many exciting things to see and do while visiting the Phoenix area. There are several museums located throughout the valley. Phoenix is also home to the Arizona Science Center, Castles and Coasters, and several shopping centers. There are also various sporting events held throughout the year at the stadiums that are located in the area. The Phoenix Zoo, Desert Botanical Gardens, and The World Wildlife Zoo are also popular destinations for visitors to the area.

People who enjoy outdoor activities will find Phoenix to be a mecca of activities to enjoy. There are several golf courses located in Phoenix, Arizona, and in the surrounding area. The various mountains in the area, along with National Forest Land are also popular for individuals who enjoy hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and off-road driving.

The nightlife in Phoenix is also a major attraction for many visitors. There are hundreds of bars, clubs, pubs, and other late-night establishments located throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. Downtown Scottsdale is an especially popular destination for partygoers in the area. Many establishments offer live music on the weekends.

Casinos are also popular destinations for people who visit Phoenix. There are several casinos located on the Native American reservations that are adjacent to the Phoenix city limits and surrounding towns. Many of these businesses offer patrons a variety of gambling activities, concerts, and restaurants to enjoy. Several casinos also offer their patrons with hotels to stay in. Patrons who are traveling in motorhomes can often find parking specifically designated for extended stays.

Phoenix is a popular destination for travelers of all ages. There are a variety of activities to choose from including sporting events, gambling, and outdoor activities. The best time to visit Phoenix is in the months of September through March.

Phoenix Downtown Hotels

Unlike the rest of the Valley of the Sun, downtown Phoenix is primarily a business center. Despite this reputation, the area bounded by 7th Street on the east, 7th Avenue on the west, McDowell Road on the north and Buckeye Road on the south is full of trendy restaurants and cafes along with several interesting museums. In addition, downtown Phoenix is only minutes away from Sky Harbor International Airport. Attractions in downtown Phoenix include the interactive Children’s Museum of Phoenix and the hands-on Arizona Science Center. The area is also a center for local professional sports teams with the Arizona Diamondbacks playing baseball at Chase Field and the Phoenix Suns and several minor league sports teams occupying the U.S. Airways Center. In addition to a wealth of cafes and bars, food offerings in downtown Phoenix are augmented by the myriad food trucks offering high-end meals to office workers during their lunch hours, or the Phoenix Public Market, which offers local produce and goods on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Phoenix that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!

About Downtown Phoenix

If you are visiting Phoenix, Arizona, you probably want to learn more about the downtown Phoenix area to see what kinds of sights and events you will be treated to while there. This urban center of the nation’s fifth-largest city, which is referred to as the Valley of the Sun, hosts a diverse community.

As the seat of government and business, downtown Phoenix is also brimming with arts, culture and a spectacular mix of cuisines from around the world. As lively and exciting downtown Phoenix currently is, the same could not have been said mere years ago. The recent massive revitalization project has turned a downtown area that might have once featured tumbleweeds now has a bustling and vibrant atmosphere with something for everyone.

The 90 square block center of the urban renovation id referred to as the Copper Square. Everything in this area is up for grabs, according to your family’s tastes since anyone in the entire family can enjoy a visit to the downtown Phoenix area.

A visit to the theatre is an exciting option that unfolds to a variety of additional options since the downtown Phoenix area features traditional, experimental, avant-garde, musical and children’s theatre.

A visit to downtown Phoenix’s Chase Field will give you the opportunity to see the city’s professional baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. US Airways Center features professional basketball team Phoenix Suns along with other sports teams in the Phoenix.

The Phoenix Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix area allows you the chance to see the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Opera, which is based out of Tucson, Arizona, but gives performances in conjunction with the Phoenix Symphony Hall.

A visit to the Phoenix Convention Center, the Arizona Science Center, the Phoenix Art Museum are all within the downtown area and within walking distance of each other.

The unique architecture of downtown Phoenix includes the Beaux-Arts and Art Deco styles, primarily.

The city’s light rail system makes the urban downtown Phoenix area easily accessible from the suburbs and the airport as well as making travel around the city simple, fast and affordable.

Phoenix Weather

Planning a trip to Phoenix, Arizona can be an exciting adventure. There are many things to do and see within the city limits. There are also many exciting places to see and things to do within a short drive of the Phoenix Valley area. However, a very important factor to consider when planning outings, and packing, is the weather in Phoenix

Most people do not choose to travel to Phoenix during the summer months. The summer is extremely hot and dry in the Sonoran Desert that Phoenix calls home. Temperatures often exceed 110 degrees in the middle of summer in the desert. However, visitors can still enjoy a variety of activities including floating the Salt River or spending a day at one of the waterparks located throughout the city. Several lakes also offer various water activities to enjoy in the hot summer sun.

Summer visitors, however, should also be aware that the monsoon season usually arrives in the latter half of July. These storms can produce torrential rains, massive dust storms, and cause usually empty waterways to become dangerous flash floods in a matter of seconds. It is very important to pay attention to the sky, and your surroundings, when visiting Phoenix during the monsoon season.

The temperatures begin to fall in September and October. During these months temperatures can range up in the nineties and hundreds, or can fall to the fifties and sixties These months, along with March and April are among the most popular times to visit Phoenix. Visitors can enjoy various outdoor activities without being too hot or too cold on most days. Night temperatures, however, can begin to drop drastically so it is important to dress appropriately.

November through February is extremely popular months with the older generation of travelers. Many visitors during the winter months stay for the entire winter. Temperatures tend to vary the greatest during these months. Some days can be as high as the seventies and eighties. Other days the temperatures can be closer to freezing. Nights are often extremely cold in the desert. The valley often gets some rain during these months. However, these storms are not typically as sudden or harsh as the monsoon storms in the summertime.

The most important thing to remember when traveling to Phoenix is to pack a variety of clothing. Many days that are warm can turn into frigid nights. Also, remember to pay attention to the current weather conditions when packing. This will help you better prepare to enjoy the variety of temperatures and weather conditions that may arise during your stay in Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix Transportation

A visit to Phoenix, Arizona, can be a wonderful trip full of fun, culture, and activity. It helps that Phoenix is by far one of the most easily navigable cities in the country, thanks to its Metro Light Rail, car rentals and carpools, shuttles, public bus routes and other modes of transportation.

Entering Phoenix by air puts you into a prime position to take advantage of airport transportation services. The three airports operated in Phoenix each offer a shuttle service to and from hotels and other destinations throughout the city. There are also a number of privately operated shuttle services that will pick up passengers from their homes or hotels and deliver them to their chosen airport destinations.

There are a number of public bus routes in Phoenix that are utilized frequently by both residents and visitors wishing to see the city’s many interesting sights. There are currently dozens of local bus routes that feature stops every quarter mile. The routes cover a majority of the city, with major avenues covered by the Metro Valley LINK bus service. Smaller, shuttle-type vehicles, called “neighborhood circulators,” exist to transport people shorter distances, such as from a hotel or home to the store or another nearby area. This free service is available in select communities located within Phoenix.

If freeway travel is necessary, you will likely need to board the RAPID service. This transportation service ferries riders to and from the downtown Phoenix area on weekdays. Different routes originating from and ending at various downtown locations are available, with information on routes available online and by contacting the city of Phoenix.

One of the newest ways to get around Phoenix is by the fairly new Valley Metro Light Rail system. The light rail system operates daily, with strategically placed stops located at various points along the 57-mile long track. The service is open 365 days a year, including most major holidays using an abbreviated schedule. Service starts at 4:40 a.m. and continues through 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends. Rail passengers can travel around Phoenix, as well as to the nearby communities of Tempe and Mesa.

For all public transportation options in Phoenix, passengers may purchase tickets to ride at central stop areas or online. Daily and monthly passes are also available. In addition to public transportation, vehicles may be rented at one of the three Phoenix airports, and the city features ample parking throughout its busier areas.

Phoenix Attractions

Visiting Phoenix any time of year is fun and adventurous. The local climate is favorable for outdoor activities all year long. Whether it’s golfing, horseback riding, hiking, biking, or just taking photographs, you’ll find Phoenix has plenty to do.


If it’s golfing you enjoy, you’ve come to the right place. Metro Phoenix has approximately 35 public and private golf courses. Many are award-winning courses designed by professional golfers. Some of the more popular courses are the Raven Golf Club, the Links Course, the Foothills Golf Club, and the Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the nearby TPC Scottsdale course where the Waste Management Phoenix Open is held annually.

Hiking, Biking, and Picture Taking

There are plenty of trails for hikers and bikers, and they’re all within short driving distances from downtown Phoenix. The most popular place is South Mountain Park with over 30 trails. It’s the largest municipal park in the US and also offers horseback riding. Bring your camera, and make sure you see the ‘forest’ of Saguaro Cactus.

Two other popular places are Camelback Mountain and Papago Park. At Camelback Mountain, you can hike to the 2700 ft. summit. Once atop the summit, enjoy the panoramic views. There are no facilities so wear cool clothing, comfortable shoes, and bring water. Papago Park offers both paved and dirt trails. Visit Hole in the Rock where kids can easily climb and enjoy great views.

Horseback Riding

If you’ve never been on horseback, Phoenix is the place to learn this skill. Enjoy a ride into the desert sunset or to a western barbecue. Ponderosa Stables is a great place for beginners where you can enjoy a ride and a T-Bone dinner. Clay Canyon Ranch also offers desert rides along with a western barbecue. Don’t be afraid, as both places have horses skilled in all levels of riding.

Family Fun

Phoenix has many family-oriented attractions. Learn western culture by visiting Pueblo Grande. Pueblo Grande is an ancient ruin from a Native American village. Hands-on activities, hiking, and tours are available.

Kids love the zoo, and you’ll find over 1,200 animals at the Phoenix Zoo. It’s 125 acres of wildlife including Giant Galapagos tortoises, baboons, fish, reptiles, and a Monkey Island.

For something different, visit the Desert Botanical Gardens. With more than 50,000 desert plants, you’ll quickly learn about the flora and fauna in the southwest desert. There are five scenic trails and a nature-based program for preschoolers.

Whatever outdoor activities you like to do, you’ll find it in Phoenix.

Phoenix Dining

When visiting Phoenix you will find that there are many great places to dine that will make your visit more than exceed your expectations. The large variety of places to choose from will gift you with all of the choices to help please your appetite no matter what you are hungry for.

1130 The Restaurant

1130 The Restaurant offers great pasta dishes such as Seafood Pasta and Fettuccine Shrimp Alfredo or you might choose a Ribeye or a New York Strip cooked to perfection just the way that you want it. For dessert, you can have a slice of New York Style Cheesecake or Key Lime Pie to make your meal wonderful.

Portland’s Restaurant and Wine Bar

Portland’s Restaurant and Wine Bar is another great place to enjoy an awesome dining experience where you can treat yourself to Bleu Cheese Bistro Steak or maybe fire seared cowboy chops. If you are a pasta lover, the Cajun Shrimp pasta may be your dish of choice. They also offer burgers and pizza that you can customize any way that you want them.


CIBO is another great dining option that offers you the Italian cuisine that you want. You might choose a hand-tossed pizza that is made with the freshest ingredients or you might choose to have a Calzone that is also made with the freshest stuffing’s. CIBO purchases their veggies locally so they are always fresh and import the foods that they can’t purchase locally to ensure that they are always serving the best.


For American dining at its best visit, Kincaid’s where you can enjoy rock salt roasted prime rib, smoked pork chops, boneless rib eye or char-grilled filet mignon. They also offer soups such as New England clam chowder, French Onion and the Soup of the Day. Their sides include Bacon Mac N Cheese, Grilled Asparagus and potatoes au Gratin. Cocktails beer and wine are also available to compliment your meal selection.

Arrogant Butcher

The Arrogant Butcher offers great dishes such as meatloaf, short rib stew, and even fish and chips. You can take advantage of the bar that will allow you to have the drink of your choice with a twist to make your dining experience more enjoyable. The chicken breast with crab stuffing is also a great choice that will satisfy your appetite. You’ll find great choices of comfort food on the menu as well as items that are delicious but not common at other restaurants such as Artichoke Hummus.

Phoenix Events

Phoenix, Arizona is a beautifully scenic desert city that has a lot to offer in the way of events. Home to the Fiesta Bowl, World of Wheels, World Championship Hoop Dance Contest, Arizona Aloha Festival, Festival of the West, Arizona Asian Festival, and the Arizona National Boat Show, Phoenix is chock full of events throughout the year for people of all walks of life to enjoy.

Carefree Fine Arts and Wine Festival

The Carefree Fine Arts and Wine Festival is a nationally acclaimed and juried fine art event featuring artists and art collectors from across the globe. The festival includes more than 160 artists and over 5,000 original works of art. Sculptures of metal, clay, stone, glass, mixed media, bronze, and wood are displayed, as well as pottery, photography, handmade jewelry, and crafts. Oil and acrylic paintings, unique drawings, and mixed media artworks adorn the festival as well as many other genres of art. Wine tastings are offered as you stroll amongst the artwork.

Arizona State Fair

The Arizona State Fair is a large and exciting family-friendly event. The fair features rides, petting zoos, a concert series, eating contests, a beer fest, rodeo events, and magic shows. Native American dancers, stuntmen, and drum corps entertain guests, and butterflies, snakes, and bugs are displayed and can be explored by little ones and adults alike.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival

McDowell Mountain Music Festival is an event made up of numerous musical performances by bands from a wide variety of musical genres. This is a family-friendly event that features a zone for children, a silent auction, and acoustic stage, a marketplace of arts and crafts, and delicious food. One hundred percent of all earnings benefit local children’s charities.

Chandler’s Multicultural Festival

Chandler’s Multicultural Festival is an entertaining and educational festival. It highlights and celebrates cultural diversity through music, art, dance, story-telling, and multi-cultural food.

Arizona Renaissance Festival

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a day-long medieval festival that includes 12 performance stages, arts and crafts, a 30-acre circus, and a jousting tournament. Weaving, blacksmithing, glass blowing, pottery, and other medieval skills are demonstrated, and more than 2,000 costumed actors perform all day long.

Fountain Hills Great Fair

The Fountain Hills Great Fair is a three-day-long juried art fair with more than 500 artists from around the world. Over 200,000 visitors flock to this scenic and entertaining fair each year to enjoy live music, food booths, a beer garden, and other attractions.

Arizona National Livestock Show

The Arizona National Livestock Show has been a popular annual tradition since 1948. Exhibitors from around the country show their prize cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, and goats. Cowboys compete in rodeo events and skills such as branding, cow milking, and stray gathering are demonstrated.

Family Fun near Downtown Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona has a notable amount of family-friendly activities and attractions. The natural resources of the area are outstanding in beauty and interest, and the possibilities for outdoor entertainment are seemingly endless.

If it’s too hot, swimming is a good choice, but the mountains and desert provide excellent views of the surrounding area and a chance to see plant and animal life that doesn’t exist in many other parts of the country. A horseback ride on a mountain trail is a good way to see more of the flora and fauna, and the trail leader provides information about the “cowboy” trail features.

Phoenix Zoo

Hiking and biking are also fun, but kids have to be old enough to go a fair distance to really appreciate the environment and its unique attributes. The Phoenix Zoo is an option for younger kids, too. Older kids might like mountain biking, but then the parents have to be able to keep up!

Salt River Canyon

The Salt River Canyon on the west side of Scottsdale, which is on the northwest edge of Phoenix, offers white water rafting in the spring, and there is tubing for more leisurely water enjoyment. Shuttle service for tubing is available seven days a week.

Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Indoor activities are equally entertaining and there is something for every age group. The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is geared toward ages up to 10 and the parents of these children. The Musical Instrument Museum appeals to everyone, and it is recommended by Tony Bennet, Carlos Santana and Andy Summers of the Police. Who can argue with that?


The MIM is in Phoenix and has its own beautiful setting as a backdrop for its ultra-modern architecture. There are high-resolution flat-screen TVs that show videos of various musical instruments being played, and different artists, like Taylor Swift, are featured in one gallery.

Heard Museum

The Heard Museum, also downtown, is known for its presentation of the United States’ Southwestern Native American culture and art. It is a center for current Native American artists and draws about a quarter of a million visitors per year.

CityScape downtown

The CityScape downtown is a shopping, dining and nightlife section of Phoenix, but there are child-magnet outdoor fountains, bowling, and cornhole games too. It is a good indoor option on a hot day. Kierland Commons, on the Scottsdale border, is an upscale mecca of shopping and dining, but there is a Starbucks if browsing and coffee are preferred.

Phoenix is a big city with all the frills and entertainments that go along with it, but its climate and recreational opportunities are family fabulous.

Shopping near Downtown Phoenix

The shopping scene in Phoenix is characterized by typical all-American malls and plazas rather than independent retailers in historic Downtown streets found in other large U.S. cities. Located along East Cactus Road, the Paradise Valley Mall is one of the premier shopping venues in Arizona’s capital city. The single-story shopping mall is home to more than 150 total shops and other businesses that occupy more than 1.1 million square feet of floor space. Paradise Valley Mall is anchored by major department stores such as Sears, JCPenney, Macy’s and Dillard’s. Shoppers can also get amazing bargains at the neighboring Costco Wholesale store, one of the largest warehouse club retailers in the world.

Located right near exit 208 of Interstate 17, Metrocenter Mall is another major shopping destination in Phoenix. This mall hosts more than 100 total stores that are spread out on more than 1.3 million square feet on two levels. Just like the Paradise Valley Mall, Metrocenter Mall offers a directory of more than 20 different categories that appeal to shoppers of all ages. Of course, parents can also find plenty of stores in these malls that specialize in toys, apparel and other children’s or baby items. Additionally, the Metrocenter Mall is also anchored by Sears, Macy’s and Dillard’s. The Metro Marketplace and Metro Square are shopping plazas that neighbor the Metrocenter Mall.

Home to over 100 shops and anchored by several department stores, the Desert Sky Mall is another major shopping venue in Phoenix. The Christown Spectrum Mall is one of the oldest operating malls in Phoenix and it is home to more than 50 stores including a Super Walmart.

The Desert Ridge Marketplace is another popular shopping center in Arizona’s largest city. The Desert Ridge is not a typical mall but is a large complex that features more than a dozen separate buildings spread out on several acres. Shoppers can find great deals in chain stores such as Target, Kohl’s, Dressbarn and Old Navy. This is a family-friendly complex that also has a dedicated section featuring several restaurants and an AMC Loews cinema complex. The Desert Marketplace is home to dozens of businesses that offer affordable items for the entire family, so this is not the place to shop for designer apparel and other expensive items.

Located in the northern outskirts of Phoenix, the Outlets at Anthem offer exclusive deals on brand name items. Although this shopping complex is situated in a desolate desert setting, it is home to dozens of popular outlet stores from top sports and designer brands such as Nike, Guess, Levi’s and Under Armour. The Outlets at Anthem boast hot apparel and accessories for men, women, girls and boys of all ages.