Thinking about visiting Phoenix? The Valley of the Sun is one of the most iconic travel destinations in the Southwest region of the United States, and a must-visit spot in Arizona. Brimming with beautiful culture, stunning mountains, and spectacular sandy deserts with many things to see, including gorgeous desert animals.
The city boasts luxury resorts, cultural and historical attractions, an incredible dining scene, and endless opportunities for outdoorsy travelers. Phoenix has everything one would need to have an unforgettable vacation experience, no matter their interests and age. Here is the ultimate travel guide to Phoenix.
What To Know Before Visiting Phoenix: Tips For Visiting Arizona
- Expect long, hot summers and mild winters. Boasting a vast desert landscape, Phoenix’s climate is mostly arid, and summers are usually hot and long. Actually, the city’s summer temperatures are the highest in the U.S., and winters are not as harsh as in other metropolitan cities.
- There are several cultural sites in Phoenix. The city is known to have several cultural heritage sites. There are more than 22 Native American tribes in the state. Some of the tribal areas are found in Phoenix and are a perfect place to experience the beautiful cultures and customs of different people. It is important to observe the rules and customs guiding the cultures.
- The best way to get around is by car. Renting a car is the best way to navigate through the city as the public transportation system does not cover all the areas in the city.
- Stay safe when exploring the areas around the Grand Canyon. Beware of thunderstorms and flash flooding. If visiting in summer, tourists must park sunscreen, hats, and light clothing. Being mostly deserted, suffering dehydration is something common, so travelers must ensure they have enough water when going hiking.
When To Visit Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, AZ, USA
For a perfect blend of good weather and incredible outdoor opportunities, visit in winter or spring. This is typically between March and May, and from December to February.
During these times, the temperature is warm enough, and the bloom in the city’s adorable desert landscape creates a spectacular sight. Since sunny days are always there in Phoenix, vacationers should come prepared, and pack sunscreen.
The city’s peak tourist season is between December and February (winter) and March through May (spring). These months are the most common time to travel because they coincide with the rainiest and coldest months everywhere else in the country, making the city a perfect choice for many tourists trying to escape the cold.
Being the busiest months, travelers can expect higher prices in hotels, flights, restaurants, and even excursions. Plus, there will be traffic on the roads and long queues, and higher fees to access local activities.
If trying to visit Phoenix on a budget, visit in summer. It gives vacationers an incredible chance of experiencing the city’s extreme temperatures, which can be harsh, but beautiful to experience.
Restaurants and hotels offer the best deals at this time, making it a great option for travelers looking to avoid the hefty prices that come with visiting in winter and spring. Plus, summer is full of beautiful activities, including some of the most interesting sports.
For foodies, fall is an amazing time to explore Phoenix, thanks to the Arizona Restaurant Week that occurs in September. The festival sees more than 100 eateries taking part, offering incredible items on the menu at reasonable prices.
- Best time for good weather, and outdoor adventures: Winter and spring
- Best time for budget travelers: Summer
- Best time for foodies: Fall
What’s The Best Way To Get Around Phoenix?
Renting a car is the best way to get around Phoenix, especially when planning to explore attractions located away from the city and on day trips.
Phoenix consists of some of the most scenic drives that travelers would want to explore. The city is easy to navigate through, and there is plenty of parking.
Another option is using the bus. Operated by Valley Metro, Phoenix’s buses mainly run through the main traffic routes, so it may not be convenient for travelers planning to explore most parts of the city. But it is a perfect option for vacationers on a budget.
- Cost of a bus: $2 per ride, $ for a full-day pass
The Scottsdale Trolley is a great option for tourists getting around the downtown area of Old Town Scottsdale. The Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) offers transportation services in downtown Phoenix and the FLASH (Free Local Area Shuttle) in Tempe provides services in the area around Arizona State University Area.
If planning to explore the incredible nightlife scene of Phoenix, then taxis are a perfect option for getting back to the hotel. The prices can be hefty, but they are an excellent choice if going out. Rideshare services, including Uber and Lyft, are a great alternative to taxis if traveling on a budget.
Biking around Phoenix is great, and while travelers can’t rely on it to get around the whole city, there are certain areas that it’s well suited for. The Roosevelt Row Arts District is of the top places to explore on a bike.
- Cost of renting a bike: $7 per hour
Best Neighborhoods In Phoenix For Tourists
Downtown Phoenix: Best Option For First-Timers
Downtown Phoenix gives incredible access to some of the best sights in the city, several, reliable transportation options, restaurants, and a perfect nightlife experience.
There are plenty of choices for accommodation. Some of the best places to visit downtown Phoenix include the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center, and the Arizona Capitol Museum.
Old Town Scottsdale: Best option For A Romantic Getaway
This neighborhood features several open-air malls, vibrant nightlife, restaurants, and some of the most beautiful boutiques. Vacationers going on romantic getaways can explore the beautiful romantic trails at the famous Desert Botanical Garden, located a short drive away.
Other places to explore are the Scottsdale Civic Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Encanto: Best For Families And Budget Travelers
Encanto offers several pocket-friendly accommodation options for vacationers, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers. It is one of the safest neighborhoods, boasting some of the friendliest locals.
The area has incredibly spectacular surroundings, and visitors get to enjoy downtown views and historical homes.
Paradise Valley: Best For Families
Paradise Valley also gives incredible access to top-rated attractions in the city. The place is full of fun outdoor activities, thanks to the scenic natural surroundings.
Paradise Valley is known to host some of the finest resorts, offering a wide range of pampering services.
Where To Stay In Phoenix: Best Hotels And Resorts
22 Chelsea Place On The Park (Budget Option)
22 Chelsea Place On The Park is a newly renovated studio apartment located in downtown Phoenix on Margaret Hance Park.
Visitors get to enjoy the magnificent park and city views and some of the best attractions, including the Phoenix Theater, Phoenix Art Museum, and Burton Bar Library, located a few steps away.
- Address: Downtown Phoenix, Arizona
- Amenities: City view, kitchen terrace/patio, outdoor dining area, air-conditioned, coffee machine, washing machine, tumble dryer, clothes dryer, and linens.
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North (Mid-Range Option)
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Airport North offers world-class amenities and facilities to its guests, including free shuttle rides to the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
From the hotel, vacationers have access to the Phoenix light rail system, Arizona State University, and the downtown area.
- Address: 3838 East Van Buren Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008
- Amenities: Outdoor pool, fitness center, restaurant, bar/lounge, free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker, coffee machine, free parking, free airport shuttle, and business center.
Royal Palms Resort & Spa (Luxury option)
Royal Palms Resort & Spa has a long, fascinating history dating back to 1929. Guests are guaranteed an unforgettable experience at this hotel, thanks to its authentic beauty, quality services, and incredible amenities.
- Address: 5200 East Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018
- Amenities: Outdoor pool, spa & wellness center, fitness center, restaurant, bar/lounge, room service, bicycle rental, free Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee maker.
Where To Have The Best Food In Phoenix
- The Original Breakfast House: This restaurant is a perfect choice for an American breakfast. Some of the items on the menu include bacon & potato omelet, hog heaven, Popeye, and El Paso, mostly starting at $16. The eatery’s pancakes are mostly prepared with lemon, giving them an incredibly delicious taste.
- Cocina Madrigal: Offering an incredible mix of Mexican, Southwestern, and American cuisines, Cocina Madrigal is a perfect lunch option for vacationers. The menu includes Al Pastor and Oaxaca Shrimp. Tropical fish, Achiote Braised Chicken, wild mushroom enchiladas, and more.
- Rusconi’s American Kitchen: Voted as one of the best restaurants around, this restaurant doesn’t disappoint when it comes to an amazing dining experience. Dinner menu items include braised beef short ribs, roasted natural chicken, natural sea scallops, grilled sustainable salmon, and more.
These Are The Best Things You Can Do In Phoenix
Explore The Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, United States
Situated in Papago Park, the Desert Botanical Garden covers 140 acres and is home to several plants from different corners of the planet.
At this garden, vacationers can spot hummingbirds in the special gardens dedicated to attracting them. Spring brings the beautiful plant to life, making it a great time to explore the garden.
Visit The Musical Instrument Museum
Boasting an incredible collection of over 6,800 musical instruments from different parts of the world, The Musical Instrument Museum is one of the top-five best and the only global musical instrument in the world.
Time spent at this well-curated museum will be thrilling, as it allows vacationers to learn about different musical instruments and watch them being played. It offers an unforgettable cultural experience while giving the tourist a great music lesson at the same time.
Have Fun At Taliesin West
There is a fascinating history to catch at Taliesin West, a former winter home of Frank Lloyd, one of the world’s most celebrated architects. The facility is located on the foothills of the McDowell Mountains and is open to tourism.
Now serving as the main headquarters of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, this place is worth exploring, even to vacationers with the slightest interest in architecture.
Explore Arizona’s Amazing Wine Culture
Arizona is home to two large award-winning wine regions and is reachable in less than three hours from the capital. Vacationers can go wine tasting in these two regions and have a taste of the locally crafted drinks.
It is important to eat and drink plenty of water which travelers can do in some of the tasting rooms. Some of the best wineries to explore include LDV Winery, Aridus Vineyards, and Salvatore Vineyards.
While the city has a vast desert landscape, there is more to it than that. With several fun outdoor adventures and cultural, dining, and arts scenes, Phoenix guarantees a beautiful trip for all travelers.
Plus, there are several hotels and resorts covering various budgets that vacationers can choose from. Exploring Arizona’s capital is definitely worth it.
Q: What is the best month to visit Phoenix?
For a perfect blend of good weather and incredible outdoor opportunities, visit in winter or spring. This is typically between March and May, and from December to February. During these times, the temperature is warm enough, and the bloom in the city’s adorable desert landscape creates a spectacular sight. Since sunny days are always there in Phoenix, vacationers should come prepared, and pack sunscreen.
Q: Is Phoenix worth visiting?
While the city has a vast desert landscape, there is more to its than that. With several fun outdoor adventures and cultural, dining, and arts scenes, Phoenix guarantees a beautiful trip for all travelers. Plus, there are several hotels and resorts covering various budgets that vacationers can choose from. Exploring Arizona’s capital is definitely worth it.
Q: Is there anything fun to do in Phoenix?
Phoenix’s top tourist attractions guarantee lots of fun and unforgettable moments that travelers will cherish forever. They include the Desert Botanical Garden, which covers 140 acres and is home to several plants from different corners of the planet; The Musical Instrument Museum, one of the top-five best and the only global musical instrument in the world; Taliesin West, a former winter home of Frank Lloyd, one of the world’s most celebrated architects.
Q: What is Phoenix most known for?
Phoenix is Arizona’s Capital and the fifth-largest city in the United States. The city is known for its incredible desert beauty, year-round sun, and some of the best hotels and resorts in the state. Vacationers planning a visit to Phoenix will enjoy endless outdoor activities, world-class cultural attractions, and historical sites.