Strum Along At The Musical Instrument Museum
A treat for the ears, the world-class Musical Instrument Museum houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of musical instruments from around the globe.
Its been called one of the greatest museums in America by Oprah Winfrey herself and is home to everything from rare guitars to African drums and harpsichords!
With interactive exhibitions, kids can also learn about how music works and inspire them to be the next Beyonce or Eric Clapton.
Postinos Wine Bar Highland
Continuing to expand their locations, Postinos Highland is the newest jewel in the crown. Housed inside a restored midcentury modern bank, Postinos Wine Bar is the perfect place to sip and savor. Famous for their luscious bruschetta, go with the Brie, Apple and Fig Spread, Ricotta, Dates and Pistachio, Artichoke Spread and Smoked Salmon and Pesto. Everything was perfect-o! For a light lunch, go with the Raspberry Chicken Salad sandwich. Pair your meal with one of Wine Merchant Brents picks for wine or beer and dig in!
Feel The Heat At The Hall Of Flame Fire Museum
It may be hot outside, but itll be scorching at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum!
As the largest firefighting museum in the world, this beloved attraction dives into the history of our first responders as well as commemorates those whove fallen in the line of duty.
The main attraction, however, is the collection of unique fire trucks, some of which date back to the 1700s.
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Catch The Phoenix Coyotes At Gila River Arena
Arizona may be hot, but its not too hot to enjoy some good old hockey !
When Gila River Arena is packed to the rafters, the roar can be deafening. Combine that electric atmosphere with great seats, classic spectator food and the chance for a VIP experience in the BMW Lounge, then its a clear winner for any sports fanatic.
Compass Arizona Grill At The Hyatt Regency
Dine atop the Compass Arizona Grill at the Hyatt Regency. Perched like a flying saucer on the 24th floor of the hotel, the revolving restaurant opened in 1976 and is the only Arizona restaurant of its kind. Reserve a window seat 30 minutes before sundown to watch the sun glint off Phoenix landmarks.
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The Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden
The Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden is a Certified Wildlife Habitat of the National Wildlife Federation.
Located at Chaparral Park, its one of the citys most unique things to do.
With a 5.5-acre expanse to its name, it is home to more than 200 different species of flora, with more than 7,000 individual plants, all fed and kept healthy by an underwater reservoir.
The Xeriscape Garden was set up in order to serve as a preservation location for species of plants both local and near to the city.
The garden provides educational resources to visitors, with information about sustainable landscaping, plant species, reducing the use of water, desert landscape care, and the protection of local fauna.
Its fairly easy to find your way through the Xeriscape Garden.
Simply follow the interactive plant guide or the clear, direct signs situated throughout the grounds.
With desert trees, succulents, cacti, and more, its a true sight for sore eyes.
Shady spots allow you to take a break from the heat of the desert while kids get to run around and burn off some energy!
Address: 8111 E McDonald Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, United States
Although Sedona is about 121 miles from the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden, you definitely wont regret checking it out! Here are some of the best things to do in Sedona!
Feed The Giraffes At The Phoenix Zoo
A favorite for kids and adults alike, the Phoenix Zoo has no shortage of captivating exhibits, with crowds typically drawn to the playful elephants, beautiful tigers and sky-high giraffes.
Besides the typical enclosures on offer at most zoos, here, curious visitors can also sit front row to a monkey show or dip their hand in the stingray-filled touch pools.
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Best Nature Parks In Scottsdale
For nature lovers, we recommend two nature attractions in the Sonora Desert. The first is the McDowell Sonoran Preserve , a protected area in the Sonora Desert with saguaro cactus and organ pipes. Here youll find 290 miles of trails ideal for hiking, climbing, biking, and mini-jeep tours. One of the most famous trails is Toms Thumb Trail, a moderately difficult 6.5-mile route among rocks, wildflowers, and hawks nests. Its name thumb comes from a similarly shaped rock that reaches 1352 ft.
Pinnacle Peak Park is the other natural wonder I was talking about. Along a scenic 2-mile route you can climb rocks, encounter desert tortoises, coyotes, gray foxes, bobcats, and cougars.
For those who do not enjoy these adventurous activities and dont like climbing cliffs or venturing into the desert, there is a ranch where people can still feel immersed in the FarWest. We recommend MacDonald Ranch , in the Sonora Desert, which offers activities for everyone, such as horseback riding, stagecoach rides, outdoor cooking for groups, and the possibility to see farm animals. In October, the garden is filled with pumpkins ready for Halloween. This is a great place for parties, events, and birthdays.
Arizona State Capitol Museum
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The Arizona State Capitol Museum is yet another good place to head to if youre in Phoenix.
After all, its a tourist spot for not just the city, but the whole state.
The State Capitol building here was built back in 1900 and used for its titular governmental purposes until the year 1974.
Now, the State Capitol Museum has been converted into a historical site that is completely free to enter.
It focuses on documenting and showcasing the rich history of the state, with multiple exhibits across an impressive 4 floors.
Some of the most loved exhibits in the museum are the very fun Arizona flag made from a whopping 113,998 pieces of Lego, specifically chosen in that number to represent the number of miles across the state.
There is also the amazing Arizona Takes Shape showcase, which exhibits the development of this state, from its presence as a mere territory to what it is currently.
Other spots to stop by near to these exhibits are the Wesley Bolin Plaza memorial monument as well as the monument for Capitol Mall.
The USS Arizona exhibit provides the history of its life at Pearl Harbor, and the Merci Train shows off all the gifts from France following the assistance granted to them for rebuilding purposes post-World War 2.
Address: 1700 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85007, United States
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Get Educated At The Arizona Museum Of Natural History
The Arizona Museum of Natural History, located on the grounds of Tempe Town Lake, is highly interactive and enjoyable for kids and adults of all ages!
The landmark museum features a wide variety of exhibits chronicling the wildlife, artifacts and migration patterns found in the Grand Canyon State.
Explore the native cultures of Western North America, learn about Arizonas natural history, dig around like a Paleontologist and more!
Go True North At Western Spirit: Scottsdales Museum Of The West
The spirit of the American West is alive and well at the nations best Western museum and Smithsonian affiliate. Explore the outstanding art exhibits, rare Old West artifacts and movie posters that bring Western heritage to life. Check out the collection of saddles and wonder about the adventures the riders had seen. Youll get a feel for the culture of cowboys and Native Americans who settled this country. Walking distance of Scottsdales numerous art galleries and restaurants.
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Fried: French Fry And Music Festival
Is there anything better than an entire festival dedicated to french fries? Americas favorite side dish is being celebrated at FRIED: French Fry and Music Festival. Guests will flock to downtown Phoenix for music, art and French Fry-focused dishes from more than 20 chefs. Each one is just $2 or $3. Admission is $10.
Watch Nascar At The Phoenix International Raceway
If youre a fan of fast cars and even faster speeds, get your adrenaline pumping at the Phoenix International Raceway! The racetrack is home to NASCAR events all year round.
To really feel like an insider on race day, book in advance for their VIP experience which includes paddock tours, pit lane access, and a gourmet lunch with racing legends like Rusty Wallace and Bobby Labonte.
If thats not enough excitement already, there are also go-karts and hot lap experiences available for those who want to get behind the wheel.
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Dine At Scottsdales Best Mexican Restaurant
Under the direction of Chef Richard Sandoval, La Hacienda at the Princess serves the best Mexican cuisine in Scottsdale. Look for innovative flavors featuring seasonal, indigenous ingredients. Sandovals philosophy embraces the concept of Old Ways, New Hands, sharing old classics in exciting new ways. Emphasis is on tableside preparation to delight your senses, starting with guacamole. Local favorites include grilled skirt steak served with cactus pico, fajitas and barbecued seabass or short ribs. End with their iconic flaming coffee, served tableside, with tequila, coffee, cream, cinnamon in an unforgettable presentation.
Chocolate Tour Of Scottsdale
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Looking for stuff to do to sate your sweet tooth?
Youll love the Chocolate Tour of Scottsdale!
This guided walking tour is one of this Arizona citys most exciting activities, especially if you cant resist a treat or two.
On this tour, youll be brought across the main chocolate attractions in the downtown portion of the city.
Six different chocolatiers and bakeries are a part of the tour, each one offering delicatessen chocolates that are sure to wow your tastebuds.
Cupcakes, truffles, ice cream, hot chocolates, and more are all awaiting your consumption, and if you cant finish them, you can use the provided bag to bring them along with you.
Its not just all eating on the Chocolate Tour theres some education, too!
Youll get to learn a little bit about how each item is made when you meet the owners and makers behind these tasty treats.
Address: 7051 E 5th Ave J, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States
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Desert Botanical Gardens Phoenix
The Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens are a lovely place to spend the morning before the Phoenix sun gets too hot. The gardens help save endangered species and preserve the native flora of Arizona. Not only do they have local cacti, they also have species from all over the world in their gardens. They also have featured art exhibits scattered throughout the gardens. When we visited, they had a exhibit featuring his signature ceramic heads and bears.
Fly High On A Biplane Adventure
Whether youre an aviation buff or just looking for a solo adventure, a biplane tour promises an exhilarating time!
Depending on your appetite for thrills, the pilots can deliver calm and gentle rides that offer wonderful views below.
They can also shake things up a bit with some low-key aerial aerobatics! Either way, these open-air flights offer something for everyone .
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Best Things To Do In Scottsdale Arizona
In addition to excellent spas and golf resorts, Scottsdale is famous for its beautiful desert scenery, art galleries, diverse museums, hotels, wedding venues, performing arts and great italian and other restaurants. Stroll through the Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden at Chaparral Park to view over 7,000 plants, visit The Western Spirit: Scottsdales Museum of the West, or take a chocolate tour of the city on your day trip or weekend getaway. Best things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona, with kids include Butterfly Wonderland, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
Soleri Bridge And Plaza In Scottsdale
Visit the Soleri Bridge and Plaza during the summer solstice. Scottsdale Public Art has activities celebrating the day, but the star is the 130-foot-long bridge designed by Italian architect/artist/philosopher Paolo Soleri, which demonstrates solar movement by marking the equinox and summer solstice.
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Navajo Code Talkers Tribute
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It only makes sense for history aficionados sightseeing in Arizona to visit this Native American tribute to the tribal members who were responsible for the United States successful wartime communication.
While both World Wars saw the contributive efforts of many Native American tribal members, the encryption specialists are well known now as the Navajo Code Talkers.
Dedicated to the Code Talkers and their invaluable service, the Navajo Code Talkers Tribute is a giant sculpture of a young boy in traditional grab situated prominently in midtown Phoenix.
In the sculptures hand is a flute a traditional Navajo communication symbol of peace.
Designed and sculpted by Vietnam War veteran Doug Hyde, the sculpture is a quiet reminder of the sacrifices made by Native peoples during the World Wars.
Its certainly worth a stop at Phoenix to see, especially if you wish to understand history a little better.
Address: 22 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85012, United States
Hot Air Balloon Rides
There are plenty of places to hike, bike, or horseback ride, and if you want to try something really unique, you may want to consider a hot air balloon ride. There is nothing quite as breathtaking as a sunrise or sunset ride over this magnificent stretch of desert. There are many tour operators in Scottsdale and it is one of the best ways to really appreciate the magnificent scenery surrounding you. If this is something that you really want to try, we recommend doing it as soon as possible once you arrive. Hot air balloon rides can sadly be postponed due to inclement weather and by trying to go early, you give yourself a few more opportunities in case the weather doesnt cooperate with you.
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Wrigley Mansion In Phoenix
Tour the Wrigley Mansion. William Wrigley Jr., known for his chewing gum and the Chicago Cubs, bought the Arizona Biltmore hotel in the ’20s and had the nearby mansion built as a 50th-anniversary gift for his wife. Built in 1932, the grand home that sits atop a knoll in Phoenix is as historic as the Valley gets, with a salute to Mediterranean, California Mission and Spanish architecture.
Her Secret Is Patience
The beautiful work of art known as Her Secret Is Patience is among the best public sculptures youll find in Phoenix, Arizona.
Its name is taken from a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote which you may have heard before: Adopt the pace of nature her secret is patience.
The installation is shown off in the Phoenix Civic Space Park and was created by Janet Echelman.
It is an aerial artwork that reaches an imposing 145 feet in height, and even more shockingly, its suspended, so it exists 100 feet in the air away from land.
In the day, the structure moves, casting shadows in shapes.
At night, it is brightly lit, and its colors rotate seasonally.
What, exactly, is it made of? And how was it made?
Well, the cumulative result is thanks to a big team of planners, fabricators, engineers, lighting designers, and architects, working together with colored lights, galvanized steel, and polyester twine netting to shape this huge work of art.
Address: 424 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States
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Japanese Friendship Garden Of Phoenix
Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix
For those asking what to see while visiting Arizona, you might want to consider this tea garden.
This 3.5-acre large tea garden is a Japanese-themed sea of tranquility in the otherwise busy city of Phoenix.
As the namesake implies, the Japanese Friendship Garden was established in 1987 to connect Phoenix with Himeji, its sister city.
Visitors to this calm oasis will find it filled with lush plants and koi fish decorating its handcrafted landscape all designed by the Himeji architects.
If youre looking for a genuine Japanese tea ceremony, this is also the place to go!
In addition to tea ceremonies, you can also check out the various tai chi and flower arrangement classes arranged by the garden, alongside craft workshops and summer jazz nights.
There are also plenty of other events that feature various Japanese dancers, artists, and food, giving visitors a chance to experience Japanese culture!
Address: 1125 N 3rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003, United States
Arizona Biltmore In Phoenix
Splurge with an overnight stay at the Arizona Biltmore. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright consulted on the design of the hotel, which opened in 1929. The Ocatilla wing features upgrades of everything from bed linens, bathroom shampoo and French press coffeemakers. It has hosted many a U.S. president and countless Hollywood royalty.
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Hot Air Balloon Ride In Phoenix
After being bit by the hot air balloon bug at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta last year, I was excited to learn that you can do hot air balloon rides in Phoenix. Rainbow Ryders offers group and private hot air balloon rides in their signature rainbow-colored balloons. Its an early morning start time, but totally worth it to see sunrise over the desert while gently floating in a hot air balloon.