Fill Up On Wild West History In Tombstone
All the Western greats can be found in Tombstone! Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday became household names in this town. The rough and tumble O.K. Corral, Bird Cage Theatre, and lots of western paraphernalia are so fun to see and experience!
Check out a western shootout, the court museum, and have lunch at Big Nose Kates Saloon. Plus you cant miss spotting cowboys and criminals with some pretty strange names at Boothill Cemetery.
Distance from Phoenix: 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Head North To Prescott
At just 1.5 hours, Prescott is a popular day destination for Phoenix residents seeking a change of scenery and temperatures. While not as cool weather wise at Flagstaff, the temps in Prescott are still drastically cooler than Phoenix with average summer daily highs in the low-mid 80s. In fact, Prescott is usually rated having one of the top 4 season climates in the US.
And theres lots to do here including a historic downtown that is loaded with individual shops, galleries, historic saloons, and restaurants. Check out Rosas Pizzeria, Cuppers Coffeehouse, and Wild Iris. Other fun day activities include a visit to the Heritage Park zoo, hiking the trails , taking a leisurely bike ride along the Peavine trail, and checking out a local museum. All these activities will keep you busy enough for a full day of fun.
Golf At Tpc In Scottsdale
Play the 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale a few days before the start of the annual Waste Management Phoenix Open that tees off in late January. The bleachers are up and ready for the crowds and the playing experience at “The Loudest Hole in Golf”‘ will make you feel like a bona fide pro. Once the tournament begins, stop by the Bird’s Nest, also described as the Mardi Gras of Arizona with as much live music and cleavage.
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Rosson House In Phoenix
Spook yourself with a candlelit Halloween tour of the Rosson House in downtown Phoenix. Built in 1895, its Gothic features provide the perfect backdrop for stories of unexplained footsteps, turning keys and creepy sensations. If no ghosts are spotted at least you can see the Victorian residence’s antique furnishings, tin ceilings, and parquet floors of oak, walnut and mahogany.
Experience Some California Gold Rush Arizona
Yuma is located in the southwestern corner of Arizona, just a few miles from the California-Arizona state line. Anyone who lives in San Diego or Phoenix knows Yuma as a halfway point between the two cities.
Yuma is a city with an interesting past and was a true wild west town of cowboys, brothels, gambling, and gunfights during the California Gold Rush. Start in historic downtown where youll find Lutes Casino, which is now a restaurant, but where gambling took place from 1912 to 1920. Today they are famous for their funky decor and potato tacos.
Visit Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park during your time in Yuma. It was actually built by its first prisoners and opened in 1876. It is now a museum and free to tour.
The Confluence of the Colorado and Gila Rivers happens in Yuma, which makes for great tubing! If you visit from late spring to early fall, a float down the Colorado River is a must. These are just a few of the things you can do in Yuma. Trust me, its a great day trip in Arizona!
Distance from Phoenix: 3 hours
Contributed by Alexa Meisler of 52 Perfect Days
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Learn About The Native Cultures At The Heard Museum
Just north of Roosevelt Row is the Heard Museum, one of the most important museums in Phoenix. This place is important to many American Indian artists as it contains a myriad of traditional and contemporary pieces of art. Therefore, you can learn a whole lot about the culture of these people just by spending an hour or two in this fascinating museum. You can also grab a snack and buy some great souvenirs here, which only adds to the tourist experience.
Thanksgiving Feast At Hyatt Regency Scottsdale
Gather, indulge and be thankful together. Celebrate your Thanksgiving Day with a full spread of holiday classics and festive additions. Savor delicious bites, take in the live music, have fun with our special programming and soak up the beautiful fall weather. Three dinner options and breakfast are available in addition to the feast.
Price: Breakfast: $24.95++ per person Thanksgiving Buffet: $105++ per Adult, $120++ per Adult with unlimited Bloody Mary Bar and Champagne, $48++ per Child 6 – 12, Complimentary for Children 5 and under.
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
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Arizona State Capitol Museum
Arizona State Capitol Museum
Set among beautiful gardens is the old State Capitol, built in 1900, which was the seat of government until 1974. The imposing state building is now a free museum focusing on the history of Arizona.
The exhibits are spread over four floors, and one of the must-see displays is the unique Arizona flag, made of 113,998 Lego bricks. Each Lego brick represents one mile in the state.
Other notable highlights include the Arizona Takes Shape exhibit, showcasing the state development from when it was a territory through to the present day, along with the USS Arizona exhibit.
For a thought-provoking experience, be sure to check out the Capitol Mall and Wesley Bolin Plaza memorial monuments.
Address: 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona
Have Two Or Three Days In Phoenix
If you have two days in Phoenix or even three days in Phoenix, there are numerous ways you could spend your time. If you dont want to venture out of the general Phoenix metro area, take some of the alternative suggestions listed above to occupy your time.
If youre interested in hiking, there are myriad Phoenix and Scottsdale day hikes that are suitable for many skill levels. Some of the most popular include Pinnacle Peak or Piestewa Peak.
Another great option if you have three days in Phoenix is to go on a day trip. The iconic red rocks of Sedona are only about 2 hours north or you could opt to explore charming Prescott, Payson, or the underrated Tonto Natural Bridge. Alternatively, consider exploring Southern Arizona by driving to Tucson from Phoenix and exploring Saguaro National Park. The options are countless.
If you are interested in golf, Phoenix is one of the countrys premier destinations for it, with an incredibly high concentration of courses. It is also cheaper to go if you are visiting in the summer months, however, you may need to head there well before 6 AM to beat the heat!
The city of Sedona is a great day trip from Phoenix if you have more time!
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Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory
Head to the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory for a night of stargazing.
Discover the night skies through a telescope and with astronomers on hand for free.
The observatory is run entirely by volunteers with full knowledge about the night sky above.
You can even try different telescopes for purchase.
The Observatory is open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights until 9:30 pm.
Visit the infamous hard Rock cafe in Phoenix.
Devour classic American cooking surrounded by a brilliant collection of American music memorabilia.
The iconic chain is not to be missed, and the food will not disappoint.
Choose a 2 or 3 course themed menu for a meal to delight.
The Hard Rock Cafe is open until 11pm Sunday Thursday and 12am Friday and Saturday.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park sits in the middle of two southern California deserts. Just under 4 hours from Phoenix to the southern park entrance, its the perfect national park day trip.
The park is known for its namesake: the Joshua trees. These long-living, prickly trees are cousins of the agave plant. In Joshua Tree National Park, many of the trees are over 150 years old! But youll find more here than just Joshua Trees. The national park is also home to unique desert cacti, enormous boulders, and bucket list rock climbing and hiking.
The best time to visit Joshua Tree National Park is in late fall or early spring. These shoulder months bring cooler temperatures, perfect for outdoor adventures and camping. Upon arrival, youll need to pay a $30 park entry fee at the entrance station or use your national park pass.
One of the best ways to explore Joshua Tree National Park is on a hike. Dont miss popular trails like Hidden Valley, Ryan Mountain, and Barker Dam.
Other must-do activities include sunrise at Cholla Cactus Garden and wandering amongst the Joshua Trees on Park Boulevard. The best way to end your day trip to Joshua Tree is with sunset at Keys View. From here, you can overlook the expansive valley and see Palm Springs in the distance.
Distance from Phoenix: 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Contributed by Julia of Well Planned Journey.
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Wine Bars Cocktail Parlors And Breweries
Phoenix has a growing brewery presence. While I dont drink beer, I have enjoyed the food and atmosphere of these places . I do love Angels Trumpet Ale House, a gastropub with wines and ciders on tap and incredible food. Try their homemade pop tart. Seriously! Bitter & Twisted has an impressive tome of creative cocktails and Postino is a great place for wine.
Arizona Museum Of Natural History
Arizona Museum of Natural History
Theres no denying the amount of archeological history Phoenix is packing, so it only makes sense that one of the best Phoenix attractions in the location is the Arizona Museum of Natural History.
Located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, the museum was founded in 1977 in what was previously Mesa City Hall.
The Arizona Museum of Natural History is famous for its dinosaur exhibits which shouldnt come as a surprise, considering how Phoenix and its surrounding lands are a prime source of archeological discoveries.
Visitors can check out the museums multilevel Dinosaur Mountain, a Mesozoic Era exhibit that features a three-story waterfall!
Children will definitely appreciate being able to see and touch life-sized casts of the dinosaur skeletons, and budding archeologists have a chance to even try their hand at unearthing their own fossils and bones in the museums Paleo Dig Pit!
Also worth checking out are the various exhibits and galleries dedicated to ancient Mesoamerican cultures and history as well.
Address: 53 N Macdonald, Mesa, AZ 85201, United States
Looking for some more fun? Check out some of the coolest things to do in Arizona!
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Get Your Swim On At Saguaro Lake
This manmade reservoir on the Salt River has tons of water-based activities for the whole family. A great place to cool off!
Saguaro Lake is surrounded by beautiful rocks typical for the region and forests of Saguaro. The lake is pretty deep too, with an average depth of 90 feet. There are over 20 miles of shoreline, enough to share when it comes to fishing, boating, kayaking, and swimming.
If you want someone else to do the work for you, there is a narrated tour on Desert Belle Paddleboats. Just like the Dolly Boat tour on Canyon Lake, you have the opportunity to spot eagles and bighorn sheep. You can camp around the lake, but the sites are only accessible by boat . There are shaded picnic areas for enjoying a meal by the lake, but there is also a restaurant in the marina.
Distance from Phoenix: 1 hour.
Gather With Friends At Phoenixs Newest Collective Space
Downtown PhoenixPemberton PHX is part art piece, part dining destination with pop up eateries and bars by Saint Pasta, Abnormal Tap Trailer, Melt Ice Cream, and moremaking it the perfect place for a socially distanced dinner and drinks with friends. Just make sure you allow extra time to explore the colorful, quirky property for your next Gram-worthy photo.
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The Best Of Things To Do In Phoenix
Phoenix is the fifth-largest city in the United States. Its huge! So, there are a tremendous amount of things to see and do and I cant possibly capture them all. I polled my friends for their favorite places and added some of my own as well. Hat tip and tremendous thanks to all of those who provided ideas!
Soak That Body In The Verde River Hot Springs
Nothing better after a day of exploring than soaking those muscles in a mineral hot spring! The Verde River Hot Springs is an excellent place to soak up the sun and relax.
Around 20 miles east of Camp Verde, you will find a natural spring or hot mineral water source that has been preserved since ancient times. Also, you can see ruins left behind from a former resort build in 1884 by miners and American Indians as well as an old bathhouse that is now a historical landmark.
Distance from Phoenix: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
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Thanksgiving Traditional Buffet At The Scottsdale Resort At Mccormick Ranch
Count your blessings with loved ones while enjoying a decadent buffet with a variety of starters including mushroom bisque, deviled eggs, smoked Scottish salmon, seafood ice display, and an assortment of fresh baked pastries & short breads. Move on to classic main dishes such as aged Angus prime rib, butter basted turkey with cranberries and shallot gravy, baked Virginia ham, and pan seared Alaskan salmon. End on a sweet note with traditional desserts like pumpkin, apple, pecan and cherry pies.
Price: Adults $76 | Children 5 to 12 years $30 | 4 and under complimentary
The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
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
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Have Some Very Special Lunch
All this nature has probably made you hungry by now, so its time to take a break for lunch. Head to Phoenix downtown to Taco Guild, a unique restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine. Its unique in that its actually in a small chapel from the late 19th century, so you are guaranteed an unforgettable atmosphere. But if you want some unconventional food and dont mind driving across the Salt River, Rustlers Roost has some great rattlesnake appetizers in store for you. Yes, rattlesnake! Apart from that, though, they offer a wide selection of barbecued meat, so you can skip the snake if thats not your cup of tea.
Goldfield Ghost Town Near Apache Junction
Watch a gunfight at Goldfield Ghost Town near Apache Junction. This resurrected mining camp got its start in 1892 but was abandoned a few years later when the gold ran out. It was later reborn as one of the last vestiges of the Old West with a mining tunnel, a photo shop and a chance to pan for gold. You can keep any gold slivers you find.
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Tips And Tours: How To Make The Most Of Your Visit To Phoenix
- Sightseeing Tour: See the sights in four hours with this Half-Day Phoenix Highlights Tour. This tour will take you to the State Capitol, Old Town Scottsdale, Camelback Mountain, South Mountain Park, and more. The tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, transportation, a guide, and free time to explore on your own.
- Day Trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon: One of the greatest attractions in Arizona and America is just a day trip away from Phoenix. If you haven’t seen the Grand Canyon, taking a tour from Phoenix should be on your to-do list. The Small-Group Deluxe Grand Canyon Day Trip offers the perfect opportunity to see some of the incredible Arizona landscape. This tour includes transportation in a luxury van to the Grand Canyon, including a stop in the picturesque town of Willams along famous Route 66.
- Day Trip to Tombstone: For a glimpse of the Old West, take a Day Trip to Tombstone and San Xavier Mission, where you can see this historic town, including the OK corral, and stop at the beautiful mission at San Xavier de Bac.