Phoenix

 

Phoenix’s mild winter and hot summers provide the ideal tourist environment all year long. Due its proximity and closeness to the Grand Canyon, most tourists will either travel through Phoenix via automobile or stop in Phoenix’s airport. Phoenix is a great place to start or finish the perfect Southwest vacation.

Phoenix is a clean and family-oriented city. Like many large cities, Phoenix has its share of museums. Many of the museums are unique to the area and offer a great deal of attractions that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. One of the most interesting museums is the Heard Museum which features Native American arts, crafts, and culture. The Desert Botanical Garden is also an interesting place and worth a visit. The Phoenix Zoo is one of the top-rated zoos in the nation.

One of the best ways to see the city of Phoenix is by taking a hot air balloon. If you are not fond of air travel, off road vehicle and horseback custom tours through the desert are the next best thing.

Some other popular ways to pass your time while in Phoenix are to take in a game at one of Phoenix’s several professional sports teams—the Arizona Diamondbacks (baseball), the Phoenix Suns (basketball), or the Arizona Cardinals (football)—or many college teams. If sports are not your passion, Phoenix also boasts excellent shopping districts and malls as well as top notch restaurants. After dark, Phoenix offers plenty of entertainment options to the young and young-at-heart with their thriving nightlife.

Most people visit the Phoenix-area and Arizona to experience the outdoors life, which Phoenix has a lot to offer. Hiking, jogging, and biking trails can be found throughout the city. Some notable hiking paths include Tom’s Thumb, a 3.7 mile trail that ends with an awe inspiring view of Phoenix and Four Peaks. The Wind Cave Trail is an excellent choice for families of all ages because of its short, easy walking distance and plentiful places to stop and have a picnic. For the nature enthusiast, the Pinnacle Peak trail is one of the top choices because of its moderately difficult hiking terrain, views of cactus-laden scenery, and opportunity to see Arizona wildlife (such as bobcats and snakes) in their habitat.

Our favorite walk:

Sunrise Trail, a 4.4 mile hike up the McDowell Mountains

Why we love it:

1,300 foot climb can be tough in some areas, but the view of the city combined with the simultaneous feeling of seclusion is unsurpassed.

Tip:

The hike is moderately difficult and some of the terrain is pretty rough, so bring a good pair of walking shoes.