Top things to see and do in Phoenix, Arizona

This is a list (and video) of my favorite things to see and do in Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix is a massive metropolis that is surrounded by other large cities, such as Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa and many others. This list and video is just going to focus on things to see and do in Phoenix.

ARIZONA FALLS – A MUST-SEE ROADSIDE ATTRACTION IN PHOENIX

Arizona Falls is one of the lesser known attractions in Phoenix. Aeiral photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

Arizona Falls is a remarkable roadside attraction stationed over the Central Arizona Canal system. This artistic architectural structure diverts canal water into a series of waterfalls. The beautiful design of Arizona Falls celebrates water and power and its role in creating an oasis in the desert, while also playing homage to the Valley’s history with poetic sounds of falling water.

This public space is where walkers, joggers and bicyclists can sit and enjoy the cooling effects of the waterfalls as the meandering canal snakes through the Valley of the Sun delivering the precious resource.

MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) – A TRULY UNIQUE CULTURAL EXPERIENCE AND ONE OF THE TOP THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN PHOENIX

MIM (Musical Instrument Museum). Photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

The MIM brings instruments from around the world to life and provides a truly unique cultural experience. There are over 7,000 instruments on display from around 200 different countries. Most displays are enhanced by state-of-the-art audio and video elements that allow guests to observe and hear the sounds of the instruments being played.

Visitors are are invited to play many instruments in the Experience Gallery. There is also a world class (intimate) performance venue where over 300 events per year can be enjoyed. The MIM is fast becoming one of the top things to see and do in Phoenix.

WESTLY BOLIN MEMORIAL PLAZA IS WHERE HISTORY COMES ALIVE IN PHOENIX

Wesley Bolin Plaza is one of the many things to see in Phoenix. Photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

Located on the eastern side of the Arizona State Capital building, Westly Bolin Memorial Plaza is an urban park and gathering place with memorials, monuments and gardens. There are 30 memorials in total, honoring individuals, organizations and events.

Highlights include the mast and anchor of the USS Arizona; memorials ranging from World War I to Desert Storm; the Arizona 9/11 Memorial; and memorials to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Navajo Codetalkers. Westly Bolin Plaza one of the Phoenix Points of Pride not to be missed.

THE FARM AT SOUTH MOUNTAIN IS AN AGGRITOURISM AND CULINARY VENUE IN SOUTH PHOENIX

The Farm at South Mountain. Photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

The Farm at South Mountain is yet another desert oasis where a 10 acre fertile plot of land has become an agritourism destination with gardens and a pecan orchard. There are three on-site restaurants located in different parts of farm. One is focused on breakfast, another for lunch and one is solely focused on fine-dining for dinner. Much of the ingredients are grown or harvested on-site, making it a true farm-to-table experience. The Farm at South Mountain is also popular for weddings and other events.

HERITAGE SQUARE IS A HISTORIC SITE IN PHOENIX FOR EVENTS, CULTURE AND CUISINE

Heritage Square Rosson House in Phoenix. Photo by MikesRoadTrip.com

Located in the southern part of downtown Phoenix is Heritage Square, a striking reminder of the city’s vibrant Victorian past. This area features the Rosson House Museum, a number of restaurants, including the world famous Pizzeria Bianco, a rose garden, an atrium, as well as and the Arizona Science Center. Heritage Square also hosts a number of annual events and is walking distance to the sport arenas and other popular areas of downtown.

DOWNTOWN PHOENIX HAS BECOME AN URBAN METROPOLIS

Old fire truck in Phoenix by MikesRoadTrip.com

Phoenix mural and art scene is really coming into its own

Speaking of downtown, the transformation over the past decade has been extraordinary. Phoenix is fast becoming known for its hip, urban revitalization, with diverse culture, fantastic art scene and award-winning restaurants. There are also a number of cool historic communities worth pursing. And of course, downtown Phoenix hosts both the MLB Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns NBA team.

ONE OF THE TOP THINGS TO DO IN PHOENIX IS VISTING PAPAGO BUTTES—A WONDERFUL AREA FOR LIGHT HIKING AND PICNICKING

GMC Terrain at Papago Buttes. Photo by: Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com

Just minutes from downtown Phoenix, Papago Park offers exceptional hiking and a wide array of recreational facilities. Comprised primarily of sandstone, the Papago buttes rise and fall throughout the park.  The trails that interlace the area are generally considered easy treks. One of the most popular places in the park is Hole-in-the-rock, which provides great views of downtown Phoenix and is a favorite spot for watching the sunset.

DESERT BOTANICAL GARDEN IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR ATTRACTIONS IN PHOENIX

Desert Botanical Garden is just one of the many things to see and do in Phoenix. Photo by Mike Shubic of MikesRoadTrip.com

Last but not least, in the midst of the Papago Buttes, is the Desert Botanical Garden, one of the most popular attractions in Phoenix. The Desert Botanical Garden showcases the unique life of the Sonoran Desert through the landscape architecture of a highly manicured garden that encompasses over 50,000 plants.

There are a slew of annual events and special exhibitions on display, some that light up the gardens at night. The Southwest is truly a wondrous place and there is no better venue to see the diversity of the desert than at the Desert Botanical Garden.

That’s a look at some of my favorite things to see and do in Phoenix. If you have any questions, or would like to suggest some other things to do in Phoenix, please leave a comment below.

Mike Shubic

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Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.

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