Phoenix, Arizona: home to a multitude of amazing restaurants, outdoor adventures, and everything in between! You’ll want to add it to your list of must-visit destinations in the U.S. immediately. Boasting year round sunshine and warm weather, this is a destination you can visit anytime of the year regardless of what you’re interested in. Whether you want to lay low or hit the town, here are five different ways to experience the city best.
If the Outdoors Are Calling You
If your ideal time includes hiking, being active, and spending time on the water (a total possibility in Phoenix, believe it or not!), you’ll feel right at home in this sunny city. Phoenix boasts a number of incredible outdoor activities to partake in, many of which you may not expect to see in the desert. Lake Pleasant, located in Peoria just north of Phoenix, makes for the perfect setting to spend an afternoon, and get away from the desert heat. Visitors can rent pontoons, kayaks, canoes, just to name a few, and spend the day boating on the waters right in the middle of the desert. If you’re lucky, you may even spot some of the local wildlife bathing in the waters! Nearby is the Salt River, a wonderful spot for paddle boarding or tubing. For a guided tour on paddle boards, your best bet is Desert Voyagers.
Once you’ve had your fill of water activities, head to the Desert Botanical Gardens for a closer look at some of the plant life that the region is so well known for. The gardens also host a number of workshops for those looking to learn more. And of course, we couldn’t leave out hiking. If you head to Phoenix during their cooler months, you can also take advantage of the many hiking options around the region. Camelback Mountain, the iconic range that you’ll notice as soon as you fly into the city, is a great place to begin but there are several options in the area.
If You Love a Good Beer
Beer lovers rejoice: Phoenix is home to some truly incredible craft beer options. The most famous of the bunch is Four Peaks Brewery, located just outside of Phoenix in Tempe. The largest brewery in the region, Four Peaks offers daily in-depth tours of their brewery, and their brewing process. Finish off your tour with a beer flight to sample their most popular beer, the Kiltlifter.
Smaller in size but still packing a punch is Mother Bunch, a craft brewery that also serves up excellent food. We love that it’s female-owned, and the high quality beers certainly don’t hurt! Last but not least, we love Cartel Brewery, a small operation that works alongside Cartel Coffee, their caffeine counterpart. Coffee and beer, a match made in heaven.
If You Want to be Pampered
The desert heat can be quick to zap you of your energy, but lucky for you, Phoenix hosts a number of spas that will have you feeling like a new person in no time. If you’re looking for some relaxation and spa time, head to the Alvadora Spa at the Royal Palms Resort. Voted the best spa in Phoenix, you’ll feel like you’ve left the desert, and entered the Mediterranean from the moment you walk in. There are a host of different spa services, and we recommend heading over early to take advantage of the steam room and pool beforehand.
Not far away is the Tocasierra Spa, another option for desert relaxation. Located in the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, this spot is great for groups (especially perfect for a bachelorette party!), and offers everything from nail treatments to body wraps.
If Your Vacation Revolves Around Food
Why deny it? Many of us plan trips solely around where we can eat the best meals possible. Phoenix is quickly rising as a destination for food lovers, and there is no shortage of good eats to experience while you’re here. Barrio Urbana, led by James Beard nominated chef, Silvana Esparza, is at the top of our list. Chef Esparza serves up bold Mexican flavors in a fun, casual environment making it a good spot for dinner and drinks on a Friday.
Wine lovers should head to Postino, a wonderful wine bar and restaurant with a few locations in the region. Share a charcuterie platter and a bottle of wine with a few friends for best results. For a splurge worthy experience, head to T.Cook’s for some of the most incredible, fresh eats you’ll find in the city. Their Mediterranean inspired dishes in a well-designed space make for the perfect evening.
If You Love Sports
Baseball fans! Get ready to fall in love with Phoenix. A hub for baseball and spring training, it’s a key spot for lovers of America’s pastime hoping to get their fix. During the season, be sure to catch an Arizona Diamondbacks game, but if you miss it, there’s always their spring training lineup. Phoenix is host to several teams during spring training (hello, Chicago Cubs!), and the facilities are a fun place to stop by during your trip.