Desert Botanical Garden
The Desert Botanical Garden has one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. It is one of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. At the Desert Botanical Garden you will find 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits, home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world. The Garden is located in Papago Park in Central Phoenix.
Garden admission is free the second Tuesday of every month, from 8 am - 8 pm. https://www.dbg.org
Chase Field and University of Phoenix Stadium
One of the biggest attractions in Phoenix is Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Whether you’re a diehard baseball fan or just want to spend a day with the family, Chase Field has some ideas for you...watch a game, tour the stadium, or get a bite to eat. There’s also a swimming pool for those summer nights when it's too hot to watch the game. Chase Field was the first baseball facility in the world to combine a retractable roof, air conditioning, and a natural turf field. Chase Field's retractable roof can be closed in less than 5 minutes! If you aren't that interested in going to a Diamondbacks game, or if one isn't scheduled when you'll be in town, you can still see the stadium. Just go to lunch or dinner at Friday's Front Row Sports Grill, located in Chase Field overlooking left field and open 363 days a year. Chase Field is located in downtown Phoenix. azchasefield.com
The University of Phoenix Stadium, a multi-purpose facility in Glendale is home to the Arizona Cardinals, NFL football team and the Fiesta Bowl. It is another amazing and unique facility, and, yes, you can take a tour even when it isn't football season. The 63,400 seat stadium is expandable to hold 72,200 seats. Tour prices for adults are $9.00 per person or $7.00 for seniors and military. Children ages 3 and under are free. www.universityofphoenixstadium.com/
Hiking at Camelback Mountain
Hiking Camelback Mountain, so named because its shape resembles the hump and head of a kneeling camel is perfect for a tourist activity in Phoenix, because the hike is quick and is located in the middle of the Phoenix Valley.
Hikers of all levels can get a great workout climbing this mountain, and get a great view of the city when they get to the top. Camelback Mountain has two major trails. Neither one is especially long, but they are considered moderate to difficult hikes. Echo Canyon is the most popular, but strenuous hike (steep and rocky) up to 2,704 feet. Cholla Trail is not as steep, but longer and rockier. www.climbcamelback.com/info.php
Photo opportunity at the “Love” Sculpture on the Scottsdale Mall
This large sculpture is a popular location for pictures and visitors are allowed to touch and climb on it. www.scottsdalepublicart.org/permanent-art/love
Scottsdale Art Walk
There are more than 100 art galleries in Scottsdale. You can enjoy Scottsdale Art Walks every Thursday evening from 7 to 9 pm, year-round (except on Thanksgiving). Each week, the Scottsdale Gallery Association members host special exhibits, many with artist receptions, and join together for an informal come-and-go “open house” throughout the district. These casual and eclectic Thursdays are great time to visit the galleries and learn about featured artists. www.scottsdalegalleries.com/about/scottsdale-artwalk
Rawhide Western Town
At Rawhide you can experience the Old West: gunfights, stunt shows, stagecoach rides, desert train rides, enjoy the petting ranch, bull riding, gold panning, camel rides, see a working blacksmith, shop in western shops, play games, and ride a horse. Admission and parking are free and you can enjoy many of the family-friendly activities at Rawhide by purchasing individual tickets or an unlimited wristband. Another idea is just go to Rawhide for the dinner and music, and leave the kids at home. The town closes for a few weeks during the summer, so check the schedule before visiting. Rawhide is located south of Phoenix, in Chandler. www.rawhide.com/
Japanese Friendship Garden
The Japanese Friendship Garden is a traditional strolling garden. The 3.5-acre park features 1,500 tons of hand-selected rock and more than 50 varieties of plants and a koi pond with more than 300 fish.
The garden is open Tuesday through Sunday, October through May. Adult admission is just $5 per person and children under age 6 are free. Students, military and seniors are $4 per person. www.japanesefriendshipgarden.org
Organ Stop Pizza
Organ Stop Pizza, home of the mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, have come to be known as the biggest and best in the world as attested to by many of the world’s finest theater organists and, more importantly, the hundreds of thousands of patrons who visit each year. www.organstoppizza.com
Hole-in-the-Rock at Papago Park
Have a picnic inside the prehistoric-looking red sandstone of Hole-in-the Rock at Phoenix’s Papago Park. It’s an easy climb to the opening, which offers vista and mountain views. A near constant wind blows through the hole so bring hand-held picnic food that will not be blown away. www.roadsideamerica.com
Goldfield Ghost Town- near Apache Junction
This mining camp got its start in 1892 but was abandoned a few years later when the gold ran out. It was later reborn as a replica of the Old West with a mining tunnel, a photo shop and a chance to pan for gold. Walk down Main Street, explore the many shops and historic buildings, tour the historic Mammoth Gold Mine and visit the Goldfield Museum. Pan for gold then take a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train. You’ll also get to witness an old west gun fight performed by the famous Goldfield Gunfighters! Spend a fun filled day, rich in Wild West history! www.goldfieldghosttown.com