75 Things To Do In Phoenix Arizona! What To Know Before You Go

Before you head out on your next trip arizona to Phoenix, be sure to check out these Best Things to do in Phoenix Arizona!

In the mood for a little splash of sunshine??  Or are you just wanting to add some more fun Phoenix things to do to your bucket list?  It’s time to check out this HUGE list of the best Things to do in Phoenix Arizona for Families with Kids, Couples, or Hipster Friends Getaways!

From outrageous eats to epic water parks, and lush desert hikes to leisurely shopping, there’s something FUN for everyone!  Whether you’re heading to Phoenix or Scottsdale on a trip, or live here already and just want to know the best things to do in Phoenix this week, you’ve just hit the jackpot!

I absolutely adore living in arizona Phoenix.  It’s true… I simply can’t get enough of the blue sky, lush desert, and swaying palm trees.

It is so much fun playing tourist in my own town, so I just wanted to share some of my favorite hidden gems and things you don’t want to miss on your next Arizona vacation!

It’s time to plan your Phoenix AZ adventure today, where the sun shines 300+ days a year!  A trip to the sunny, gorgeous Arizona desert is always a good idea!

Load up on fun ideas with this list of the Best Things to do in Phoenix Arizona!

Here’s everything you need to know BEFORE you go…

Best Things to do in Phoenix Arizona


37 Tucson Travel Tips – Best Things to do in Tucson Arizona!

So you’re planning a trip to Phoenix?  To visit on a budget, you’ll need to do a little planning.  My first tip is to start stashing fazladan cash away now for your ‘Arizona Trip Fund’.  Need to increase your travel fund cash stash?  You can make extra money on the side in your free time!  Here’s my favorite trick for ramping up the vacation budget…

Easy Side Hustles to Save Money for Vacation

Where to arizona Stay in Phoenix:

In addition to hotels, be sure to also check out VRBO for lodging on your trip to Phoenix.  They have so many vacation rentals listed by owner.  I’ve personally stayed at multiple VRBO rentals, and loved every one.  Not only were they significantly cheaper than the nearby hotels, they also came with a full kitchen.  One even had in-room laundry!

Now do you want to know my favorite tips and tricks for saving BIG on a VRBO?  These little known hacks will save you SO much money!  Check this out…

How to Slash The Cost of Your Next Trip Using VRBO

How to Get Cheap Flights to Phoenix:

Wondering how to get cheap flights?  My favorite trick is to load up on free mileage points and airline gift cards, then use them to dramatically cut the cost on airfare!  I’ve scored so many free flights this way!  Are you ready to start earning your free airlines miles and gift cards?  Here’s what you need to do…

Best Travel Hacking Credit Cards! How to Get FREE Flights and Hotel Nights

25+ Southwest Airlines Hacks! What To Know Before You Fly

18 American Airlines Flight Hacks Weird Tricks Everyone Should Know

17 Delta Airlines Travel Hacks Savvy Travel Hacking Ideas

All righty now… are you ready to start planning your Arizona vacation?  Let’s get started!

Eat Like the Locals with these Best Restaurants the Tourists Miss…

First, check out where to eat in Phoenix with my top picks and the best hidden gems!  Phoenix özgü some off-the-charts food, and I’ll show you the hottest spots where the locals eat!  You’re going to love the outrageous food you can find in the Phoenix area!  You know… like where to find the Best Crepes made by a local French chef, where to find epic Baked Ziti Pizza made by a local Italian chef, where to find the best Burgers and BBQ, and of course my favorite local spot for Farm-to-Table food…

10 Phoenix AZ Best Restaurants Where to Eat Like a Local

Fill Your Suitcase with Fun Antique Souvenirs!

In the mood for a blissful overdose of vintage charm? With a large population of retirees, shopping for antiques is a top Phoenix thing to do!   I’ve found so many fun treasures at the antique stores here, and like to visit them often for fun new finds!  Here are my favorites…

Top Arizona Antique Stores

Get your Waterslide Thrills at the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor!

If you’ll be visiting in the Summer, you’ll definitely want to spend a day at the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in north Phoenix.  Our family LOVES this park… with fast and wild waterslides and an epic wave pool, it’s such a fun way to spend a hot day! located at: 4243 W Pinnacle arizona Peak Rd, Glendale, AZ

Visit Medieval Times in Scottsdale

Be in the know and plan your visit to Medieval Time with these Inside Medieval Times Tips!

Spend a Day Cooling Off at Lake Pleasant! + See Wild Burros

Will you be visiting when it’s hot?  Then you definitely need to spend a day at Lake Pleasant in north Peoria!  Swimming in the lake is so refreshing, and the mountain views are just gorgeous.  If it’s not hot enough to swim… just grab some food and take it with you to enjoy a picnic at the lake.  As an added bonus, you might just be lucky enough to spot some wild burros wandering around!  I’ve seen them SO many times when visiting the lake… aren’t they the cutest?

If you’ll be traveling from the central Phoenix area, take I-17 North to Carefree Highway.  Travel west for approx. 15 miles to Castle Hot Spring Road, then head north to the Lake Pleasant Regional Park entrance on the right.

See Classic Cars at Scottsdale’s McDonald’s Rock ‘n Roll Car Show Every Saturday!

For a free and really fun car show, go to the McDonald’s Rock n Roll Classic Car Show in Scottsdale every Saturday evening from late afternoon – 8pm.  You’ll love the open-air atmosphere with 50’s music playing over the loudspeaker.  Plus… there are often 250+ cars that show up EACH week!  located at 8800-9199 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale, AZ

Spend a Day at the Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium!

The Best Arizona Zoo is the World Wildlife Zoo in Litchfield Park, just west of Phoenix!  I love how you can get up and close to the animals.  Seriously… it’s unreal!  They even have fun rides that the kids will love! located at: 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ

I also really really loved feeding the Lorikeets and Giraffes at the Wildlife World Zoo!  If you’ve never fed these before, you definitely need to experience this…

This peacock was a “free range” bird at the zoo!  It was so fun to watch it just running around.

Stroll Through the Desert Botanical Garden

Would you like to see more Sonoran Desert Plants… and desert birds up close?  Then you’ll love the Desert Botanical Garden!  It’s a gorgeous 140-acre botanical garden with easy walking trails through a lush desert landscape.  located at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix

We saw this roadrunner right at dusk before leaving.  Roadrunner sightings are rare, and I love any opportunity I can get to see these amazing birds in action!  They run so FAST!

We even spotted the sweetest little desert bunny…

Take an Architecture Tour at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home

If you love architecture, you definitely need to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West Home in north Scottsdale.  My family loved the fun and informative tour! located at: 12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ

Check Out the Views from a Hot Air Balloon!

If you want to enjoy a bucket list adventure, try taking one of the incredible Phoenix hot air ballon rides in the winter!

Cheer on the Cowboys at the Cave Creek Rodeo!

If you’ll be visiting in the Spring, you won’t want to miss the Cave Creek Rodeo!  It’s one of the best in town!  located at: 37201 N 28th St, Cave Creek, AZ

Catch a Spring Training Game in March!

If you love baseball, Phoenix is the place to be every March!  Enjoy some beautiful sunshine and get your baseball fix with some Phoenix area MLB Spring Training Baseball!

Visit the French Market on Saturday Morning

If you’ll be visiting in the Fall, Winter, or Spring… take some time on a Saturday morning to visit Vincent’s French Market on Camelback. located at 3930 East Camelback Road, open from 9am – 1pm, late October – early May  Shop small with local vendors and enjoy made-to-order crepes and omelettes, as well as fresh baked buttery croissants and French desserts.

Visit the Arizona State Capitol:

For something fun and educational, take an afternoon to swing by the Arizona State Capitol Museum located at: 1700 W Washington St., Phoenix, AZ

Visit The USS Arizona arizona Memorial Gardens for FREE

The USS Arizona Memorial Gardens are located on the Salt River Indian Reservation between the Great Wolf Lodge and the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, just off Pima Road.

The 5 acre park is free to visit, and features a piece of the original boathouse from the USS Arizona that sank in Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Take a Tour of Cerrata’s Candy Company

Looking for fun things to in Phoenix with kids?  They’ll love an afternoon spent at Cerrata’s Candy Company! located at: 5345 W Glendale Ave  Don’t you just wish you could take a bit out of this life-size chocolate Santa?

More Things to do in Phoenix – Best Shopping in Phoenix Area:

Best outdoor mall: Desert Ridge Marketplace in north Phoenix.  I love scoring deals at the Marshall’s and Homegood’s using a Free Home Goods Gift Card I’ve earned!

For the best Outlets, shop the Outlets at Anthem in north Phoenix. located at: 4250 W Anthem Way, Phoenix, AZ

For your premium mall fix, you need to visit Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. located at: 7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

Best all around open-air malls? Kierland Commons located at: 15205 N Kierland Blvd Suite 150, Scottsdale, AZ and Scottsdale Quarter located at: 15059 N Scottsdale Rd Ste 205, Scottsdale, AZ Shopping Centers in north Scottsdale.  Be sure to also read my tips for how to score a Free Pottery Barn Gift Card so you can shop for free!

Things to do in Phoenix Arizona – 11 Best Hikes in Phoenix Scottsdale Area:

Arizona truly is a wild beauty.  And a trip to Phoenix is never complete without some time spent hiking through the rugged desert!  Here are a few of my favorite hikes in the area…

Pinnacle Peak Hike in north Scottsdale. 26802 N 102nd Way, Scottsdale, AZ  This moderate out-and-back hike offers smooth trails, lush desert vegetation, a great workout with elevation changes, and sweeping views of Scottsdale.

Tom’s Thumb Trail, in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran arizona Preserve.

Black Canyon Trail north of Phoenix.  I love the 80+ miles of fairly secluded hiking and biking trails here

Peralta Canyon Trail in Arizona’s Superstition Wilderness.  I recommend the Peralta Trail to Freemont Saddle hike.  This gorgeous 5.8 mile out-and-back trail can be a bit rugged at points, but the views at the end are totally worth it!  Take lots of water and pack snacks so you can relax and rest at the top while you take in the view. located at: Peralta Rd, Gold Canyon, AZ

Weever’s Needle from the Peralta Trail, Superstition Wilderness

Camelback Mountain Hike in Phoenix.  Not for the faint of heart, this rigorous hike will have you climbing quickly and hopping boulders all the way up to some of the BEST views in the city!  If you’re an experienced hiker that’s up for a rugged challenge, this is one must-do hike with some serious payoff at the end! located at: 6131 E Cholla Ln, Paradise Valley, AZ

Cave Creek Regional Park Trails north of Phoenix.  You’ll love the trails in this beautiful 2,900+ acre park.  Because there is a small entrance fee, the trails are fairly secluded and the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for an afternoon. located at: 37019 N Lava Ln, Cave Creek, AZ

Piestewa Peak in the Phoenix Mountain Preserves in central Phoenix.

Thunderbird Conservation Park trails in north Glendale.

Hole in the Rock Trail at Papago Park in Phoenix. This short, easy 0.3 mile out-and-back trail offers some great views of the city… and of course the well-loved hole in the rock landmark. located at: 625 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ

Deem Hills Recreation Area trails in north Phoenix. located at: 5050 W Andrea Ln, Phoenix, AZ

White Tank Mountain Regional Park trails in Waddell. located at: 20304 W White Tank Mountain Rd; Waddell, AZ

With the gorgeous rugged landscape, walking trails, and even a short hike to a waterfall in the Spring, the White Tanks are a perfect spot for a morning stroll!

Now… check out even more of the Best Things to do in Phoenix shared by your frugal friends…

Melissa said: “Sedona is beautiful!  The Phoenix Zoo is a lot of fun (we go twice a week), the Science Center is fun, you can take a tour of Chase Field… just call for times, that was pretty interesting. The best philly cheesesteak in AZ is in downtown Scottsdale at Philly Sandwich Company, LOVE that place!  There are plenty of parks that you can rent paddle boats at, Encanto is probably my favorite and you can feed the ducks and geese.”

Jennifer said: “Go to the little western town in Chandler called Rawhide.”

Rawhide pictured above

Morgan said: “Scottsdale is awesome, especially the shopping! : ) Phoenix is a great place!”

Amber said: “Fashion Square for sure, Old Town Scottsdale, and Camelback Trails … I love Phoenix!”

Score a Deal on your Phoenix Car Rental!  There are so many beautiful places to explore around Phoenix… and you’ll need a car to see most of them!  There are a few easy Rental Car Hacks to slash your costs that you’ll want to put to use!  Here are my favorite tricks to save BIG on car rentals…

20 Ways to Save Money on Rental Cars

Claire said: “Go to the store called ‘Last Chance’.  It is a Nordstrom clearance store!”

Krista said: “Hike Camelback, then go for sundaes at the Sugar Bowl!”

Jennifer said: “The Desert Botanical Gardens and the last time I was there they had a festival by Arizona State University, but that was earlier in the year!”

Britani said: “If you’re interested in historical Arizona the Heard Museum is a must.”

Arlene said: “Free Train Museum in Scottsdale and ice cream at the Sugar Bowl.”

Brenda said: “All of the above are great.  Be sure to check out an AZ Diamondback Game.”

Carrie said: “Check out places like Water World, @MIMPhx (the Musical Instrument Museum) and the indoor SeaLife Arizona Aquarium are great! In cooler weather, hiking Camelback Mountain, heading over to the North Pole Experience (holidays only) and the Phoenix Zoo is fun…”

Rosalia said: “Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium, better than Phoenix Zoo and Sea Life Aquarium. Visit Cave Creek town. Must see Sedona & Jerome. If you go to Tucson: Sonoran Desert Museum is a must!”

Anna said: “Best ‘ice cream’ at Nami on 7th ST just north of McDowell!”

Jill said: “Pizzeria Bianco!!!”

Nina said: “You have to eat at Rancho de Tia Rosa! The original one. The decor and food and prices are amazing.”

Lorie said: “If you venture to Mesa/Gilbert you must eat at the Joe’s BBQ, Liberty Market, and Joe’s Farmhouse Grill. (all owned by the same family)”

Tasha said: “Joe’s Farm Grill!!! It’s the best place for burgers!! It was also on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives!!! Sooo yummy!!!”

Wondering where to eat?  Check out this Phoenix AZ Best Restaurants for the best eats around the city!

Danielle said: “Oh how I miss living in AZ! If you make your way out to Mesa you must eat at Sweet Cakes Cafe on Main. My other favorite place to eat is Rosa’s Mexican Grill. If you are over in Glendale, Cerreta’s Candy is a fun stop with a little tour and lots of yummy treats! Can you tell I like food? :)”

Jennifer said: “The Rainforest Cafe in the Arizona Mill’s mall is my absolute favorite!!!”

Michelle said: “Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa, anywhere in Scottsdale, Sedona, Mill Ave in Tempe, by ASU.”

Suzanne said: “Don’t miss eating at In-N-Out Burger — it’s a treat!”

Mindy said: “There are two Hilton’s with awesome waterpark pools. Tru Food in Scottsdale. Look up restaurants the food network have featured.”


How to Get Free Travel Gift Cards for Free Hotel Nights!

Point Hilton Squaw Peak Resort pictured above

Holly said: “We did a Mama/Girls weekend in Scottsdale too! So fun! Hotel Valley Ho was perfect (also love the Westin Kierland). Tortilla Factory has great ambiance and food.  And second and third and fourth Joe’s Farm. Grill! Enjoy!”

Elizabeth said: “Visit Tortilla Flats!”

Shannon said: “Go to Fairytale Brownies… they are the best! Head to Cave Creek, known as the West’s Most Western Town- just a quirky little town, eat at the Horny Toad. While up there drive around and be amazed at the cool houses in that area. Make a stop in Tempe at Macayo’s Depot Cantina… they have the best Red Corn Chicken Taquitos! My parents are in Phoenix, and I always have to stop at my favorite eateries when I visit.  Definitely try to head to Sedona, Prescott, and Jerome if you can.”

Score Free Coffee at Starbucks!  With all the time spent outside in the sun and in the desert… you just might be needing a caffeine fix and a yummy snack!  There are so many Starbucks locations all around Phoenix, so check this out…

Starbucks Money Saving Hacks

Rachel said: “Goldfield Ghost Town is awesome. They have train rides, mine tours, and shops. The Out of Africa and Wildlife World Zoo’s are fun.”

Trina said: “Out of Africa outside of Phoenix but worth the drive. Coupons on website 🙂 Go on feeding day and make sure to see the tiger splash.”

Samantha said: “Visit Jerome. Kinda a hippy town. Lots of fun.”

Brian said: “Papago Park and Sedona are beautiful and Ted’s Hot Dogs are so good.”

Lisa said: “Best things to do in Phoenix Arizona?  I highly recommend Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and school.”

Amilcar said: “Sedona is my fav place, but if you are just in Phoenix, then Camelback Mountain has beautiful views of the city!”

Laura said: “Drive up to Sedona….beautiful place….so many things to do in and around Phoenix & AZ.”

Amy said: “Sedona is beautiful. Also the Superstition Mountains.”

Visit at Christmas Time!

Dreaming of a warm-weather Winter getaway?  Phoenix is your spot!  If you’ve never visited around Christmas time, you need to at least once.  There are SO many fun family activities and twinkling light displays to enjoy when the desert decks its halls… and cactus!

Take a nostalgic train ride and enjoy the Christmas light displays at McCormick-Stillman Ranch in Scottsdale and the Railroad Heritage Preserve in North Phoenix

Check out the over-the-top ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo

Enjoy the festive lights and rides at Christmas at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess,

Go Ice Skating in the desert at Westgate’s Winter Wonderland in Glendale and in Mesa at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink.

Don’t forget to bundle up for a FREE horse-drawn carriage ride at Westgate in Glendale

Get FREE pictures with Santa at Bass Pro Shops in Mesa

Have Breakfast with Santa or take the kids on a Hayride at Schnepff Farms to feed the Reindeer in Queen Creek

Enjoy some holiday shopping at the cute little shops at the Glendale Glitters festival

Check out the Phoestivus Market at the Phoenix Public Market a combination of Seinfeld’s Festivus and a charming holiday German Market

Enjoy the Lighted Boat Parades at Tempe Town Lake and Arrowhead Lakes

Watch the largest tree in Arizona get lit at the Outlets in Anthem tree lighting 80 feet tall and 5,000 ornaments

More Phoenix Money Saving Tips:

Military Discounts for Travel

Free Gas Gift Cards + 9 Ways To Save Big on Road Trips!

How to Travel for Free or Cheap 19 Brilliant Budget Travel Hacks

What To Pack for Phoenix:

Best Baby Travel Gear

Traveling with Baby?  Don’t leave home without these Baby Travel Gear Essentials!  I’ve taken my babies on the long flights so many times and these must-have items will make traveling with Baby so much easier!

19 Carry On Must Haves For Your Next Flight

Be sure to leave extra room in your suitcase to bring home some souvenirs!

Now have FUN on your next vacation… and enjoy these Best Things to do in Phoenix Arizona!

While your visiting Phoenix, I have even more fun Southwest Travel Tips to share with you.  So check out these Frugal Travel Tips for more ideas…

Phoenix AZ Best Restaurants! where to eat

Best Sedona Travel Tips 8 Can’t Miss Spots

44 Grand Canyon Travel Tips You Can’t Afford to Miss!

Zion National Park Travel Tips what to know before you go

35 Tucson Travel Tips – Best Things to do in Tucson Arizona

18 Albuquerque Travel Tips and Santa Fe, New Mexico

38 Best San Diego Travel Tips Best Things To See and Do

34 Los Angeles Travel Tips What You Can’t Afford to Miss

62 Disneyland and Disney World Tips

20 Road Trip Must Haves For Your Next Vacation

34 Ways To Entertain Kids On A Trip

10 Winter Family Vacation Ideas Epic Warm Destinations!

Top 10 Romantic Honeymoon Destinations

14 Ultimate Beach Getaways plan your perfect beach vacation

10 Most Spectacular National Parks in the US

101 Frugal Travel Tips and Best Kept Secrets

So don’t miss out!  Catch Even More Fun Tips from The Frugal Girls…

So… have YOU ever been to Phoenix before?

What are some of your favorite things to do in Phoenix Arizona, places to see, etc?

Leave a comment & share!

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