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What to do in Phoenix

A sweltering city on the northern edges of the Sonaran Desert, Phoenix is a great city of diversity, art and culture that routinely hits over 100 degrees in the summer months.

In close proximity to the Grand Canyon – one of the most incredible natural formations on earth – the city itself is ideal for exploring as a single traveller, couple or family. And if you don’t care for the heat, you can be reassured by the fact that this city is home to more air conditioning units than perhaps anywhere else on the planet!

However great Phoenix is to visit, the Grand Canyon itself throws a shadow over anything else the city has to offer. Located just a three and a half hour drive away, this 277 mile long, up to 18 mile wide canyon carved by the Colorado River is truly one of the most extraordinary things you will ever see. The simple scale of it has to be seen to be believed. Despite its massive size, activities such as rafting, hiking and running can easily be found, although the sheer spectacle of it all when viewed from the 7,000ft above sea level South Rim is often enough for most.

Phoenix itself was originally settled by Native Americans, and their culture is presented extensively in the city’s museums. In particular the Heard Museum just north of downtown features a full Navajo Hogan settlement, as well as countless other native artefacts amongst its extensive collection and community spaces. To learn more about the native people of Arizona, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park on Washington Avenue is home to numerous ruins and other sites of interest.

The Pheonix Art Museum is also a major attraction for visitors and also locals. Dedicated as a community centre for over half a century, the museum offers a year-round programme of activities and exhibitions as well as a dedicated, interactive space for children called PhxArtKids. If Science is more your thing, the Arizona Science Centre is well worth a visit, as is Phoenix Zoo which is proud to be America’s largest not-for-profit zoo and home to in excess of 1,300 fascinating animal exhibits including a petting zoo.

Whilst it might surprise some in a town that’s not afraid to be slightly rough and ready, Phoenix is home to a bourgeoning art scene. Developing mainly in the last decade or so, this movement is perhaps best expressed in Janet Elchelman’s ground breaking sculpture – ‘Her Secret is Patience’ – a netted design suspended above the Phoenix Civic Centre that makes the desert winds visible to the naked eye.

Guide to Exploring Phoenix

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See all 1,266 Hotels in Phoenix
3 Palms

3 Palms

7707 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale
of 5, from 2,483 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

The 3 Palms is adjacent to the 60-acre El Dorado Park, 2 miles from Old Town Scottsdale, and 4 miles from Arizona State University.

Talking Stick Resort

Talking Stick Resort

9800 E. Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
of 5, from 1,098 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Scottsdale resort is located in the mountains, within 2 mi (3 km) of Butterfly Wonderland and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Scottsdale Fashion Square and Arizona Canal are also within 6 mi (10 km).

La Quinta Inn Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

La Quinta Inn Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

911 S 48th St, Tempe
of 5, from 646 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

This hotel is two miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, three miles from downtown Tempe, four miles from Tempe Diablo Stadium, and nine miles from Phoenix.

Vacation Inn Phoenix

Vacation Inn Phoenix

2420 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix
of 5, from 193 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Encanto, this hotel is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Encanto Park and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Arizona State Capitol. Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Phoenix Airport, AZ

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Phoenix Airport, AZ

4702 E University Dr, Phoenix
of 5, from 266 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in South Mountain, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Tempe Center for the Arts, Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium, and Arizona State University. Sun Devil Stadium is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

Scottsdale Condo Rentals

Scottsdale Condo Rentals

Various Addresses, Paradise Valley
4.0 out of 5.0

These guest house accommodations are located throughout the area in Paradise Valley.

Scottsdale Plaza Resort

Scottsdale Plaza Resort

7200 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale
of 5, from 704 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located 4 miles from Old Town Scottsdale, this resort is a retreat for golfers playing the area's many championship courses; upscale shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square is 3 miles away.

GreenTree Inn & Suites

GreenTree Inn & Suites

4234 S 48th St, Phoenix
of 5, from 534 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in South Mountain, this hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Diablo Stadium and 3 mi (4.9 km) from Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium. Sea Life Aquarium and Arizona Mills Mall are also within 3 mi (5 km).

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