Phoenix Tourist Activities
The city of Phoenix in Arizona has a surprising number of tourist attractions to offer. With a plethora of car hire companies providing affordable car rental and metro rail services also connecting Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport with the city, travelling to and from the various Phoenix tourist attractions is easy and convenient.
The major tourist attractions can all be reached by metro train or bus, but car rental provides much greater freedom, especially for trips to the outskirts of the metropolitan area. For sports fans there are numerous attractions such as the famous Chase Field, the very first baseball facility in the world to introduce a combination of retractable roof, air conditioning and a natural turf field to make the baseball season even more enjoyable, no matter what the weather conditions might be like.
For enthusiasts of nature there are also the Desert Botanical Gardens, which might not be quite so enjoyable to visit during the hottest part of the Arizona summer, but for the rest of the year this Phoenix tourist attraction showcasing some of the world’s finest collection of desert plants is pretty spectacular. There are some 50 acres of amazing and rare specimens of 139 desert plants, some are endangered and can hardly be found outside botanical gardens any more. These gardens are part of only 44 accredited botanical gardens of the American Association of Museums’ network and are located in Papago Park in the centre of Phoenix.
For visitors with car hire it will be no difficulty to visit one of the top Phoenix tourist attractions, the Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain preserve. Piestewa Peak towers some 2,608 feet above sea level and offers visitors some spectacular views from the 1,900 feet trails leading up to the summit. Every week some 4,000 to 10,000 hikers climb up to the summit on the two major trails, with Echo Canyon being the steeper trail of the two.
Even more nature can be enjoyed at one of Phoenix other top tourist attractions, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, where some 3,200 different desert plants line a 1.5 mile trail. More than 250 species of birds live here and bird watchers from around the world love to come here during spring, when wildflowers are in bloom and many more birds can be observed.
On rainy days – which are fairly rare – or days which are simply too hot to spend outdoors, Sea Life Arizona is a perfect place to take the kids. Located in a shopping mall in Tempe, the sea life aquarium showcases local species from Arizona’s lakes and rivers. It is possible to get there by public transport, but for visitors with a hire car, there are plenty of parking spaces available outside the shopping mall.
No visit to Arizona would be complete without a tour through at least one Western Town. Among the top Phoenix tourist attractions ranks the Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse, where young and older children can find out about the life of real cowboys and girls. There are gunfights and stunt shows, desert train rides and stagecoach adventures, bull riding and gold panning, camel rides and little ones will love the petting ranch as well as seeing a real working blacksmith shoe a horse. Throughout the year various events are being staged, too, so it’s never the same year in, year out.
Phoenix Zoo also ranks highly among the Phoenix tourists attractions, not just with child visitors. There are some 1,000 animals on display, which are best observed early in the day. During the hot midday sun, the animals tend to head for shadier spots out of sight. Conservation is the main goal of this zoo and rare animals like the Mexican wolf, the black-footed ferret, thick billed parrot, Sumatran tiger, Borneo orang-utan and Asian elephant have found protection and shelter at this zoo.
Naturally, Phoenix also has all manner of museums and art galleries, the Heard and Phoenix Art Museum being two of the most popular among them. The Arizona Science Centre at 600 E Washington Street is also a favourite venue for older children and young adults, with an IMAX theatre, planetarium, changing exhibitions and interactive displays offering a varied entertainment for all ages.
The Drive Apache Trail on the other hand is for the slightly less culture and more adventure-hungry visitor. The trail starts some 25 miles out of central Phoenix and covers the 46 milers between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Lake. The hair-raising drive will take up most of the day, since there are so many Phoenix tourist attractions cramped into the 46 mile journey: the Goldfield Ghost Town, Lost Dutchman State Park and Theodore Roosevelt Dam Site being just a few of them.