Phoenix Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Phoenix
Arizona’s Urban Heart, Phoenix, has a lot of cool stuff to offer. It might be right in the middle of the desert, but that’s all part of the fun, right? With amazing scenery surrounding the city, loads of art, great shopping and a lively gay scene, it’s a city not to be missed! Start here with my basic Phoenix travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Phoenix travel blogs.
When to Visit
Weather in Phoenix is going to be hot hot hot hot in the summer. That heat can be a major deterrent in the warmer months, but that’s also when you’ll get great deals on the hotels. You’ll just have to do most of your sightseeing and activities early in the morning or in the late afternoons—and drink lots of water. Phoenix and its greater area (including the increasingly cool Scottsdale) are popular year-round with business travelers, but there are great things for leisure activities, too. Just make sure you check winter and summer closings due to the weather (either way it can happen).
Top Things To Do
Go out in the desert – It’s pretty much *the* thing to do in the area. Lots of locals plan early morning hikes or cycling trips to get in that bit of nature. Use all that energy in the early morning (and we’re talking *very* early) and then spend your afternoon lazy by the pool. Arizona Outback Adventures (AOA) run day tours of hiking, mountain biking, stand up paddle boarding and kayaking in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area. For an easier visit to the desert, check out the Desert Botanical Gardens—still all the same wildlife and nature but conveniently all located in an easy-to-walk trail.
Visit Taliesin West – One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic buildings, the Taliesin West complex houses an architecture school still today but also has a small museum and gift shop perfect for those fans of his midcentury style. Tours run for 90-minutes.
Check out the Musical Instrument Museum – It’s Phoenix’s most unique museum and attraction – a massive collection of musical instruments from around the world. The Musical Instrument Museum has a cool audio guide which lets you experience the sounds of the instruments while you travel around the world and through time.
Phoenix is pretty spread out, so taking a tour could save you time and get you in to some areas of the city you might otherwise overlook, so it’s definitely worth you time to consider one. Take a look at this selection of Phoenix tours.
LGBT – Gay Phoenix Travel Guide
Phoenix has a lively gay scene with a variety of nightlife on offer for gay men and even a lesbian club and bar! These are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Phoenix.
Karamba Nightclub – One of the few late-night club spots in town, it’s in an area that countless people told me wasn’t quite as safe, but I didn’t feel out of place. It’s clearly a latin bar and it skews very young and with a lot of twinks bopping along to pop music, but that’s not a bad thing!
Cash Nightclub – The lesbian hangout with a traditional dance floor for square dancing and fun club nights where you’ll find a lot of women and the odd queer boy.
BS West – It’s technically located in Scottsdale (in the downtown area) but it’s also one of the region’s best gay bars and clubs. Expect go-go dancers, fun club/music nights, pop music videos playing on the TVs and more.
Read more about my gay weekend in Phoenix here.
Phoenix Hotel Deals
Phoenix has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains as well as some cool resorts. They’ll likely get full when there’s a conference or special event in town, so definitely consider booking in advance. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
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