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A complete guide to Phoenix for first-time visitors

Arizona’s capital is a bustling city that offers many things to do and see for its visitors. There’s plenty to do in this vibrant city, whether you’re into sports, the arts, or outdoor activities. And with its warm climate and abundance of hotels, restaurants, and bars, Phoenix is a great place to visit year-round. This guide will give you all information on what to do when you visit for the first time.


The must-see museums include the Heard Museum, which has a lot of items on display that are related to Native American art, the Arizona Science Center, and the Phoenix Art Museum. For those interested in the architecture and history of Phoenix, the City Museum and Heritage Square offer interesting things to learn.

Outdoor Activities

Phoenix has plenty of outdoor activities, thanks to its warm climate and proximity to state parks. Hiking, biking, golfing, and horseback riding are popular activities in the area. And if you’re looking for something a little more unique, you can always go hot air ballooning or skydiving. Mainly hiking is very popular in the area.

One of the best ways to enjoy Phoenix’s natural scenery is by visiting one of the nearby state parks. The most popular park in the area is Grand Canyon National Park, located about four hours north of Phoenix. Other popular state parks include Petrified Forest National Park, Painted Desert National Park, and Lake Powell National Recreation Area.

Suppose you’re not interested in driving that far. In that case, there are still plenty of great outdoor activities to enjoy in Phoenix itself. The city has over 200 miles of bike paths, and there are plenty of golf courses and hiking trails to choose from. You can also go swimming or fishing at one of the many lakes in the area. And for those who want to experience Arizona’s famous desert landscape, there are plenty of opportunities for scenic drives.


Phoenix’s nightlife is diverse and lively, with something for everyone. You can visit the bars in Old Town Scottsdale, walk down Mill Avenue in Tempe, or check out one of the city’s many dance clubs or live music venues. There’s always something going on in Phoenix’s nightlife scene.


Phoenix is home to a variety of restaurants, with something for everyone. You can find casual cafes as well as upscale restaurants. Local favourites include Pizzeria Bianco, Barrio Café, and Chelsea’s Kitchen. There’s always something new to try in Phoenix’s food scene.


Phoenix is home to several professional sports teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks and the  Phoenix Suns. If you’re a college sports fan, catch a game at Sun Devil Stadium, home of the Arizona State University Sun Devils.


There are plenty of hotels in Phoenix. Be it a budget-friendly motel or a luxury resort, the city has many options. For a complete list of hotels in the area, visit the Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau website.


Arizona’s most popular tourist destination, the Grand Canyon. is located about four hours from Phoenix. It is Arizona’s most popular sight and totally worth the drive. But there is more:

Petrified Forest National Park, about a 2-hour drive from Phoenix, is a great place to see the petrified remains of trees that date back millions of years.

It takes about an hour and a half from Phoenix to reach Montezuma Castle National Monument. It is a well-preserved cliff dwelling built by the ancient Sinagua people.

Lake Powell National Recreation Area is located about five hours from Phoenix. If you’re in the mood for some swimming, fishing or boating you should pay a visit here.

Two hours from Phoenix you can find s red rock formations and many hiking trails in Sedona.

When you drive about an hour and a half from Phoenix you will find Jerome welcoming visitors. It is a former mining town turned into a tourist destination.

When to go

Due to its warm climate, Phoenix is a year-round travel destination. However, the summer can be pretty hot, so if you’re not a fan of extreme heat, you may want to visit during the cooler months of the year.

Getting in

Sky Harbor International Airport is located a few miles from downtown and the easiest way to get in if you are not down for hourlong drives on the highways connecting the city.


Phoenix has a warm climate, with average highs ranging from 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit (15-27 degrees Celsius). The summer can be pretty hot, with average highs in the 100s (38+ degrees Celsius). However, the winters are mild, with average highs in the 60s (15 degrees Celsius).

What to pack

No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll need to pack for the heat. Apply enough sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses and you’ll be protected. Wear good shoes, as a lot of walking awaits you. Also, bring light clothing and drink plenty of water to stay cool in the desert heat.

Getting around

Getting around the big city of Phoenix can be difficult without a car. However, there are plenty of public transportation options, including the Valley Metro bus system and the Valley Metro light rail. You can also use ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Phoenix is an excellent destination for a first-time visitor with its abundance of attractions, restaurants, and hotels. Try to check out all the city’s offerings during your stay.

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