Things to do in Phoenix-Scottsdale

Top Things to Do in the Phoenix Area

The classics, the must-sees, the intellectual and quirky places found only in the Valley of the Sun.

Things to Do Outdoors Around Phoenix

Explore the desert by hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing and more.

Top Shopping Destinations Around Phoenix and Scottsdale

From upscale malls to outlet destinations, the Valley of the Sun has many locations to shop 'til you drop.

Phoenix for the Guys

Racetracks, golf shops, major league sports games, casinos, breweries and distilleries make the list.

About Phoenix-Scottsdale

Welcome to the Phoenix-Scottsdale metropolitan area. Here you’ll find stunning landscapes of blue skies, gorgeous mountains, towering cacti and palm trees, and expanses of open desert mixed with urban areas—all offering a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure. Phoenix itself is the sixth largest city in the United States (as well as the capital of Arizona), while the term “Metro Phoenix” includes many other cities and towns, such as the City of Scottsdale. Nicknamed “The Valley of the Sun,” “The Valley” refers to the landscape—a large valley surrounded by mountains—and “the Sun” refers to the almost 300 days of sunshine the area sees yearly. Although sunshine is almost always guaranteed, peak visitor times are fall and spring due to the near-perfect temperatures (70s-80s). Winter can sometimes bring rain, while summers typically see 100-plus-degree weather.

The City’s Culture

The area preserves its Southwestern and Native American roots in architecture, Old West-inspired destinations and archaeological sites while still striving to be at the forefront of innovation. Top-notch and diverse culinary experiences, shopping destinations and entertainment options are plentiful; technology startups are flocking to establish roots; and world-renowned golf courses, spas and resorts draw visitors from across the globe. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed—shorts, sundresses and flip-flops are accepted almost everywhere—yet the area is also a fashion hot spot, with two fashion weeks being held annually.

Essential Experiences

Whether you are looking for relaxation or adventure, you’ll find it in the Phoenix area. Grab your golf clubs and hit one of the courses, or slather on sunscreen and pack some water and hike one of the local mountains (Camelback, Pinnacle Peak and Piestewa Peak are always good options). Stop by Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, Scottsdale Fashion Square for some shopping, including flagship designer destinations. Sports are big here as well, so make time for an MLB, NHL or NFL game while you’re in town. Browse the foliage at the Desert Botanical Garden, or take the kids to the Phoenix Zoo, Butterfly Wonderland or Arizona Science Center. The Musical Instrument Museum is a nationally known trove of musical exhibits and experiences, while the Heard Museum showcases the American Indian tribes and cultures of the Southwest. Phoenix Art museum is the largest art museum in the Southwest.

Where to Explore

Popular Valley areas include Old Town Scottsdale, rich with shops, restaurants, art galleries and Western influences; North Scottsdale with its sprawling homes and expanses of desert; Cave Creek/Carefree for the small-town and authentic West atmospheres; Biltmore/Arcadia, with Biltmore Fashion Park and Camelback corridor’s main street along Camelback Road; and Downtown Phoenix, with its restaurants, shops, art galleries and performing arts destinations.

Latest Phoenix-Scottsdale travel ideas & articles

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Hundreds of thousands descend upon the Valley to consign, bid or just enjoy the thousands of amazing automobiles showcased.

The Holiday Hot List: Fun Festivities in Metro Phoenix

The events, festivals, ice skating rinks and light displays around town.

Phoenix-Area Gift Ideas For Everyone On Your Holiday List

Gift-giving doesn’t need to be difficult. The perfect presents are right here in the Valley. Holiday shopping? Done.

Challenging Phoenix-Area Hikes With Spectacular Views

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Where to Workout: 10 Places for Fitness Enthusiasts in Phoenix/Scottsdale

From dance to pilates and spin to Krav Maga, there are drop-in classes to try.

Unique Décor: 3 Restaurants To Visit Around Phoenix and Scottsdale

See walls comprised of matchbooks and matchboxes, vintage stereo equipment and cassette tapes.

7 Local Beverage Brands to Try in Phoenix

Cold-pressed juices, coffee, spirits and beer—these local sips have flavor.

The Most Scenic Golf Courses Around Phoenix

Swing through these greens and enjoy the magnificent views.

The Most Unique, Unusual and Over-the-top Foods in Phoenix

Lamb heart, pig ears, rattlesnake and more make for memorable food adventures.

Tour The Town: Fun Ways to See The Phoenix Area

Party bike? Check. Chocolate Tour? Check. Brewery Tour? Check.