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The Phoenix area is full of cool things to see and do. Here are 50 must-do items to add to your bucket list. We've grouped the list by things to do, sites to see or places to eat. Have time to explore the rest of the state? Check out our top 25 things to do in Arizona, including the Grand Canyon. More than 8, hand-lit luminaria bags, inspired by the Mexican holiday tradition, line the trails of the garden from November's end through December. The Phoenix event features music, carolers, locals Phoenix Az ms and holiday-themed cocktails and spiked hot drinks.
With 1, animals, there's always some swinging and crawling and scurrying at the Phoenix Zoo. But this zoo knows how to throw a party. ZooLights from November through January features more than light sculptures and two different Music in Motion shows. Winter in July beats the heat with real snow, animal feedings of fish-sicles, blood-sicles, fruit-sicles and other ice-cold treats and water play areas. Hike the Valley's Mount Everest at sunrise — Camelback Mountainso named because its shape resembles the animal that typifies desert adaptation. So, like Everest, we caution that this hike is strenuous.
At 2, feet, it's one of the premiere views in Arizona, but it's steep and rocky. For an easier approach, try the Cholla Trail.
It's longer but not quite as steep in some areas. Would thou wish to partake in a giant, greasy turkey leg whilst watching a live jousting tournament? There's no place better than the Arizona Renaissance Festivalwhere 30 acres are transformed from desert to a 16th-century English village filled with costumed nobles and commoners.
Activities and attractions
A dozen entertainment stages showcase music, acrobatics and comedy amid craft shops and booths for smoked turkey legs, crepes and wine. Highway 60, Gold Canyon. Up-high views and down-home food: Take a drive up to Dobbins Point on South Mountain — the largest municipal park in the U. The road is paved, so the only challenge is the twists and turns and steep drop-offs along the way.
You'll blow your calorie limit for the day, but it will be worth it. Play hooky from work and attend a Cactus League spring-training game.
The trick to scoring tickets on the morning you decide to cross out "work" from your to-do list is to be flexible. A little advice: weekday games earlier in March offer the widest selection of seats. And the best seat selection is often for games in the West Valley, where nine teams play at stadiums in Peoria, Surprise, Goodyear and Phoenix, including Maryvale. More than 2, of the world's most expensive and decorated Arabians compete while the barn tours offer fun facts about the breed. Did you know the breed has fewer back vertebrae and bigger brains than other types of horses?
The bleachers are up and ready for the crowds and the playing experience at "The Loudest Hole in Golf"' will make you feel like a bona fide pro. Once the tournament begins, stop by the Bird's Nestalso described as the Mardi Gras of Arizona with as much live music and cleavage. Gawk at the large birds at the Chandler Ostrich Festival in March. The city's namesake, Locals Phoenix Az ms. Chandler, is said to have had a farm of ostriches, whose plumes were used in women's hats in the s.
Now, the festival has music, food, rides and a score of events. But the main attraction is the ostrich races in which handlers race the birdswhich weigh more than pounds, on their backs and chariot-style.
Visit the Soleri Bridge and Plaza during the summer solstice. Rent a kayak from Fort McDowell Adventures for a few hours and float down the Salt River so you can see the cows and wild horses. Just about every possible desert flora and fauna can be viewed along the way.
It's an easy climb to the opening, which offers vista and mountain views.
Note: a near constant wind blows through the hole so opt for hearty hand-held picnic food that won't be blown away. On a clear spring day the easy hike may offer a view of downtown Phoenix about 25 miles east, and you may even glimpse a waterfall after a rain. But the real payoff is Petroglyph Plaza. The collection of ancient Hohokam rock art depicts animals, humans and geometric figures. The sculpture is large and can be climbed on and touched, making it an ideal site for picture taking. This resurrected mining camp got its start in but was abandoned a few years later when the gold ran out.
It was later reborn as one of the last vestiges of the Old West with a mining tunnel, a photo shop and a chance to pan for gold. You can keep any gold slivers you find. Brave the depths of your fears and dare to witness as many as 20, bats journey out to their nighttime feeding.
Desert botanical garden in phoenix
The "bat cave" is on the north bank of the Arizona Canal, several hundred yards west of 40th Street, north of Camelback Road. Position yourself at a specially built deck at that location at dusk. It's OK to touch and feed many of the animals, including giraffes.
We recommend feeding apple slices to the colorful Lory parrots.
Fun bars in phoenix
The military elite go there to learn the stunts of movies like ramming roadblocks and spinning degrees. But you, too, can feel the fast fusion of control and power. Botany and natural history never seemed so cool as a trip to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. William Boyce Thompson created this acre oasis in the s to study desert plants. It now features several gardens, including herb, cactus, rose and a touch-and-smell one for kids.
Watch for such flying spectacles as butterflies, hummingbirds and turkey vultures. Book a twilight dinner cruise on the Dolly Steamboat at Canyon Lake.
Best outdoor activities
As you ooh and ahh over the 28 miles of shoreline below red-rock cliffs, the captain shares legends and truths about the Superstition Mountains. About 14 miles from Apache Junction, the lake is more on the outskirts of the Valley. But as desert dwellers, it's best to celebrate any nearby water respite we can.
This acre artists colony was built in by local engineer George Ellis. The enclave is where many a printmaker, architect, artist, blacksmith and musician have worked, are working or stop by to learn new tricks.
Three of the buildings at Cattle Track, so named because cowboys once drove cattle through it, are registered with the National Register of Historic Places. The two-day fair features dancers, and more than artists, many of whom inform about their crafts — jewelry making, painting, pottery and sculpture. Play the theremin at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Or not. But do check it out. With more than 15, instruments from hundreds of cultures, the place is pure fun. Get a glimpse of Phoenix's culture, interact with artists and enjoy some great food on Roosevelt Row. As part of the downtown Phoenix redevelopment, Roosevelt Row has become a polished gem with boutiques, art galleries and restaurants within walking distance.
Visit on First Friday for an even bigger affair with live performances and vendors.
Tour the Wrigley Mansion. William Wrigley Jr. Built inthe grand home that sits atop a knoll in Phoenix is as historic as the Valley gets, with a salute to Mediterranean, California Mission and Spanish architecture. Tour Tovrea Castlethe structure that resembles a wedding cake, seen from the Loop freeway. Built init was later sold to cattle baron E. Tovrea and wife Della.
The kitchen has a bullet hole from when Della was robbed and beaten in She died two months later. Prove mind over matter at the Arizona Science Center 's bed of nails in Phoenix. Visitors can lie down on a Plexiglas platform with tiny holes in it.