Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona!
Phoenix is a fascinating place, a vibrant, buzzing, cultural hub lost in the Arizona desert, with over 300 days of sun a year, and some of the best Southwestern and Mexican food you’ll find in the US. An exceedingly laid-back and chill city, there is plenty to see and do here, from the Phoenix Zoo and desert exploration to the best museums and galleries in the state, as well as a lively and exciting social scene. As a worldwide local you can discover lesser-known gems and amazing experiences off the beaten track. This is an insider’s guide to the best attractions of Phoenix.
Arts and Culture in Phoenix
For a desert city, Phoenix really punches above expectations when it comes to its arts and culture. The Heard, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Musical Instruments Museum are the three best museums in the state, and probably the entire Southwest. The Heritage Park is also a fascinating exploration of the city’s Victorian history, and a great place to escape the crowds in the center of town.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Shemer Art Center and Museum is a true local favorite, and one of Phoenix’s most popular cultural centers. It is a wonderful, interactive journey through visual art, with exhibitions, classes, lectures, and workshops covering all manner of creative mediums. Plus, it is set in one of Phoenix’s most historic and charming buildings.
Things to Do in Phoenix for Nature Lovers
The Sonoran desert that surrounds the city of Phoenix is a massive draw for visitors to the city and has an understandably massive impact on life here. The Desert Botanical Garden, is a beautiful showcase for the unexpected natural beauty that exists, in the seemingly arid landscape, while treks and hikes like the Cholla Trail to Camelback Mountain are a real adventure.
Worldwide Local Tip: The Lookout Mountain preserve is a slightly under-the-radar park, and lacks the crowds that can make the more popular trails feel a bit busy. A trek to the summit is a superb opportunity to enjoy the Phoenix weather, spot some wildlife, and see eye-catching cacti in a more peaceful environment.
Eat Like a Local in Phoenix
The dining scene in Phoenix is superb, with some of the best restaurants in the Southwest, and the best Mexican food north of the border. Different Pointe of View serves up a winning combo of exquisite American cuisine, as well as amazing views of the city and surrounding desert. Alternatively, Quiessence offers a genuine farm-to-table experience on an actual working farm. The Barrio Cafe is an award-winning Mexican eatery, with authentic dishes from across Mexico prepared by one of MSNBC’s Top Nine Mexican Chefs!
Worldwide Local Tip: For a truly different and unusual dining experience, Kai is the only five-star Native American restaurant in the US. The food is influenced by the Pima and Maricopa tribes, and the setting is remarkable, inspired by the Gila River community’s heritage and culture.
Have an Amazing Time in Phoenix!
Phoenix is a vibrant, cosmopolitan and cultural oasis in the stark yet beautiful landscape of the Sonoran Desert. It is well known to visitors of Arizona, but as a worldwide local, you’ll find more fulfilling experiences, undiscovered spots to visit, and fascinating things to see!