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Ashley's Top Things to Do in Phoenix

Ashley here 👋 I'm a big trip planner and always have an itinerary of things to do whenever I travel. So naturally, I have a list of go-to things to do when friends or family visit Phoenix. Whether you're local or planning to visit Arizona, check out whatever you can from my top 10 recommendations!

All are great options and listed in no particular order




Touring this hotel is a great opportunity to check out spaces of the hotel that are off-limits to guests while learning about its history. Heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, the mid-century architecture feels both industrial and graphic. One of the most interesting spaces is the hidden bar used during the Prohibition. There's a skylight on the roof where a lookout would signal to people that the cops were coming. On the tour, you'll also see the formal ballroom and learn how it has transitioned over time to suit different needs.



This hike is located in the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, about 45 minutes east of Phoenix. It's physically demanding and takes several hours round trip, but the views are worth it! If you're not looking to spend the day on a mountain there are less difficult trails within the park. On the way to the park, you'll pass an old mining town that's now referred to as a ghost town full of small shops with food and gifts.



If you were to drive approximately 30 minutes north of Flatiron State Park you'd find yourself at Canyon Lake. The only clue you would even be approaching a lake would be the boats hitched to the back of the trucks in front of you. The drive is jaw-dropping for the entire half hour and there's a scenic lookout or two. The lake is the perfect spot for an afternoon lunch but you can also rent a boat for the day. If you have a truck, I highly recommend renting a kayak or paddle boarding and lugging it up so that you can spend the day (there aren't any rentals on the lake).


This was Frank Lloyd Wright's Arizona home. As you'd expect, the architecture is incredible and every design detail was intentionally thought out. The house overlooks the valley and is located in the foothills of the McDowell Mountain range so there aren't any bad views. There is an option to do an audio tour at your own pace so remember to bring headphones!



5. Valentine + Modern Manor 

Valentine is a beautifully designed coffee shop that offers breakfast and unique handcrafted drinks. Modern Manor is a store within the same building so you can peruse their showroom of vintage mid-century furniture with unique silhouettes and upholstery. They also have fun glassware, jewelry, and accessories so I always leave with something!



Here you'll find all the plant life that makes up the Sonoran Desert and then some! I think spring is the perfect time to visit because almost everything adorns a flower. It's also worth noting certain days of the week are free, they occasionally host events, and the garden is showcased in holiday lights during the winter.



Whether you're a foodie or simply appreciate a good taco, this place is a must while in the area. There's a taco for everyone and nothing on their menu will disappoint.



This "town" is a prototype arcology with a unique mission and interesting architecture. In the valley, they're renowned for their uniquely beautiful bells. You can coordinate your tour time to land on a day when they do their bronze pours to see the entire process behind how they're made. Of course, they also have them for sale.





This is a pottery studio and a coffee shop in one- how cool! They offer ceramic classes for beginners including wheel throwing, kitchen utensil-making, and baking dishes (which is what I did). The classes are perfect to attend with a friend or two because they're in a small classroom setting, allowing you to chat and sip coffee while creating. It takes a few weeks to get your masterpiece back but if you aren't local you can ask to have it shipped.




This is offered from October through the end of March/early April as the horses head to Idaho in the hotter months. It's a great way to explore the McDowell Mountain range with the option to wear a cowboy hat, boots, and chaps!



Interested in more? Check out a few of these recs and more in this article by RentCafe

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