From Scottsdale to Gilbert and Tempe to Glendale, find things to do in the Phoenix area, including restaurants, tours, nightlife, attractions and shopping.
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.
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.