Phoenix, AZ

When is the best time to visit Greater Phoenix? That’s a tough question. Our near-perpetual sunny weather and broad spectrum of cultural and recreational activities makes Phoenix the epitome of a year-round vacation destination. The choice is really up to you, and these suggested seasonal itineraries can help you make it.

For First Timers

• Western Destinations
• Musical Instrument Museum
• Desert Botanical Garden
• Heard Museum
• Camelback Mountain
• Octane Raceway
• South Mountain Park

For Repeat Visitors

• Phoenix Zoo
• Children’s Museum of Phoenix
• Biltmore Fashion Park, Desert Ridge Marketplace, or the Outlets at Anthem
• Cactus League Spring Training
• Dolly Steamboat
• Montezuma’s Castle, Montezuma’s Well

Explore Papago Park. Introduce yourself to the flora of the Sonoran Desert at Desert Botanical Garden or visit thePhoenix Zoo to see more than 1,300 animals.

Try the pizza at Pizzeria Bianco, one of the most acclaimed pizzerias in the United States. While you wait for a table, have a glass of wine at Bar Bianco next door.

After dinner catch a sporting event at Talking Stick Resort Arena or Chase Field; enjoy a dramatic performance at the Orpheum or Herberger Theater; or take in a concert at Arizona Federal Theatre or Crescent Ballroom.

Head north from Phoenix to discover the marvelous red rocks of Sedona.

You can make the 2-hour road trip yourself or hire a tour guide who can tell you about the desert’s history and geology during the scenic drive.

Get closer to Sedona’s famous red rocks via a hike or guided jeep or helicopter tour.

Take a scenic drive on the Verde Valley Wine Trail, visiting the many wineries and tasting rooms nestled in the red-rock countryside and lush canyons surrounding the towns of Cottonwood, Jerome, Clarkdale and Cornville.

Stay overnight at one of the many hotels or resorts in Sedona.

Continue driving to northern Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

You can also reach the South Rim by traveling on the Grand Canyon Railway from the town of Williams. (The train ride takes about five hours, and you can stay overnight stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.)See the Grand Canyon from above via a scenic helicopter tour.

Start the day by hiking the steep, 2.4-mile trail from Echo Canyon to the top of Camelback Mountain.

Have lunch, shop for souvenirs and browse Western art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale.

Add a dose of modern art to your afternoon at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you choose to stay at one of Greater Phoenix’s many resorts, take time to soak in the sun at the pool or indulge yourself with an indigenous spa treatment.

Go shopping at Biltmore Fashion Park, Desert Ridge Marketplace, or the Outlets at Anthem.

Experience a Sonoran Desert sunset. Dine on the patio of historic El Chorro Lodge (try the sticky buns), or settle into a cliff-side couch at the Sanctuary resort’s Edge Bar. From both perches you can watch the sun set against the mountain you hiked in the morning.

Head to McDowell Mountain Regional Park for a morning of mountain biking, or take a sea-plane tour of the Sonoran Desert, complete with a water landing on one of Greater Phoenix’s many lakes.

Visit to Taliesin West, the former winter home of iconic American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Have a sunset dinner and slice into a dry-aged T-bone steak at Mastro’s Steakhouse, Dominick’s Steakhouse, or the Capital Grille

Begin the day with a round of golf at one of Greater Phoenix’s 200-plus golf courses. You might want to consider playing one of the area’s true desert layouts.

Spend some time shopping at the Outlets at Anthem or the new Tanger Outlets Westgate.

Visit the art galleries, shops and saloons in the cowboy-quaint town of Cave Creek.

Wrap up the night at Buffalo Chip Saloon, Harold’s Corral or El Encanto.

Have a traditional American breakfast in downtown Phoenix at Matt’s Big Breakfast. (The price is reasonable and the food is revered by locals.)

If you’re traveling with kids, let them enjoy the hands-on, interactive exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and the Arizona Science Center. The Science Center also houses a five-story IMAX cinema and a planetarium.

Spend the afternoon at Phoenix Art Museum. Linger at the Western American Art collection and Fashion Design gallery, and chill in the sculpture garden. Or visit Heard Museum, one of the best places to experience the culture and art of the Native Americans of the Southwest.