The diversity of the desert is staggering from the cool mountain forests to the desert wild flowers flourishing during the super bloom season. Arizona might be known best for its golden desert sunsets and calming mountain trails. Our many visits to Arizona were full of unique experiences and retreat! Which is why I am sharing 13 unique things to do near Phoenix and more!

Having visited during all the different seasons, including the summertime; the nature and adventure are just as exciting and fun! This is why I decided to share some amazing adventures and unique things to do near Phoenix anytime of the year. As well as activities for fun near Scottsdale, Arizona that you can enjoy.

Best times to visit Arizona

Some of the most comfortable times of year to visit Arizona are the autumn and spring seasons. Because you can take advantage of the comfortable temperatures and incredible blue skies. This time of year is perfect for outdoor dining, hiking and biking. The outdoor activities are endless along with all the ways to make memories with your family while experiencing beautiful Arizona.

As you ponder whether or not visit to this gorgeous desert wonderland, you might be asking is there anything cool to do in Phoenix. I have had many fun experiences in southern Arizona during all four seasons. And there is plenty of awesome cool things to do in Phoenix today or any day! Here are some tips on where to find activities and adventure in the Phoenix, Arizona area:

Arizona Water adventures

  • Enjoy dinner cruises and water fun aboard the Dolly Steamboat on Canyon Lake.
  • Add fun water adventures with Arizona’s Salt River Tubing and Recreation, Mesa. This is why these water activities are great during the warmer seasons.
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Salt River recreation

History and Museums to visit near Phoenix

  • Take a trilling train ride on McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park as you steam through narrow gauge railways.
  • The Military museums can be very interesting and engaging for those who are into history. Enjoy the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa. You can enjoy the events coming up now through December!
  • Flying high and spread your wings and take in the largest butterfly pavilion in the United States at the Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale.

Fun Tip: Did you know you can taste cactus? There is a festival every June in Tucson’s Sonoran Desert called Ha:san Bak Saguaro Harvest Festival. You can enjoy treats such as prickly pear cactus candies, jams, jellies, and even margaritas.

How Do I Spend a Day in Phoenix?

You would be surprised to know how much there is to do during the scorching hot dog days of summer here in the desert. When the temperature gauge is just too high for you, then these are excellent options to fill your day while visiting this beautiful state!

Shopping Malls: Indulge in a cool comfortable environment for shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square and Biltmore Fashion Park. Because many of the local malls offer numerous luxury brands as well as fine restaurants, day spas, and movie theaters.

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Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall

Indoor Thrill: Looking for a thrill like no other? Then you will love the indoor skydiving! iFLY is perfect adventure for those days made for indoor adventures.

Hotels and Spas: Several local hotel spas and retreats offer packages and specials for treatments and relaxing days indoors at their establishments.

Outdoor activities near Phoenix Arizona

Arizona has some of the most spectacular hiking opportunities! The variety of peaks to explore is endless and several are located with moderate distances from each other.

Papago Park near Tempe Arizona for the best place to see a sunset.

You will find peaceful serenity while browsing at Papago Park located at 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008. We enjoyed a late afternoon into the sunset time of day and it was spectacular! It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset because its path is pretty easy and the incline is quite gradual.

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Papagos Park sunset

Granite Mountain Scottsdale to enjoy a variety of hiking trails.

Another relaxing and peaceful trail in the area is Granite Mountain. Because it is conveniently located in Scottsdale, this makes for the perfect hiking recreation area. This trail connects into a few other trails that also include some equestrian options as well. So you must pay attention while out hiking here and where you desire to explore. Most of the trail is easy to moderate, and the large boulders and saguaro cacti will constantly distract you!

Is there anything fun to do in Phoenix?
Saguaro Cactus Granite Mountain

Hiking Tip: Did you know Saguaro Cactus grow very slowly? For example, a ten year old plant could be only 1.5 inches in height. However, they can grow to be 40-60 feet tall. Giant plants indeed. You might think these prickly plants are just annoying giant plants filling the desert lands. But actually they play in important role in providing food and shelter to all kinds of wild life species.

Pinnacle Peak trail Arizona hike.

Pinnacle Peak can become quite busy with foot traffic. This is primarily because of its moderate elevation and pretty views of the area. It is especially gorgeous during the wildflower super bloom in the spring because of all the vibrant wild flowers.

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Hiking at Pinnacle Peak Scottsdale Arizona
Read this hiking adventure next: Hiking Camelback Mountain in the Summer!

You cannot visit Arizona without seeing the big daddy of them all. This is why the Grand Canyon is quite an experience for anyone who sees it. This site would probably fill a couple days of your visit to Arizona. Depending upon what your travel goals are, you can explore a couple of trails and learn about this extraordinary phenomenon.

vacation trip to grand canyon
Things to do in Phoenix in November.
Grand Canyon Views

Our Grand Canyon experience entails an amazing hiking adventure down to Havasu Falls. This incredible journey ended up being 21 miles that day leaving us with a few physical scars on our feet. We experienced both scars and an amazing feeling of accomplishment!  The lessons we learned here include the following: train more effectively, be more prepared for this type of hiking trail, and finally do not wear brand new shoes for this type of hike. Because wearing new shoes can cause blisters as they need time with the wear and tear to become comfortable.

Enjoy summer time hiking in Sedona, Arizona.

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Devil’s Bridge, Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is absolutely gorgeous with its unique red rock formations and energy vortex, this is the perfect hiking haven for any outdoor lover. Hiking Devil’s Bridge is one of the must do hikes in Sedona and is amazing.


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Arizona sunsets in Scottsdale

Some of my favorite road trip adventures are to the desert in Arizona. I don’t think you will find prettier red golden sunsets anywhere else. Many people think that only certain times of the year are good to experience Arizona. In my opinion, Arizona is fantastic all year round. You can always find fun and amazing activities to do and places to experience while visiting the great state of Arizona!

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Thank you for being here. Welcome! FitLifeTravel is a lifestyle brand and shares travel inspiration and life's adventures. Sharing ideas for travel excursions and hiking adventures! Helping you adventure better, no matter where you are. Hoping to inspire an active lifestyle through adventure!

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  1. Nice post! Great photos. Gives me some ideas next time I am in the area!

    1. Aww, thank you very much! There is more to do than people think in the desert. We love our time in Arizona! Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Arizona has so much to offer! Great suggestions and beautiful pictures!

    1. We sure do miss our road trips to Arizona. But now we road trip around Florida! Lol! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

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