From renowned Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses to luxurious destination spas, enticing museums and colorful botanical gardens, there’s plenty to do and see in Arizona’s capital city of Phoenix while the sun shines. And it shines constantly.
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Phoenix & Scottsdale
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Phoenix receives more sunshine than any major city on earth, around 3,872 hours annually. In fact, the metropolitan area is aptly referred to as The Valley of the Sun.
When it’s time to cool off, the Phoenix Art Museum offers a plethora of masterpieces from such artists as Diego Rivera and Georgia O'Keeffe, with her expressive southwest desert landscapes. The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park provide a peek into an ancient city; while 334 days of sun reflect off Phoenix’s skyscrapers amid this thriving modern metropolis.
The subtropical desert climate allows plenty of time for fun in the sun. Stretching 120,000 square miles across southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, northern Baja California and Sonora, Mexico, the Sonoran Desert is also the warmest in North American, perfect for morning and early evening hikes and recreation.
What To Do
Rejuvenate body and soul at a local spa. Walk through the towering cactus and colorful desert flowers of the remarkable 50-acre Desert Botanical Garden. Explore the culture and crafts of 22 regional American Indian tribes at the Heard Museum.
Play a round or two of golf at one of the city’s more than 200 courses. Feel the urban beat of the city at the galleries along Roosevelt Row. Discover the contemporary and renowned works of arts at the Southwest’s largest art museum, the Phoenix Art Museum.
Take the kids for a walk on the wild side at the Phoenix Zoo or the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, where they can experience more than 300 exhibits in the interactive Art Studio, Book Loft, Texture Cafe and Noodle Forest. For those musically inclined, the unique Musical Instrument Gallery is a must. Here, you and your family can play to your heart’s content. There are even instruments from such musical greats as John Lennon, Taylor Swift and Elvis Presley.
When to Go
The best time to visit Phoenix is during the spring, when the weather is cooler and the cacti bloom. Late fall is a very pleasant time to experience the dry heat of the Sonoran Desert. Even during the winter, temperatures can reach the delightful mid-60s F, although they can sometimes be in the high 40s F, as well.