Did you know that this year Arizona will turn 105? I have lived here for 36 years now and I feel like there is so much that I have not yet experienced!
Spring in AZ brings a lot of out of town visitors and instead of trying to think of where to go and what to do, check out our list of 20 places you can celebrate Arizona’s statehood!
1. Waste Management Open: This annual event kicked off yesterday and it’s always the place to be. Golf lover or not, its fun people watching and you can’t beat the entertainment line up at the Coors Light Birds Nest.
2. Head downtown Phoenix for First Friday. Tour art galleries, venues, and related spaces from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. every First Friday of the month. (Note: each art space has their own hours.)
3. Hike Camelback Mountain at Sunset (or sunrise for the early birds)! If you haven’t ever hiked Camelback Mountain then what are you waiting for! With panoramic views of the whole Valley it’s simply gorgeous up at the peak! Some tips: please don’t take small children, the top is like rock climbing, bring LOTS of water even though it’s cooler out, wear sunscreen and DO NOT go off the trail.
4. Visit the Desert Botanical Gardens. The DBG is a perfect spot to take out of town guests! Hit up one of my favorite spots in Old Town Scottsdale, Arcadia Farms Café for brunch then hit up the garden for a leisurely stroll.
5. SUP at Tempe Town Lake. Tempe Beach Park is such a great family spot. You can play, picnic, rent kayaks, paddleboats and SUP! This would make for a fun Valentine’s day date too!
6. Music lovers will LOVE the Musical Instrument Museum! Displaying more than 6,500 instruments collected from around 200 of the world’s countries and territories, out of town guests and kids alike will love this place! February 11th they have a special kids event so check it out!
7. Take photos at the LOVE sculpture at the Scottsdale Civic Center. This famous sculpture by Robert Indiana (1969-1999) is one of the most celebrated works within the pop art movement and the art world as a whole. Pack a picnic lunch or stop by one of the delicious restarants in the area.
8. Venture East to Goldfield Ghost Town. Located at the base of the Superstition Mountains you can zipline, ride a railroad train, tour a mine and more!
9. Venture West to the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park. This is definitely on my list of places to take my kids, I just haven’t gotten around to it!
10. Take a twilight dinner cruise on Dolly the Steamboat at Canyon Lake. Men, skip the traditional dinner and movie for Valentine’s Day and take this cruise with your honey! Another fun thing to do that is out of the norm and great for a couples night out!
11. Do a morning picnic at Hole in the Rock at Papago Park. I keep referring to picnics because I like eating outdoors. A morning picnic can consist of donuts and coffee! Hello! You went on a small hike so treat yo’self to that donut.
12. Visit the Arabian Horse Show. Another spring time staple the Arabian Horse Show is great for the whole family plus kids 12 and under are free!
13. Take a tour of Wrigley Mansion. Constructed in 1932 for chewing gum personality William Wrigley Jr. for his wife and their 50th wedding anniversary. Learn about the history of the mansion and hear ghost stories!
14. Visit the Arizona Challenger Space Center. Whether you go for a day trip or for Family Stargazing, you’ll get to see many one of a kind items including a life-sized Iridium satellite model, a ten-foot Shuttle Atlantis display courtesy of Honeywell, a real landing gear tire from Space Shuttle Discovery STS-121, and gravity game.
15. Go on a scavenger hunt. Fun for kids or an out of the box date night, Downtown Tempe recently installed mini jackrabbit statues in various spots around town as part of a public art installation. They were the inspiration for our Great Date Night event last fall and it was so fun!
16. Shop local and visit Barnone. We absolutely love Barnone and the fabulous local makers housed there. Out of town guests will love picking up some local products, some that you can only find at Barnone!
Feeling adventurous? The following day trips will be some great memory makers!
17. Tour Antelope Slot Canyon. I’m sure you’ve seen the gorgeous photos of this place on Instagram and I really want to go! Located on Navajo land East of Page this place looks stunning!
19. The historic copper mining town of Jerome is another fun spot for a day trip! The mines are now silent and Jerome is the largest ghost town in America! It’s great for sight seeing and catching some history.
20. Full of places for outdoor adventure, sight seeing and more; my list wouldn’t be complete if I forgot Sedona! High tourist season isn’t always the best time to go but if you are pressed for time and your out of town guests really want some scenery, Sedona is your place to go!
I hope that you take some time this year to visit these fun and exciting places in the little place we live known as the desert! When you do, let me know what you loved about it!