In April of this year I visited Arizona to hike the Grand Canyon. We ended up flying into Phoenix and then drove up to the Grand Canyon but before heading up to Northern Arizona for our hike we spent a couple days visiting Phoenix. This isn’t really a complete travel guide as it doesn’t include any food but it’s a pretty good list of things to do while in Phoenix. I wasn’t quiet sure what to expect and to be honest I wasn’t the biggest fan of the city. There was just a lot of urban sprawl and it wasn’t a very walking friendly city. Also we had issues finding good food and for me food is always a very important part of travelling. However, we did find some fun cultural and outdoorsy things to do in Phoenix! So what is there to do in Phoenix? Let me walk you through it!
Usery Mountain Park is located on the edge of the city and it’s like a little oasis from the urban sprawl. We were feeling a little overwhelmed when we arrived back in the city to fly home after being at the Grand Canyon surrounded by wilderness so we visited this park to get away from the city. I also really wanted to photograph the giant saguaro cacti and Usery Mountain Park was the perfect place for it! We went for a nice walk around sunset and there were lots of different trails to explore.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West was the home and studio of the American architecture and now houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation as well as an architecture school. Touring the house is a little pricy but we had a great tour guide and the tour lasted about an hour. It was such an interesting house and now I really want to visit more of his buildings! I would recommend booking online in advance just in case since a tour is required.
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is a must if you love cacti! There were so many different kinds I was blown away and so many of them were in bloom which was so cool! The gardens also host art exhibitions through out the space, when we were there they had a photography exhibit and a sculpture installation exhibit. Also in the spring you can visit the butterfly house.
We explored Scottsdale a little bit, which is the more upscale area of Phoenix. We visited the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art which was a bit of a let down and very small but the Civic Center Park just next door was really pretty to walk around and had lots of public art pieces. If you’re going to visit an art museum I would recommend the Phoenix Art Museum downtown. They had a really great Iris Van Herpen fashion exhibition on while we were there and lots of really interesting works. They also have an Infinity Room by Yayoi Kusama, which are notoriously hard to get into due to long times but there was no one in this one and we could spend as long as we wanted inside.
Now in terms of what to eat in Phoenix I really don’t have any recommendations. We tried a couple taco places but weren’t impressed and I think we had pizza one night too. I found all over Arizona good food was hard to find, especially healthy food. We actually ended up at Whole Foods multiple times through out our Arizona trip to pick up food from their prepared food bar which ended up being a really convenient option.
Thanks for reading and be sure to come back for more travel guides and fun posts about Ottawa!