Escape the snow with a trip to Phoenix.
At least, that’s what Robin Spann is hoping to do. Growing up in Cleveland and now living in Chicago, he is no stranger to the cold weather. Although the pandemic put the brakes on most travel plans, he’s hoping to hit the open road again soon. Phoenix is at the top of his list.
But, Phoenix offers more than just sunshine. The capital of The Copper State is bustling with historic neighborhoods, natural landscapes, and immersive cultural experiences. While the Grand Canyon is the marquee attraction, there is plenty more to draw you in.
As he plans his next vacation, Robin Spann lists four of the top sightseeing destinations in Phoenix.
Camelback Mountain is no stroll through the desert. Its trails are definitely more arduous than most. But, if you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll be rewarded. This is an ideal spot for rock climbing. Named for its resemblance to a camel’s hump, Camelback Mountain is both famous and sacred. Home to the Hohokam tribe, visit a ceremonial cave that still remains.
This is a walk in the park. Literally. Located in the southeast part of the city, Papago Park is known for its rolling hillsides and distinctive red rocks. Travelers can traverse numerous trails and routes either on foot or via bike. Robin Spann recommends visiting in the morning to take full advantage of the scenery before the afternoon heat. In addition to panoramic views, this urban oasis offers a chance to witness the area’s wildlife. Papago Park is also home to two other key attractions: Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.
Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden merges nature and art. The 55-acre complex is dotted with art installations throughout. However, it mostly houses thousands of plants and arid vegetation. Butterflies and hummingbirds flock to its designated garden. Although this beauty is on full display in spring when the gardens are in full bloom, Desert Botanical Garden puts on seasonal events too. Robin Spann is especially excited about Las Noches de Las Luminarias, which occurs every winter. Running for 44 years, this holiday tradition includes live music, entertainment, and shining hand-lit luminaria bags that transform the garden.
Musical Instrument Museum
There’s plenty to see (and hear) indoors too. If you want to take a break from the heat, Musical Instrument Museum is hard to ignore. Featuring nearly 7,000 instruments from around the world, it’s truly a one-of-collection. Take in one of its traveling exhibits or catch a concert by an international act. In the Conservation Lab, watch an expert craftsmen restore instruments. Yet this museum is interactive also. Headsets sync seamlessly with tunes as you work your way around the gallery. The Experience Lab takes it a step further. Here, guests can play a variety of instruments from across the globe.