When it is cold in the north and northeast, we start to get more visitors in Phoenix -- what a surprise! When friends and relatives come to see you for a few days or weeks, you are going to need some ideas about where to go and things to see in the area. Here are some of the best places in the Phoenix area to take out-of-town visitors, with a focus on places that are uniquely Arizona.
These attractions are specifically geared toward those people who are active, and don't mind a hike or a long walk.
All images © Judy Hedding
There are several hot air balloon companies operating in Phoenix and Scottsdale. Our usually predictable and pleasant weather makes it such that we can arrange for hot air balloon flights all year long. Come along on this photo tour of one particular hot air balloon adventure. Check out this video about my hot air balloon ride!
Located in Phoenix in Papago Park, near the Phoenix Zoo (see below), is our botanical garden. The desert wildflowers won't be in bloom in the winter, but it is still a gorgeous place for people who want to learn about the desert environment, and who enjoy walking a couple of miles on a beautiful winter day in Phoenix. See a video about visiting Desert Botanical garden.
Not far from Scottsdale, Phoenix and Mesa you can take a ride on a horse in the beautiful Tonto National Forest. Enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert on horseback. No riding experience necessary.
Have you ever seen one of those aerobatic pilots at an air show or stunt show, and wondered what it felt like to climb, and dive, or roll and spin, to fly upside down, or experience maneuvers at 3 Gs or more? You can do just that at Fighter Combat International in Mesa, Arizona.
Arizona Outdoor Fun has ATVs (all terrain vehicles) and UTVs (Utility Terrain Vehicles) for you off road desert adventure. Take guided tour or go off on your own.
If you feel the need for speed in an indoor environment -- even if you have no experience at all -- Octane Raceway in Phoenix (formerly known as F1 Raceway) can satisfy that race car driver in you that's anxious to get out!
If a golfer is visiting you, your job is an easy one. There are hundreds of public golf courses in Arizona, and many of them are right here in the Phoenix area. The rates will be somewhere between $30 and $275 for a round of golf during the winter months!
You don't have to be in the greatest shape, but most of the watercraft you can rent here require peddling or paddling. If you don't want to spend hours driving back and forth to one of our central Arizona lakes
, Tempe Town Lake is right on the METRO Light Rail line. There are also small motorized boats for fishing. No water skiing or swimming is permitted here.
Make your reservations well in advance for this popular free factory tour. PING Golf calls Phoenix home, and a limited number of people each week are offered a free tour. The target audience here is golf lovers and people who are interested in detail about the company and the technical aspects of golf club manufacture. Not so much entertaining as it is informative, this tour requires you to be in your feet for a couple of hours.