I have to go to Phoenix for work this week, so naturally, I’m going to use this as an opportunity to explore this glorious city that I’ve never been to before. I spent a lot of time searching through sites like Trip Advisor, Thrillist, Visit Phoenix, and TimeOut to get some recommendations of “must see” things to do in Phoenix. Below is the list that I came up with of places I plan to go to see the sights, and places I plan to go to eat.

Top 5 Sites to See in Phoenix

1. Desert Botanical Garden

photo by LAJ Photos- http://lajphotos.com/

Yes, I hate bugs, and springtime is my least favorite season because of pollen and bees, BUT I have never seen a desert plant before. I hear that the Desert Botanical Garden is THE place to see desert plants and to learn all about natural makeup of outdoor Phoenix. As someone who loves to take a good picture, it always looks like the most stunning backdrop with 140 acres of land to explore. According to their website, you can take a guided tour during the daytime (I have to work until 2:30p local time) or do a flashlight tour–a group tour of self-paced trails where attendees are armed with flashlights to see and hear what dwells in the desert after dark.

2. Roosevelt Row

photo by Downtown Phoenix Inc.

What kind of creative person would I be if I didn’t check out Roosevelt Row in person? There are wall murals galore, art galleries, and indie shops. Talk about a creative’s paradise. There are few occasions when you should voluntarily walk down alleys, but in this case, it has been recommended. This area is also known for having numerous pop-up events. While I’m in town there will be a cheese making class, and the Phoenix Hotel is currently displaying the 1st ever fine art photography exhibit from the Arizona Photography Alliance in their lounge.

3. Japanese Friendship Garden

from the Japanese Friendship Garden Instagram @JFGphx

My Mom and I both have a love of Japan and their culture ever since our trip to Japan in 2015. How can I not visit the Japanese Friendship Garden located in the heart of Phoenix? It sits on 3.5 acres, it’s gorgeous, and it is a peaceful retreat that I can sneak off to during a travel week (if you travel for work, you know those trips are long and hard). I had planned to take part in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, but I just missed it for the month of April. They only have a public tea ceremony once per month. This visit will be tough because the last admission is at 3:30 pm.

4. Papago Park

photo from the @CityofPhoenix Instagram

Anyone who knows me knows I love the outdoors. I like to spend my time going for walks, going on a hike, or riding my bike. At home in Atlanta, I spend a lot of time on the Silver Comet trail and walking along the Chattahoochee River. Naturally, I wanted to take in as much nature as possible while in Arizona, so one important stop will be Papago Park. I hear this is a hikers dream because it has a bunch of trails that suit all experience levels and killer views. I wish I were renting a mountain bike, but that will be for another visit when I’m actually on vacation.

5. Canal Walks

picture taken by @xjoshuawellsx on Instagram

I’ve mentioned several times that Mom and I love the city, and I’m very into the outdoors, so of course, I have to check out the Canal Walks in the Arcadia and Biltmore neighborhoods of Phoenix. Apparently, there are bat caves galore with Mexican free-tailed and canyon bats, waterfalls, art, and architecture to enjoy along the canals as well. I must admit I’m a little afraid of seeing a bat, but how can I pass up the opportunity to be in an urban, desert paradise?

Know of Any Other Places I Should Check Out While I’m in Phoenix, Arizona?

I’m only here for a few days, but any Phoenix bloggers or Arizona bloggers know of any places I should visit while I’m here for the next 3 days, please drop me a comment below or share it with me on Instagram!

I’ll let you guys know what I think of all the places above. Stay tuned for the next post about the top 3 restaurants I needed to try while in Phoenix.

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