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In the heart of the Sonoran Desert lies Phoenix, the sixth largest city in
the United States. Explore this desert metropolis and all of its Southwestern
charm. With tons of cultural attractions — from gardens to art galleries, along
with pro sports teams and golf courses aplenty, Phoenix is a great year-round
vacation destination for those looking to engage in some desert fun.
Head to the Desert Botanical Garden's 140-acre property, featuring over 50,000 displays, to learn about Phoenix's native plantlife. The Garden is one of only 24 gardens to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. If you're interested in learning more about Native American culture in the Southwest, make sure to visit the Heard Museum, featuring exhibits highlighting American Indian art and history. To get an even bigger fix, art junkies will want to check out the Phoenix Art Museum, the largest art museum in the Southwest with more than 18,000 works of American and International art. Don't forget to stop by the Phoenix Zoo to get up close and personal with African lions, Asian elephants, monkeys, wolves and more.
Chances are, when you visit Phoenix, there will be a professional sport in season. If you're a football fan, don't miss the Arizona Cardinals gear up at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Maybe baseball is more your speed? Catch the Arizona Diamondbacks hit a few out of the park at Chase Field. If you're a basketball fan, head to Talking Stick Resort Arena to check out the Phoenix Suns or the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. Since you're in the desert, you may want to cool down with a hockey game at Gila River Arena where you can cheer on the Arizona Coyotes.
If you're looking to embrace the heat and gorgeous desert landscape, grab your clubs and check out the area's many unique golf courses. With 185 courses and 3,600 holes, the Phoenix area has more than its fair share of choices for golf enthusiasts. If golf isn't your thing, spend the day hiking the desert at one of the city's parks or preserves.