There’s one major reason to go to Phoenix: the weather is gorgeous! With the exception of the heart of summer (think mid-May through August), Phoenix weather will be sunny and perfect. With over 300 days of sunshine, there’s good reason it’s called the Valley of the Sun. The area is known for golf, shopping, and fine dining for adults, with plenty of activities for kids. In the spring the area hosts fifteen Major League baseball teams for spring training which draws visitors from around the country. There are outdoor experiences aplenty from hiking and biking to off road exploring. Whatever your family loves, they are sure to find it in the Phoenix area.
The Greater-Phoenix area encompasses several metropolitan areas including: Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler. Many tourists find themselves staying in one of these centrally located suburbs since they tend to be located near attractions and have a fair number of family friendly hotels.
Scottsdale is known for upscale shopping, but it’s also the home of Butterfly Wonderland and the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. It’s also home to some of the area’s high end luxury hotels with water parks and golf courses.
Tempe is home to Arizona State University, Tempe Town Lake (where kayaks and paddle boards can be rented), Sea Life Aquarium, and Legoland Discovery Center.
Mesa has many outdoor activities for adventurous families from Canyon Lake to the Superstition Mountains. Kids will love Riverview Park (they may never want to leave), tubing on the Salt River, and discovering the dinosaurs at the Arizona Natural History Museum.
Chandler is where families can find plenty of fun at Rawhide, a complete replica of an 1880s frontier town. It’s also a popular spot for family bike rides, with over 327 miles of paved cycling paths.
Some of the favorite highlights are listed above, but there are still plenty of other options to see. Here’s what visitors shouldn’t miss in Phoenix and the metropolitan area.
Most families will enjoy having their own rental car while visiting Phoenix, but there are several transportation options. The Valley Metro’s light rail runs from Mesa, through Tempe, and all the way to Phoenix, but does not service Scottsdale. There is public bus service throughout the entire metro area. Taxis are plentiful as are ride sharing options such as Lyft and Uber. Attractions can feel quite spread out, so it is recommended to rent a car at the airport to make the most of a visit.
Kirsten Maxwell is the founder of Kids Are A Trip, a family travel site created to inspire families to explore the word with their children. A bilingual teacher of Puerto Rican descent, Kirsten enjoys exposing her family and audience to other customs and cultures. She and her husband have three sons, ages 15, 13 and 10.