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Top 7 Things to Do in Phoenix During the Summer

By Juanita Hawkins 

Whether you’re looking for a day of family fun, a romantic evening out, or a hike that’ll leave you sore in the morning, Phoenix has you covered. If you’re hanging out in the Valley of the Sun this summer, the options are endless. Here are our picks for seven “can’t-miss” activities guaranteed to please visitors and locals alike! 

?1. Spend a Day at Papago Park 

When it comes to great summer destinations, Papago Park is the stuff of dreams. It’s easy to get to and perfect for larger groups with varied tastes. It houses both the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo. It’s even got a golf course! Papago offers plenty of easy trails to hike and bike. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a selfie or two at Hole in the Rock!

Travel tip: For a quick hike that’s more challenging but still close to town, check out Camelback Mountain

2. Visit a Water Park

 There are parks, and then there are water parks! And Phoenix has several worth visiting to get relief from the heat. If you’re just looking to get drenched, Big Surf will fit the bill. If you prefer a dash of amusement park along with water activities, give Castles N’ Coasters a look!

3. Cool Off at the Phoenix Art Museum

If waiting in line for a water slide isn’t your cup of iced tea, Phoenix offers another great summer attraction: air conditioning! And what better way to enjoy this modern comfort than among some world-class artwork? The Phoenix Art Museum has over 20,000 objects in its collection. One of the most memorable attractions is Yayoi Kusama’s Fireflies — a beautiful installation of light and space. The museum offers paintings, photos, and other art objects to keep you company while you beat the heat. And make sure to stop by the gift shop on the way out!  

4. Check Out a Diamondbacks Game

Summertime and baseball might be the most classic American combo, ever. If you’re in Phoenix anytime between spring and fall, an Arizona Diamondbacks game is a perfect way to spend a few hours. Kick back at Chase Field, grab some grub from the concession stand, and let this national pastime do its thing. If your group is large enough and you plan ahead, you can even watch the Diamondbacks from the famous right-field swimming pool. 

5. Eat Some Amazing Tacos 

Between the heat, the hustle, and the bustle, every Phoenix outing has to include food. The food of choice? The Southwest has a reputation for great tacos, and Phoenix takes it to another level. Fillings run the gamut from classic Mexican to innovative fusion. Since tacos are small enough to have more than one, we recommend trying them all!

6. Date Night 

Tovrea Castle

This historic castle is a must-see, but you’ll have to reserve your tour tickets months in advance. The castle is closed during July and August, but open for the romantic night time tours in June.

Comedy Clubs

You’ve got several shows to choose from in the metro area, including Stand Up Live on Jefferson Street, Tempe Improv Theater on University Drive, or House of Comedy on High Street. There’s also the Torch Theatre on Central Avenue and National Comedy Theatre on Main Street. 

7. Relax in Style 

Once you’ve hiked the trails and seen the sights, it’s time to unwind. If you’re looking for a super summer experience, luxury is the name of the game. You can now find affordable luxury rentals outside of the hotel system. Turn on a movie, cook a meal, or order in. A Valley of the Sun vacation home lets you enjoy the comforts of home while on vacation.

Juanita Hawkins is a writer and travel expert. She has a passion for trying new restaurants and new foods around the country.