Image source: Flickr - Sean Hobson
One of the brightest state capitals in the country, Phoenix, located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, receives more than 295 days of sunshine every year. This warm and predictable weather makes the city an ideal place to enjoy outdoors activities all year long, including these personal favorites.
One of the most popular activities in Phoenix is golf. Tourists visit from all over the country visit to play a round on one of the more than 250 golf courses in town. Visitors from colder climates especially love the ability to visit in winter to enjoy warm temperatures while escaping the snow that awaits them back home. Golf facilities range from public to private and budget-friendly to luxury. Many resorts in town also have their own golf facilities, which may be a good option for out-of-town visitors.
Floating down the Salt River on a tube is a perfect summer activity in Phoenix when temperatures can regularly reach 110˚F. The best way to enjoy this activity is to rent a tube from Salt River Tubing and take the included bus service. The bus drops you off at the beginning of the route and then picks you up at the end. All-day tube rentals cost $17, which includes the tube and unlimited bus rides. Rent an extra tube and bring a cooler along with cold drinks and snacks to make the most of the ride.
Mountains surround Phoenix, providing both beginner and advanced hikers excellent opportunities to hit the trails. Short hikes can be found in the city at places like Piestewa Peak, Camelback Mountain or Tempe’s "A" Mountain, which borders the campus of Arizona State University. Longer and more advanced hikes can be found further out in areas like the Superstition Mountains to the East or the White Tank Mountains to the West. Pack sunscreen and plenty of water to ensure you don’t get dehydrated in the hot and dry climate.
Papago Park is a 1,500-acre desert park on the border of Phoenix and Tempe. It’s known for its distinctive sandstone rock formations and the extensive variety of desert plant life. You’ll also find Hunt’s tomb on the grounds - a small white pyramid that houses remains of former Governor George W.P. Hunt and his family, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo are located within its boundaries as well. Some of the most popular activities within the park are hiking, biking, golf and fishing. Additional facilities onsite include baseball fields, picnic areas and a small lake.
The Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden has been around since 1939 and has more than 21,000 desert plants both native to the region and from other parts of the world. One of the best times to visit is when the garden hosts the stunning artwork of Dale Chihuly, a world-renowned glass sculptor and artist. His works are scattered throughout the garden with design themes reminiscent of many desert plants.
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Auston grew up in Phoenix before escaping to Chicago in 2008. After 4 years working as an engineer, he sold his belongings and embarked on a round-the-world trip. After traveling non-stop for a year, he finally settled in Spain with his husband where he now calls home. When he's not traveling or writing guides about events, festivals or the best LGBT destinations, he enjoys the long sunny days and nightlife of Madrid. Read Auston's blog at Two Bad Tourists, or follow him on Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.
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