Your Insider’s Guide:
Welcome to Phoenix, Arizona
Alternatively known as the Valley of the Sun! Phoenix is the beating heart of Arizona – home to 1.6 million and the home of DETOURS American West. While the entire city of Phoenix has its charm, Downtown Phoenix is the centralized hub for providing all the needs of any visitor or resident to the city. With the fine number of luxury hotels, fine dining, nightlife & entertainment it isn’t difficult to find one’s self wanting to stay an entire week here in the desert!
Phoenix Vacations Made Easy
Many say Arizona is hot, and we just have one thing to say: We agree! Arizona is one of the hottest destinations to visit! With great access to city living rich with cultural influence, many destinations just outside city limits to visit, and did we mention all the fine dining? We don’t mean to brag, but we’ve got some of the best food on the planet. Below you will find Arizona broken down into our favorite sub-cities: Downtown Phoenix, Old Town Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley.
Explore the Possibilities
A thriving business and entertainment district of Arizona, Downtown Phoenix is booming with sports bars, breweries, cafes, fine dining, and breakfast nooks! This area is also well known for its copious number of museums ranging from art, culture, fauna, and music! Not to mention Downtown Phoenix is the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks with Chase Field baseball park!
Phoenix City Living & Activities
Jumping right into the heart of any thriving city can be intimidating. We’ve got plenty of local businesses, restaurants, and gorgeous hotels surrounded by a heavenly desert atmosphere. Don’t worry though, it’s not dusty here in the city!
The number of hotels in the Downtown Phoenix area is phenomenal! Outstanding and a testament to the travel industry, if you ask us. What this means for those seeking to visit the vast Grand Canyon State, you’ve always got a room here in Phoenix!
There is an excellent and tasty variety of restaurants to choose from while staying in the Greater Phoenix and Downtown areas. From vibrant dishes from just about any culture you can think of, vegan options, breakfast, coffee, and even extending as far as cupcake vending machines, Phoenix truly has it all when it comes to fulfilling your tastebud’s deepest desires.
What city vacation isn’t complete without a little shopping? Phoenix has some incredible shopping boutiques and fashion squares conveniently located in the same vicinity of all the popular sports bars for those non-shopaholics. Need an emergency pair of hiking boots? Postcards to send back home? Cozy jacket for the night? Done, done, & done!
Phoenix Arts & Culture
Once you’ve filled up on good eats and done some shopping, you may be looking for something else around the city to do. Not to worry, there are plenty of arts and culture-related activities for you to take advantage of!
Phoenix Art Museum
If you’re one to admire modern and contemporary art, photography, fashion design and everything in between, we highly recommend the Phoenix Art Museum! Being one of the largest art museums in Arizona with a collection that has grown over 17,000 objects of art spanning over American, Asian, European, Latin American, and Western American.
Pueblo Grande Museum
This museum holds an archaeological site left by the Hohokam culture, featuring a trail of sorts that takes you through a prehistoric site. A must see hands-on experience for any history buffs coming to visit!
If you’re interested in some of Arizona’s American Indian heritage and culture, the Heard Museum is the place for you! Hosting many cultural events throughout the year, this renowned museum displays the rich story of Arizona and Native American history.
Arizona Science Center
If science, planets, stars, and atoms are your fancy then you should look into the Arizona Science Center! Including hands-on exhibits, a very fine detailed planetarium, and a huge theater to ensure you don’t miss any of the fine details.
Crescent Ballroom & The Van Buren
The Crescent Ballroom and The Van Buren host some of Phoenix’s best bands and live music events keeping the nightlife alive and bumping! If dancing, dining, and wining is your thing then we can’t recommend these locations enough!
Phoenix Mountain Preserve
With several parks and peaks, one can find many outdoor recreation areas perfect for hiking, biking, and everything in between!
Japanese Friendship Garden
This secret garden of friendship is the perfect place to go for some tranquility and peace – especially with some friends!
Explore the Possibilities
The north end of Scottsdale is known for luxury – Relaxing spas, wine bars, fine dining, shopping plazas, and luxury boutiques! North Scottsdale also homes a unique architecture inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright which can be seen influencing the Greater Phoenix Area. Some of Scottsdale’s most comforting hotels and resorts find a home in this area of Arizona’s high-end district.
When it comes to Scottsdale, Old Town is the place to be at just about any hour of the day! Old Town has got plenty of activities and things to do to keep you busy for any Phoenix vacation size; Dine at one of the many choices of a wide variety of eateries or do some shopping in Scottsdale Fashion Square! Once the sun goes down, the Entertainment District’s lights will keep your night illuminated with pleasure.
Scottsdale City Living & Activities
Old Town Scottsdale offers a quality of life that will make anyone feel like the VIP that they deserve. From the countless lavish hotels to the entertainment district, Scottsdale offers our visitors a slice of the good life.
Scottsdale has an incredible selection of places to stay. Any Phoenix vacationers will find only the highest-end, 5-star hotels in this area of the city! Old Town is the perfect place for those who are seeking a steadier nightlight or plan on doing some vacation shopping!
Nightlife & Entertainment
For those not looking forward to spending their entire vacation to Arizona’s capital inside their divine hotel room, we’ve got great news for you! Put the kids to bed and step out into Old Town Scottsdale – the city’s preferred area for a poppin’ nightlife. Some claim to get a Hollywood-esque nightlife vibe out of Old Town and we agree!
What city vacation isn’t complete without a little shopping? Old Town Scottsdale has some incredible shopping boutiques and a famously huge Fashion Square. For those looking to do some shopping in North Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland Commons shopping malls may just hold what you’re looking for. Need an emergency pair of hiking boots? Postcards to send back home? Cozy jacket for the night? Done, done, & done!
Scottsdale Arts & Culture
Of course, there is much more to Scottsdale than just fine dining and shopping. There are plenty of activities for visitors and residents alike in the form of museums, preserves, and squares!
Within the beating heart of Downtown, Fashion Square provides Phoenix vacationers a massive trio of indoor shopping, dining, and entertainment experience! If you are in the city of Scottsdale and you need something, you can find it inside Fashion Square.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West
The Sonoran Desert in our very own Phoenix, Arizona once captivated Frank Lloyd Wright so much that he deemed Scottsdale as his winter get-away home for himself and his architectural school, Taliesin West! Tours are offered daily for those interested in getting a closer look at Wright’s work.
Musical Instrument Museum
One of our personal biggest recommendations, the Musical Instrument Museum holds a vast array of instruments (more than 7000 instruments from around 200 countries)! Inspect, hear, and even play many of these music-making tools! An easy bucket list item for any musician visiting the Greater Phoenix area.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Admire and reflect upon some of Scottsdale’s finest and thought-provoking modern art, architecture, and design of our time! It doesn’t get much more tasteful than this.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
The Museum of the West displays some of the best American Southwest art, culture and history of 19 states in the West (including Arizona)!
Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve
For our outdoorsy visitors, this urban preserve provides many opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and even horseback riding!
OdySea in the Desert
Being a family-oriented center, the OdySea offers two of Scottsdale’s top attractions – their Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland! Take a dive into rivers and oceans of the world and frolic among thousands of butterflies.
Desert Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden is a must-see for any fauna fan visiting the Arizona area. For a desert, we’ve got an impressive desert garden featuring 50,000 arid-landscape plants from around the world!
TPC Scottsdale is one of Scottsdale’s finest public, desert-styled golf courses for those who can’t feel like they’re on vacation without taking a couple of strokes off their game! Stand and swing where the pros play with a round on TPC’s Stadium Course.
Scottsdale Wine Trail
Old Town is a centralized hub for tasting rooms alike from some of Arizona’s most well-known vineyards and breweries. Spend an afternoon tasting and sampling some of our finest!
Explore the Possibilities
Paradise Valley, best known as a desert oasis surrounded by several beautiful mountain views, is a pocket of secret luxury hidden away in Greater Phoenix! Known best for its golf courses, luxury resorts, and close proximity to some of the best eats and attractions here in the greater area. Find yourself on the golf course, dining the finest, sunbathing on the poolside or relaxing in the spa, or find yourself hiking one of the many mountain preserves around the area. From arts, culture, and nightlife to outdoor and indoor recreation – this valley has it all. Anyone will find themselves in paradise while vacationing here!
Paradise Valley Highlights
Home to the Arizona Biltmore Resort
The Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Arizona Biltmore is one of Arizona’s iconic landmarks – since 1929! Crowned “The Jewel of the Desert”, this hotel has proven a quality home away from home for many celebrities, diplomats and presidents throughout the years. The Biltmore has gone through many transformations throughout the year from adding a plethora of rooms to new a fresh spa, fitness center, full-service beauty salon, and even an Olympic sized pool in their Arizona Wing, this hotel has rightfully earned its jeweled crown! Most recently the Biltmore has debuted a stunning refresh of its historic main building, re-sculpting the style of the original Wright design while conducting some modern touches that appeal to the modern traveler.
Biltmore Fashion Park
Visitors and locals alike looking for a luxury, outdoor plaza where you can also pick up something to eat with plenty of fine dining options, let us introduce you to the Biltmore Fashion Park! Named after the historic Arizona Biltmore Hotel and located in the Biltmore District along the marvelous stretch of Camelback road. Recently renovated and expanded, this mid-century plaza is the ultimate location for high-end retail.
Explore the Sonoran Desert
DETOURS American West is one of the biggest tour operators here in the Southwest! With us, you won’t have to rent a car to visit any of the iconic landmarks that surround Phoenix. We’ve got plenty of other destination pages just like this one to help layout precisely what National Park or Landmark you’d like to visit during your vacation. Call it a mini-vacation from your vacation where you get to come back from your mini-vacation back to your regular vacation. Now, how nice does that sound?
- Be prepared for All Weather! Depending on what time of year you visit, Arizona reached a wide range of temperatures. In the summer, it’s quite hot and the fall is monsoon season. Ensure to look up the forecast before visiting and pack for emergencies! We always say it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
- It’s Not All Desert. There are quite a few colorful landscapes in Arizona too. It’s not all brown and dusty, actually quite the opposite! If you’re looking to venture far out of the city limits, we can recommend a few places!
- Arizona is a Dark Sky State. One of our favorite things about Arizona is that we are a dark sky state! What this means is that once the sun goes down and the stars come out, they shine through the night sky in such a way it’s easy to admire.
- Stay hydrated! This advice goes without saying in any of our Southwest destinations, but keep some water with you at all times and stay hydrated!
- It is also one of the fastest growing major metropolitan areas, gaining nearly 600,000 residents from 2010 to 2017, and nearly 1.4 million since 2000.
- The “Greater Phoenix” area refers to Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe.
- Phoenix has even got a little bit of their own red rocks, located in Papago Park and the even Camelback Mountain.
- The Sonoran Desert, where Phoenix is located, is one of the greenest and wettest deserts in the entirety of North America because the Sonoran Desert gets 3-15 inches of rain every year. Bet you didn’t expect that one!
- Phoenix is home to all 4 professional major sports teams:
- Arizona Coyotes (NHL)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
- Phoenix Suns (NBA)
- Arizona Cardinals (NFL)
- The Greater Phoenix area has over 200 golf courses!
- Arizona, in general, doesn’t believe in daylight saving time. A controversial topic and the Grand Canyon State decided to forgo daylight savings with the rest of the country so we can enjoy consistent clocks year-round.
Experience Phoenix the Way You Want
Phoenix Vacations & Tours
Luxury Private Tours
Multi Day Tours
Great Stories from Our Local Travel Experts
Other Nearby Destinations
If you haven’t checked Sedona off your Arizona bucket list, then it’s hard to imagine traveling to Phoenix and not visiting Sedona as well since it’s so close. Luckily, DETOURS has been taking visitors across the state of Arizona for over 18 years! We can help you plan the ultimate Sedona vacation from Phoenix! Now, if you’ve already visited red rock country and are looking for something nearby but truly unique, we can’t say enough about the Apache Trail.