Arizona’s best hidden travel gem is the fascinating city of Phoenix, the city in the midst of the desert. It was built starting with agriculture then gradually moved to modern businesses, such as high-tech industry. Guess who started the city, the very Native Americans that skillfully farmed right on the desert thanks to their complicated irrigation system. As the city gained popularity over time and after WW2, many tourists flocked to the area igniting an industrial boom.
Because Phoenix is designed for cars, you basically need a rental car to make your travel experience as smooth as possible. However for the times when you just want to stay longer on bars, taxis are readily available too. Don’t forget to bring with you your ESTA Visa for a fantastic US experience.
One of the most popular city attractions is the fascinating Arizona Science Center on 600 E. Washington St. This is one the best places where you can simply be as nerdy as you want. Quest your thirst for scientific facts and figures, the center has it all from a planetarium to an incredible IMAX theater. There are often many travel exhibits that cater to visitors so make sure to visit this splendid stop.
If you want to know more about desert plant life, visit the Desert Botanical Garden on 1201 N Galvin Pkwy. You’ll discover how the desert plants thrive here, there’s life in the midst of the desert. The many plants here came from the Sonoran Desert and from many arid deserts all over the world. Because of the proliferating plant life, some animals are attracted here too such as lizards, birds, and occasionally the playful roadrunners.
If you’re a history junkie, head straight to the Heard Museum on 2301 N Central Ave. This fantastic and world class museum displays some fascinating facts about the Native Americans showcasing their cultural and arts heritage. Ever heard of the Hopi Kachina dolls? There’s a collection of them on the museum.
Another museum which is the richest when it comes to the city’s origins is the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park on 4619 E Washington St. This is an archaeological site with the sole purpose of uncovering the truths about pre-Columbian Hohokam civilization giving a remarkable mirror to the past life of the city’s ancient residents.
If you fancy about art, it is best to head directly to the Phoenix Art Museum on 1625 N Central Ave. This pretty much showcases about 16,000 artworks ranging from American, Asian, Latin American, to modern and contemporary inspirations. You’ll be surprised that you can access it for free during the first Friday evening of the month.
For your zen like travel experience, nothing beats the Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden on 1125 N 3rd Ave. It is certainly Japanese inspired complete with koi pond and tea house making the ambience contagiously peaceful.
If you travel with children, there’s also the famous Sea Life Aquarium on 5000 Arizona Mills Circle exhibiting fascinating ocean life such as splendid tropical sharks. The views are up close and personal, you can even see colorful starfish and very strange deep ocean creatures.
Ever wonder how it feels to live on the desert? Buy your ticket from the Desert Storm Hummer Tours to witness the desert unfold at night. You’ll be provided with safety gears and night vision goggles as you observe the daily desert nightlife.
*Image of McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona via Shutterstock
*Image of Wave, Arizona via Shutterstock