The American Southwest is a magical land marked by intensely blue skies, scorching temps, and sensational sunsets where dramatic hues splash against radiant red rocks. In the midst of this cactus-dotted region — aptly named the “Valley of the Sun” — sunshine reigns more than 300 days a year.
As the Southwest’s most populous city, Phoenix proudly welcomes visitors to its vibrant cultural offerings, top-notch sports venues, and an evolving culinary circuit that proves as enticing as the natural landscape glowing just beyond restaurant windows. The secret’s out: Arizona’s near-perfect year-round weather is just one reason to visit this pocket of paradise.
For the Outdoor Enthusiast
Not far from downtown (though just far enough) hikers love exploring Arizona’s rugged terrain — local favorite trails include South Mountain Preserve, Echo Canyon at Camelback Mountain, and the Piestewa Peak Freedom Trail. (Make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water. The sun is intense!)
At the Desert Botanical Gardens, meander the massive grounds to discover a stunning showcase of cacti and blooming plants. Also make sure to check the website schedule for jazz concerts that enliven the gardens’ small, picturesque stage.
Sports aficionados root for Phoenix’s MLB Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, and for those wanting to get in on Arizona’s thriving golfing culture, tee time beckons at The Raven and Legacy Golf resorts.
For the Art Lover
The fascinating Heard Museum, founded in 1929, educates visitors on Native art and culture in Arizona and beyond. Families can roam around the Arizona Science Center and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, where children under one enter for free.
The Phoenix Central Library — formerly part of the Phoenix Art Museum, another spectacular venue — is an architectural wonder. Designed by local talent Will Bruder, the venue boasts walls of glass on its entire north and south sides. Every Solstice around noon, Bruder gives a presentation during which visitors witness a visual phenomenon he describes as the room’s “perfect geometry.”
The 5,000-seat Arizona Financial Theater regularly hosts big-names acts in music, comedy, and boxing (among other live-entertainment genres). Also downtown, the nonprofit Herberger Theater Center describes itself as a “performance venue and arts incubator” that has revolutionized the city’s dance and theater scene.
For the Foodie
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and the Eden Rooftop Bar are no-brainer hubs for a welcoming vibe and delicious fare. Think food-friendly spirits like sherry, port, and vermouth, all paired with locally-sourced dishes ranging from shareable small plates like Fried Green Tomatoes to mains like Braised Pork Shank with citrus risotto, chicos, and roasted peppers.
If exploring local eats away from the Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix, start the day off right at popular destinations like Ocotillo and Matt’s Big Breakfast. Mealtime always shines at the Upward Projects restaurants in Central Phoenix, including Postino, Joyride, Federal Pizza, and Windsor. Additionally, The Herb Box is a new restaurant that is home to an extraordinary menu all sourced from local, seasonal fare.
When happy hour rolls around, wander to gems like Valley Bar and Crescent Ballroom. Seeking a post-meal nightcap? Pop into speakeasy-inspired bars like Melinda’s Alley, Second Story Liquor Bar, and the Ostrich.
However you choose to relish Phoenix, we promise you’ll leave sun-kissed, refreshed, and inspired to return again soon.
Where to stay: Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix