Local Attractions

Phoenix Area Activities

Sports & Entertainment:

The Downtown area includes two major sporting facilities, Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and US Airways Center, home to the Phoenix Suns. These popular venues also host a variety of entertainment events throughout the year. Visit their respective websites for a schedule of events.

The Herberger Theatre is three blocks from campus, and is home to the Arizona Theatre Company, Center Dance Ensemble, Valley Youth Theatre and iTheatre Collaborative. It includes a second floor art gallery in addition to the 3 stage venues within the facility. Visit their website for a full list of events taking place around the conference.

Arts & Culture:

Heard Museum – The Heard is world-renowned for its collections and educational programs relating to Native American culture, art, and heritage in its eleven galleries. Located on the light rail north of campus, these facilities include beautiful meeting rooms and banquet halls and a restaurant and catering that draws upon local Arizona foods and recipes from Indigenous tribes, Mexico, and the southwest.

Arizona Science Center - Arizona Science Center is located six blocks from campus and focuses on inspiring, educating and entertaining people about science. The Center is located in Heritage and Science Park in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Home to over 350 permanent hands-on exhibits, the Center is able to provide their 400,000 annual visitors with interactive experiences.

Phoenix Art Museum - The Phoenix Art Museum is on the light rail route and is the Southwest United States’ largest art museum for visual art. The museum is 285,000-square-feet with international exhibitions alongside its comprehensive collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design.

Desert Botanical Garden - The 140-acre Garden’s vision is to be the premier center in the world for the display, study and understanding of desert plants and their environments. The Garden strives to be an indispensable resource in the Southwestern United States, helping individuals learn about Sonoran Desert Plants as well as desert plants of the world, so that they will conserve and protect the natural world for the benefit of future generations. Every element of the Garden reflects excellence, beauty and inspiration to transform the visitor experience into one of discovery and meaning about deserts and desert plants. The Desert Botancial Garden is best enjoyed in the morning and early evening, when the temperature is coolest.

Phoenix Symphony Hall – located six blocks from campus as part of the Phoenix Convention Center, the Hall serves as home to the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and hosts 275 concerts and presentations in an annual season running from September to May.

Other area attractions along the light rail include the Phoenix Opera and the Arizona Ballet.

Nearby parks, such as Hance Park, home of the Japanese Friendship Garden, and Encanto Park, provide ample access to outdoor activities.

The downtown area is also home to the Phoenix Public Market, an open-air farmer’s market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and a site for food trucks on Fridays.

Regional Excursions

Sedona – Red Rock country is a two-hour drive north of Phoenix, but well worth the time to enjoy panoramic views of the exposed sandstone formations with miles of hiking trails of varying skill levels.  Book a round-trip tour from Phoenix to Sedona here through Phoenix Tours.

Arizona Wine Country - Situated between Flagstaff and Sedona just along the Mogollon Rim, Oak Creek Canyon provides a picturesque home to some of Arizona's best wineries, including Page Springs Cellars, Oak Creek Vineyards, and Javelina Leap Winery. Get a two-for-one tour with Phoenix Tours' Sedona & Wine Country round-trip package, leaving from Phoenix.

Grand Canyon - One of the natural wonders of the world, and a 3.5 hour drive away, a powerful and inspiring landscape, Grand Canyon overwhelms the senses through its immense size. Unique combinations of geologic color and erosional forms decorate a canyon that is 277 river miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. Phoenix Tours offers a round-trip overnight tour from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, designed to let you spend some extra time with Arizona's very own world wonder. Entrance to the National Park is $25 per car, renting a car and traveling as a group can be convenient and affordable.

DIY Day Trips

Phoenix's central location is served by a multitude of freeways and interstates, making it easy to personalize your Arizona experience. Visit Phoenix offers ideas and basic directions for some of Phoenix's more popular excursions. Further details and reccomendations can be found through each respective city's tourism guide.

Popular day trip destinations:

  • Flagstaff is located two hours north boasting mountain scenery and cooler temperatures. This small, northern city has no shortage of outdoor activities (camping, hiking, etc..), and is home to a vibrant downtown community filled with local microbreweries and eclectic shops. 
  • Sedona is not just famous for its Red Rocks and breathtaking scenery. The city is a hub for all things spiritual, luxurious and recreational. Visitors can browse through art galleries, relax at one of the many resorts and spas, and hike through Coconino National Forest.
  • Tucson is just two hours south of Phoenix. The second-largest populated city in Arizona, Tucson is home to Native American, Spanish, and Mexican cultural influences that can be seen in its historical buildings, downtown arts scene and cuisine. For the more adventurous types, Tucson offers a wide variety of hiking, biking and rock climbing opportunities. 
  • Lake Powell may be a little farther than the other destinations (5 hours) but water sports lovers will find it well worth the time. Shop or fish, jet-ski or hike, there is something for everyone at Lake Powell.
  • Prescott is two hours north of Phoenix, and is home to some Arizona's most beautiful golf courses and charming antique shops. The original captial of the Arizona Territory, Prescott's Old West history is best experienced while horseback riding through one of the many beautiful trails.

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