Best Phoenix Attractions in the Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area

A few years ago I was heading to Phoenix AZ for spring training games.   While this wasn’t my first trip to Arizona, I haven’t spent a lot of time there. Therefore on this trip, I wanted to check out the top things to see in Phoenix Arizona (besides spring training of course). I had a great time researching and came up with a guide of the best attractions in Phoenix Arizona.

Best Phoenix Attractions - Batters EyeMany people ask “What are the best attractions in Phoenix?”  I think that depends entirely on one what each person or group enjoys, and wants to see.  With that in mind, I created this guide of the best attractions in Phoenix with a diverse list of things to see and do. Therefore my list includes indoor activities, outdoor activities, and attractions for families. No matter what you like to see and do, there is something the whole family can enjoy on my guide of the top 10 things to see in Phoenix Arizona.

Jump to List of Best Attractions in Phoenix Arizona:

Arizona Natural History Museum

Best Phoenix Attractions - Natural HistoryWhile not exactly in Phoenix, but still in the metro area, the Arizona Museum of Natural History is the premier natural history museum in Arizona. It is dedicated to inspiring wonder, respect, and understanding of the natural and cultural history of the Southwest.  While visiting the museum, you get to explore Arizona and the Southwest from the creation of the earth 4.5 billion years ago to the present. As a guest, you will get to see the origins of life on earth, meteorites, and minerals.  Don’t forget to check out the Dinosaur Hall and discover some of the biggest dinosaurs that ever lived. On Dinosaur Mountain see how some appeared and sounded in a natural context. If that’s not enough to see and learn in one visit, take a Walkthrough Time to explore ancient Arizona’s Paleozoic Seas, Triassic Petrified Forest, monsters of the Cretaceous Seas, and the first animals to fly. One more thing you must check out is their newest exhibit, Rulers of the Prehistoric Skies. In this exhibit, they share the amazing diversity of Pterosaurs, the flying reptiles of the Mesozoic. Neither dinosaurs nor birds, Pterosaurs ruled the skies from about 225 to 65 million years ago. Definitely a museum worth adding to your to-do list while in Phoenix.

Visitor Information

Address: 53 N. Macdonald Mesa, AZ 85201

Phone: (480)644-2230

Hours: Tues – Fri: 10 am – 5 pm  Sat: 11 am – 5 pm Sun 1-5 pm


  • Adults: $12
  • Seniors (65+) $10
  • Students (13+ With ID) $8
  • Children (3-12) $7
  • Children (Under 2) Free
  • Parking Free

Arizona Science Center

Best Phoenix Attractions - Science CenterNo matter your age, your imagination comes alive at the Arizona Science Center. When visiting, you get the chance to embark on hands-on learning and create a memorable experience that will last a lifetime. Not surprising as this 140,000-square-foot building creates an intriguing environment of investigation and discovery. There are four levers to this huge museum filled with exciting “hands-on” exhibits, a state-of-the-art planetarium, and a 5-story high giant-screen theater. I was so looking forward to visiting this museum and was happy that a friend who lives in the area was able to go with me. We had a great time learning and exploring. I love visiting science centers. Make sure to check out my visit to the Saint Louis Science Center and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. This Science Center is definitely one of the best attractions in Phoenix Arizona. Here is a link to my Arizona Science Center visit.

Visitor Information

Address: 600 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: (602) 716-2000

Hours:  Open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Pricing: General Admission – Not for special event or Planetarium

  • Adults: $18
  • Children (3-17) $13
  • Children (Under 3) Free
  • Parking Hourly up to $8 for full day

Desert Botanical Garden

Best Phoenix Attractions - Botanical GardenThe Desert Botanical Garden states that they offer the world’s finest collection of arid plants from deserts of the world in a unique outdoor setting.  With more than 50,000 desert plants on display, it’s hard to disagree. Make sure to check out their five thematic trails that illustrate topics such as conservation, desert living, plants and people of the Sonoran Desert, and desert wildflowers. You can also learn about desert landscaping, nature art, cooking and wellness, and more through the Garden’s various lectures and workshops. Check out their website for information on specialized tours, special events, seasonal exhibits, concerts, and family activities. You will also find information on Gertrude’s restaurant and Patio Café, as well as the Garden’s gift and plant shop.

Visitor Information

Address: 1201 N. Galvin Parkway Phoenix, AZ 85008

Phone: (480) 941-1225 or Toll-free: (888) 314-9480

Hours: October – April 8 am to 4 pm


  • Adult $24.95
  • Youth (3-17) $12.95
  • Children (Under 3) Free
  • Military (With ID) Free
  • Parking Free

Heard Museum

Best Phoenix Attractions - Heard MuseumInterested in learning more about American Indian Art and American Indian people? If so, you definitely have to check out the Heard Museum. They present stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective, as well as exhibitions that showcase the beauty and vitality of traditional and contemporary art. To achieve this they collaborate with American Indian artists and tribal communities. Today they are known internationally for the quality of its collections, world-class exhibitions, educational programming, and its unmatched festivals. Check out my post on the Heard Museum to learn more about my visit. This museum has to be one of the best attractions in Phoenix Arizona for all the culture, history, and knowledge it brings to the area.

Visitor Information

Address: 2301 N. Central Avenue  Phoenix, Arizona 85004

Phone: 602-252-8840

Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30 am-5 pm Sun 11 am-5 pm.  Free on 1st Friday on each month 6 pm-10 pm


  • Adults $18
  • Seniors (65+) $15
  • Students (with college ID) $7
  • Children (6-17) $7.50
  • Children (Under 5) Free
  • American Indians (With Tribal ID) Free
  • Parking Free

Legoland Discovery Center

Best Phoenix Attractions - LegolandLooking for something fun to do with the kids? If so, I would suggest a visit to the Legoland Discovery Center in Tempe (in the metro area) It is a 40,000 square-foot indoor attraction featuring more than one million Lego bricks, Lego-themed rides, a 4-D cinema, and themed build-and-play areas providing a world of creativity and learning for young children. Families with young children can explore their imagination, color, and build in the ultimate indoor Lego playground. FYI, the Legoland Discovery Center is designed specifically for children aged 3-10 years to enjoy. Everything is kid-sized and adults must be accompanied by a child. 🙂  On a side note, while Gene and I were in New York we stopped into a Lego Store and it was so fun to see all the different types and colors of Lego.

Visitor Information

Address: 5000 Arizona Mills Circle, STE 135  Tempe, Arizona 85282

Phone: 855-450-0558

Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am to 7 pm Sun 11 am to 6 pm


  • Adults: $29.95 or $24.95 Online
  • Children (3-12) $24.95 Save 15% online
  • Children (Under 2) Free
  • Discounts for combo packages to SeaLife
  • Parking Free

Odysea Aquarium

Best Phoenix Attractions - OdyseaEven though the Odysea Aquarium is not right in the city, but still in the metro area, it is definitely one of the best attractions in Phoenix Arizona. It was the highlight of a trip a took a few years ago with my niece and I hope to visit again one day soon. You can check out my post here. Not only is this aquarium newer, it is also one of a kind entertainment destination.   A multi-level, state-of-the-art facility, the aquarium holds more than 2 million gallons of water and is the largest aquarium in Arizona. There are more than 65 exhibits, 370 species, the world’s only Russian Sturgeon touch exhibit as well as 2 Stingray touch exhibits and a tide touch pool. The highlight attraction, and one that can’t be missed, is the  Odysea Voyager. It’ s a stadium-seating style theatre with 46 ft. viewing windows for the “world’s only revolving aquarium experience.  This exhibit wasn’t there when I visited last time, but they had what they called the Carousel which was AMAZING! I am sure hoping to get back soon to take a ride on the Voyager. Sounds incredible. This aquarium is definitely one of the top things to see in Phoenix Arizona and a must-see while in the area.

Visitor Information

Address: 9500 E Via De Ventura  Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Phone: (602) 257-1880

Hours: Sun – Wed 9 am to 6 pm Thurs to Sat 9 am – 7 pm.


  • Adults: $37.95 for Single
  • Seniors (65+) $35.95
  • Children (2-12) $27.95
  • Children (Under 2) Free
  • Parking Free

Phoenix Art Museum

Best Phoenix Attractions - Phoenix Art MuseumI was glad that I was able to make it to the Phoenix Art Museum. They state to have more than 19,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design pieces in their permanent collection. They didn’t lie, it was fascinating. To enlighten, entertain, and stimulate visitors of all ages, they present a variety of public programs year-round including tours, lectures, films, special events, and more.  Like they said though, there is something for everyone to see and enjoy. I really enjoy European Impressionist artists and would definitely start out in the European section. Check out my post about our visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, as I have quite a few pictures of some impressionist art pieces. My visit to the Phoenix Art Museum is coming soon. Stay tuned.

Visitor Information

Address: 1625 N. Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85004-1685

Phone: (602) 257-1880

Hours: Mon – Closed Tues 10-5 Wed 10-9 Thurs- Sat 10-5 Sun 12-5


  • Adults: $23
  • Seniors (65+) $20
  • Students (With ID) $18
  • Children (6-17) $14
  • Children (Under 5) Free
  • Parking Free but Limited

Phoenix zoo

Best Phoenix Attractions - Phoenix ZooOne of the treasures and best attractions in Phoenix Arizona is the Phoenix Zoo.  According to their website, visit the Phoenix Zoo and explore a wondrous world of curiosity, imagination, and discovery. For more than half a century, the Zoo and its animals have amazed guests from across Phoenix and around the globe. Whether you are on the lookout for awe-inspiring Asian elephants, on safari to spot the great Sumatran tiger, or seeking towering giraffes roaming the savanna – a day at the Zoo offers adventures like no other place in the Valley. With cafes, shops, lush gardens, and exciting experiences like Stingray Bay, Giraffe Encounter, Monkey Village, Safari Train, 4-D Theater, and many more, your visit to the Zoo will be memorable for the entire family. The Phoenix Zoo is one of the nation’s largest non-profit zoos, committed to conservation and providing experiences that inspire people and motivate them to care for the natural world. My brother-in-law visited the zoo many years ago and had an amazing time. Sadly I didn’t make it on my last trip, but I hope to while I am there on a future visit.

Visitor Information

Address: 455 North Galvin Parkway Phoenix, Arizona 85008

Phone: (602) 273-1341

Hours: Daily 9-5 as of posting date, but change seasonally. Check their website for current hours.


  • Adults: $24.95 or $22.95 Online
  • Seniors (60+) $22.95
  • Students $22.95
  • Children (3-13) $16.95 or $14.95 Online
  • Children (Under 2) Free
  • Military / AAA Members $22.95
  • Parking  Free

Rosson House at Heritage Square

Best Phoenix Attractions - Heritage SquareLocated in Heritage Square, Rosson House is a restored 1865 Queen Anne Victorian home and museum.  Today admission to the house is only allowed through docent-led tours which include all living areas and offer visitors a glimpse into the lifestyles of early Phoenix families. While touring the house, they tell stories of the residents who lived there, the history of Territorial Arizona, and interesting tidbits about Victorian America. Sounds like a fun way to learn some interesting history. FYI, tours begin every hour, on the hour. Small groups are accepted as they arrive. Groups of 6 or more require prior reservations. I didn’t take a tour of the house but did sit and have a beer on the square. It was nice since it was like 30 digress here in CO, lol.

Visitor Information

Address: 113 N 6th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phone: 602-262-5070.

Hours:  Wed. 10 am to 5 pm  Last tour at 4 – Sun 12 pm 5 pm Last tour at 4 pm


  • Adults: $10
  • Seniors/Military/AAA Members/Students $9
  • Children (5-12) $5
  • Children (Under 5) Free

Sea Life

Best Phoenix Attractions - Sea LifeAnother attraction that is wonderful to see is the SeaLife Aquarium. Although it is also in Tempe (still in the metro area), it is well worth the short drive. Once there you are sure to be wowed by the many strange, beautiful, and fascinating creatures of the deep as you journey through an amazing underwater world. While I wasn’t able to visit this aquarium, I  have visited the SeaLife Kansas City and it was spectacular. Just like that one, guests get close-up views of everything from sea stars to sharks, rays, octopuses, and a rescued green sea turtle! To get any closer you’ll have to get wet!  This location is home to thousands of sea creatures in 30 displays, interactive touch tanks, an amazing 360-degree ocean tunnel, talks, feeds, and much more! Hope to get to visit this aquarium on a future visit.

Visitor Information

Address: 5000 Arizona Mills Circle, STE 145  Tempe, Arizona 85282

Phone: 855-450-0558

Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am to 6 pm Sun 11 am to 5 pm


  • Adults: $24.95 or $19.95 Online
  • Children (3-12) $19.95 $14.95 Online
  • Children (Under 2) Free
  • Discounts for combo packages to Legoland Discovery Center
  • Parking Free

Best Phoenix Attractions - CactusThere you have it, my list of the best attractions in Phoenix Arizona. While a few of them are not right in the city of Phoenix, they are in the metro area and still the Phoenix top things to do.  What have I missed? What do I need to include? Please comment below and let me know what you’ve enjoyed, or what I should add to this list.  Thanks in advance.


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9 thoughts on “Best Phoenix Attractions in the Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area

  1. We are yet to make a trip to the Phoenix area though we visited Grand Canyon and other areas nearby.. and this listing makes it even more attractive..

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you get to visit soon and enjoy some of these attractions. Happy travels (when we can again).

  2. The Desert Botanical Garden is terrific! I hope you’ll post about the Museum of Musical Instruments; a little farther from Phoenix, but so easy to get there, with amazing exhibits and tasty food, too. Thanks for these Phoenix reminders.

    1. HI Kathleen, you are the second one to mention the Museum of Musical Instruments. I will definitely have to check that out the next time I am in the area. Thank you for mentioning it, and for the comment. Have a good afternoon/evening.

  3. I don’t think I have ever been to Phoenix, but I am sure that the Queen Anne Victorian home would have been my favorite place to visit. The flowers at the botanical gardens look beautiful! Glad you had a good trip.

    1. It was a very nice trip. Glad I was able to see a few friends while I was there too. Made it even nicer. Thanks for your msg. Have a good one.

  4. Very interesting article, thank you! That’s what I was looking for. I like to be inspired by such proposals for low-budget travelling 🙂

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