Phoenix is an urban, somewhat sleepy city in Arizona
. As a popular tourist destination, the city boasts numerous things to see and do. However, for those visiting Phoenix and looking for something a little different, here’s are guide to some of the lesser-known things to do.
Close to Paradise Valley, Cholla Trail is a three-mile hike offering gorgeous views and strenuous exercise. Enjoy Phoenix’s beautiful natural landscapes from the top of the trail, while also spying out large rock formations with downtown Phoenix off in the distance. Hikers with dogs are also welcome on Cholla Trail but be cautious: this trail is difficult, steep and somewhat rocky.
Cholla Trail, 6131 E Cholla Ln, Phoenix, AZ
Hikers with dogs are welcome on Cholla Trail © Bureau of Land Management / Flickr
Phoenix’s man-made historic waterfall was built in 1902 in order deliver the city power. As the first hydroelectric plant in Phoenix, the fall is not only beautiful but also useful. Although the plant was shut down in 1950, it has still remained a meeting site for locals to socialize and have picnics there. Now visitors can come to the Falls to learn about the history of water and power in Phoenix.
Arizona Falls, 5802 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix’s man-made historic waterfall was built in 1902 © Dru Bloomfield / Flickr
Shemer Art Center and Museum
The Shemer Art Center and Museum has become one of Phoenix’s most beloved cultural centers. The museum aims to educate visitors about visual art through a combination of special exhibitions, classes, lectures, workshops, and events. From painting to jewelry making, the museum covers all sorts of different art mediums. The museum is situated in one of Phoenix’s historic buildings, dating back to 1919.
Shemer Art Center and Museum, 5005 E Camelback Rd Phoenix, AZ, +1 602-262-4727
Lookout Mountain Preserve
As one of Phoenix’s less-hiked parks, Lookout Mountain Preserve is not as crowded as many other nearby trails. Lookout Mountain boasts numerous treks for all skill levels. (Easier trails surround the base of the mountain while more difficult ones move up the mountain.) Of course, some of the best views are at the top, while cacti an interesting wildlife abounds all around.
Lookout Mountain Preserve, 15800 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ, +1 602-262-7901
Suitably named Dick’s Hideaway, this restaurant is known mainly to locals. The restaurant is inconspicuous as it does not have a sign, and is hidden unassumingly next to a hardware store. Dick’s Hideaway is a delicious option for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with an ambiance that is casual while still being up-scale. The menu means classic American dishes such as burgers and salads, but also many traditional dishes from Santa Fe.
Dick’s Hideaway, 6008 N 16th St, Phoenix, +1 602-241-1881
Martin Auto Museum
Martin Auto Museum
The Martin Auto Museum is Phoenix’s leading museum for car lovers. The museum is dedicated to preserving and curating America’s long history of auto-mobiles, and not only collects rare cars but also preserves and maintains them so that future generations can enjoy them and learn about their stories.
Martin Auto Museum, 17641 N Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix, AZ, +1 602-298-2377
Circle 6 Studios
Circle 6 Studios offers guests a view into a unique art form: glass blowing. The studio boasts a variety of different locally made glass blown pieces, ranging from chandeliers to vases and sculptures. The studio also offers glass blowing classes to the public. Classes are taught daily and go from beginner level to a more advanced artists’ workshops.
Circle 6 Studios, 1424 E Virginia Ave, Phoenix, AZ, +1 602-454-9342
The Farm at South Mountain
Known for their farm-to-table dining, The Farm at South Mountain is one of Phoenix’s most delicious yet fresh and healthy restaurant options. The Farm at South Mountain is actually three restaurants in one, as it changes for each meal: the spot is known as Morning Glory Cafe for breakfast, The Farm Kitchen for lunch, and Quiessence for dinner.
The Farm at South Mountain, 6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ, +1 602-276-6360
Heritage Square Phoenix
Phoenix’s Heritage Park encompasses the city’s Victorian history. Dating back to the late 18th century, the park comprises the Rosson House Museum and numerous restaurants with a local and old time charm. The square is a great break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city and the park is quaint and extremely well-maintained, with restored Victorian architecture and lush green trees in abundance.
Heritage Square Phoenix, 113 N 6th St, Phoenix, AZ, +1 602-261-8063
Phoenix’s Heritage Park encompasses the city’s Victorian history © Marine 69-71
Two Hippies Beach House
This fun and funky Mexican joint serves some of the best (and cheapest) tacos in all of Phoenix. Two Hippies Beach House has a beachy, hippie feel, with wooden picnic benches outside, vintage road signs on the walls, a Volkswagen bus in the front for show, and a huge smiley face sculpture resting on the roof. Try the fried fish tacos and pair them with one of their fresh fruit smoothies.
Two Hippies Beach House, 501 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ, +1 602-277-0399