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Visit Phoenix for a fun-filled vacation

Sports, hiking and tasty cuisine await you in Phoenix. | By Patrick Mitchell and Kassi Nopratvarakorn | November 06, 2021

With an average of around 300 days of sunshine a year, Phoenix is the perfect warm-weather escape to enjoy year-round outdoor adventures, delicious eats and college sports. Whether you’re back in town to watch a game or visiting the Phoenix area for the first time, discover the perfect itinerary for new travel memories in the Valley of the Sun.

While you explore Phoenix and the Southwest, we hope you'll make lasting memories with these three top Arizona destination tips:

  • Phoenix is for foodies: From microbreweries to pork tacos to Ethiopian fare, Phoenix has an impressive global culinary scene

  • Take a hike in Scottsdale: Explore a desert, mountains and an indoor rainforest all without leaving the city

  • Root for the home team in Tempe: Known for its college sports, Tempe offers plenty of fun when you’re in town for the game

Friends at a brewery or bar doing a cheers with drinks
Local breweries offer a frosty respite from the sun.

Southwest foodie finds

Phoenix has quickly become an eating destination, thanks to iconic eateries like Pizzeria Bianco and Barrio Café. In addition to Southwestern fare, there’s also exceptional global cuisine that can be found all over the region. Try the signature crepe or beef pho at Vietnamese legend, Da Vàng. Head to Cafe Lalibela in Tempe for fresh and flavorful combinations of some of the best Ethiopian food around.

You'll get modern takes on classic Latin favorites at The Mission in Scottsdale. Hint: Grab a seat on the back patio and get the pork tacos. But save room for the pumpkin bread pudding. Or, for a leisurely afternoon, stop by Goldwater Brewing Co. This family-owned-and-operated brewery comes with more than 30 years of history and is known for its craft beers and specialty brews. Find locations all over the city or hang out for the day in one of their tap rooms in Mesa.

Where to stay: Dine with a view and stay at Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak or Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort and enjoy sweeping mountain vistas and dynamic desert sunsets with your dinner from the patio of their on-site restaurants.

Sonoran Desert Scene in Arizona
Savor the smells of sage and sandalwood in the Sonoran desert.

Adventures in Scottsdale

Discover the Sonoran Desert with a trip to Scottsdale. Famous for its unlimited outdoor activities, this city has more than 400 miles of hiking trails, including the Gateway Loop Trail. This 4.5-mile circular path takes you through the McDowell Mountains and boasts views of the rocky landscape and some Sonoran wildlife, too.

For indoor activities, take time to visit the legendary Taliesin West, the winter home and school of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Your senses will take flight as you immerse yourself in a tropical rainforest at Butterfly Wonderland.

Of course, no trip to Scottsdale is complete without a visit to Old Town. These walkable streets are the perfect blend of old-fashioned shops next to new boutiques and restaurants. Wander toward the Scottsdale Civic Center to check out the fountains and then find just the right view of Camelback Mountain from this desert oasis.

Where to stay: Located a short drive from Old Town Scottsdale, stay at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley – Scottsdale or Embassy Suites by Hilton Phoenix Scottsdale for relaxing accommodations, resort-style pools and a location near the heart of it all.

Outdoor pool with loungers
This tropical rooftop lounge is a real-life oasis backdrop to your desert adventure.

Tailgate in Tempe

Home to Arizona State University, Tempe is a vibrant destination on its own. During football season, you can tailgate with the whole family before the big game and show up for live entertainment, food trucks, giveaways and more. Or if you are in town for a basketball game, check out the best local spots downtown before and after the game.

For shopping and dining options, head to the Tempe Marketplace it also has outdoor space with weekly live music and concerts, art installations and more. Take a stroll through the Mill Avenue District, a lively, mile-long area that’s home to local shops, dining and some of the best nightlife around.

Where to stay: Walking distance to the ASU campus and Mill Avenue, stay at Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown and watch the sun set from 14 stories up at Alibi, a tropical rooftop lounge.

From the thriving food scene to the breathtaking natural beauty, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe have so much to offer. You can hike mountains, explore a desert, dine on global cuisine or catch a game, all without leaving Arizona. No matter how you choose to spend your time here, you’ll head home with special memories and a desire to visit again.

Kassi Nopratvarakorn is part of the Destination Marketing team for Hilton, based in Los Angeles. An avid traveler, photographer and foodie, you can find her staging the perfect shot on any trip. Usually at golden hour, usually of pasta.

Patrick Mitchell is an account manager for Hilton’s Studio. When he’s not in creative reviews, catch this Washington, D.C. resident going on outdoor adventures with epic views, accompanied by his adorable French bulldog, Tut.

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