Enjoying the scenic route between Phoenix and Scottsdale can be one of your most rewarding Arizona experiences. As you drive through the state and pass through some of the highlights between the capital and “The West’s Most Western Town,” its beauty and diversity instantly grab your attention.
Check out this short guide and you’ll see how easy it is to fall in love with the desert landscape and rich history of this area.
1. Desert Botanical Garden
If you’re looking to soak up those last few rays of sunlight before you head home from Phoenix, this is the best place to walk around and take in the view. With only a 10 minutes drive from the town, a desert paradise of sandy browns and emerald greens awaits, with majestic saguaro cactus arms reaching high into the sky.
And although the garden is beautiful all year round, it may not be a good idea to visit during summer, when the city’s temperatures consistently reach triple digits. Also, remember to bring a reusable water bottle that can be refilled at the site’s numerous hydration stations.
2. Musical Instrument Museum
A 20-mile drive from downtown Phoenix, the museum’s collection boasts more than 8,000 instruments from all over the world, allowing visitors to understand how music affects us on a sensory level. Through this unique collection, you’ll be able to explore international music and learn how it connects people. Additionally, if you want a deeper understanding of how music promotes culture and art, and how it can make the world a better place, this is definitely the place for you.
3. Old Town Scottsdale
Known for its fun, flirty, and sophisticated vibe, Old Town Scottsdale never disappoints. There are nine walkable districts, each of which has its own treasures – from the popular “Welcome to Old Town” sign, symbolizing the Western heritage of the area, to the area’s diverse selection of cafés and restaurants, bars, art galleries, and luxury shopping centers. As a result, Old Town Scottsdale stands out as one of the jewels of the Grand Canyon State.
4. Tempe Town Lake
There’s a reason why Tempe Town Lake is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Arizona. Situated in the heart of Tempe, extending between Rio Salado Parkway and Curry Road, the park provides an array of recreational activities to enjoy year-round: everything from outdoor water sports like exciting kayaking, fun stand-up paddleboarding, rowing, and fishing, to picnicking and much more.
Just 20 miles east of Phoenix, the city of Mesa sits at the center of many natural wonders: desert-surrounded, with convenient access to three lakes, two rivers, and miles of hiking trails, it has everything you need for outdoor adventures. There is no limit to what a city can offer: everything from mountain tops to desert bottoms, cultural and historic attractions, and a variety of ways to enjoy nature. Regardless of your taste, Mesa will delight you with its reinvigorating, playful, and even surprising charm.
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