Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix is the vibrant urban core of the city and home to some of the area’s top attractions, restaurants, and events. This is where you’ll find landmarks like Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Talking Stick Resort Arena where the Phoenix Suns play, and the Phoenix Convention Center that hosts major conferences and trade shows. The downtown area is very walkable, with a convenient light rail system that makes getting around a breeze. Start your day people-watching and sipping expertly brewed coffees along Roosevelt Row, the artsy heart of downtown. Then stroll through the aisles of locally grown produce and artisanal goods at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market. In the evening, catch a show at the Orpheum Theater or grab a craft cocktail at one of downtown’s exclusive speakeasies like Undertow. Downtown Phoenix really comes alive at night, especially on weekends. With live music pouring out of bars and restaurants, you’ll always find something exciting going on. Some local favorites include Crescent Ballroom, a concert venue inside a converted warehouse, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, known for its inventive drinks and swanky atmosphere, and Valley Bar, a basement dive bar that hosts up-and-coming bands. With great public transportation options like the light rail, streetcars, and buses, downtown Phoenix is one of the most visitor-friendly parts of the city. Stay at a hip boutique hotel like FOUND:RE or book a room at the historic Westward Ho and you’ll be steps from all the action.

Roosevelt Row Arts District

Roosevelt Row is the creative heart of downtown Phoenix. This vibrant arts district is home to galleries, studios, boutiques, bars, restaurants and public art displays. It’s the perfect place to take in Phoenix’s thriving local art scene. Named for Roosevelt Street, this neighborhood was originally a residential area that fell into decline in the 1960s and 70s as residents moved to the suburbs. It began its transformation into an arts district in the 1990s when artists seeking affordable real estate started moving into the craftsman bungalows and vacant buildings. Today, Roosevelt Row has over 65 galleries and studios to explore. Notable spots include Eye Lounge, a contemporary art gallery, Practical Art, a workspace and gallery for local artists, and GreenHaus, a gallery dedicated to emerging artists. Don’t miss the colorful and ever-changing street art along the sidewalks, parking lots and alleyways. You never know what you’ll discover as you stroll around! Fuel up with coffee and pastries at futuristically-decorated Agave Coffee, freshly made empanadas at Calories Bakery, or farm fresh fare at The Welcome Diner before continuing your arts adventure. When evening arrives, stop by Carly’s Bistro for craft beer and wine or POSTINO WineCafe for bruschetta and a glass of vino. The best time to visit Roosevelt Row is the first Friday of every month, when galleries stay open late and food trucks line the streets for the popular First Friday Art Walk. With free public parking and most attractions within walking distance, it’s easy to explore this thriving creative district.

Melrose District

Trendy shopping, unique boutiques and colorful street art make the Melrose District one of Phoenix’s hippest neighborhoods. Located just north of downtown along 7th Avenue, it’s known for upscale interior design stores, local fashion designers and an eclectic array of restaurants. Melrose takes its name from Melrose Street, the neighborhood’s main commercial corridor. Most of the businesses are located in low-slung midcentury modern buildings that now house chic home furnishing shops, cutting-edge salons and indie clothing boutiques. Must-visit stores include Modern Stop for contemporary furniture, The Wonder Cabinet curio shop and Green Haus, a purveyor of stylish vintage decor. When hunger strikes, you’ll be spoiled for choice in the Melrose District. Enjoy wood-fired Neapolitan pizza and people watching from the patio of Pizzeria Bianco. Try inventive comfort food inside a cozy Craftsman bungalow at The Melrose Cafe. Or grab an organic acai bowl and coffee before you continue exploring. Don’t miss the eye-catching street art like the fanciful “Never Let Go” mural by Lauren Lee and colorful utility box murals by Thomas Breeze Marcus. You’ll find whimsical surprises on many street corners! The neighborhood comes alive on the first Friday of each month during the Melrose On 7th art walk. Galleries stay open late, food trucks line the streets and live music plays at venues like The Lost Leaf. With a walkable layout and nearby public parking, it’s easy to spend an evening gallery hopping and bar crawling in the district.

Biltmore Neighborhood

Phoenix’s Biltmore neighborhood is an upscale enclave known for high-end resorts, luxury fashion boutiques and the city’s most opulent estates. Located in the heart of central Phoenix, it’s adjacent to two popular greenspaces: the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club and the Desert Botanical Garden. This affluent area is anchored by the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, a historic resort modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. Wander the resort’s citrus-tree lined pathways or indulge in a spa treatment within the private adults-only Catalina pool area. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still enjoy upscale dining at Wright’s at the Biltmore. Adjacent to the hotel, the Biltmore Fashion Park provides a mix of high-fashion boutiques and posh department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Ralph Lauren. Stroll along the palm tree-dotted plaza with a cup of gelato from Angel Sweet, or enjoy an elegant afternoon tea in the Tea Court garden. Architecture lovers will delight in the historic neighborhoods situated near the hotel. Drive along Claremont Street to see sprawling luxury mansions in English Tudor, Spanish Colonial, and Mediterranean styles dating from the 1920s and 30s. With attractions like the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Taliesin West, the Wrigley Mansion and the Goldwater Memorial all a short drive away, the Biltmore neighborhood is ground zero for exploring Phoenix’s architectural wonders and gilded history.

Midtown Phoenix

From vintage shops to vegetarian cafes, Midtown Phoenix mixes urban cool with laid-back vibes. Located directly east of downtown, it encompasses the neighborhoods of Park Central, Alvarado, Medlock Place and others bisected by Central Avenue. Families and young professionals flock to Midtown for its walkable parks, shops and casual dining options. Start your visit with breakfast tacos and fresh-squeezed juice at Naked Biscuit, a rustic eatery known for its flaky homemade biscuits. Work off your meal with a stroll through Steele Indian School Park and its whimsical public art. Then check out reinvented retro fashions at Stinkweeds Records and vintage finds at Modern Manor. For lunch, try Venezuelan arepas at Bacanora or savor delicious Ethiopian cuisine at CafĂ© Lalibela. Later, cool off with homemade ice cream at The Parlor or unique flower-shaped gelato at Lulubell Toy Bodega. When evening rolls around, stop by Postino Annex for bruschetta and local wine before catching some live tunes at The Lost Leaf or a comedy show at The Trunk Space. Many bars and eateries offer patio seating, so you can soak up Midtown’s lively urban energy well into the night. With a central location, laid-back attitude and abundance of local flavor, Midtown Phoenix perfectly blends big city convenience with offbeat charm.

Camelback Corridor

Situated along Camelback Road, Phoenix’s Camelback Corridor is one of the city’s most prestigious business, shopping and resort districts. Anchored by the high-end Biltmore Fashion Park mall, it’s a magnet for luxury retail therapy by day and fine dining by night. As you enter the Camelback Corridor from the east, you’ll pass through an area nicknamed the Gold Canyon. This section of Cameback Road is peppered with upscale jewelry stores like Shapiro Diamonds and Precious Metals Refining. Stop in one of these sparkly stores to pick up a special bauble to commemorate your Phoenix visit. Next, check out the designer boutiques and high-end department stores of Biltmore Fashion Park. Relax after shopping with a manicure at prestigious Burke Williams day spa or lunch at True Food Kitchen’s healthy restaurant. Before leaving the mall, grab dessert from The Parlor’s gelato and candy shop. Further west down Camelback Road sits some of the city’s most luxurious resorts, like the Phoenician Further west down Camelback Road sits some of the city’s most luxurious resorts, like the Phoenician, the JW Marriott Camelback Inn, and the Canyon Suites at the Phoenician. Even if you’re not staying overnight, pop into one of these ritzy resorts to admire the upscale architecture and lush grounds. Camelback Road also offers access to two of Phoenix’s top outdoor recreation spots. Camelback Mountain, the area’s iconic desert peak, beckons outdoor enthusiasts with hiking trails up to its summit. Or explore the Desert Botanical Garden’s 50-acre showcase of colorful desert plants from around the world. When evening arrives, head to Scottsdale’s Old Town just a short drive north to bar hop and check out the vibrant local nightlife scene. Or if you still have energy, drive east to climb Squaw Peak for panoramic views over the city lights.


One of Phoenix’s oldest residential areas, Arcadia sits at the base of iconic Camelback Mountain and offers charming historic homes and walkable parkland. Tree-lined streets are dotted with classic ranch-style houses, Spanish Colonial Revival mansions and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture. Start your visit to Arcadia at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center. Trails wind through the nature preserve, great for a scenic desert stroll and some birdwatching. Then drive through the historic neighborhoods, pausing frequently for photo ops of the unique architecture. Stop for lunch at Beckett’s Table, a neighborhood favorite with a cozy patio that’s perfect for a leisurely meal. Or walk over to Bonaparte East for authentic French crepes and cafe au lait. After refueling, spend the afternoon poking through the vintage shops and indie boutiques that line North 36th Street in Arcadia. Find mid-century modern housewares at Retro Ranch, sway to live music while browsing beautiful items at Cahuenga General Store, or gift yourself some locally made art at The Cartel Coffee Lab. End your visit to Arcadia with a hike up Dobbins Lookout or Camelback Mountain to watch the sunset over the valley. The views from these lookout points are phenomenal. With its beautiful natural scenery, interesting architecture and quirky shops, Arcadia makes for a memorable Phoenix visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

Just east of Phoenix lies Old Town Scottsdale, a district packed with art galleries, shops, restaurants and nightlife. Located in downtown Scottsdale, Old Town has a Southwestern flair and cosmopolitan energy ideal for whiling away an afternoon or evening. This artsy neighborhood comes alive each Thursday evening for Old Town’s ArtWalk. From 7-9pm, the streets fill with artists selling their wares, live music and food vendors. It’s a lively weekly event for checking out Scottsdale’s creative side. Old Town Scottsdale is very walkable, with two main thoroughfares: Main Street and Marshall Way. Browse through boutiques stocked with Native American jewelry, Western wear and stylish Southwestern souvenirs. Then pop into local art galleries like Rubbish Interiors or Francine for paintings with modern flair. When it’s time for a drink, belly up to the bar in the old-timey Rusty Spur Saloon, once a favorite watering hole of movie stars filming Westerns in the area. Or watch the sunset from the lively patio at Wasted Grain, where you can try Arizona beers on tap. Save your appetite for dinner at Citizen Public House, a gastropub known for its modern twists on comfort food favorites. Or go all out with dry-aged steaks and seafood at Old Town’s premier steakhouse, Ocean 44. With its vibrant mix of galleries, shops, bars and restaurants with a Southwestern vibe, Old Town Scottsdale is a must-visit Phoenix neighborhood for art lovers, shoppers and anyone looking for a fun night out.

South Mountain

Rising up in south Phoenix, the South Mountain Preserve encompasses over 16,000 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. Crisscrossed by trails and dotted with ancient petroglyphs, it’s a scenic spot for outdoor recreation just minutes from downtown. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this enormous park. Start with a hike along the short National Trail to Dobbins Lookout for panoramic city views, or walk the scenic 1.5-mile loop through the Desert Botanical Garden. More challenging treks lead up to the summit of South Mountain itself or weave through canyons filled with giant saguaro cacti. After working up an appetite hiking, stop for Mexican food and margaritas on the patio of family-owned Los Taquitos or try the chili cheese fries at Moe’s BBQ. Then walk across the street from these restaurants to explore Park of the Canals, an oasis of ponds, botanical gardens and walking paths. Cap your visit by watching the sunset from the South Mountain Park lookout point. Stay until dusk falls, when you can gaze at the glittering city lights with the desert mountains silhouetted in front of you. With ancient landscapes, top-notch trails and easy access off the freeway, the South Mountain Preserve is the perfect place to soak up the best of the Sonoran Desert just minutes from central Phoenix.


Home of Arizona State University, Tempe blends the energy of a college town with an abundance of arty and outdoorsy pursuits. The eclectic, youthful vibe makes Tempe a great destination if you crave good eats, unique shops and lively entertainment options. Mill Avenue is Tempe’s main drag, packed with brewpubs, concert halls and eateries to suit every taste. Try hyper-fresh sushi at Asian fusion joint Kai or dig into Korean BBQ at Caspian Bistro then catch a comedy show at Tempe Improv. Adjacent to ASU’s campus lies the sparkling Tempe Town Lake, a hot spot for paddling, hiking and open-air yoga classes set against the dramatic city skyline. Walk, jog or bike along the scenic river pathway, then stop for a craft cocktail at Lakehouse Pub’s expansive waterfront patio. Tempe is also a fantastic place to experience the Valley’s local art scene, with two buzz-worthy venues located side by side. The ASU Art Museum features boundary-pushing exhibits and workshops inside a stunning steel and glass building. Next door, the Ceramics Research Center and Brickyard Gallery showcase imaginative works by the university’s talented MFA students. Between the student hangouts, outdoor recreation and strong arts focus, Tempe strikes the perfect balance for visitors who like their cities both energetic and creative.