As the capital of Arizona and tourism hotspot, Phoenix is a fantastic city that has a lot to offer to its visitors. From skyscrapers to the vast desert, the Phoenix area is home to tons of attractions and a very unique cultural identity. A mixture of historical, Southern, and youthful perspectives all work together to form the Phoenix we know and love.
Phoenix is a hub for all sorts of demographics. In the inner city, there is a young, vibrant vibe and there are more family-friendly scenes along the outside. This shows that Phoenix has a little bit of everything for any visitor.
Whether you are a business person or tourist, Phoenix, Arizona can be an excellent place to call a temporary home. From professional sports teams to historical museums, Phoenix holds a diversity of activities. Here are five of the best areas to stay while in Phoenix!
With many big cities, the first time you travel to an area, Downtown is a great place to get acclimated. Downtown Phoenix is also known as Central City and has tons of awesome attractions. Right in the middle is where you can find the stunning architecture that encompasses the historical district of the city. The gorgeous white buildings and old churches give you an old feel mixed with a modern city.
The biggest perk of staying Downtown is its proximity to the rest of the city. As the Central City name implies, you are in the middle of the action. Taking the local train and bus systems to get to other neighborhoods is very popular and inexpensive.
Some of the attractions that call Central City home include the Children’s Museum, Arizona Science Center, and so many cafes and small shops. Simply walking around, exploring the city, and visiting local vendors is a fantastic plan.
Best place to stay in Downtown Phoenix
Kimpton Hotel Palomar. Address: 2 East Jefferson Street, Downtown Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ 85004, United States of America.
Located in the heart of the surrounding mountains, Paradise Valley has a very accurate name. The valley is home to some pretty luxurious accommodations including fine dining, up-scale nightlife, and the fanciest hotels in the city. Paradise Valley is not for the faint of heart as staying here will cost a pretty penny. No matter where you end up staying, it is still cool to go to Paradise Valley, take a hike, and see some of the beautiful hotels.
On top of the luxurious stops, there aren’t that many attractions here. Paradise Valley is a more natural area rather than man-made sites like museums and architecture. Some fantastic hiking trails go through the local area. Paradise Valley is surrounded by the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, McDowell Mountains, and Camelback Mountain. Whether you decide to stay here or not, coming to this natural paradise is a fantastic way to spend a day in nature.
Best place to stay in Paradise Valley
Resort Mountain Shadows. Address: 5445 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, United States of America.
Nestled right next to Camelback Mountain, Camelback East is a fantastic neighborhood that is extremely popular. That being said, it also has a little bit of everything for its visitors. Yes, some up-scale hotels are quite pricey, but this is countered by very affordable accommodations for the normal tourist.
Much like downtown, Camelback East is very diverse in terms of things to do and sites to see. You can spend an entire day shopping and eating delicious cuisine and not even see any of the big sites. Once you shake the shopping itch, be sure to visit the Shemer Art Center and Museum. This is a very famous Arizona attraction and provides a fun afternoon for the whole family.
Once the sun goes down, go grab a drink at one of the various bars that make up yet another fantastic nightlife scene. Sit down for a bite to eat then go out on the town and experience the lively atmosphere.
Best place to stay in Camelback East
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa. Address: 2400 East Missouri Avenue, Camelback East, Phoenix, AZ 85016, United States of America.
The nightlife capital of Phoenix is Encanto. The streets are filled with bars, nightclubs, and delicious restaurants. Mixed within the party culture is a huge presence of LGBTQ community members. This is a very accepting neighborhood that has a place for anyone and everyone. Plus, the accommodations tend to be a bit cheaper than the other parts of town.
When you’re not hanging out with your friends at the local bars, there are a couple of other great attractions. One of these is visiting the various museums here. The Heard Museum and the Museum of Art are nestled here. This is very well known and offers an excellent break from your busy time in Phoenix. If you plan on spending some money, be sure to visit the Park Central Shopping Center. This is a fantastic mall where you can purchase anything you need.
Some other perks of Encanto are the various public parks and spaces that inhabit the neighborhood. It is always good to have some open space in an otherwise crowded world. These are fantastic for relaxing or killing time while in Encanto. Grab a coffee, get some lunch, and just enjoy the sights and sounds of Encanto.
Best place to stay in Encanto
Embassy Suites by Hilton. Address: 10 East Thomas Road, Encanto, Phoenix, AZ 85012, United States of America.
Finally, we have North Mountain. As you may have guessed, North Mountain is in the northern part of Phoenix. In this area, there is a large residential area filled with homes and apartment complexes. So, this isn’t necessarily known as the biggest tourist area in Phoenix. However, that does not mean there aren’t things to do.
The biggest attraction in North Mountain is the Castles N ‘Coasters amusement park that provides fun for the whole family. Even if you are traveling alone, this is still a good stop as they have a couple of different golf courses connected to the park. After all, Arizona is known to have nice golf courses, so grab some clubs and hit the links!
This is another area that has many hiking trails and natural parks that let you take in your beautiful surroundings. If this isn’t your cup of tea, the rest of Phoenix is thankfully just a short drive south.
Best place to stay in North Mountain
Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. Address: 11111 North 7th Street, North Mountain, Phoenix, AZ 85020, United States of America.
Where travel critics stay in Phoenix
Want to know where travel critics from publishers like The New York Times, Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Lonely Planet stay in Phoenix, Arizona? Check out our overview of all recommended hotels, hostels and B&Bs in Phoenix.
“The new Hotel Adeline takes an affordable approach to style. Some 213 rooms ring a lively pool area that includes a full-service bar. On weekends, ask for the password to get into the hidden speakeasy Straight Up.” — New York Times.
Address: 5101 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250, United States of America.
“It’s full of winding, tree-covered paths, arches, narrow walkways, gardens, and antique fountains, creating the tranquil feel of a Mediterranean monastery. The denseness landscaping belies its relatively small footprint on Camelback Road in Arcadia.” — Frommer’s.
Address: 5200 East Camelback Road, Camelback East, Phoenix, AZ 85018, United States of America.
“In a town where luxurious, expensive resorts are the rule, the Phoenician still stands apart, primarily in the realm of service. The gilded, marbled lobby with towering fountains is the backdrop for a $25 million fine-art collection.” — Fodor’s.
Address: 6000 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, United States of America.
Best things to do in Phoenix
There are a lot of things to do in Phoenix and surrounding areas, including day trips, attractions, museums, sightseeing tours and many other activities. Here’s our list of 3 things you should definitely do when you’re in and around Phoenix:
Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Phoenix
Take in gorgeous views of the Sonoran Desert and feel like you’re floating on a cloud during an exhilarating hot air balloon ride from Phoenix. Price: $179. More info.
Phoenix & Scottsdale City Highlights Tour
The Phoenix City Highlights tour is a half-day tour that showcases the fastest growing county in the United States. The land area is larger than London, Paris and Tokyo combined, and has a tremendous diversity of culture, scenery and history to explore. Price: $89. More info.
Grand Canyon Day Tour with Sedona and Navajo Reservation
Visit Grand Canyon National Park, with a stop for pictures of the Red Rocks of Sedona, on this 13-hour tour from the Phoenix area. Price: $168. More info.
Deciding where to stay in Phoenix
As you can see, there are a lot of things to explore, and deciding where to stay in Phoenix is important. Whether you stay in North Mountain, Encanto, Camelback East, Paradise Valley or Downtown, all those neighborhoods are in good locations.
The atmosphere of the area, whether you travel for leisure or business, whether you travel with your family or friends, and proximity to the attractions you prefer to visit should probably be the deciding factors. Whatever your preference is, you’ll have a great time in Phoenix.
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