First off, I have to say that limiting this post to just 5 things to do in the Phoenix area is a very difficult task because, depending on when you visit, there are so many options you can't possibly do them all.
If you are visiting in March, one of the biggest attractions is our Cactus League spring training. Spring training fields can be found in Surprise (close to all of our west valley active adult communities), Peoria, Tempe, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson. Construction has begun in Goodyear for a new Cleveland Indians training facility as well.
Our weather is glorious in the spring and nothing beats watching one of the greatest American past-times ever under our blue skies while eating a hot dog (it's the ONLY time you'll see me eating a hot dog!)
Many fans of the various teams will come to the fields early to watch their favorite players practice before the game. And if you are lucky, you might be able to get an autograph.
I was hoping to get Ichiro's one year at the Peoria stadium but he didn't come out with the other players.
Something else that draws the masses in January is the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction where thousands of car collectors and auto enthusiasts gather. Some show up with the intent of bidding but the vast majority are there to take in the excitement.
I've been several times and always enjoy myself, even though my husband is the one into the cars.
There are booths set up too with neat things to look at or buy. All in all a lot of fun for anyone who attends. Be sure to wear your walking shoes though. There are thousands of cars to see.
Also at the end of January/first part February is one of the biggest parties in Scottsdale known as the FBR Open (formerly the Phoenix Open. This is always the most well attended golf event every year. Attendance has exceded 500,000 people the last three years and running.
The largest party is always held on the famous 16th hole known as the loudest hole in golf. In 1997 Tiger Woods elevated the mystique even more when he aced the short 162-yard par three. The crowd began roaring during his backswing and continued until the largest cheer of all... when he took the ball out of the cup and raised it over his head.
The rowdy mix of a partying crowd cheering on the best golfers in the world from a stadium atmosphere is something you will not want to miss.
The first year my husband and I moved here we went to four or five of the area art festivals. I'll never forget the one we went to in Fountain Hills. It was in January or February I think, the temperature was in the high 70's/low 80's at about 3:00 in the afternoon and the orange blossoms were filling the air with the most heavenly scent.
Rick and I sat down under a palm tree in the middle of this art festival and just wanted to pinch ourselves. We couldn't believe we actually lived here, in this paradise. Coming from Seattle we knew the rain was going sideways and it was miserable yet here we were in this beautiful place, looking at beautiful art and handwork.
You can usually find one of these fabulous art shows yourself at various locations during the months of October, November, and usually January through March
One of the favorite activities around the Phoenix area is taking a day hike on one of the local hiking trails. There is a trail for each level of fitness and many offer spectacular views of the valley.
One of the most popular hikes is up Camelback Mountain located in the center of the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. When you get to the top you can see for miles in all directions.
On some of the trails, like this one at the White Tank Mountains, you might get to see wildlife you've never seen before, like Javelina (our wild pigs) or mule deer. Just be sure to keep your eyes out for the occasional rattlesnake that comes out to sun himself.
So those were MY top five picks for things to do around Phoenix. But there are so many things that were left out that I can't stop there.
For the kids we have a multitude of options. From Rawhide, a wild west town with games and rides, to Crackerjax, with mini go-carts, miniature golf, an arcade and the bumper boat lagoon, to one of the area water parks... the kids will have a blast
We also have several places around the valley where you can take a hot air balloon ride
And if you have time to take an hour and a half drive to the north you have to visit beautiful Sedona. The red rocks are breathtaking and there are lots of great shops and restaurants to visit while there
The best time to visit Sedona is in the late spring or summer months, unless you'd like to see snow on the peaks.
Other fun things to do - the Arabian horse show in Scottsdale is usually sometime in February, visiting resorts like the Scottsdale Princess (you don't have to stay there. Go have cocktails on the back patios and soak up the spectacular views), tempe town lake, historical museums, shopping, Phoenix raceway, Diamondbacks games, the Indian casinos...
If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in one of the Phoenix west valley active retirement golf communities, please call me or visit my website http://KathyAndersonRealtor.com. Here you will find information on homes for sale in Sun City Grand Surprise Arizona, resales in Corte Bella, Sun City Festival real estate, Arizona Traditions MLS listings, Trilogy at Vistancia and Sun City West, PLUS see a map of the Surprise AZ area retirement communities. Don't hesitate to call or email if you have questions.
Ken Meade Realty
Sun City Grand Office