The lifestyle in Phoenix has many offerings to keep newly arrived residents entertained. Whether an individual is an art or history buff, an avid foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast who moved to Phoenix for the good weather, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Valley of the Sun.

Arts and culture in Phoenix

Art gallery by Zalfa Imani

It may surprise those unfamiliar with Phoenix, but the city has a rich arts and culture scene which attracts creative minds from across the valley. New arrivals will have a host of galleries and museums to explore throughout the city. A stroll through the Arts District in the Phoenix suburb of Roosevelt provides a great opportunity to take in street art. The First Friday Art Walk in downtown Phoenix is a monthly event where the city comes to life as residents come out in their droves to access special art and photography exhibits.

Eating out in Phoenix

Phoenix is said to be a foodie oasis in the Arizona Desert. Local chefs have become champions of sustainability and work tirelessly to promote the use of fresh local produce. Restaurants in Phoenix have become truly innovative in recent years, fusing diverse cuisine to create fresh twists on American classics.

The culinary scene in Phoenix is constantly evolving, but residents are sure to find an eclectic range of international food offerings here. There are endless options, from Korean bao buns and Mexican tacos to slow-cooked BBQ ribs and wood-fired pizza.

Nightlife in Phoenix

Sure, it’s not quite Vegas, but new residents will find Phoenix is a fun place when the sun goes down. From ale houses and dive bars to rooftop cocktail bars and sophisticated nightclubs, Phoenix has an exciting bevvy of nightlife venues.

There are several nightlife hubs in Phoenix and the surrounding area. Downtown Phoenix is the obvious choice, but it tends to be geared towards visitors rather than locals. The Roosevelt Row Arts District with its laid-back vibe is the popular gathering spot among the Bohemian crowd drawn to the great live music. Old town Scottsdale has a high density of bars and clubs, while downtown Tempe is also a top choice for revellers.

Sports and outdoor activities in Phoenix

Mountain biking in Phoenix by Matthew Osborn

With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, there is no excuse not to get outdoors in Phoenix. Hikers, bikers, climbers, and general outdoor enthusiasts will be in their element, playing outside in the Sonoran Desert. The Valley of the Sun is home to dozens of parks and reserves in and around the city that offer trails galore. From taking a leisurely stroll through the red rock buttes of Papago Park to the rewarding climb to the top of the iconic Camelback Mountain, new Phoenix residents of all fitness levels will have outdoor activities available to them.

For those who prefer to watch sports rather than take part, Phoenix's sports calendar has plenty of action. New arrivals should check out Phoenix’s local NFL team, the Arizona Cardinals, at least once. Basketball fans can see the Phoenix Suns in action at the Talking Stick Arena.

See and do in Phoenix

There is plenty for new arrivals to see and do in this desert city. We list a few of those below.

Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum is the largest in the Southwest, hosting multiple national and international exhibitions alongside the museum’s permanent collection, which has grown to contain over 20,000 artefacts. In addition to historic pieces, the museum also provides a platform for contemporary artists and photographers.

Arizona Science Center

An architectural masterpiece, this landmark is set on the beautiful grounds of Heritage and Science Park. It's home to a collection of galleries, and terraces provide an environment for learning. Hands-on exhibits, a modern planetarium and a 5-storey giant-screen theatre make for an engaging and interactive experience.

Musical Instrument Museum

For something out of the ordinary, visit one of the world’s only museums dedicated to musical instruments, located in downtown Phoenix. The MIM houses more than 7,500 musical instruments from across the globe. Through interactive exhibits, visitors can explore foreign cultures through music.

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo is the largest non-profit zoo in the US. Set across 125 acres, the zoo is home to over 1,400 animals and miles of walking trails. Conservation lies at the heart of the zoo’s mission, and it famously played a significant role in reintroducing the once historically critically endangered Arabian Oryx back into the wild.

The Grand Canyon

An attraction that needs no introduction. Although strictly speaking, the Grand Canyon is a four-hour drive from downtown Phoenix, it remains a popular day trip or weekend getaway for local residents. Carved by the path of the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon is a staggering sight.

What's on in Phoenix

Blessed with great weather all year round, ‘The Valley of the Sun’ is the perfect place for a whole host of outdoor events. The array of fairs and festivals happening in and around Phoenix definitely keep life interesting.

Arizona Balloon Classic (January)

Thousands of spectators head to Phoenix each January to see a colourful bouquet of hot air balloons take to the East Valley skies. This three-day festival sees several teams showcase their aerial talents through stunning glowing balloon shows in the early evening, morning balloon launches and a fun-filled balloon race.

Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon (January)

There is no better way for a newcomer to get acquainted with their new home than running through its streets. Not a runner? Well, there is a bike tour too. Those who prefer to watch from the sidelines won’t be disappointed either, and with bands along the course, there is no shortage of entertainment.

Lost Dutchman Days (February/March)

Nothing conjures up the image of the Wild West more than a rodeo, and this hugely popular annual carnival draws in more than 30,000 visitors who come to get a glimpse of high-octane livestock riding. This three-day extravaganza also features rodeo dances and live music performances.

Arizona State Fair (October)

A tradition that dates back to 1905, one of the top annual events in Phoenix is the Arizona State Fair. Attracting over a million people each year, the fair ensures visitors are treated to live performances by local musicians, rodeos, food stalls and various art exhibits. The kids will also be in their element with all the fairground rides to keep them busy.

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