The temperature in Phoenix, AZ often exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. For some people, like me, that fact translates into staying in air-conditioned environments at all times. However, Phoenix isn’t always an oven. Temperatures in winter and early spring are pleasant.
Bring your walking shoes – or hiking boots – when you visit Phoenix. Whether you are staying at a Phoenix hotel close to downtown, or in one of the city’s peaceful neighborhoods, you’re not far away from a great place to take a stroll.
South Mountain Park and Preserve
The South Mountain area of Phoenix hosts South Mountain Park, the country’s largest municipal park. Its 16,000 acres includes more than 50 miles of trails. If you can withstand a hearty climb, visit Dobbins Lookout and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding area.
On the other hand, if the climb is too much for you, take your car to Dobbins Point and soak up the scenery from the comfort of your vehicle.
Summit Trail at Piestewa
Staying off beaten paths is great, but some are worth your time. Summit Trail at Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak) is one of the most popular trails in the nation with thousands of visitors every week. It offers a great workout and worthwhile views. Bring a bottle of water, your camera, and your friendly face; you’re bound to meet plenty of other hikers on this two-mile journey.
Can’t get enough of rock-bound beauty? The Grand Canyon is about a three and a half hour drive from Phoenix, but it’s worth the trip if you are looking for a breathtaking place to take a hike or a walk.
Desert Botanical Garden
If you’re looking for a walk that won’t make you sore for the next several days, head to Central Phoenix to visit the serene and enchanting Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park. The garden is 50 acres of rare and beautiful desert plants—one of the best collections anywhere. It is also one of only a few dozen botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums.
If you’re willing to spend a little extra money, you can attend an event at the garden. They regularly host concerts and fascinating lectures.
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Yes, a mall is the perfect place to go for a walk. Even if you visit in winter or early spring, there may be a day or two when the Phoenix heat threatens to overwhelm you. Take the short drive to Scottsdale and enjoy the air-conditioned and upscale Scottsdale Fashion Square. It is one of the best shopping spots in the Greater Phoenix area, and the luxury stores are bound to catch your attention.
Phoenix is home to an abundance of great walking spots, and many of them are easy to access from Phoenix hotels. Whether you just want to stretch your legs or get in some serious exercise, there is a place for you. Where do you like to walk in Phoenix? Share your recommendations in the comments section.
Author bio: Joy Nelson is a professional freelance writer who loves to travel and regularly contributes to Hipmunk. When Seattle winters get too gray, she wants to head for sunshine.