One of my favorite times to be in Phoenix is during the month of March when half the teams in Major League Baseball come to the Phoenix area for spring training. The following 15 teams have stadiums in and around Phoenix:
- Chicago White Sox – Camelback Ranch in Glendale
- Los Angeles Dodgers – Camelback Ranch in Glendale
- Chicago Cubs – Sloan Park in Mesa
- Cincinnati Reds – Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear
- Cleveland Indians – Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear
- Milwaukee Brewers – Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix
- Oakland Athletics – Hohokam Stadium in Mesa
- San Diego Padres – Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria
- Seattle Mariners – Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria
- Arizona Diamondbacks – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale
- Colorado Rockies – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale
- San Francisco Giants – Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale
- Kansas City Royals – Surprise Stadium in Surprise
- Texas Rangers – Surprise Stadium in Surprise
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe
Fans are in a good mood because everyone’s team is in first place. The weather tends to be good at that time of year in Phoenix. Some of the stadiums are cheaper than others, depending on how well the teams have been doing. Flights and accommodations in March are a bit more expensive because it is a popular time, but baseball fans should come at least once.
If you don’t really appreciate the beauty of the flora in a desert then you have not been to the desert Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens. You will see cactus of every shape and size but you will also see succulents, wildflowers, a butterfly garden and a hummingbird garden.
During the hot summer months, consider a flashlight tour from 7-9:30 pm.
One of the best-known landmarks in the Phoenix area is Camelback Mountain. If you want to do more than just view this landmark, you can climb it. There are two trails up the mountain: Echo Canyon and Cholla. Both are difficult hikes, but Echo Canyon is the steeper and more difficult climb. You can also get a guided hike up the mountain. Seriously competitive people can post their time to make the climb on the Camelback Mountain website.
For a city in the middle of the desert, golf is surprisingly popular in Phoenix, but if you want to seriously improve your golf game you can attend a golf school. Bird Golf Academy runs a golf school in Phoenix at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. 3-5 day packages include 6 hours of instruction per day and start at around $2,575, lodging included.
The Musical Instrument Museum displays 6,500 instruments from all over the world. As you can imagine, the museum has plenty of audio-video so that you can hear these instruments and not just see them. The exhibits are organized by region and then chronologically inside each region so you can see how instruments changed over time. One of the memorable displays was one that showed all of the different pieces that make up a piano, like a do it yourself piano kit.
My favorite neighborhood for dining out as well as window shopping is downtown Scottsdale. The area has 126 different restaurants by my count. While these do include some chain restaurants, there are also unique restaurants like Rehab Burger Therapy and Cafe Monarch. There are a large number of art galleries and a free Art Walk on Thursday nights from 7 pm-9 pm along Main Street from Scottsdale Rd. west to Goldwater Blvd.
Fans of architecture in general and Frank Lloyd Wright, in particular, can tour his winter home and school at Taliesin West. Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark located in Scottsdale. There are a number of different tours (including tours created for kids) ranging in length from 1 to 3 hours. Taliesin West is closed for tours Tuesday and Wednesday during the summer.
If you are traveling with kids then put on your cowboy hat and visit Rawhide for some rootin-tootin fun. This old west “town” has free parking and admission, with fees for some of its shows like a wild west stunt show. There are stores to shop in, a working blacksmith, and a western steakhouse. Don’t get me wrong, Rawhide is pretty cheesy but can also be fun if you are in the right mood.
The Heard Museum in Phoenix is a world-class museum dedicated to promoting American Indian art. The museum collects fine art but also includes hands-on activities such as weaving and basket making. The museum dates back to 1929. Entrance to the museum is free in the evenings on the first Friday of every month with a range of events that include food and drink.
This article is sponsored by Bird Golf Academy who runs golf schools in 11 different states in the USA