If you’re looking for a fun, relaxing way to spend your winter vacation, consider a ride through the gorgeous and renowned Valley of the Sun. The year-round warmth and reliable sunshine make this region of the world the perfect family destination. Here are a few sites and activities you’ll want to add to your itinerary.
Desert Botanical Garden
Start your trip with a relaxing, educational experience at the Desert Botanical Garden. Learn about the native flora and fauna as you walk through trails lined with over 50,000 desert plants. Have lunch at the café and then explore the seasonal exhibits. This is a great way to get in touch with the local ecology so that you can identify plant species during your outdoor excursions.
Phoenix Mountains Preserve
After cruising through the hustle and bustle of downtown, a drive through the mountains always provides a refreshing feeling of freedom. The Phoenix Mountains Preserve is a group of parks, hiking trails and desert lands stretching over 41,000 acres. Grab a cooler with plenty of water and snacks and hike to the summit of Camelback Mountain or Piestewa Peak. Visit the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department website to learn about the history of the preserves and all the animals and plants you may spot along the trails.
Gilbert Historical Museum
To satisfy the history buff in you, the Gilbert Historical Museum offers artifact exhibits that demonstrate the rich history of this railroad town. Learn about daily life at the turn of the 20th century and how this nondescript agricultural area grew into the thriving town it is today.
Sahuaro Ranch Park
Considered the gem of Glendale’s park and recreation system, the historic Sahuaro Ranch is a beautiful place to picnic and play. Take a free tour of the main house and barnyard to learn what life was like during the early settlement in the Valley of Sun.
This national landmark was once home to Franklin Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship who attended The Franklin Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Taliesin West is a collection of design and engineering wonders that spans 160 acres at the base of the McDowell Mountains just outside Scottsdale.
Ready for a Drive?
There’s plenty more to see and do in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Why not explore a bit on your own? Grab a map, plenty of water and hit the road. You’ll easily forget those winter blues you left behind as you carve out your own adventure in the Valley of the Sun.