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The front range of the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix, USA

Itineraries for Your Trip to Phoenix

Phoenix locals share their perfect days.
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3 Days in Phoenix for First Timers

Curated by Jenna Scatenawho’s a sucker for warm Phoenix summer nights.

You don’t need to know a lot about Phoenix to fall in love with it upon arrival. Its magnificent landscape, kind community of people, and plenitude of activities and attractions is enough to carry you along what is sure to be a lovely holiday. Just put on some sunscreen, wear a hat, and set off to adventure. Here's how to see more of Phoenix in three days by visiting some of my favorite locations in the city.

Expect it to be dry and sunny; pack layers and sunscreen.

If you only have time for one thing, make it the Desert Botanical Garden.

Day 1

Wake up early for a sunrise hot air balloon tour. Float above the Phoenix Valley and get a panoramic view of the Sonoran desert with a Champagne breakfast afterwards. Come back down to earth for a saltwater kayak trip where you'll see the Tonto National Forest and wildlife including the Salt River wild horses.

Return to the city for dinner and get to know it better on a walking food tour. Then, end an active day with a leisurely stroll around Old Town Scottsdale. This quaint neighborhood boasts shops, bars, and restaurants, and you'll likely stumble upon the perfect nightcap spot.

Day 2

First-timers can't get enough of the Sonoran Desert. Rise with the sun again, this time for a hike with views of the Phoenix metro area. A customized tour matches the adventure to your hiking experience and skill level. Or, walk the Desert Botanical Garden.

You've earned some indulgence, so see Sedona's Verde Valley wine country on a private tour from Scottsdale. Even if wine isn't your thing, you won't be short on things to do. The Apache trail from Phoenix includes stops at Tortilla Flat, the Superstition Mountains, and Goldfield Ghost Town—and a 90-minute steamboat cruise on Canyon Lake.

Day 3

On day three, journey through the Arizona scenery on a day trip to the Grand Canyon. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, it's a must-see. The depths and caverns of the canyon are unforgettable, providing photo moments at every turn.

For the most adventurous traveler, witness the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon from the air and on land. A helicopter tour from Phoenix gets you there in record time, and follows the Colorado River into the South Rim to give you the opportunity to soak up the views before returning to Phoenix by luxury van.

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