- I recently took a week-long trip to Phoenix, Arizona.
- During the week, I worked and spent my nights and weekends exploring the city and natural areas.
- I loved the food, scenery, and architecture in and around Phoenix, and I can’t wait to go back.
I recently left my home in New York City to spend a week in Phoenix, Arizona.
I recently went to Phoenix for the first time to visit my long-distance partner, and I was surprised to find that I’d plan a trip to the southwestern city even if he didn’t live there.
The warm weather in Phoenix was so refreshing compared to the cold winter back home in New York.
While it snowed in New York, I was experiencing 70-degree days and 50-degree nights in Arizona. During February in New York, I always miss the warmth of the sun. So my week in Phoenix was a pleasant break from the bitter cold.
According to the NOAA, this weather is typical for Phoenix in February. Phoenix warms up in March, reaching 80-degree averages by April. But from May to September, it gets too hot for me, with average high temperatures between 90 and 105 degrees. In October, it starts to cool down again.
Next time I visit Phoenix, I’ll be sure to avoid May through September, but the rest of the months have ideal weather for me.
While I was in Phoenix, it seemed like every drive was scenic.
Thanks to the mountains in the distance, there was always a nice view when driving in Phoenix. I enjoyed seeing mountains every day while I was there.
Some of the tallest nearby mountains include Camelback Mountain, Piestwa Peak, Two Bit Peak, and Mummy Mountain, according to Summit Post.
Even from the most urban parts of Phoenix, like the downtown area, you can see mountains in the distance.
Living in New York City, I never see mountains. Viewing them amidst buildings and traffic in downtown Phoenix gave the city a strong sense of place that I don’t experience in the northeast.
There are so many stunning outdoor places near Phoenix to visit on easy day trips that will blow you away.
I took a day trip to Sedona while visiting Phoenix, and the peaceful hiking trails and epic views of the Red Rocks made it totally worth the two-hour drive, in my opinion.
Next time, I want to visit the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, and Glen Canyon, too.
There are incredible hikes in Phoenix, too. I’d like to return soon to try them out.
During my stay, my partner drove me up South Mountain Park, a preserve full of hiking trails and elevated views in Phoenix. While we only had time for a drive, it was so beautiful that next time I want to go for a hike.
Phoenix has such a wide variety of plant life, which fascinated me on daily walks.
From palm trees to succulents, I noticed that Phoenix was full of plant variety in neighborhoods, on busy streets, and in natural areas.
There are so many different kinds of plants that are native to Arizona compared to other US states because of the various climates and altitudes in the region, according to the Arizona Native Plant Society, which states that there are about 4,000 species of native plants in the state.
For that reason, I’m especially interested in visiting the Desert Botanical Gardens during my next trip.
In downtown Phoenix, there was an eclectic mix of historical and modern architectural styles that I appreciated.
Art Deco, Spanish Colonial, Victorian, Pueblo Revival, Art Moderne, French Provincial — these are just a handful of architectural styles you’ll see while strolling the streets of Phoenix, according to Downtown Phoenix Inc. and HistoricPhoenixDistricts.
The eclectic mix comes from Phoenix’s rich history of various influences, according to HistoricPhoenixDistricts.
I love photographing various architectural styles so walking around downtown Phoenix was really inspiring. Next time, I want to explore the architecture outside of the downtown area to see more Victorian and Pueblo Revival architecture in residential areas.
I never knew Phoenix was covered in street art, and I was pleasantly surprised by all the colorful murals painted over building facades.
Walking through downtown Phoenix, I felt like I was in an immersive art museum. Murals of Phoenix is an organization that brings artists’ works to the streets, creating what feels like a free outdoor exhibition of various artistic styles.
This made me want to return to the city to see new works of art as more projects are completed. This February, the Shining Light Foundation, a non-profit organization, is working on adding 28 new murals to the city centered around Black History Month, according to their website.
I wasn’t expecting to find so many good restaurants in Phoenix, but the city has some delectable eats.
I had some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had, with heaps of pomegranate seeds mixed in, from Barrio Cafe in Phoenix.
Another great spot, Snooze, is a breakfast eatery with locations all over the US, save for the northeast. I’ve been to other Snooze locations in Austin, Texas, and the Phoenix location was just as delicious.
I left Phoenix with so many more restaurants, cafes, and food trucks on my wish list, including The Taco Spot, Mango Rabbit, and Tempura Takeover because they look so delicious on my Instagram feed. I also want to try Bacanora, one of the best new restaurants in America, according to Esquire. They serve smoked Sonoran food, which I haven’t tried before.
After watching sunsets in Phoenix, I understand why people say sunsets are among the best in Arizona.
Many of my friends who have lived in the state, including my partner, have told me that sunsets are better in Arizona. After spending a week in Phoenix, I agree.
There’s something epic about watching the sunset over a mountain range, and in Arizona, the view felt especially inspiring with so many saturated colors.
Meteorologist Paul Iniguez of the National Weather Service of Phoenix says science backs this, according to AZ Central.
The dryness of the air is linked to the dramatic colors in Arizona sunsets because moisture in the atmosphere diffuses the light, Iniguez told AZ Central, adding that clouds as high as 20,000 to 30,000 feet are linked to the magical hues.
I watched the sunset nearly every day in Phoenix, and I’m sure I will next time, too.