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Top Rated Attractions in Phoenix

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Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden was opened in 1939 to preserve the area's pristine desert environment. Today, the garden helps save endangered plants, with the focus still on native flora and special emphasis on succulents. The cactus collection is world-renowned and between the months of March through May, the seasonal blooms are spectacular. The garden hosts several events throughout the year, some of which include the popular 'Butterfly Habitat' during the spring and the 'Luminarias' during the holiday season. If you come during the summer months, don't forget your hat and sunscreen!

Papago Park

If you are in Phoenix and enjoy going on easy treks, then Papago Park is the place for you. With its sandstone buttes, marked paths and slight elevation, it is perfect for family hiking trips and there are plenty of easy mountain bike paths. The most notable attraction of the park is the hole in the rock formation, which formed over thousands of years most likely from water erosion. For the more adventurous, visitors can climb the face of the rock for an unparalleled view of Phoenix. Additionally, the park is close to famous attractions such as the Desert Botanical Garden and Phoenix Zoo.

South Mountain Park

Drive through one of the largest parks in the United States that covers over 16,000 acres (6474 hectares). With many lookout points, South Mountain Park, offers fantastic views of Phoenix and the surrounding valley. Summit Lookout is at 2,330 feet (710.18 meters) and highlights the enormity of this sprawling desert area. For visitors, the Interpretive Center takes you through the heritage of the area including mining and botanical history. If you prefer an experience out of the car, hike by the marked trails and study the preserved petroglyphs. Carry lunch and enjoy the park's picnic areas with kids in tow. Remember your sunscreen, hat and drinking water when visiting Arizona's best park.

Herberger Theater Center

Featuring multiple stages, the Herberger Theater Center is centrally located in downtown Phoenix. Center Stage contains a hydraulic orchestra pit and accommodates up to 802 patrons and the superb acoustics optimize every dramatic presentation. The smaller, more intimate Stage West theater seats 325 and this is where various dance troupes, plays and orchestras perform. This center is also home to Ballet Arizona, the Actors' Theater of Phoenix and the Arizona Theater Company.

Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo offers a plethora of activities for family recreation. Sprawling over 125 acres (50 hectares), this privately-owned leisure facility is a must-visit when in the Valley. It is home to over 1,300 exotic species including lions, giraffes, baboons and meerkats, making it one of the country's largest zoos. Explore the verdant labyrinth of the Forest of Uco, take a hike along the African Trail and enjoy a tractor ride at the Harmony Farm. Also, the interactive programs on offer are both educational and entertaining.

Arizona Science Center

The Arizona Science Center features the futuristic architecture of Antoine Predock and aims to turn science into something fun for kids. Permanent exhibits include Evans Family Skycycle, Forces of Nature, Get Charged Up, My Digital World and Solarville. Take in the clear night sky or the fantastic laser light show under the dome of the Dorrance Planetarium or if that doesn't work for you, watch a film in the Irene P. Flinn Theater with its five-story-high IMAX screen. It's not all for kids though as the many interactive exhibits have grown-ups asking questions too. Drop by for a fun, family day out.

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