Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park#12 in Best Things To Do in Phoenix
Price & Hours
History and archaeology buffs should put a trip to Pueblo Grande, a National Historic Landmark and the largest preserved archaeological site within Phoenix, at the top of their list of things to do. This site features the ruins of an ancient Hohokam village – which approximately 1,000 people once called home – that mysteriously disappeared around A.D. 1450. Walk among what's left of houses, storage facilities, play areas and cemeteries on a short, accessible trail. You can also view artifacts found during the site's excavation at the small on-site museum.
Recent visitors called this site a "hidden gem" and praised the well-maintained grounds, as well as the small museum. Reviewers recommend setting aside at least an hour to enjoy the attraction, though some reported spending more than two hours here. Though there are a few interactive exhibits in the museum for children, most said this attraction is best enjoyed by adults.
The Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park neighbors the Phoenix airport and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. and Sunday afternoons from 1 to 4:45 p.m. From May through September, the site is closed Sundays and Mondays. Admission costs $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 17. On-site facilities include a museum store. For more information, check out the website for the City of Phoenix.
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#1 Desert Botanical Garden
The desert may seem like the last place you'd expect to find flora. Yet the Desert Botanical Garden is home to thousands of species of cacti, trees and flowers from all around the world. The garden's brightly colored plants sharply contrast the Sonoran Desert's cinnamon-red buttes, and numerous hiking trails – like the Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert and the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop trails – allow you to experience the region's natural wonders the way early settlers once did. The Desert Botanical Garden also hosts numerous events, including culinary demonstrations and outdoor concert series.
Recent visitors said the garden is fascinating and highly recommended seeking out the special exhibits when available. Several reviewers suggested visiting after the sun sets to see the garden illuminated, while others appreciated the groomed paths and well-marked signs. However, some travelers bemoaned the entrance rates and were disappointed the zoo and the garden do not offer a combined admission since they sit less than 2 miles from one another.
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