Phoenix is bustling with the big-city vibe. After choosing a home from the many vacation rentals, enjoy exploring the outdoor areas of this capital city. The Sonoran Desert beckons to visitors with a magical beauty.

Phoenix Events And Then Some

Camelback Mountain is an excellent place for hikers and rock climbers to get some exercise within the city limits. The hike is very strenuous so wear good shoes and take plenty of water. Once you reach the ‘saddle’ of the mountain it becomes more of a rock climb than a hike. You will crawl over big boulders to reach the top – however, the views of the city far below make it worth the effort. There is not much shade but you will enjoy seeing colorful blooms, scrub brush, and towering Saguaro cactus. Hikers frequent this attraction from December – April.

Sonoran Desert

Explore the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert with a number of different outfitters. Take a hot-air balloon ride over the desert for stunning bird’s-eye views. A sunrise ride starts while you watch the giant balloon inflating as the flames fill it with hot air. Climb into the basket and relax – an FAA-licensed pilot is flying the balloon. As the sun rises over the landscape you can watch wildlife skitter towards shade and see the traffic far below as people start to stir. Some hot-air balloon companies even offer breakfast at the landing site – a nice touch to a beautiful morning ride.

You could also choose to ride bikes into the Valley of the Sun. Fat-tire bikes are great for riding the paths through the sand and over the rocks. A professional guide will lead you along easy paths to show off the scenery and wildlife of the Sonoran Desert. Most outfitters provide bikes, helmets, water packs and snacks. The tours accommodate a variety of fitness levels – perfect for a girl’s weekend excursion or family trips.

For a more adventurous way to see the desert, hop on an ATV and go off-roading. Cross over washes created by flash floods, pass through canyons and watch for wildlife. You could see bobcats, coyotes, snakes, quail and deer as they try to find shade and relief from the heat. Cacti and other hardy plants thrive in the dry, arid habitat and the vast openness of the desert surrounds you as you drive through on your ATV.

Phoenix Zoo

Visit the Phoenix Zoo early in the mornings to see the exhibits and hear the animals waking up. You can choose to walk throughout the zoo or you can pay for the coach cruiser. See tigers, explore Monkey Village, or enjoy the Giraffe Encounter. There are plenty of places to sit and rest. There are grills, cafe’s, coffee shops and a store to buy souvenirs, too.

The vacation rentals offer a home-base where you can relax after exploring all that Phoenix has to offer. Pools, gourmet kitchens and luxurious bedding provide a peaceful place to rest after all of your excursions. Cook up a great meal, head up to the rooftop terrace and watch the sunset together. These houses are the perfect home-away-from-home for your stay.