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How to Spend 1 Day in Phoenix

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How to Spend 1 Day in Phoenix
One day in Phoenix allows you to enjoy the area’s entertainment among downtown skyscrapers, and get out into nature. With its close proximity to Scottsdale and a desert oasis less than one hour from the city, there’s no reason to simply look at nature from afar. Here’s how to make the most of Phoenix in one day.

Morning: Sonoran Desert Sunrise
Rise before dawn for a scenic hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert. Flying high above the Valley of the Sun affords postcard-worthy views, and then celebrate upon landing with a Champagne breakfast. Adventurous visitors seeking more speed can take an ATV ride, which gets you closer to desert canyons, creeks, and cacti. Alternatively, sneak in bird watching and wildlife viewing on a river rafting trip; the Lower Salt River offers easy access, and the whole family can enjoy its lazy Class I “rapids.” Whichever excursion you choose, a morning tour increases your chances of spotting Arizona’s native fauna.

Afternoon: Old Town Scottsdale
Spending time in Scottsdale is a must, and there are myriad ways to experience it. Explore the numerous eateries, shops, and art galleries on foot or by food trolley; zip around on a 2-wheeled electric Segway through Old Town; or combine your sightseeing with a tour of Phoenix highlights such as the majestic Arizona Biltmore and Arizona State Capitol. Alternatively, ride off-road into the desert aboard a 4x4 vehicle. With a guide to lead the way, tours offer commentary on points of interest and often provide hotel pickup and drop-off to make getting to each destination easy.

Night: Evening Lights and Entertainment
The shimmering city lights and desert sunsets from Phoenix are not to be missed. Party-types can book a people-powered party bike that lets passengers drink up in downtown Phoenix or Scottsdale with stops at bars and drink specials. To admire the city skyline from above, take to the skies on an aerial tour that includes sunset views over Camelback. The cliffs and canyons of Tonto National Forest—just two hours away—are teeming with wildlife such as bighorn sheep. Or, complete your day with a scenic boat trip across Saguaro Lake.
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Phoenix Tours & Activities (8)
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Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Ride at SunriseHalf-day Tours

Phoenix Hot Air Balloon Ride at Sunrise

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Enjoy a picturesque hot-air balloon flight over the mammoth Sonoran Desert in North Phoenix on this sunrise flight. Experience stunning 360-degree views of the hottest desert in North America and its surrounding landscape while floating effortlessly across the sky at dawn. Then celebrate with a traditional champagne toast and breakfast after the flight. Transportation to and from the landing site is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$169.60 
From  
$169.60 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Small-Group or Private Deluxe Phoenix and Scottsdale Day TripDay Trips

Small-Group or Private Deluxe Phoenix and Scottsdale Day Trip

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Take in the highlights of Phoenix and Scottsdale, the largest cities in the Sonoran Desert, during this tour with a knowledgeable guide. Discover history and architecture in downtown Phoenix, at the Arizona State Capitol, Arizona Biltmore and more. Learn how Phoenix has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Neighboring Scottsdale features a vibrant downtown district full of local businesses and cultural events. Choose between a small-group or private tour.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$89.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$89.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

2-Hour Segway Tour of Scottsdale - 1pm DepartureSegway Tours

2-Hour Segway Tour of Scottsdale - 1pm Departure

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Discover Old Town Scottsdale on a 2-hour tour by Segway, a great transportation option for sightseeing in this vibrant part of town. After learning the basics of handling the Segway, follow your knowledgeable guide to learn about the town's history and get insider tips on the best places to visit at your leisure, including where to find great performances, art installations and restaurants. With numbers limited to 9 people, this small-group tour provides a personalized experience with your guide.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$59.00 
From  
$59.00 
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

2-Hour Arizona Desert Guided Tour by ATVNature and Wildlife

2-Hour Arizona Desert Guided Tour by ATV

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Spend time aboard a single-rider ATV during a thrilling off-road tour in the Sonoran Desert. Ride on rugged and rocky trails in the scenic Bradshaw Mountains and cross the Aqua Fria River during the scenic journey. Your guide is knowledgeable about the region's plant life, wildlife, and history, with plenty of stories to share.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$97.00 
From  
$97.00 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Party Bike Pub Crawl of Old Town ScottsdaleMountain Bike Tours

Party Bike Pub Crawl of Old Town Scottsdale

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The best way to experience any city is by bike. The best way to experience Scottsdale is drunk! Get the best of both worlds during this 2-hour party bike pub crawl through Old Town. Perfect for any celebration, you and up to 14 friends will visit three of the best local bars for drink specials and camaraderie via a people-powered superbike (sober pilot included). BYO and a raise a glass to the locals while peddling between bars.
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  • 2 hours
From  
$59.00 
From  
$59.00 
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  • 2 hours

Half-Day Lower Salt River Rafting TourHalf-day Tours

Half-Day Lower Salt River Rafting Tour

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If you’ve ever wanted to raft a river, but don’t know how, get out of the Phoenix heat on a beginner-friendly float. Discover a scenic desert oasis less than an hour from the city. Your guide steers the boat and provides fascinating facts about the flora and fauna of the unique Sonoran Desert. Your whole family can swim, play, or just relax together on this small group adventure.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$145.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$145.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Desert Off Road Tours in Scottsdale4WD Tours

Desert Off Road Tours in Scottsdale

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Access the Sonoran Desert in a real 'off the beaten path' way. Ride in a military-grade, off-road vehicle with a professional guide. Learn about the unique geology, vegetation and wildlife of the desert; understand the fascinating history of this private reserve. Alternate between high-octane adventure and relaxing time taking photographs and appreciating the solitude of the backcountry.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$168.94 
From  
$168.94 
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Sunset and City Lights Aerial Tour of PhoenixAir Tours

Sunset and City Lights Aerial Tour of Phoenix

Soar above Phoenix’s city lights on a 45-minute aerial tour, and watch sunset ignite the desert landscape, rugged mountain scenery and downtown landmarks. Board a Cessna whose high wings allow for unobstructed views and photography and get aerial views of the city’s stadiums and the Phoenix International Raceway. Bank over the South Mountains as the sun sinks low, take in the Symphony Hall, Arizona Science Center and Phoenix Art Museum, then fly over the heart of the Central Valley before touching down at a Deer Valley landing strip.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$245.34 
From  
$245.34 
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation