Romancing the Desert: 10 Best Romantic Things to Do in Phoenix



Great weather, beautiful desert scenery, and big city sophistication make Phoenix a great place to stoke the fires of romance. If you're looking for an undeniably romantic outing, you can't miss with a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden's stunning display of wildflowers and cacti, meandering brick pathways, and a farm-to-table restaurant on-site make this a good first date destination. 

If you're looking for one of the most romantic look-out points in the city, head to South Mountain Park. Take the main road up the mountain to Dobbin's Lookout, where families and couples gather in the evening to watch the sun go down over the valley, and millions of city lights bloom all over the city. 

For a day of urban sophistication with your sweetie, head to central Phoenix for a visit to the Phoenix Art Museum. The museum's world class collection of Latin-American, Asian, and Western Art are a must-see for art lovers, and couples will enjoy exploring the museum's galleries, gift shop, and enjoying lunch at Palette, the museum cafe. 

Another popular urban retreat for couples is Tempe Beach Park and Town Lake in nearby Tempe. The college town's top recreational destination features a two-mile lake that visitors can explore via pedal boat. Enjoy a romantic picnic on the waterfront, grab a cup of gelato from a nearby kiosk, or rollerblade hand-in-hand as the sun goes down over the lake. 




Less than an hour's drive east of Phoenix, this refreshing lake is a favorite with locals. An oasis in the desert, it's a great place to cruise, ski, sail, swim or picnic. An onsite restaurant serves up food when you're hungry, and camping areas...  Read More




After years of restoration, Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights is open for public tours. The iconic castle-like mansion - some say it resembles a tiered wedding cake - dazzles from miles away on its hillside location on Van Buren Street. Now under...  Read More




You might want to fast a little bit before heading to this one! Every year around Valentine's Day, downtown Glendale presents one of its most popular annual festivals for lovers - and lovers of chocolates. Some 40 vendors offer their best sweet...  Read More




The Japanese Friendship Garden (Ro Ho En, in Japanese) is a traditional Japanese strolling garden and tea house. The garden is tucked away on 3.5-acres in downtown Phoenix. The garden features stone footbridges, hand-picked rocks, traditional...  Read More


Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art


The well-regarded, world-famous Heard Museum is one of the world's leading repositories of Native American art. It also features works by contemporary Southwestern artists, craft demonstrations, amphitheater performances, a caf--, and a gift...  Read More


Phoenix Art Museum
Photo courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum


Another institution growing by leaps and bounds, this museum's scope is indisputably international with works representing American, Asian, European and Latin American art. The museum also features exhibits on fashion and the Thorne miniature...  Read More




One of the most popular hiking trails in the valley is the Echo Canyon trail at Camelback Mountain. The Echo Canyon Recreation Area is made up of layered sandstone and comprises the "head" of Camelback Mountain. Prepare to catch of glimpse at...  Read More


Tempe Beach Park and Town Lake


A reclamation of the waters of the Salt River, this manmade lake was officially opened in November, 1999. The two-mile long body of water is confined by means of inflatable rubber dams and offers plenty of opportunities for recreation in the...  Read More




A maze of well-maintained hiking trails crisscrosses one of the largest municipal parks in the world. For a spectacular view, drive to Dobbins Lookout Point and gaze at the city from 1200 feet. Then, trek to Happy Valley via a trail through...  Read More




Located in Papago Park, this garden features one of the world's largest collections of desert flora. A vast array of colorful wildflowers has been strategically placed to create a spectacular display and delight visitors in the springtime. Not...  Read More


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Meet Patricia Escarcega

Patricia Escarcega has lived in the Arizona desert since she was a teenager. She works as a writer and editor in Phoenix with her four dogs and two cats.

She received her MFA in Creative...  More About Patricia

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