10 Best Sights & Historical Landmarks Around Phoenix

Phoenix is a city that’s made a name for itself in business, culture, and history. People come here from all over to enjoy the weather, sure, but there are other things to take in. In fact, Phoenix and the surrounding areas are full of natural and historical landmarks as well as other sights that help you get a better sense of the Valley. So, what are you waiting for? Check out the following places for the best sights and historical landmarks in Phoenix!

Desert Botanical Garden

1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008

Just a stone’s throw away from the Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Garden is a wonder of its own accord. Filled with representative vegetation from all over the Sonoran Desert, you can come here to enjoy the view while not straying far from the “beaten path.”

Hotel San Carlos

202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Phoenix’s only historic boutique hotel is actually believed to be one of the most haunted places in Phoenix. At its grand opening, Hotel San Carlos was recognized as the most modern hotel in the Southwest. Now, it has other claims to fame — including the spirits that purportedly walk its halls to this day.

Her Secret is Patience

Civic Space Park, 424 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004

If you’ve seen the giant net above ASU Downtown Phoenix campus in the daytime, you may have thought it was a device of some kind. It’s only at night that the purpose of this piece becomes clear. Her Secret is Patience is an art piece that hangs proudly above Civic Space Park near campus, and yes — it lights up at night, making a beautiful display that many Phoenicians have come to call “The Jellyfish.”

Mystery Castle

800 E Mineral Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042

South Mountain Park and Preserve has many sights along its trails, from petroglyphs to natural beauty all around. However, one key landmark nestled in the Park is the Mystery Castle, an eclectic home built by a father for his child. Now, the home has become a historical site all its own, and you can experience and tour the place to get the full picture.

“A” Mountain

Maricopa County, Arizona

There’s one easy way to know where you are in Tempe: Look for “A” Mountain. Also known as Tempe Butte, this hunk of volcanic rock generally features a gold or white “A” at the top. The color depends on whether it’s received its annual touch-up from students. If you see the “A”, you should know that ASU is nearby.

Palm Walk

ASU Campus, Tempe, AZ 85281

Another key landmark of the Phoenix area’s oldest school is the ASU Palm Walk. The Palm Walk is an iconic sight, with hundreds of palms on campus — including date palms. The dates from these palms are regularly collected and used in the university’s menu for students. It’s the largest date palm collection in the country!

Rohō-en, Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

1125 N 3rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003

A joint project of Phoenix and our Japanese sister city, Himeji, this friendship garden is a 3.5-acre plot with a path winding through serene naturescapes. This garden is meant for all to enjoy — so if you plan on blocking the narrow path by taking pictures, you should set up a photo shoot with the garden in advance. And believe us, you’ll want to get those pictures after visiting the first time!

Hole in the Rock at Papago Park

625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008

This spot is a tiny hike that has a fun payoff: you wind up in the mouth of a giant red rock formation! “Hole in the Rock” is but one of many formations at Papago Park, and it’s certainly the busiest. It’s a fun place to be, though — and if you get the timing right, it makes one heck of a backdrop for Instagram posts.

Taliesin West

12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259

The famous Frank Lloyd Wright had a home right here in the Valley, and it’s a gorgeous one at that. His winter home, Taliesin West, served as his studio in the desert and eventually made way for many other aspiring home designers in the area. Ever see other cool-looking homes in Phoenix? That’s because of this one.

St. Mary’s Basilica

231 N 3rd Street Ac, Phoenix, AZ 85004

St. Mary’s Basilica is the second-oldest church in Phoenix, and it’s also a sight to behold. The Mission Revival architecture helps bring you into the past a bit, with its construction beginning in the 1880s. Come to admire the stunning interior as well as the grounds — all good places to get in touch with history.

Featured Image Credit: @oh_whataworld

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