Unique and unexpected things to do in Phoenix, Arizona

A trip to Arizona typically includes a combination of soaking up the sunshine by a pool, a round of golf, some shopping and maybe a bit of sightseeing. However, the desert state has plenty of other activities to offer—including a few that you’ll only find in and around Phoenix. From a session of barnyard yoga to flying trapezes and epic hikes, here are some of the most unique and unexpected things to do in Phoenix, Arizona.

Enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Greeting the sunrise from thousands of feet above ground is truly magical, so it’s no wonder a hot air balloon ride is near the top of many people’s bucket lists. Arizona is a fantastic place for this popular excursion, where guests can marvel at the saguaro-dotted Sonoran desert spread out below them, while peacefully floating high above the clouds.

WATCH: A hot air balloon ride in Arizona


balloon ride, things to do in phoenix, arizona Numerous companies operate near Phoenix, including Hot Air Expeditions which launches from Deer Valley. Crews inflate the balloon before your eyes, and if you’re lucky you’ll be up, up and away in the basket just as the sun rises.

balloon ride, things to do in phoenix, arizona

balloon ride, things to do in phoenix, arizonaReaching heights of up to six thousand feet, soak in the  views of the so-called Valley of the Sun, and mountain ranges including Four Peaks, the Bradshaws and Daisy Mountain. Capped off with a champagne breakfast, there’s truly no better way to start the day.
balloon ride, things to do in phoenix, arizona
balloon ride, things to do in phoenix, arizona

balloon ride, things to do in phoenix, arizona

A champagne toast!

Do Downward Dog at Goat Yoga

Did you know Arizona is one of the only places on earth you can try goat yoga? I kid you not (pun intended). This unusual workout is like a mix between yoga and a petting zoo, and has been all anyone’s talking about since classes started at a Gilbert farmhouse in late 2016.

Credit: Kristen Carter Photography

Goat Yoga in ArizonaParticipants lay their mats in a circle and are led through a practice, while the brood of adorable goats jumps up on people’s backs while they’re trying to hold poses like downward dog and planks. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

WATCH: Goat yoga in Gilbert, Arizona


Is it an amazing workout? Well, not really as you’ll likely spend more time oohing and aahing over the furry kids and taking selfies than working on your flexibility. Is it worth trying? Absolutely.

Bah-maste indeed!

READ MORE: Goat yoga: Where barnyard meets downward dog

Goat Yoga in Arizona

Go on a Scenic Hike

Waking up at the crack of dawn usually isn’t anyone’s idea of fun (especially on vacation), but it’s well worth doing in Arizona. Why? Because they have the best sunrises!

Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, ArizonaSunrises and sunsets can be brief in the Sonoran desert, but they sure pack a punch. There are plenty of places to watch the pink and purple hues dance across the sky, whether it’s from the comfort of your hotel balcony or an unobstructed view from the top of a mountain.

The Wind Tunnel in Usery Mountain Regional Park

Tackling the trails on Scottsdale’s Camelback Mountain is one of the most popular spots for an early-morning hike, as you’ll see the city spread out below while admiring the scarlet sky. Other easily-accessible options include Usery Mountain Regional Park and the Superstition Mountains, found in Lost Dutchman State Park about a 40 minute drive from the city.

WATCH: A sunrise hike in Usery Mountain Regional Park


Fly on a Trapeze

Channel your inner acrobat by taking on the I.FLY Trapeze at the luxurious Phoenician Resort. Safe for those aged four and up, the one-hour sessions start with instructors demonstrating trapeze techniques on the ground, before guests get strapped in a harness and head up the ladder to the suspended platform.
The Phoenician Resort and Spa in ArizonaThere, they’ll literally get talked off the ledge and coached on how to fly on the trapeze, trying tricks like only holding on with their legs before doing a backflip onto the net below (which fortunately is much easier than it sounds!).

If all goes well, the final part of the class includes a chance to attempt a “catch and release” where you’ll let go of the trapeze mid-air and be caught by one of the instructors simultaneously flying on another trapeze. Watch out, Cirque du Soleil!


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26 Responses

  1. Tasting Page says:

    A friend of mine in Phoenix just did the goat yoga. I don’t know how you don’t leave without a smile on your face after that. Love all of the fun activities!

  2. Rachael says:

    Phoenix (and Arizona in general) has so much to offer in the way of fun activities. And since we really don’t have much in the way of a cold winter in Phoenix we have lots of time to be outdoors…just avoid middle of the summer 115+ degrees isn’t much fun!

  3. Carol Colborn says:

    We live in Mesa, Arizona but have not done any of these things because we travel too much!

  4. Holly says:

    I have heard of goat yoga, just don’t think that is something I would want to try. The trapeze looks pretty awesome though.

  5. Indrani says:

    Goat yoga is new to me. Lot of training for the goats would have gone in to this. For whom is it beneficial- the goat or the human? 😛 🙂
    The balloon ride is a dream for me!

  6. The hike is definitely my thing. The hot air balloon ride also seems like an awesome experience. The views are great from both the hike and the balloon ride. The yoga with goats sounds very fun, I would love to try this as well.

  7. sherianne says:

    I have been considering a trip to Phoenix, your desert photos are gorgeous!

  8. going for a hot air ballon right is an absolute dream of mine, I am just waiting for the right place and time. Looks beautiful tho!

  9. Chrysoula says:

    Goat yoga? Really? That is so funny. I have never heard of this before. I would love to do the hot air balloon though.

  10. Jennifer says:

    We lived in Phoenix for six years. Actually, your hot air balloon flight launched very close to where our house was and you would have likely been able to see it on your flight. Glad to see you enjoyed your trip because we love Phoenix!

  11. JOHN BERGEN says:

    Which hike is the one that ends up at the picture of you on the Rocks in the yellow long sleeve shirt ??

  12. Karen McGowan says:

    Interesting ideas. But I wouldn’t call the Sonoran Desert relatively close to the equator!

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