Stargazing and Saguaros: Where to Enjoy Phoenix’s Natural Beauty


Looking to experience some of Arizona’s natural beauty on your next trip to Phoenix? You won’t need to go far out of your way. These local oases offer beautiful natural spaces, an escape from all the city noise, and relaxation. 

Japanese Friendship Garden

A Japanese garden may be the last thing you’d expect to find in the middle of Phoenix, but there’s one right downtown! It features more than 50 varieties of plants, traditional lanterns and a pond filled with Koi fish.

Dreamy Draw Recreation Area

Dreamy Draw Recreation Area is a city park with hiking trails and picnic areas. The park is filled with all kinds of plants and trees, including saguaros and golden barrel cacti. The park is also home to an abundance of wildlife, such as the jackrabbit, cottontail rabbit, ground squirrel and birds. You can hike at the park or enjoy a picnic. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Usery Mountain Regional Park

If you’re looking for a place to hike, Usery Mountain Regional Park is a must. It has over 29 miles of hiking trails varying in level of difficulty, length and elevation. On your hikes, you may be pleasantly surprised to find gila monsters, desert tortoises, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, turkey vultures and other wildlife roaming the park. 

The county parks department even offers public stargazing evenings here, so you can spend a night under the stars. 

Tempe Beach Park and Town Lake

If you’d rather sit in a boat than hike, then Tempe Beach Park and Town Lake is the perfect destination in Phoenix for you. The park offers pedal boat, kayak and electric boat rentals. There’s also a Splash Playground for children. Several events are also held in the park, including concerts. 

Lake Pleasant Regional Park 

Lake Pleasant Regional Park has everything an outdoors lover could possibly want. The park offers boating (and boat rentals), fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking and more. There are two group picnic areas that can be reserved, complete with ramadas and large grills.

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