Why We Love Phoenix

Golden poppy wildflowers in Scottsdale Arizona

I love the diversity of our RV lifestyle. We’re able to live in a major city one day and move out into nature the next. And when we come across a city such as Phoenix that offers both environments in relatively close proximity, I say this is an RVers dream … jackpot!

“May you live in interesting times.”

BUT … Life is anything but normal these days and I’d be remiss if I jumped right into the content of this post without mentioning a couple of things.

March is usually the busiest and best month to visit Phoenix, Arizona. Wildflowers are in abundance adding vibrant color to our desert landscape, not to mention the beautiful blue skies and near-perfect temperatures that are enjoyed by all. But not his year! Not only has the weather been schizophrenic leaving us wondering what has happened to our wonderful March weather, but the coronavirus has turned the tourism and stock markets into a volatile frenzy.

bee on purple lupine wildflower

Walmart empty isle, no toilet paper at Walmart
Walmart – Where’s the toilet paper?

The Phoenix valley’s robust tourism industry has been severely impacted by potential visitors canceling reservations left and right. Resorts that are normally booked solid and charging premium rates are now half empty and offering discounts. Baseball spring training has also been canceled and all the stores are out of toilet paper. Out of toilet paper! Really?

Ah, but let’s all revel in the fact that this too shall pass and life will return to normal eventually … soon, I hope. For now, I’ll immerse myself in summer trip planning and images of wildflowers. The wildflowers are a given, but our summer travels could be in question if current conditions were to continue.

I’m sure we can all agree that there’s currently too much uncertainty right now that might affect our travels. However, I’m optimistic and think in another month things will turn around, and therefore, our summer travels will continue as planned.

So, let’s get back to talking fun stuff!

An RV friendly city in Arizona

There are so many things to see and do in a big city; museums, restaurants, stores, sporting events, other events, and the list goes on, but the solitude and beauty of nature are always a strong pull for me. What if we can enjoy both?

It’s a rare treat to find an RV friendly city, and when we do, we like to plan a lengthy stay allowing us plenty of time to immerse ourselves in everything big city life has to offer. Since our children live in Phoenix, Arizona and Phoenix is RV friendly, this city has become our winter home.

Golden yellow poppies with a bee flying

The Phoenix valley is not only super popular with RVers but equally popular with all kinds of other visitors; snowbirds, vacationers, convention traffic, seminars, etc. Peak tourist season is January, February, and March … March is the busiest due to Spring Break, excellent weather, and baseball spring training (Cactus League).

The lodging options throughout the Phoenix valley are abundant and diverse. For those of us with RVs, we can find everything from scenic campgrounds to full-on RV Resorts complete with resort-style pools, pickleball courts, and golf courses. For non-RVers, there’s everything from inexpensive hotels, to vacation rentals, to mega-resorts, and everything in between.

An RV camped at Lost Dutchman State Park with the Superstition mountains in the background
Al and I camped at Lost Dutchman State Park located on the far east side of the Phoenix valley in the town of Apache Junction.

If you plan on visiting the Phoenix area and are looking for an RV spot for less than a 2-week stay, I would highly recommend Lost Dutchman State Park. It’s one of our favorite campgrounds. We love the views, hiking trails, and location. Lost Dutchman State Park offers a feeling of being in the backcountry, and yet, shopping and restaurants in nearby Apache Junction are less than a 15-minute drive away … the best of both worlds.

Coming in second to Lost Dutchman State Park would be one of the campgrounds in the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation system. Our personal preference is either Cave Creek Regional Park or Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Our friends prefer McDowell Mountain or Usery Mountain. McDowell Mountain Regional Park is well known for its biking trails while Lake Pleasant is known for its water recreation. There’s definitely a little something for everyone around here.

And of course, there are plenty of private RV parks throughout the valley. So many, that I couldn’t possibly list them all. Most are 55+ communities but there are a few that aren’t age-restricted.

I can't adult today

Valley Talk … The term “Phoenix valley” refers to the actual city of Phoenix as well as her dozen-plus surrounding suburbs. It makes communication easier. You might hear folks comment, “That’s in the east valley (meaning Scottsdale, Mesa, etc.) or that’s in the west valley (meaning Glendale, Goodyear, etc.). Then there’s the north valley near the town of Anthem where I am currently parked. Most people in the U.S. know where Phoenix, Arizona is located, but not everyone has heard of Mesa, Glendale, or Anthem. Therefore, by using the term ‘Phoenix valley’, people have an easy grasp of where in Arizona one is talking about.

Things we like to do in the Phoenix valley …

There’s a never-ending schedule of art shows, craft shows, sporting events, or other events to attend throughout the year in the Phoenix valley. I always discover some unique event worth checking out. Although hiking and photography top my list of favorite activities, there are so many other great recreational and educational opportunities to explore. Yes, RVing in a major city definitely has its pluses.

Scottsdale farmers market
The Farmers Market in Old Town Scottsdale is a great way to start a Saturday morning. I’ll admit, it usually feels a little strange attending a Farmers Market in the middle of winter, but keep in mind, you won’t find a Farmers Market around here during the summer months when temps sore into the 100 degree plus Fahrenheit range. It takes most northerners a little time to wrap their heads around a Farmers Market in the middle of winter, me included.

Corporate conventions and various educational seminars are held throughout the year in Phoenix or Scottsdale. I always keep an eye out for these special events for us to attend. One of our favorites is attending educational TD Ameritrade seminars. We’ve even had the pleasure of meeting Joe ‘JJ’ Kinahan. If you’re a trader or CNBC watcher, then shaking hands with a “celebrity” like JJ might be a real treat like it was for me. We’ve also had the opportunity to meet some of the various traders/instructors from the Think or Swim trading platform. They are always a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Desert Botanical Garden butterfly display
My daughter taking a selfie with a Monarch butterfly at the Desert Botanical Garden
Chili and Chocolate Fest
We enjoyed a cooking demonstration while attending the Chili and Chocolate Festival at the Botanical Garden.
western history
Lots of western history just begging to be explored.

Family and friends Spending time with family is our favorite pastime while visiting Phoenix

Let’s get social

Because Phoenix is such a popular travel destination for RVers and non-RVers alike, we never know who we might bump into. It’s always a pleasure connecting with my social media friends in person. Every winter, we enjoy numerous get-togethers with blog readers, blog writers, or folks from other social media platforms. Over the years, we’ve developed some amazing friendships via social media. Phoenix is the perfect city to physically connect with like-minded people.

Golden yellow poppies with a bee flying

Nature around Phoenix

Although I enjoy most aspects of big city living, I have a need to be close to nature and wildlife. Fortunately, with plenty of parks and open space located throughout Maricopa County, I’m still able to get my nature fix while living in a big city.

There’s some amazing scenery in this part of Arizona. Just outside of the city, in the east valley is one of my favorite scenic drives. Driving the Apache Trail makes for a perfect day trip, but before embarking on this drive, do your homework. The stretch of road between the town of Tortilla Flat and Lake Roosevelt is a gravel road and can be pretty rough in spots. A high clearance vehicle is usually recommended. Always check with the local ranger station for up to date conditions regarding Route 88/Apache Trail.

Have you ever visited Phoenix, Arizona? What’s your favorite city to visit?
And please stay healthy and safe out there!

Golden brittle-bush in the foreground Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale AZ in the background

(This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you for your support ❤)

Lysol Disinfecting Wipes
Scott Septic Safe Toilet Paper
Portable Hand Sanitizer

58 thoughts on “Why We Love Phoenix

  1. Loved your article, but the overall upbeat tone makes me wonder if you are aware that “may you live in interesting times” is an old curse? Historically, “interesting” requires wars, disasters, etc. Peaceful existence is boring, at least to other. Of course we ARE living in interesting times right now, just hope they end soon.

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    1. Totally agree and yes I did know that about the saying. I Googled to find its origin and then thought twice about using it. Unfortunately, things do appear to be getting worse each day bringing us closer to that “disaster” category. It’s a scary state of affairs right now!

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    1. Once you get that travel trailer, you’ll definitely want to stay at Lost Dutchman State Park. When the time comes for you to visit AZ, feel free to reach out for suggestions. We’ve been traveling around the state for the past 8 years. So much beautiful diversity around here.

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  2. Just finished a nice drive through McDowell Mountain Park – the poppies are blooming in the only location we have found that has them! The campground is full, the bikers and hikers are enjoying the weather and the scenery. So glad we live just a few miles away and can either walk into, or drive into such a great location.

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    1. McDowell Mtn Park is really nice. I live near Anthem and have some really nice trails nearby with plenty of wildflowers in bloom. I’ve been trying to get out and about everyday that it hasn’t been raining.🌵

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  3. We definitely consider ourselves “city people,” but we also enjoy nature and you are spot on that Phoenix has some of the best of both worlds. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the summer heat, we might consider it a long term landing spot. Who knows, we still might… Great post showing so many of the highlights of this dynamic city. Stay well!

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    1. Thanks Laura. Yeah, the summers are brutal. We lived in Las Vegas in the 90s and have a good feel for summers in the desert … but it’s a dry heat 🤣🔥 I do enjoy oscillating between city life and rural life and Phoenix seems to be a rare city that can provide both. And when it’s too much city or too much heat, it’s easy to hop in the RV and within an easy 1+ hour drive my weather and scenery changes.

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  4. I can see why the area became popular especially during the winter but it has many millions of people too many for me. At 1138, Greenback is more to my liking 🙂

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    1. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs then moved to Las Vegas followed by Colorado Springs. So I’ve bounced around in community size. Everytime Al and I spend a lengthy time in a more rural setting, it’s an adjustment moving back to the hustle and bustle of a big congested city. But I love being near my kids…. and shopping and restaurants 😊

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    1. I’m still struggling with my energy. That cold sure was nasty. Since Phoenix has become our home base, next time you guys are in the area, we’ll definitely get together. One of my favorite places to go with my daughter is OHSO in Scottsdale 😀🍹🍻

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  5. Oh and the best part of your post was… Social Media/Blogging meet ups! That was such a fun day! 😊 Elbow bump to you… 💪🏻

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  6. Thank God the sun came out this week…
    the rain does bring wildflowers…
    but… I had enough of it. The saguaros are falling over in lots of places due to too much rain.

    You captured lots of pretty pictures of our beloved area. The bee on the yellow blossoms is a winner!

    Stay safe my friend!

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    1. I’m loving all the flowers. They never stay around long enough. I too am done with this rain and have seen the fallen over cacti 😥
      Stay safe and healthy. Elbow bump to you.❤

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  7. Wonderful post. We loved the review of Phoenix. Agreed that the desert wildflowers are great. We are currently at Organ Pipe Cactus NM and the flowers are amazing.

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    1. You’re welcome! Phoenix sure has grown by leaps and bounds over the past years … and traffic has increased substantially. Let me know if you ever need any recommendations. 😎

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  8. Great advertisement for the Phoenix Valley. We sure enjoyed our time there. We’re hunkered down in NorCal for the foreseeable future. Our governor announced today that all us oldsters should stay isolated for now. Since everything is canceled or closed we’re not going to miss much. I think hikes in our local hills are still safe and hope to get outside once the rainstorm blows out. Stay safe and healthy.

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    1. We’re not venturing out too much ourselves. Hiking is about all we’re doing … when it isn’t raining. Since I was sick most of February, we’ve decided to limit socializing and not attend any gatherings at the RV Park. Folks around here are still going about their biz as if life is normal. Pickleball, Bocce Ball, sewing group all going strong, but we have seen RVs pulling out early to head back to their homes, especially Canadians.

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  9. Great post! We enjoyed visiting Phoenix very much. And I have a new excuse (like I needed one) to come back – just read about Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale!

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  10. Thanks for a positive post, Ingrid, and your spectacular photo tour of Phoenix. Sorry about your crazy weather… we’ve got snow in the Sierras, but due to the coronavirus, many ski resorts have shut down. Ironic!

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    1. Yeah, baseball spring training has been canceled along with a ton of other things. I feel badly for the folks that work in tourism. It has really hit the valley hard.

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  11. Enjoyed the tour of Phoenix, Ingrid. Beautiful image of the Lost Dutchman State Park. Wonderful to see these bees. 🙂

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  12. Whenever you write about Phoenix I can feel the love you have for the area. I enjoy reading about all the wonderful things to do there. Your photos could be in a travel brochure! My favorite from this post is the bee hovering over the yellow flowers. Thanks Ingrid!

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    1. Thank you so much Beth. I have come to enjoy Phoenix. I didn’t always like it but once I became comfortable with the area and started exploring, I discovered all kinds of wonderful sights.

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  13. I love this time driving from the Verde Valley to Phoenix. The canyons and fields and hills are green, green, green! Love the wild flowers framing the roads and the beautiful temps. I am shocked how much rain PHX has gotten — and us 90 miles North — in the last week. I can’t wait to get out to the Sycamore Wilderness and look for wildflowers. Great post, Ingrid. Couldn’t agree with you more.

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    1. I know … the weather lately has felt more like the Midwest than the desert. I agree with you and love the roads lined with wildflowers. One of these days I’d love to explore Sycamore Wilderness. The images I’ve seen are a definitely lure.

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  14. It’s great to read your post and “see” you, Ingrid! I’m settling in for my workkamping season for now. I just mentioned Phoenix to Jeff yesterday as your posts excite me to visit the area. It’s been a long-time dream to get to Arizona this time of year. May kindness and joy be contagious 😷 as we fight the faith in “surreal” moments right now. We were taking cancellation after cancellation at the Treehouses and RV Park yesterday. I’m sure we’d all agree wisdom is a necessity during these times🤔🙏🏻. I wanted you to know that I nominated you as a “Sunshine Blogger” as you were one of my first follows~your writing is descriptive, informative, encouraging, pleasant,…so many things to help us fellow RVers and readers. And I always enjoy your pictures! BTW~your daughter is beautiful🤗 be safe! 🙏🏻💚

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and nomination. Although I no longer engage in these types of awards, I do appreciate your thoughtfulness and think it’s a great way for newer blogs to grow.
      Life is a little chaotic right now and we’re seeing snowbirds/part-timers heading home early. I work part-time in the tourism industry here in Phoenix and it’s sad to see how the industry is suffering due to all the cancellations. Have you figured out your summer workcamping gig yet?

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      1. Thank you, Ingrid. Yes, the growth is helpful in blogging indeed. Life is indeed surreal. I’m staying in MO. It’s probably a good idea that I turned down Alaska gig. I worked on Saturday at the campground/treehouses and took cancellations all day. It’s unprecedented. I’m praying for peace as we await life resuming some familiarity’s. I’m seeing goodness in all this. Perhaps kindness and patience will be contagious 😷.🙏🏻💚

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        1. Sounds like a wise decision to stay in MO. We’ll probably still head to northern WI after Memorial weekend unless life gets even crazier. Since we stay with family, we’ll play it by ear considering we don’t have a set schedule. Stay safe and healthy!

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            1. Thank you and depending on things fall out over the next couple of months will determine whether or not we actually travel. Although the thought of living in a tin can in 100 degree temps is anything but appealing 🙄

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  15. Good morning, Ingrid,
    We’re at home today because our church services are only online today and probably for a few more weeks. I am loving your pictures. The second picture of the bee about to land on the yellow flower is a gem. We’re still planning on traveling west in a week. We loaded up on Lysol wipes…and RV toilet paper. Stay well out there. Joe

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    1. Thank you Joe. I had fun testing my patience with those bee/wildflower images. Safe travels west. Hope you won’t run into any problems.

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  16. Great post, Ingrid. I enjoyed your overview of Phoenix, and your help in familiarizing us with some of the many things to do here. Also appreciated you addressing the coronavirus dilemma we face now, and your optimistic but realistic approach. Terrific photos. I love seeing all the bright wildflowers and bees, those vibrant Calif. poppies.

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    1. I love this time of year in Phoenix. The wildflowers never last long enough for me. I’m trying to get on the trails as much as possible but we’ve been experiencing an unusually wet March so far. I feel like I’m back in the Midwest 😏 But this too shall pass, and the heat will have us rolling back to WI for the summer before we know it!

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