March Madness: Your Ultimate Guide to the Valley’s Off-Court Adventures

As Phoenix prepares for the upcoming NCAA March Madness tournament, visitors from all over are gearing up for an exciting time in the Valley. The frenzy of the tournament will take over Phoenix and many will be able to experience the amazing games while also exploring the glorious Grand Canyon state. For those staying in Arizona and looking for authentic activities to experience in the Valley, we have compiled a list of things to do that will give you a true Phoenix experience during your March Madness journey. 

Camelback Mountain

In the heart of Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is a must-do for Phoenix visitors. This perfect hike offers a rewarding workout while providing the most breathtaking, panoramic views of the Valley’s landscape. Be sure to prepare for this hike—water and snacks are essential—and check your mobile weather app to plan your hike. Hiking Camelback Mountain is an unforgettable memory and journey that will help you connect to Arizona’s culture and geological heritage. It is a must-do hike for all visitors and the perfect downtime activity during your March Madness trip. To learn more about Camelback Mountain visit

Papago Park

View through the Hole in The Rock at Papago Park

Papago Park offers natural beauty, outdoor recreation and cultural attractions. Between the geological formations and picturesque backdrop, it is a Valley favorite, to say the least. The Hole in the Rock, located at Papago Park, is an easy and quick hike with a beautiful ending. With a view of Tempe and Arizona State University’s main campus, the majestic scenery is complemented by the crystal blue Arizona sky. The Desert Botanical Garden showcases numerous desert plants from around the world and hosts multiple events each month. The garden boasts multiple different trails, each holding a different species of plant. With a Diners’ Choice Award restaurant, butterfly pavilion and a library, the garden offers many different adventures and experiences. Papago Park is also home to the Phoenix Zoo, where guests can marvel at a wide range of exotic animals in natural environment mimics. To learn more about Papago Park visit

Japanese Friendship Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix

The tranquil oasis of the Japanese Friendship Garden is the perfect serene activity for Valley visitors. Located in the heart of Phoenix, the garden invites visitors to immerse themselves in the traditional Japanese garden and to educate themselves on Japanese culture. Stroll down the paved paths decorated intentionally with bonsai trees, vibrant flowers and beautiful greenery. Decorated traditionally, the garden has crafted stone lanterns, bridges and water features that are home to schools of koi fish. Take a moment and relax in the Japanese Friendship Garden’s tranquil environment and enjoy the majestic landscaping. Tickets are $14 for general admission, $12 for students and $12 for seniors and active military. To learn more about the Japanese Friendship Garden visit

Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Art Museum

Calling all art enthusiasts! The Phoenix Art Museum is home to a diverse collection spanning centuries and continents, giving guests a captivating journey and a new appreciation for artistic expression. The Phoenix Art Museum is committed to supporting emerging and established artists and has a wide range of exhibits ensuring that every visitor will find interest. Currently, the museum has the “Barbie: A Cultural Icon” and its sister exhibit “Power of Pink” as well as the “Expanding Darshan: Manjari Sharma, To See and Be Seen” exhibit. Their collections include American and Western American, Asian, contemporary, European, fashion design, Latin American, modern, photography and miniature Thorne rooms. Tickets for general admission are $28 for adults, $23 for students, $25 for seniors, $18 for youth and free for ages 5 and under. To learn more about the Phoenix Art Museum, visit

Musical Instrument Museum 

Musical Instrument Museum 

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is home to 8,000 instruments from around the world, offering guests a journey through time and across continents. MIM celebrates the universal language of music and aims to inspire and educate visitors through ancient relics and modern masterpieces. This museum is great for all ages and has events for kids and families. MIM holds live performances, educational programs and workshops with interactive exhibits and engaging experiences for all visitors. Tickets are $20 for general, $15 for teens, $1o for children and free for ages 3 and under. To learn more about the Musical Instrument Museum visit

Old Town Scottsdale

Old Town Scottsdale

Stop by Old Town Scottsdale for a blend of history, art and culture. The Old West charm lives on in this quarter, offering visitors a taste of Arizona’s roots and a mix of modern culture. Shop at the local boutiques, art galleries and local artisans’ stores before or after diving into the diverse and delicious culinary scene. With restaurants ranging from one end of the scale to the other, from one side of the world to the next, and from casual to fine dining, explore and indulge in modern Arizona culture. Minutes away from the Scottsdale Fashion Square, the premier Scottsdale mall, gives you a real up-close look at an Arizonian’s everyday life. If you’re in town Thursday evening during March Madness, experience the art scene with their ArtWalks which feature music, street performers and artists. To learn more about Old Town Scottsdale visit

Roosevelt Row

Roosevelt Row During First Friday Art Walk

Immerse yourself into the Phoenix culture at Roosevelt Row—the heart and home of Phoenix’s creative energy with a mix of art, dining and entertainment. The Row is lined with murals and street art along with captivating art galleries and studios. Engage with artists, established and emerging, and watch them work in action on lucky occasions. The eclectic dining scene ranges from cafes to bistros to hip eateries. Find amazing pizza and tacos on the same street, and get the best sushi down the block. From gourmet cuisine to authentic street food, this culinary hotspot is a great place for nightlife or a romantic dinner. Bustling bars and music events welcome locals and visitors, and the community invites all to join in. On weekends, flea markets are held on the Row and you might just discover your perfect thrifting find or new favorite art piece. To learn more about Roosevelt Row visit its

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