Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Paradise Valley, AZ

  • Published 2022/11/29

Paradise Valley is a town in Maricopa County in Arizona, acting as a suburb of Phoenix.

A small town, Paradise Valley was once an agricultural suburb overshadowed by its larger neighbors, particularly Phoenix and Scottsdale.

However, because of the efforts of Maricopa County, Paradise Valley eventually caught up to the surge in tourism and has evolved to be a tourist destination on its own.

As of 2022, it remains the wealthiest suburb of Phoenix, boasting several resorts and country clubs that utilize the beauty of its sprawling nature trails and hiking spots.

To get started on your itinerary, check this list of the best things to do in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Visit Barry Goldwater Memorial

View of Barry Goldwater Memorial

EQRoy /

Barry Goldwater Memorial is located along the intersection of North Tatum Boulevard and East Lincoln Drive.

Barry Goldwater is an American politician from the 1960s to the 1980s, having served as a U.S. Senator representing Arizona.

View of Barry Goldwater Memorial

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You’ll see a beautiful statue of Barry Goldwater here, which makes for a great photograph souvenir should you be into U.S. politics and history.

Besides the statue, Barry Goldwater Memorial also acts as a park where you can stroll if you want some peace and quiet.

It’s home to several southwestern desert-type florae.

View of Barry Goldwater Memorial

EQRoy /

Take a Tour at Cosanti Originals

Cosanti Originals is one of the best ways to kickstart your trip to Paradise Valley.

It’s an art gallery that doubles as an architectural landmark, as it’s the residence of the late Italian-American architect and sculptor Paolo Soleri.

Cosanti Originals is unique because Soleri used its structure both as an artistic expression and a home to several of his best works, some of which you can buy.

What you can see inside are a lot of wind-chimes designed by the artist himself, along with several other displays that range from pottery to ceramics and metalworks.

Cosanti Originals is a haven for the peculiar adventurer, as it epitomizes Soleri’s unique “arcology” philosophy—a harmony of architecture and ecology.

You can find Cosanti Originals along East Doubletree Ranch Road.

Go Bouldering at Cholla Trailhead

If you’re visiting Paradise Valley for a more challenging hike, look no further than the Cholla Trailhead at North Invergordon Road.

Cholla Trailhead leads to the peaks of Camelback Mountain, a desert mountain neighboring Mummy Mountain to the south.

Camelback Mountain was named such because its peaks resemble the back of a camel, which is a testament to the difficulty of climbing its upper area.

You’d have to do some bouldering and have some technical expertise when navigating your way to the top, making Cholla Trailhead a good challenge for seasoned hikers.

When you reach its summit, you’re rewarded with sweeping views of both Paradise Valley and Phoenix, some of the best views in Arizona.

Take Your Pet to O.H.S.O Brewery

One of the most famous dining establishments visited by thousands weekly is O.H.S.O Brewery, located along North Tatum Boulevard.

O.H.S.O stands for Outrageous Homebrewer’s Social Outpost, and it’s been their brand to be an eclectic restaurant and bar that offers a unique experience.

One of its best characteristics is its dog-friendly setup.

The brewery has dedicated dog water bowls and biscuits should you want to bring your furry friends.

Besides that, they also have games like ping pong that make for a great night out with friends or family.

Known for its wide range of American food and its selection of alcoholic beverages, O.H.S.O Brewery is a go-to pub among locals and tourists.

Hike Mummy Mountain

View of Mummy Mountain

Tim Roberts Photography /

Located along North Desert Fairway Drive, Mummy Mountain is one of the few natural wonders in Paradise Valley.

It’s a granite mountain with several interesting sites, most notably a conservation site at its summit and several inns erected along its slope.

What makes Mummy Mountain a desirable hike, however, is that it gives you that authentic desert experience that’s been the bread and butter of Arizona’s tourism.

View of Mummy Mountain

Tim Roberts Photography /

You’ll see a lot of granite rocks, cacti, and other desert shrubberies during your hike.

What makes this even more awesome is that its elevation and slopes aren’t much of a challenge, so hiking doesn’t pose a big problem for inexperienced people.

Mummy Mountain also offers spectacular views of Paradise Valley, so give it a go for an unforgettable experience.

Have a Spa Day at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa

Situated along East McDonald Drive, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa is one of the best spa resorts in Paradise Valley and Arizona.

It’s a premium hotel and spa resort offering some of Arizona’s best rest and relaxation services.

They’re best known for their spa amenities, as they have state-of-the-art facilities and services.

Try their custom massage coupled with their facial service—it’ll surely make you feel refreshed and energized.

On top of its spa, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort also has an infinity pool, hot tubs, and a lap pool.

The rooms here are also spacious and elegant, should you want to stay in Paradise Valley.

Have an Intimate Dinner at El Chorro Lodge

El Chorro Lodge is a scenic historical landmark that lets you experience the beauty of Paradise Valley over an intimate meal.

Located along East Lincoln Drive, El Chorro Lodge offers a perfect combination of culinary expertise, architecture, and scenery.

It dates back to 1937 but has since been revamped to meet growing demands in contemporary times.

Their patio is one of Arizona’s best spaces for events or large gatherings, something to consider if you’re traveling with a large group or celebrating an occasion.

While their food is of fantastic quality, their most popular dishes are sticky buns, beef stroganoff, and an assortment of steaks.

Play Golf at The Short Course at Mountain Shadows

If you want a quick round of golf while enjoying the scenic beauty of Paradise Valley, The Short Course at Mountain Shadows is your primary option.

Located across El Chorro Lodge, this golf course is a par 3 course that’s been around since 1961.

Its longevity is a testament to its excellence, as The Short Course at Mountain Shadows is renowned for its challenging but fast courses.

The course is well-maintained and managed by an excellent staff, receiving high praise from locals.

After your game, try their restaurant and bar, famous for their wide range of exquisite drinks.

Enjoy Phoenix Mountain Preserve through Dixie Peak

Paradise Valley and Phoenix share the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, and you can experience its Paradise Valley side through the trailhead of Dixie Peak.

The trail starts at East White Drive in Paradise Valley and leads you to the mountain’s eastern portion, which has many scenic trails.

You’ll see large cacti here unique to Arizona, making it an ideal place to do some botanical photography.

Dixie Peak also offers a fun hike for newbies, as no bouldering is involved.

The hike also takes around 40 minutes to complete.

Upon completing the hike, you’ll get beautiful views of nearby mountains in Paradise Valley and gorgeous cloud formations should you go on a clear day.

Check the Amenities at Paradise Valley Country Club

Paradise Valley Country Club is one of the most iconic clubs in Paradise Valley, renowned for the premium experience it provides.

While a private club, you can enjoy the amenities as a guest here should you have an invitation from an existing member.

There’s a host of activities here that you can do, all while enjoying the beautiful views of the town.

The club is known for its 18-hole golf course, but other amazing amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, 10 tennis courts, and a six-lane swimming pool.

The restaurants inside Paradise Valley Country Club are also renowned, offering exquisite wine to go along with excellent viands.

Paradise Country Club is at the foot of Mummy Mountain, along North Tatum Boulevard.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Do Rock Climbing at Echo Canyon Trailhead

Aerial view of Echo Canyon Trailhead

Noah Densmore /

Echo Canyon Trailhead is located along East McDonald Drive, which runs through the border of Paradise Valley and Phoenix, just a five-minute drive from Cholla Trailhead.

It’s another scenic trail popular rock-climbing site for seasoned hikers.

View of Echo Canyon Trailhead

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Like Cholla Trailhead, Echo Canyon Trailhead is a challenging experience with a lot of bouldering involved.

It’s a shorter hike, making it a little more forgiving for new climbers, but wear proper attire and bring equipment during your hike.

Reaching the summit of this trailhead gives you fantastic views that overlook multiple areas, particularly Phoenix, Paradise Valley, and Scottsdale.

View of Echo Canyon Trailhead

BlueGreen /

Take a Breather at Granada Parkaeria

Aerial view of Granada Park


Just a 10-minute drive from El Chorro Lodge lies Phoenix’s Granada Park, one of the best parks to relax with friends and family.

If you’re tired of all the desert and rocky terrains during your visit, Granada Park is home to two large ponds that make for a great change of scenery.

There are plenty of shaded areas here and spacious paved walking paths that make it a great place to walk your dog.

Many birds also visit Granada Park, and you can make them flock to you by feeding them.

The park is also close to the foot of Phoenix Mountain Preserve which adds to its serene charm.

Do a Self-Guided Tour at Arizona Falls

View of Arizona Falls

Thomas Trompeter /

Only a five-minute drive from Cholla Trailhead lies the Arizona Falls, a restored hydroelectric plant in Phoenix that doubles as a tourist destination.

Arizona Falls is renowned for its history and unique layout that you won’t experience daily.

View of Arizona Falls

Thomas Trompeter /

What makes this destination charming is the several manmade waterfalls that pour into the Arizona Canal.

As you explore deeper in Arizona Falls, it almost feels like you’re entering a water ride when it’s just a cool neighborhood hydroelectric plant!

You can use many informational signs for your self-guided tour, which is a pleasant experience because of the many pathways that lead you deeper inside.

View of Arizona Falls

Thomas Trompeter /

See Thousands of Model Trains at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

View of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Kit Leong /

McCormick Stillman Railroad Park is another top nearby attraction in Scottsdale that takes you only three minutes to reach via car.

The park is best known for its 10,000-square-foot railroad miniature display.

View of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Kit Leong /

Sprawling with thousands of model trains, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is an amazing destination that both adults and kids can enjoy.

Another attraction here is the steam-powered train rides that go around the park, offering a memorable experience for children.

While you explore this massive railroad park, drop by their gift shop if you’re looking for cool souvenirs or memorabilia.

View of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

Kit Leong /

Explore Butterfly Wonderland

View of Butterfly Wonderland

Rosemarie Mosteller /

Butterfly Wonderland is just a 10-minute drive from Cosanti Originals along Scottsdale’s East Via de Ventura Road.

Butterfly Wonderland is a majestic atrium that immerses you in thousands of butterflies and their habitats.

Because it’s a borderless garden, this is one of the best places to photograph as you have a close range of butterfly species.

View of Butterfly Wonderland

Thomas Trompeter /

There are also a lot of other animals here in captivity, such as reptiles, birds, and fish.

There is also a 3D movie depicting the ecology and behaviors of certain species of butterflies, a great attraction for the kids.

Butterfly Wonderland makes for an amazing tour, whether you’re going here for a romantic date or a trip with children.

View of Butterfly Wonderland

Thomas Trompeter /

Final Thoughts

Paradise Valley is only a small town geographically, but its tourist destinations provide an experience like no other.

It has several mountain trails you can explore, giving you an authentic Arizona hiking experience.

If you prefer to rest and relax, it’s also home to some of the best premium resorts near Phoenix.

Of course, location also matters—Paradise Valley is a strategic place if you want to explore Phoenix and Scottsdale’s nearby attractions.

The best things to do in Paradise Valley, Arizona, a beautiful and strategic town, await you.

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