The Best Things to Do During Spring Training in Arizona

Spring training 2022 is in full swing, and if you’ve come to the Phoenix metro area to see your favorite MLB team find their groove, have you thought about how you’ll pass the hours when you’re not at work? baseball stadium?

The weather at this time of year is not just perfect for baseball, but for all kinds of outdoor activities. Whether you want to hike, soak up the history, or grab a bite to eat at a popular Phoenix restaurant, The Arizona Republic has you covered.

Spring training games will be played until April 5, so you have plenty of time to plan your outings.

Here are 10 things Cactus League fans can do when visiting Arizona.

Spring training in Arizona:What fans can expect at the 10 Cactus League stadiums

Stroll through a botanical garden

Connect with nature and learn about desert plants at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the oldest and largest nursery in the state. The arboretum’s Wallace Cactus Garden is home to over 800 varieties of cacti. The arboretum is 55 miles east of downtown Phoenix.

Want to stay closer to your next baseball game? The Japanese Friendship Garden in downtown Phoenix is ​​a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. There are serene walkways, shady spots, and ponds with swimming koi fish.

Continued:Botanical Gardens in Phoenix and Beyond

Drive the Apache Trail to Tortilla Flat

Looking for an easy day trip from Phoenix? Visit Tortilla Flat. This former historic stagecoach stop offers a quaint escape from the city and an authentic taste of the Wild West.

About 83 km east of central Phoenix, on the southern edge of the Tonto National Forest, the area now called Tortilla Flat has served as a staging post in the rugged Superstition Mountains for more than 1,000 years.

With food, live music, period buildings including a post office and museum, memorabilia, lots of Southwest history, and the famous prickly pear ice cream, it’s easy to understand why Tortilla Flat is such a fun place to spend an afternoon. Here’s everything you can do at Tortilla Flat.

“We are the custodians of history”:Meet the owners who preserve Tortilla Flat’s heritage

Go play in a park

Arizona is famous for its national and state parks, and there are so many to choose from. But you don’t need to plan a road trip to enjoy the outdoors. There are dozens of parks, mountain preserves, and recreation areas throughout Phoenix.

Whether you are looking to swim; play basketball; let your children run; picnic; to jog; or just lounging on the grass, there are plenty of options to choose from. These are five of Phoenix’s most beloved parks. If you’ve ever wanted to visit a park with wandering peacocks, Sahuaro Ranch Park in Glendale is the place to go.

Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Desert Laboratory

Taliesin West, the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark in the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale. You can visit the Desert Lab – reservations are recommended – or attend one of its upcoming events.

Sunsets and Sips, a happy hour allowing guests to “linger and mingle with a drink on our famous bow,” will take place from 5-7 p.m. on March 23 and 30. Tickets are $35 and include a drink ticket. There’s also a Saturday night salon ($50 admission) from 6:30-8 p.m. on March 26, which will host a discussion on “The Architecture of Music.”

While you’re in Taliesin West, you’ll also find famed glass sculptor Dale Chihuly and his team’s glass “masterpieces”.

Dale Chihuly:His Love of the Desert, Frank Lloyd Wright and New Exhibits

The venue is not far for fans heading to Salt River Fields at the Talking Stick and Scottsdale Stadium.

Details: 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale. 480-860-2700, https://franklloydwright.org/taliesin-west.

Rent a donut, paddle board or kayak

Why, yes you can go boating in the Sonoran Desert.

Tempe Town Lake is an easy drive from Diablo Stadium and Sloan Park. You’ll find places here that rent Surrey bikes, pedal boats, kayaks, electric pontoons and even donuts. If you prefer to stay out of the water, there is a 7 mile loop around the lake for walkers, runners and bikers. Tempe Beach Park is located at 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway.

Here are two places that rent boats and other equipment:

See exotic and endangered animals

If your team’s ballpark is in the West Valley, including Surprise Stadium, Peoria Sports Complex, Camelback-Glendale Ranch and Goodyear Ballpark, and you need a place to take the family, go to Wildlife World zoo, aquarium and safari park.

The park claims it has “Arizona’s largest collection of exotic and endangered animals, with over 600 distinct species, rides, a petting zoo, and daily shows.” Don’t forget to visit the baby animal nursery.

Details: 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park. 602-321-5478, https://wildlifeworld.com.

Spring training 2022:Where to Eat Near Every Metro Phoenix Ballpark

Go for a wildflower walk

Arizona won’t have a wildflower super bloom in 2022, but you’ll see brittlebush, desert marigolds and lupins in the desert parks and trails enveloping metro Phoenix. So get out there and visit some of these reliable places to spot wildflowers around town. If you only find a few dozen flowers instead of thousands, remember this: at least you haven’t spent the day shoveling snow.

Arizona Wildflowers:These are the flowers you are most likely to spot

Taste some of Arizona’s finest wine, beer, and cheese

The Verde Valley, which encompasses Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, and Camp Verde, sits nearly smack in the middle of the state’s scenic center.

The volcanic soil and a diversity of elevations have made it an ideal place to grow wine grapes, and the valley’s enterprising vineyards go beyond Old World techniques to create distinctive bottles.

Winegrowers are not the only ones to move the region. Artisanal food producers and craft brewers have settled in historic downtown neighborhoods. These places to eat and drink are worth the trip to the Verde Valley.

Continued:This Arizona wine region has just gained major national recognition.

Sip the best beers in Flagstaff

Heavy hitters like Mother Road and Lumberyard are well worth a stop when visiting Flagstaff in northern Arizona.

But don’t skip over some of the smaller spots, like Historic Brewing Co., which produces seasonal pie-flavored porters, and Dark Sky Brewing Co., which has some of the best pizza in the state.

Here’s your guide to the best places to drink craft beer in downtown Flagstaff.

Tucson: Saguaro National Park and More

Tucson is an easy drive from Phoenix, but don’t assume the Old Pueblo is just a little brother to the larger state capital. Tucson is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the Southwest and carries its heritage proudly.

Whether you’re heading out for a day, a weekend, or more, you can drive through dense stands of saguaro cacti, sightsee the way to 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon, explore historic neighborhoods, and eat Mexican food from Sonora style at locals’ favorite restaurants.

Here are the best things to do when visiting Tucson.

Hiking in Tucson:Where to see waterfalls, mountains and a rare crested saguaro

You can connect with Arizona Republic culture and outside reporter Shanti Lerner via email at [email protected] or you can also follow her on Twitter.

Contact entertainment reporter KiMi Robinson at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @kimirobin and Instagram @ReporterKiMi.

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