Thousands of visitors will take planes, trains and automobiles to the Valley over the next 10 days in advance of the NFL’s main event, as Arizona hosts its fourth Super Bowl on Feb. 12 when Kansas City and Philadelphia duke it out at Glendale’s State Farm Stadium.
Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona list the Eagles as a 1.5-point favorite (with a -125 moneyline). And for those looking to place a wager on the first Big Game in a state with legal sports betting, BetArizona has you covered with the best Super Bowl 57 free bets.
For visitors looking for things to do during the week of Super Bowl LVII other than take part in Arizona sports betting, there are a few Phoenix destinations that stand out in a crowded field of contenders.
As the lead writer for BetArizona.com and a longtime Phoenix resident, I’ve taken it upon myself to share some of my favorite spots so those in town can hit the ground running after landing at Sky Harbor Airport.
BetArizona.com is your home for all things Super Bowl, including the best Arizona sports betting promo codes to use on your game wagers.
Visit the Desert Botanical Gardens/Phoenix Zoo
There are few places that offer the one-two combo of immaculate flora and fauna like the adjacent Desert Botanical Gardens and Phoenix Zoo.
The two city-owned facilities, which are located on Galvin Parkway at the intersection of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe, have unmatched combinations of natural beauty and the wonder of the animal kingdom.
At the Desert Botanical Gardens (1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix), visitors can take in more than 4,000 species of cactus, along with various types of local flora and fascinating mixtures from other spots around the globe.
Down the road, you’ll find one of the largest zoos in the West, as the Phoenix Zoo clocks in at around three miles, from the parking lot to the visitor’s center and shop.
In between, you’ll find one of the largest giraffe enclosures in North America, along with chances to get up close and personal with a host of species, including mountain goats, orangutangs, cheetahs, lions, tigers and bears (oh my).
Both facilities are worth a day trip on their own, but feature spectacles that will leave you breathless and awestruck at the beauty of nature and the wonders of the animal kingdom.
Tickets for the Desert Botanical Garden run from $24.95 to $29.95 apiece (or $14.95-16.95 for kids), while entry to the zoo costs $37.95 for adults and $27.95 for children.
Check out Hole in the Rock, Papago Park
A stone’s throw from the gardens and zoo is a Phoenix landmark, known as “Hole InThe Rock,” located in Papago Park.
The natural geological formation is easily accessible from Galvin Parkway, with a .2 mile hike up 200 feet of elevation getting you to the spot.
From the “hole” you can see out over the palm tree-laden oasis that is the zoo, out toward South Mountain and Downtown Phoenix.
Visitors can access the park at 625 N. Galvin Pkwy., where they can set off toward Hole in the Rock or any of the other red sandstone formations that make the area stand out.
Drive (or Hike) to the Top of South Mountain
Few vantage points give you the sense of the true scope of the Valley quite like the top of South Mountain.
Thanks to the Valley’s immense size (14,564.76 square miles, or roughly the size of Taiwan), it’s hard to fully comprehend how far it is from southeastern outposts, such as Queen Creek, to the northeastern fringes of towns like Surprise and El Mirage.
That’s where South Mountain comes in, as visitors can either drive up Summit Road for 5.5 miles each way along hairpin turns or hike the more than two miles and 1,100 feet of elevation gain to reach the antennas on top of the Phoenix landmark.
Either way, the view from atop South Mountain is unmatched, as visitors can see clear down to Casa Grande and upward towards the Bradshaw Mountains on the south side of Central Arizona outposts like Prescott and Prescott Valley on a good day.
BetArizona.com has stories like this in advance of the Super Bowl, along with reviews of Arizona sports betting apps.
Hike Camelback Mountain
Few hiking destinations get the shine Camelback Mountain does, on the border of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. The precipice, which towers some 2,704 feet above the Valley floor, is one of the most heralded (and daunting) hikes in Arizona.
Whether you venture up the Echo Canyon Trailhead (4925 E. McDonald Dr.) or nearby Cholla Trailhead (5150 N. Invergordon Rd.), you’re sure to find a challenge in the Phoenix hiking staple.
Both hikes are short in duration (at 1.23 and 1.47 miles, respectively), but are lung-busters in their altitude gains, clocking in at 1,280 feet and 1,350 feet of elevation from trailhead to summit, respectively.
A trek up Camelback Mountain is a true challenge for even the most seasoned hiker, but rewards visitors with a one-of-a-kind viewpoint from its summit.
Galivant Around Old Town Scottsdale
After you’ve wrapped up your days’ worth of exercise on Camelback Mountain, it’s time to reward yourself with top-notch drinks and a true taste of the West.
Nowhere is that combo more present than in Scottsdale’s Old Town district, which features a host of bars, restaurants and cafes — all of which can be easily accessed off either Camelback or Indian School roads.
With ESPN setting up its week-of broadcasts from Old Town, it’s sure to be a rowdy atmosphere, giving visitors more reason to venture eastward to Scottsdale during Super Bowl week.
Scottsdale is a convenient 20-minute drive from Downtown Phoenix on either of the aforementioned roads. Between the hospitality and the unique mixture of art galleries, museums and other landmarks, a stop in Scottsdale is a must for anyone visiting the Valley for Super Bowl LVII.
Check Out the Lowriders on Grand Avenue
Though the formal Saturday night lowrider shows on Phoenix’s only diagonal road officially came to an end in 2020, visitors can still catch stray hot-rods on any given weekend night.
Grand Avenue, which is a stone’s throw from the downtown corridor, is still a hot spot for car aficionados, with a unique mixture of vintage shops, car and motorcycle-themed shops and other attractions.
Stop in and grab a pint of locally sourced beer at The Wayward Taphouse (1028 Grand Ave.) and a slice of pizza at Snapback Pizzeria (1031 Grand Ave.) across the street and sit back and relax, as the roar of mid-century engines will soon catch your attention on the avenue.
Nothing accentuates the spirit of the Southwest quite like a lowrider and few spots in Arizona do a better job of showcasing these unique rides quite like Phoenix’s Grand Avenue.
Explore Phoenix Art Museum, Roosevelt Row
For football fans who also enjoy taking in a Picasso painting and a rotating series of exhibits highlighting the best of American, European and Asian artistry, there are few places better than the Phoenix Art Museum to spend a day.
The Midtown museum, which is located at 1625 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix, has multiple floors worth of can’t-miss artwork, with more than 20,000 pieces in their collection at any given time.
Several of the museum’s current exhibits spotlight Asian artists, including Japanese folk art, Indian Sikh art and Japanese enamels — though there’s always more than meets the eye at the Phoenix landmark.
About a half-mile south of the museum lies one of Phoenix’s fastest growing arts district, in Roosevelt Row.
The strip of breweries, restaurants and art galleries has been a mainstay of Phoenix culture for more than 30 years and is home to some of the finest brews and blues (The Nash Jazz Club) in the Valley.
Take in an afternoon at the area’s first woman-owned brewery (Greenwood Brewing) then saunter down the street to catch some live blues music on Roosevelt Row, or a bite of Phoenix’s finest French cuisine at Sottise.
Either way, Roosevelt Row is sure to be a winner with your group, regardless of who you’re traveling with.
Tour Phoenix’s Tovrea Castle & Wrigley Mansion
Thanks to Phoenix’s unique stature as a former winter home of the rich and famous, there are an outsized number of well-preserved mansions in the city’s limits.
Chief among those are Phoenix’s Tovrea Castle on Van Buren Road and the Wrigley Mansion in the Biltmore neighborhood of the city.
Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights, which dubs itself “the jewel in the Sonoran Desert” was built in 1928 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The four-story manor spreads out over 5,000 square feet of space, perched on top of a bluff overlooking downtown and Sky Harbor Airport.
The Tovrea Carraro Society has allowed the public to tour the facility for the last 11 years, with visitors taking in the castle’s cactus garden and outbuildings in a tram, before touring the main floor and basement.
Tickets for the tours must be booked in advance online and typically sell out quickly.
Up the road, another historic mansion has brought in countless visitors over the years.
The Wrigley Mansion, which is located at 2501 E. Telewa Trail, features two restaurants (Geordie’s and Christopher’s) and dates back to 1932.
Originally built by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., the Wrigley Mansion has been owned by the city since 1992, allowing the public to gaze upon its one-of-a-kind design year-round.
More information about the Biltmore-area staple can be found online, with reservations required for tours and to eat at one of the mansion’s two restaurants.