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How to Enjoy Phoenix as a Senior

Tax breaks, sunshine, and world-class golf. Phoenix wins the retiree trifecta.

Setting aside for a moment all the fun things to do in Phoenix, Arizona’s appealing tax structure might be reason enough to start packing. There is no tax on social security, no gift tax, estate tax, or inheritance tax. And the rates on taxable income are relatively low. This can be a huge bang for the senior retirement buck.

The only thing better than saving money is saving money in paradise. Boasting over 300 days of sunshine per year, Phoenix enjoys a desert climate that comes complete with glorious temperatures throughout the winter. The summer temps can soar, but low humidity makes even those 100-degree days bearable.  

When it comes to senior activities in Phoenix, all that delicious sunshine presents a real problem. For example, how does one find the time to conquer all of the area’s over 200 golf courses? Golf.com ranks Arizona second only to Florida in quantity and quality of courses, or as they call it, “golfiness.” Be sure to pack those golf clubs but leave the allergy medicine at home. Thanks to desert vegetation, many allergy, and asthma victims find relief from seasonal suffering.

Is golf not your cup of, um…tee? For those who don’t know which end of the club is up – and don’t care to learn – there are plenty of other senior activities in Phoenix to keep you busy and engaged 24/7.

Parks and Recreation Areas for Phoenix Seniors

There are enough outdoor parks and recreation areas in and around Phoenix to keep you busy for a lifetime. A few of the most popular:

  • Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area is a local landmark and hiking destination. Of the two main trails, The Echo Canyon Trail and the Cholla trail, the former is the more challenging. The views from both trails are spectacular
  • Tempe Beach Park and Town Lake in downtown Tempe, a popular urban escape, is a great place for hiking, biking, picnicking or paddle boating.

  • South Mountain Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America and boasts 51 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Desert Botanical Garden

Designated a Phoenix Point of Pride, the Desert Botanical Garden was founded by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society in 1937 to conserve and protect the fragile desert environment. The 140-acre garden, located in Papago Park is now home to more than 50,000 plants from all over the world. Enjoy walking trails with interactive exhibits along the way and regularly scheduled events like concerts and cooking series. The even better news: Seniors 60 and older receive discounted admission.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Built in partnership with Phoenix’s Sister City, Himeji, Japan, the Japanese Friendship Garden is a place of beauty and tranquility in the heart of Phoenix where visitors and residents can enrich mind, body and spirit. The mission is to combine an inspirational surrounding with educational and artistic programs and events that will celebrate the rich culture and history of Japan and strengthen the relationship between our two countries.

Old Town Scottsdale

Explore Scottsdale’s beginnings in Historic Old Town. Browse art galleries in the Arts District, shop along Fifth Avenue, or discover the energy of Scottsdale after dark in the Entertainment District.

Indoor Activities for Seniors Near Phoenix

The Phoenix Art Museum

The largest art museum in the Southwest, the Phoenix Art Museum features a permanent collection of over 19,000 works of art. In addition, the museum presents a variety of public programs, including tours, lectures, films, and special events for visitors of all ages. Bring the grandkids!

The Heard Museum

Dedicated to the showcasing and advancement of Native American Indian Art, the Heard Museum sets the standard for collaborating with American Indian artists and tribal communities, It is internationally recognized for the quality of its collections, world-class exhibitions, educational programming, and festivals.

Taliesin West

Nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Taliesin West is the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin. Wright’s beloved winter home was designed to integrate with its desert surroundings and is recognized as both a UNESCO world heritage site and a National Historic Landmark.

Hall of Flame

The Hall of Flame offers a unique experience for visitors while honoring firefighters who have perished in the line of duty or been decorated for heroism. There are 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus dating back to 1725 as well as a gallery dedicated to the history of wildland firefighting in the US.

Overture Kierland and Overture Arcadia are Overture’s premier active adult communities in the Phoenix area. Arrange a tour today. Because, seriously, the question is not what’s to love about independent living in Phoenix. The question is, what’s not to love?