Sun City Travel Guide

Discover the best attractions, hiking routes, activities, food, accommodation, and local customs in Sun City, Arizona with our week-long itinerary, tips, and travel information.

Introduction to Sun City

Sun City is an active adult community located in Greater Phoenix, Arizona, in the Southwestern United States of America. Founded in 1960, it was the first such planned community in the world and has taken pride in catering to the recreational, social, and lifestyle needs of adults aged 55 and over. With over 40,000 residents, Sun City offers a plethora of attractions and activities that are sure to please visitors of all ages. In this guide, we will highlight the must-visit destinations, the best outdoor recreation options, the top-rated accommodations, the tastiest food and drinks, and everything else you need to know to plan the perfect trip to Sun City.

List of Places to Visit in Sun City

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Sun Cities Area Historical Society Museum

Located at 10801 W Oakmont Dr, Sun City, the museum showcases the history and culture of Sun City and the surrounding area. Visitors can admire the exhibits of Native American art, the vintage automobiles, and the authentic 19th-century farmhouse, or attend the various events, lectures, and classes offered throughout the year.

Liberty Bell Replica

The 1,200-pound bronze replica of the Liberty Bell is located at 103rd Ave and Boswell Blvd in Sun City and is considered the largest freestanding bell of its kind in the world. Visitors can ring the bell and take pictures next to it while learning about the American Revolution and celebrating freedom in all its forms.

Natural Attractions of Sun City: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

The 23,000-acre Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located about 20 miles from Sun City and is a popular destination for water sports, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and picnicking. Visitors can admire the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert, watch the wildlife, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Desert Botanical Garden

Located at 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden showcases the diverse plant life of the Sonoran Desert through various exhibits, tours, and events. Visitors can stroll through the five themed trails, attend a concert or lecture, or enjoy a meal at the garden restaurant while marveling at the beauty and complexity of the desert ecosystem.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Sun City

Sun City has plenty of hiking and biking trails that offer a chance to explore the natural beauty of the desert and stay active. Some of the most popular routes include:

  • White Tank Mountains Trail System
  • Thunderbird Conservation Park
  • Pinnacle Peak Park
  • South Mountain Park and Preserve

Best Things to Do in Sun City: Activities and Tours


Sun City boasts eight golf courses that cater to players of all levels and offer stunning views of the area. Some of the top-rated courses include the North, South, and West courses at the Sun City Country Club and the Riverview and Lakes courses at the Sun City Lakes West Golf Club.


Sun City has several bowling alleys that are open to the public and offer a fun and affordable way to spend time with friends and family. Some of the most popular places include the Bell Lanes Bowling Center and the Bowling Alley at the Hill Recreation Center.

Sightseeing Tours

Several local tour operators offer guided tours of the Sun City area and beyond. Visitors can choose from various options, such as bus tours, helicopter tours, hot air balloon rides, or jeep tours, to explore the stunning desert landscapes, historic sites, and cultural attractions.

Week-Long Itinerary for Sun City

Day Activity
1 Visit the Sun Cities Area Historical Society Museum and the Liberty Bell Replica.
2 Go hiking or biking at Thunderbird Conservation Park or Pinnacle Peak Park.
3 Play golf at the Sun City Country Club or go bowling at the Bell Lanes Bowling Center.
4 Take a sightseeing tour of Phoenix and the surrounding area.
5 Explore the Desert Botanical Garden or take a day trip to Lake Pleasant Regional Park.
6 Attend a concert or show at the Sun Bowl Amphitheatre or the Sundial Auditorium.
7 Relax at one of the many spas or wellness centers in Sun City.

Food and Drink Scene of Sun City

Must-Try Dishes

Fry Bread

A Native American staple, fry bread is a deep-fried, unleavened bread that can be served with a variety of toppings, such as honey and butter, jam, powdered sugar, or beef and beans.

Sonoran-style Hot Dogs

A popular street food in Arizona, Sonoran-style hot dogs are bacon-wrapped hot dogs topped with a variety of condiments, such as beans, onions, tomatoes, mayo, mustard, and jalapenos.

Local Beverages

Prickly Pear Margarita

A refreshing and fruity cocktail made with prickly pear syrup, lime juice, tequila, and triple sec.

Arizona Wine

Arizona has a growing wine industry and produces several award-winning varieties, such as Syrah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Where to Stay in Sun City: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

The Resort on Cocoa Beach

Located at 1500 N. Country Club Dr, Sun City, the resort offers spacious guestrooms, a heated outdoor pool, a fitness center, and easy access to shopping, dining, and entertainment options in the area.

The Clarendon Hotel and Spa

Located at 401 W Clarendon Ave, Phoenix, the hotel offers stylish rooms and suites, a rooftop pool, a spa, and a restaurant, and is located close to Downtown Phoenix and the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

HI Phoenix - The Metcalf House

Located at 1026 N 9th St, Phoenix, the hostel offers budget-friendly dorms and private rooms, free Wi-Fi, a garden, and a communal kitchen, and is a great option for solo travelers or backpackers.

What to Buy in Sun City: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Native American Jewelry and Art

Sun City and the surrounding area are home to several tribes with rich cultural traditions and skilled artisans who produce beautiful jewelry, pottery, and paintings that reflect their heritage and spirituality.

Arizona Spice Blends

Arizona is known for its spicy cuisine, and several local companies offer various blends of dried herbs and peppers that can add flavor and heat to any dish.

Local Culture and Customs of Sun City

Sun City is a retirement community that values socializing, healthy living, and active aging. Residents and visitors are encouraged to participate in various clubs, classes, and events that promote wellness, education, and recreation, and to show respect and kindness to others.

Best Time to Visit Sun City

The best time to visit Sun City is in the fall or winter months, when the temperatures are mild and the skies are clear. The peak tourist season is from January to April, when many snowbirds flock to the area to escape the colder climates in other parts of the country, so expect higher prices and crowds during that time.

Do’s and Don’ts of Sun City


  • Enjoy the outdoors and stay active
  • Respect the local culture and customs
  • Try the local cuisine and beverages
  • Participate in community events and activities
  • Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun


  • Leave your trash behind
  • Disturb the wildlife or flora and fauna
  • Wear inappropriate clothing in public areas
  • Engage in risky behavior or illegal activities
  • Be disrespectful or discriminatory towards others

Safety and Health

Safety in Sun City

Sun City is a safe and friendly community, but visitors should still take precautions to avoid theft, accidents, or emergencies. Some tips to stay safe include:

  • Lock your car and valuables
  • Use sunscreen and hats to protect yourself from the sun
  • Avoid walking alone at night or in secluded areas
  • Follow traffic rules and road signs
  • Be prepared for extreme weather conditions (heat or rain)

Health in Sun City

Sun City has several hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies that offer medical services to residents and visitors. Some tips to stay healthy include:

  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
  • Pack your medications and first aid kit
  • Be aware of your physical limitations and adjust your activities accordingly
  • Wear appropriate clothing and shoes for outdoor recreation
  • Seek medical attention if you experience any signs or symptoms of illness or injury

Getting to Sun City: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Sun City

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA)
  • Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR)

Bus Stations Near Sun City

  • Greyhound Bus Lines (Phoenix)
  • Phoenix Metro Bus System

Other Options

  • Rental Cars
  • Taxis and Ride-sharing Services
  • Private Shuttle Services

How to Get Around in Sun City

Sun City is a walkable community, and most of the attractions and amenities are located within a short distance from each other. However, visitors who prefer to explore the area by car can rent a vehicle or use a taxi or ride-sharing service to get around.

Where to Go Next from Sun City: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Sun City is located in the heart of Greater Phoenix, a vibrant metropolitan area that offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. Some of the nearby destinations and excursions include:

  • Phoenix Zoo
  • Heard Museum
  • Chase Field (Home of Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Team)
  • Scottsdale Fashion Square
  • Grand Canyon National Park


Sun City, Arizona, is a unique and welcoming destination that offers a perfect mix of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, an active adventure, or a memorable cultural experience, Sun City has something for everyone. Use this comprehensive tour guide to plan your trip and make the most of your time in this vibrant and charming community.