A mountain biker cycles through Hawes Trail surrounded by desert greenery, a saguaro cactus, and the McDowell Mountains.
View of Mount McDowell on the Hawes Trail (Credit: @exploringaz on Instagram)

One for the Boys

10 Guys Getaways in Phoenix

This one's for the boys. We've rounded up our top 10 ideas for an action-packed guys getaway of fun and adventure in metro Phoenix.

Win Big

Cobra Arcade Bar
A rotation of 80s and 90s vintage arcade games and pinball machines have created quite the buzz around Phoenix's Cobra Arcade Bar. A variety of food trucks and DJ appearances add to the fun, as do the clever cocktails inspired by classic video games.

The Grid: Games and Growlers
The Grid's 600-plus video games range from vintage to contemporary, including Atari, pinball, arcade games and board games. When you need a break in the gaming action, this LGBTQ-friendly Mesa spot also offers a full selection of brews and pub grub. Regular events include karaoke nights, comedy shows and themed game nights like Rockband Mondays.

A group of people smiling and playing cards at a casino table.
Talking Stick Resort (Credit: Discover Salt River)

Area Casinos
When Lady Luck beckons, the greater Phoenix area's eight casinos will tempt you with an assortment of slot machines, video poker and table games. Sports betting is expected to go live in September before the NFL season. Many of the casinos are connected to some of Phoenix's finest resorts and restaurants, too. So, win or lose, you still score.

Start Your Engines

Racing Adventures
At Racing Adventures in Phoenix, adrenaline junkies can take laps in an automatic Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, or Porsche with paddle shifters; try their hand—and footwork—in a manual Cobra or GT40; or book a combo package to drive several different supercars.

Radford Racing School
Formerly known as the Bondurant Performance Driving School, Radford Racing School in Chandler carries on the long tradition of world-class instruction in intensive 1-4 day driving courses in an array of vehicles and styles. Choose from among Formula 4, drag racing, karting or performance driving, to list a few.

Get Rugged

Three mountain bikers ride through desert terrain and saguaro cacti. A mountain range can be seen in the background.
Hawes Trail, Mesa (Credit: @hawestrailalliance on Instagram)

You won't find better hiking bang for the buck than Hidden Valley via Mormon Trail at South Mountain. Four miles round-trip includes plenty of interesting rock formations, wildlife and a squeeze through the famed Fat Man's Pass. It's a popular route, so expect other hikers. Also of note: There's no real shade on the trail, so consider heading out early or waiting until later in the day to avoid the sun.

The Hawes Trail System in Mesa spans interconnecting trails with views of Red Mountain, Four Peaks, and Fountain Hills. Many of the trails were built for mountain bikers, or with them in mind. If you choose to hike, keep an eye out for the fast-moving bikers who share the trail.

Cast a Line

Scottsdale’s Chaparral Park is among the most convenient of the region's urban lakes, located just northeast of Old Town Scottsdale. It's stocked year-round with species such as trout, catfish and sunfish. Before you bait the hook, make sure everyone has a fishing license, available at Arizona Game & Fish and at local sporting goods stores. Not staying in Scottsdale? Game & Fish lists 30 urban lakes and community fishing waters in the greater Phoenix area and central Arizona!

Two images: A man holds a striped bass and smiles. In other image, plates of food sit on a table overlooking blue waters
Lake Pleasant and Scorpion Bay Marina (Left: @boozeman_outdoors on IG)

Ride the Waves

Lake Pleasant Regional Park, just north of Phoenix, offers two options for powerboating adventures. Pleasant Harbor Marina sits on the southeast side of the lake, with Jet Skis and pontoon boats available from Boats4Rent; on the other side of the lake, Scorpion Bay Marina rents Jet Skis and pontoons, plus sport boats, wakeboards and water skis.

Cheer On Your Favorite Team

Two men holding Phoenix Suns towels smile at the camera.
"Vamos" Phoenix Suns basketball!

With the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, NBA's Phoenix Suns, NHL's Arizona Coyotes, and MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix is one of only 13 cities with teams in all four major sports—with a bonus of Major League Soccer's Phoenix Rising and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. That means year-round sports action. If you're here from late February through March, MLB's Cactus League Spring Training is a must.

If college sports are more your league (and you're feeling brave) declare your support for either the Arizona State University Sun Devils or the University of Arizona Wildcats—one of college sports' most heated rivalries.

Take Flight

Group of indoor skydivers with one individual floating and a row of participants watching.
iFLY indoor skydiving (Credit: Discover Salt River)

360 Adventures Helicopter
The views of Phoenix and Scottsdale from a helicopter are a one-of-a-kind thrill—whether you choose to loop around Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak or overlook the area at sundown. 360 Adventures offers several helicopter tours, including a night tour that shows off Phoenix's city lights and out-of-town tours to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

iFly Skydiving
Who says you can’t defy gravity? Indoor skydiving center, iFly, connects you and your buddies as you learn the basics of bodyflying without having to jump out of a plane. Feel the exhilaration at this Scottsdale center.

Eat Like A Man

We've given you a lot to do, plenty enough to build up an appetite. Whether you're looking for casual pub grub or an upscale dinner out, these restaurants fit the bill.

  • Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.: (downtown Phoenix, Gilbert): classic pub with craft beers and locally-raised beef
  • Chico Malo: (Phoenix): hip style, inventive Mexican fare
  • Dick’s Hideaway (Phoenix): "casually upscale" pub renowned for authentic New Mexico cuisine
  • Durant's: (Phoenix): Phoenix's landmark steakhouse since 1950
  • Fogo de Chão (Scottsdale): Brazilian steakhouse that's a carnivore's heaven
  • Handlebar Diner (Mesa): 50s Valentine Diner with a Southwest touch, cool vibe, and helmed by a "Chopped" champion chef
  • Long Wong's: (multiple locations): award-winning, time-tested hot wings made using a secret recipe
  • Maple & Ash (Scottsdale): wood-fired cooking, amazing wines in an upscale setting with a dress code
  • Steak 44: (Phoenix): perfect steak and seafood splurge featuring a 3,000-wine vault entryway
  • Sumomaya: (Scottsdale): seasonal Mexican-Asian fusion cuisine that straddles casual and fine-dining
  • Tom's BBQ: (multiple locations in the East Valley): pulled pork, brisket, Italian beef and more. Look for the pink "Pig Rig."
A man in a fedora and jeans sits on a leather couch under art of Mexican wrestlers and the words "Los Mas Chingones"
Chico Malo, Downtown Phoenix (Credit: @omarshinez on Instagram)

Kick Back

Arizona Grand Resort & Spa
This Phoenix resort's Oasis water park ranks among the top resort pools in the U.S. with its 8-story thrill slides, giant wave pool, 25-person hot tub, and a lazy river. Rent a cabana for your group and sit back and relax. In addition to the seven-acre Oasis, Arizona Grand Resort & Spa also boasts six additional swimming pools.

People in yellow inner tubes float down a lazy river in a resort pool. Next to them are brown boulders and a larger pool
Arizona Grand Resort & Spa (photo courtesy of resort)

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
In north Phoenix, this Marriott resort makes a similar splash with a 1,600-foot lazy river, 89-foot waterslide, five pools, and two whirlpools. The property also features an acclaimed spa with a full menu of men's services, saunas, steam rooms, and a private spa pool with cabanas and a bar.

Take a Daytrip

Water to Wine
This self-guided kayak float trip down the scenic Verde River near Sedona accommodates private parties from two to 10 people. After about 2.5 hours on the calm water, beach your boat under the cottonwoods and enjoy a 90-minute outdoor wine tasting at Alcantara Vineyard.

Westwind Adventures Grand Canyon Signature Tour
If your getaway gang is short on time, this tour is just the ticket: a scenic narrated flight over Arizona's varied terrain, a 20-30 minute overflight of the Grand Canyon, and a ground tour into Grand Canyon National Park. Best of all, you're back in Phoenix before dinner the same day.

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About the Author

Jake Poinier

Jake Poinier is a veteran freelance writer, editor, and author whose work has appeared in USAToday, Blue Water Sailing, and Golf Illustrated, among numerous other publications. When he's not at his desk writing for corporate clients and editing books, he can probably be found hiking or fishing along the Mogollon Rim, skiing in the White Mountains, or sailing just about anywhere.

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