Top Attractions for First-Timers

With limited time as a visitor, you’ll want to experience the best Glendale has to offer. Here are my must-visit recommendations across six categories to capture the spirit and culture of Glendale.

Take In the Arts & Culture

Start your arts adventures at the Glendale Arts & Culture Commission Gallery, a free local art gallery exhibiting works across painting, fiber art, sculpture, and more. Wander through monthly rotating exhibits and experience the talent of Arizona artists. For performing arts, attend a production at the historical Glendale Centre Theatre. This theater company stages an array of comedies, dramas, and musicals in an intimate black box theater.

Explore the Outdoors

One of Glendale’s treasures is the lush Thunderbird Conservation Park. This 1,200 acre park offers eight miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. Spot local wildlife like great horned owls, mule deer, and coyotes as you explore the Sonoran Desert landscape. Cool off afterwards at Rose Lane Aquatic Center. This family aquatic center features pools, water slides, and a lazy river – the perfect place to spend a hot Arizona afternoon.

Cheer on Local Sports Teams

You can’t visit Glendale without attending one of its major sporting events. Football fans will want to catch an Arizona Cardinals game at State Farm Stadium. The state-of-the-art stadium hosts home games August through January. Hockey lovers should head to Gila River Arena to watch the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes take the ice October through April.

Find Your Inner Foodie

Fuel up on breakfast favorites like fluffy pancakes and loaded breakfast burritos at local favorite Matt’s Big Breakfast. Lunch on gourmet sandwiches, salads, and pizza at The Brickyard Downtown. For dinner, savor Mediterranean flavors like moussaka and falafel at Ya Ya’s Euro Bistro. Complete your foodie tour of Glendale with sweet treats from Udder Delights Ice Cream. If craft beer is your thing, don’t miss Historic Sahuaro Ranch Guesthouse & Brewery. Sample a flight of unique brews in a restored 1909 guesthouse on this historic Glendale ranch property.

Bring the Kids Along

Families will love OdySea Aquarium, one of the Southwest’s largest aquariums. Walk through exhibits with thousands of aquatic creatures, from jellyfish to sharks and stingrays. For hands-on science fun, spend an afternoon at Arizona Science Center. With 300+ interactive exhibits, live science demonstrations, and an IMAX theater, there are activities sure to entertain kids of all ages.

Go Antiquing & Boutique Shopping

Glendale is known as a top antiquing destination with its “Antique Trove” along Glendale Avenue. Browse vintage furniture, jewelry, decorative items, and more at shops like Antique Plaza Mall and Classy Seconds. After antiquing, explore Glendale’s boutiques. Twigs and Twine offers trendy fashions, while Desert Rose Boutique and Orange Blossom carry an assortment of accessories, gifts, and home decor.

The Getty Center

This art museum features European paintings, drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, and photographs. It’s famous for its architecture, gardens, and views overlooking Los Angeles. Visitors can spend hours wandering the galleries and grounds.

Santa Monica Pier

This iconic pier features an amusement park, restaurants, shops, and beautiful ocean views. It’s a classic California boardwalk experience with a Ferris wheel, rollercoaster, and street performers. Stroll down the long pier or relax on the beach.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

This famous sidewalk runs along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, featuring thousands of stars honoring achievements in entertainment. Look for your favorite celebrities and take photos with iconic Hollywood landmarks like the Chinese Theatre. It’s a must-see for any first-time visitor.

How to Get Around Glendale

Now that you know where to go, let’s talk about how to get around. Here are your main transportation options for navigating Glendale:

Public Transportation

Glendale has limited public bus service through Valley Metro. While routes primarily connect Glendale to central Phoenix, Route 96 does offer crosstown service every 30 minutes. The closest light rail stations are roughly six miles from downtown Glendale in Phoenix. So public transit works best for visitors sticking to central Glendale or traveling to Phoenix points of interest.

Taxis and Rideshares

Taxis like AAA/Yellow Cab and rideshares like Uber and Lyft both operate in Glendale. Prices vary. While convenient for individuals or pairs, these options can get pricey for bigger groups.

Charter Buses

For group transportation, I highly recommend booking a charter bus rentalwith a company like Glendale Party Bus. Whether you’re a tour group, sports team, or large family, a charter bus provides a comfortable, customizable transportation solution. Benefits of booking a charter bus include: Door-to-door group transportation in a single vehicle; No need to fight traffic or hunt for parking; Customizable amenities like WiFi, DVD players, and restrooms; Professional team to handle navigation and allow you to relax; Affordable pricing for the whole group. Call Glendale Party Bus at 602-627-0328 to learn more and receive a free quote tailored to your group size and itinerary. Their team handles all the planning so you can focus on fun!

Ready to Get Started?

I hope this first timer’s guide gets you excited to visit Glendale! With an amazing array of attractions, delectable restaurants, and great transportation options like Glendale Party Bus, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip. Call 602-627-0328 when you’re ready to book group transportation and let the adventures begin!