When you have kids in tow, usually the cheapest fun is the best fun! I remember the time my parents took me to the airport as a kid. We walked to end of the gates at the Tucson International Airport, sat and watched the planes as they took off and landed. It is one of my fondest memories, just staring at those massive metal creatures magically lift into the sky.
Thankfully, its very easy to plane spot at Phoenix Sky Harbor if you know the right places to go and how to get there. With the new addition of the Sky Train, you get a journey that includes planes, trains and automobiles. Plus, during the summer months it is an extra bonus that you can be in air conditioning for about 90% of the time.
To catch the sky train, I recommend exiting the 202 at 44th street and following the signs to the PHX sky train. You will see the turn off right before the airport. Enter the cell phone parking lot at the station and continue to the west side of the lot. There you will find meters at which you can use your credit card to pay for up to four hours.
It will take approximately 10 minutes to ride to Terminal 4. Once at the terminal, hop off the train and take the elevator within the terminal to the top of the parking garage. Walk to the edge and watch the planes take off and land. The view is amazing!
When your group tires, you can head back to terminal level and have lunch at one of the many new restaurants there. We chose Chelsea’s Kitchen which had tons of healthy food options as well as a salted chocolate chip cookie when we left. However, there is also a Joe’s BBQ, Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles and many other choices within terminal 4.
We also visited Terminal 3, which I don’t recommend yet. The terminal is under a massive renovation. The sky train station was pretty though.
With cheap parking, awesome plane spotting and great food… plus air conditioning, visiting the airport is both really easy and incredibly fun. Definitely a location to write down on your Phoenix Summer Bucket List.
Plan to get a POGO pass this summer for more affordable Phoenix fun.