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Phoenix is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Arizona. With 1,563,025 people (as of 2015), Phoenix is the sixth most populous city nationwide, the most populous state capital in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than 1 million residents.
Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area, also known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is a part of the Salt River Valley. The metropolitan area is the 12th largest by population in the United States, with approximately 4.3 million people as of 2010. In addition, Phoenix is the county seat of Maricopa County and is one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.
Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton, citrus, and hay (which was important for the cattle industry). In fact, the "Five C's" (Cotton, Cattle, Citrus, Climate, and Copper), remained the driving forces of Phoenix's economy until after World War II, when high-tech industries began to move into the valley and air conditioning made residences much more comfortable in the very hot summers.
The city averaged a 4 percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, and has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the Valley of the Sun, as well as the entire state.
|POPULATION :||• City 1,445,632|
• Estimate (2015) 1,563,025
• Urban 3,629,114 (US: 12th)
• Metro 4,574,531 (US: 12th)
|FOUNDED :||Settled 1867|
Incorporated February 25, 1881
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone MST (UTC−7)|
• Summer (DST) no DST/PDT (UTC−7)
|AREA :||• City 517.948 sq mi (1,341.48 km2)|
• Land 516.704 sq mi (1,338.26 km2)
• Water 1.244 sq mi (3.22 km2)
• Metro 14,565.76 sq mi (37,725.1 km2)
|ELEVATION :||1,086 ft (331 m)|
|COORDINATES :||33°27′N 112°04′W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|ETHNIC :||• White: 65.9% (46.5% non-Hispanic)|
• Black or African American: 6.5% (6.0% non-Hispanic)
• Native American: 2.6%
• Asian: 3.2% (0.8% Indian, 0.5% Filipino, 0.5% Korean, 0.4% Chinese, 0.4% Vietnamese, 0.2% Japanese, 0.2% Thai, 0.1% Burmese)
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
• Other race: 0.1%
• Two or more races: 1.7%
|AREA CODE :||East: 480|
|POSTAL CODE :||85001–85099|
|DIALING CODE :|
Phoenix is the capital of the state of Arizona as well as the most populous city in the American Southwest and sixth largest city in the United States. Founded in 1871, it has become the region's primary political, cultural, economic, and transportation center. At an elevation of 1100 ft (335 m), it is situated in the biologically unique Sonoran Desert. Over time it has merged with the neighboring cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria,Chandler, and Gilbert to form the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Currently exurbs such as Apache Junction, Fountain Hills, Queen Creek, and Sun City are becoming part of this metropolitan area as well. Phoenix is extremely hot and dry in the summertime, so always have sunscreen with you!
The tourist industry is the longest running of today's top industries in Phoenix. Starting with promotions back in the 1920s, the industry has grown into one of the top 10 in the city. Due to its climate, Phoenix and its neighbors have consistently ranked among the nation's top destinations in the number of Five Diamond/Five Star resorts. With more than 62,000 hotel rooms in over 500 hotels and 40 resorts, greater Phoenix sees over 16 million visitors each year, the majority of whom are leisure (as opposed to business) travelers. Sky Harbor Airport, which serves the Greater Phoenix area, serves about 40 million passengers a year, ranking it among the 10 busiest airports in the nation.
One of the biggest attractions of the Phoenix area is golf, with over 200 golf courses. In addition to the sites of interest in the city, there are many attractions near Phoenix, such as: Agua Fria National Monument, Arcosanti,Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Lost Dutchman State Park, Montezuma's Castle, Montezuma's Well, and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Phoenix also serves as a central point to many of the sights around the state of Arizona, such as the Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu (where the London Bridge is located), Meteor Crater, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, Tombstone, Kartchner Caverns, Sedona and Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
Why would anybody want to start a city in the middle of a desert? The answer is, surprisingly, agriculture. The Salt and Verde Rivers of central Arizona were exploited for large-scale agriculture by Native Americans as early as the 11th century. The area that now encompasses Phoenix was a center of the Hohokam culture, which built large canal systems and a network of towns and villages, whose remains may be viewed in the city to this day. White settlers discovered the remnants of the Hohokam culture in the 19th century. The city's name reflects its history as a city "reborn from the ashes" of the previous settlement.
European-American settlement of the area commenced in the 1860s, and in 1911 the completion of the first of several large reservoirs in the mountains north and east of Phoenix insured its success as a center for irrigation-based agriculture. Many tens of thousands of acres were planted in citrus and cotton and other crops, and for many years, intensive, year-round irrigated agriculture formed the basis of the economy. Recent years are seeing a revival, and trendy hotels, bars, shops and restaurants are making it a place to be again.
Warm and sunny winter weather also ensured a thriving tourism industry, and encouraged many Easterners and Midwesterners to relocate to Phoenix. High-tech industry began to flourish after World War II, and since that time the growth of Phoenix has been explosive. As a result, a population of just over 100,000 in 1950 has given way to a 2014 estimate of 1,537,058 (with the metro area estimated at 4,489,109).
For more than 2,000 years, the Hohokam peoples occupied the land that would become Phoenix. The Hohokam created roughly 135 miles (217 km) of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable. Paths of these canals would later become used for the modern Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct. The Hohokam also carried out extensive trade with the nearby Anasazi, Mogollon andSinagua, as well as with the more distant Mesoamerican civilizations. It is believed that between 1300 and 1450, periods of drought and severe floods led to the Hohokam civilization's abandonment of the area.
After the departure of the Hohokam, groups of Akimel O'odham (commonly known as Pima), Tohono O'odham and Maricopa tribes began to use the area, as well as segments of the Yavapai and Apache. The O'odham were offshoots of the Sobaipuri tribe, who in turn were thought to be the descendants of the formerly urbanized Hohokam.
The Akimel O'odham were the major Indian group in the area, and lived in small villages, with well-defined irrigation systems, which spread over the entire Gila River Valley, from Florence in the east to the Estrellas in the west. Their crops included corn, beans and squash for food, while cotton and tobacco were also cultivated. Mostly a peaceful group, they did band together with the Maricopa for their mutual protection against incursions by both the Yuma and Apache tribes. The Maricopa are part of the larger Yuma people, however they migrated east from the lower Colorado and Gila Rivers in the early 1800s, when they began to be enemies with their Yuma brethren, settling amongst the existing communities of the Akimel O'odham.
The Tohono O'odham lived in the region as well, but their main concentration was to the south, and stretched all the way to the Mexican border. Living in small settlements, the O'odham were seasonal farmers who took advantage of the rains, rather than the large-scale irrigation of the Akimel. They grew crops such as sweet Indian corn, tapery beans, squash, lentils sugar cane and melons, as well as taking advantage of native plants, such as saguaro fruits, cholla buds, mesquite tree beans, and mesquite candy (sap from the mesquite tree). They also hunted local game such as deer, rabbit and javalina for meat.
When the Mexican–American War ended in 1848, Mexico sold its northern zone to the United States and residents became U.S. citizens. The Phoenix area became part of the New Mexico Territory. In 1863 the mining town of Wickenburg was the first to be established in what is now Maricopa County, to the northwest of modern Phoenix. At the time Maricopa County had not yet been incorporated: the land was within Yavapai County, which included the major town of Prescott to the north of Wickenburg.
The U.S. Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to forestall Native American uprisings. The fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866, which was the first non-native settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. In later years, other nearby settlements would form and merge to become the city of Tempe, but this community was incorporated after Phoenix.
Founding and incorporation
The history of the city of Phoenix begins with Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. In 1867, while traveling through the Salt River Valley, he saw a potential for farming, much like the military had already cultivated further east, near Fort McDowell. He formed a small community that same year about 4 miles (6 km) east of the present city. Lord Darrell Duppa, one of the original settlers in Swilling's party, suggested the name "Phoenix", as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization.
The Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County, which at the time encompassed Phoenix, officially recognized the new town on May 4, 1868, and the first post office was established the following month, with Swilling as the postmaster. On February 12, 1871, the territorial legislature created Maricopa County, the sixth one formed in the Arizona Territory, by dividing Yavapai County. The first election for county office was held in 1871, when Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff, running unopposed when the other two candidates, John A. Chenowth and Jim Favorite, fought a duel wherein Chenowth killed Favorite, and then was forced to withdraw from the race.
The town grew during the 1870s, and President Ulysses S. Grant issued a land patent for the present site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. By 1875, the town had a telegraph office, sixteen saloons, and four dance halls, but the "townsite-commissioner form of government" needed an overhaul, so that year an election was held in which three village trustees, as well as several other officials, were elected. By 1880, the town's population stood at 2,453.
By 1881, Phoenix's continued growth made the existing village structure with a board of trustees obsolete. The Territorial Legislature passed "The Phoenix Charter Bill", incorporating Phoenix and providing for a mayor-council government, and became official on February 25, 1881 when it was signed by Governor John C. Fremont, officially incorporating Phoenix as a city with an approximate population of 2,500.
In the 1880s, the arrival of the railroad in the valley was the first of several key events that altered the economy of Phoenix. Phoenix became a trade center, with its products reaching eastern and western markets. In response, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized on November 4, 1888. Earlier in 1888 the city offices were moved into the new City Hall, at Washington and Central. When the territorial capital was moved from Prescott to Phoenix in 1889 the temporary territorial offices were also located in City Hall. With the arrival of the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railroad in 1895, Phoenix was connected to Prescott, Flagstaff and other northern state communities. The increased access to commerce expedited the city's economic rise. The year 1895 also saw the establishment of Phoenix Union High School, with an enrollment of 90.
1900 to World War II
On February 25, 1901, Governor Murphy dedicated the permanent Capitol building, and the Carnegie Free Library opened seven years later, on February 18, 1908, dedicated by Benjamin Fowler. The National Reclamation Act was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, which allowed for dams to be built on waterways in the west for reclamation purposes. The first dam constructed under the act, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam began in 1903. It supplied both water and electricity, becoming the first multi-purpose dam, and Roosevelt himself attended the official dedication on May 18, 1911. At the time, it was the largest masonry dam in the world, forming Theodore Roosevelt Lake in the mountain east of Phoenix.
On February 14, 1912, under President William Howard Taft, Phoenix became the capital of the newly formed state of Arizona. This occurred just six months after Taft had vetoed a joint congressional resolution granting statehood to Arizona, due to his disapproval of the state constitution's position regarding the recall of judges. In 1913 Phoenix adopted a new form of government, changing from a mayor-council system to council-manager, making it one of the first cities in the United States with this form of city government. After statehood, Phoenix's growth started to accelerate, and eight years later, its population had reached 29,053. In 1920 Phoenix would see its first skyscraper, the Heard Building. In 1929 Sky Harbor was officially opened, at the time owned by Scenic Airways. It would later be purchased by the city in 1935, who operates it to this day.
On March 4, 1930, former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated a dam on the Gila River named in his honor. However, the state had just been through a long drought, and the reservoir which was supposed to be behind the dam was virtually dry. The humorist Will Rogers, who was also on hand as a guest speaker joked, "If that was my lake I'd mow it." Phoenix's population had more than doubled during the 1920s, and now stood at 48,118. It was also during the 1930s that Phoenix and its surrounding area began to be called "The Valley of the Sun", which was an advertising slogan invented to boost tourism.
During World War II, Phoenix's economy shifted to that of a distribution center, transforming into an "embryonic industrial city" with the mass production of military supplies. There were three air force fields in the area: Luke Field, Williams Field, and Falcon Field, as well as two large pilot training camps, Thunderbird Field No. 1 in Glendale and Thunderbird Field No. 2 in Scottsdale.
Post-World War II explosive growth
A town that had just over sixty-five thousand residents in 1940 became America's sixth largest city by 2010, with a population of nearly 1.5 million, and millions more in nearby suburbs. When the war ended, many of the men who had undergone their training in Arizona returned bringing their new families. Learning of this large untapped labor pool enticed many large industries to move their operations to the area. In 1948 high-tech industry, which would become a staple of the state's economy, arrived in Phoenix when Motorola chose Phoenix for the site of its new research and development center for military electronics. Seeing the same advantages as Motorola, other high-tech companies such as Intel and McDonnell Douglas would also move into the valley and open manufacturing operations.
By 1950, over 105,000 people resided in the city and thousands more in surrounding communities. The 1950s growth was spurred on by advances in air conditioning, which allowed both homes and businesses to offset the extreme heat experienced in Phoenix and the surrounding areas during its long summers. There was more new construction in Phoenix in 1959 alone than during the period of more than thirty years from 1914 to 1946.
Like many emerging American cities at the time, Phoenix's spectacular growth did not occur evenly. It largely took place on the city's north side, a region that was nearly all Caucasian. In 1962, one local activist testified at a US Commission on Civil Rights hearing that of 31,000 homes that had recently sprung up in this neighborhood, not a single one had been sold to an African-American. Phoenix's African-American and Mexican-American communities remained largely sequestered on the town's south side. The color lines were so rigid that no one north of Van Buren Street would rent to the African-American baseball star Willie Mays, in town for spring training in the 1960s. In 1964, a reporter from the New Republic wrote of segregation in these terms: "Apartheid is complete. The two cities look at each other across a golf course."
1960s to present
The continued rapid population growth led more businesses to the valley to take advantage of the labor pool, and manufacturing, particularly in the electronics sector, continued to grow. The convention and tourism industries saw rapid expansion during the 1960s, with tourism becoming the third largest industry by the end of the decade. In 1960 the Phoenix Corporate Center opened; at the time it was the tallest building in Arizona, topping off at 341 feet. The 1960s saw many other buildings constructed as the city expanded rapidly, including the Rosenzweig Center (1964), today called Phoenix City Square, the landmark Phoenix Financial Center (1964), as well as many of Phoenix's residential high-rises. In 1965 the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum was opened at the Arizona State Fairgrounds, west of downtown. When Phoenix was awarded a NBA franchise in 1968, which would be called the Phoenix Suns, they played their home games at the Coliseum until 1992, after which they moved to Talking Stick Resort Arena. In 1968, the Central Arizona Project was approved by President Lyndon B. Johnson, assuring future water supplies for Phoenix, Tucson, and the agricultural corridor in between. The following year, Pope Paul VI created the Diocese of Phoenix on December 2, by splitting the Archdiocese of Tucson, with Edward A. McCarthy as the first Bishop.
In the 1970s the downtown area experienced a resurgence, with a level of construction activity not seen again until the urban real estate boom of the 2000s. By the end of the decade, Phoenix adopted the Phoenix Concept 2000 plan which split the city into urban villages, each with its own village core where greater height and density was permitted, further shaping the free-market development culture. Originally, there were 9 villages, but this has been expanded to 15 over the years . This officially turned Phoenix into a city of many nodes, which would later be connected by freeways. 1972 would see the opening of the Phoenix Symphony Hall, Other major structures which saw construction downtown during this decade were the Wells Fargo Plaza, the Chase Tower (the tallest building in both Phoenix and Arizona) and the U.S. Bank Center.
Nominated by President Reagan, on September 25, 1981 Phoenix resident Sandra Day O'Connor broke the gender barrier on the U.S. Supreme Court, when she was sworn in as the first female judge. 1985 saw the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the nation's largest nuclear power plant, begin electrical production. 1987 was marked by visits by both Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.
There was an influx of refugees due to low-cost housing in the Sunnyslope area in the 1990s, resulting in 43 different languages being spoken in local schools by the year 2000. The new 20-story City Hall opened in 1992, and 1993 saw the creation of "Tent City" by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, using inmate labor, to alleviate overcrowding in the Maricopa County Jail system, the fourth-largest in the world. The famous "Phoenix Lights" UFO sightings took place in March 1997.
Phoenix has maintained a growth streak in recent years, growing by 24.2% before 2007. This made it the second-fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States, surpassed only by Las Vegas. In 2008, Squaw Peak, the second tallest mountain in the city, was renamed Piestewa Peak after Army Specialist Lori Ann Piestewa, an Arizonan and the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the U.S. military, as well as being the first American female casualty of the 2003 Iraq War. 2008 also saw Phoenix as one of the cities hardest hit by the subprime mortgage crisis, and by early 2009 the median home price was $150,000, down from its $262,000 peak in 2007. Crime rates in Phoenix have gone down in recent years, and once troubled, decaying neighborhoods such as South Mountain, Alhambra, and Maryvale have recovered and stabilized. Recently, downtown Phoenix and the central core have experienced renewed interest and growth, resulting in numerous restaurants, stores, and businesses opening or relocating to central Phoenix.
Phoenix has an arid climate with long, hot summers and very mild winters. It has the highest average temperature of any metropolitan area in the States. The weather varies enormously from one season to the next. While it's not as cold as in the northern states during the winter, it does freeze sometimes, and temperatures in the 30s°F (that's around or slightly above 0°C) are not unheard of. In the summer, very hot and dry heat is the norm. On the hottest days, it can get up to 115°F (46°C) or more. Monsoon rains with lightning occur regularly from July to September during the late afternoon and evening, occasionally overnight also. April is the most ideal month. In some neighborhoods, cicada insects make loud sounds from sunset to sunrise.
Climate data for Phoenix
|Record high °F (°C)||88|
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||78.7|
|Average high °F (°C)||67.2|
|Average low °F (°C)||45.6|
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||36.2|
|Record low °F (°C)||16|
Phoenix is in the southwestern United States, in the south-central portion of Arizona, and about halfway between Tucson to the south and Flagstaff to the north. The metropolitan area is known as the "Valley of the Sun", due to its location in the Salt River Valley. It lies at a mean elevation of 1,086 feet (331 m), in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert.
Other than the mountains in and around the city, the topography of Phoenix is generally flat, allowing the city's main streets to run on a precise grid with wide, open-spaced roadways. Scattered, low mountain ranges surround the valley: McDowell Mountains to the northeast, the White Tank Mountains to the west, the Superstition Mountains far to the east, and the Sierra Estrella to the southwest. On the outskirts of Phoenix are large fields of irrigated cropland and several Indian reservations. The Salt River runs westward through the city of Phoenix, and the riverbed is often dry or contains a little water due to large irrigation diversions. The community of Ahwatukee is separated from the rest of the city by South Mountain.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 517.9 square miles (1,341 km2); 516.7 square miles (1,338 km2) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (0.6 km², or 0.2%) of it is water. Even though it is the 6th most populated city, the large area gives it a low density rate of approximately 2,797 people per square mile. In comparison, Philadelphia, the 5th most populous city has a density of over 11,000.
As with most of Arizona, Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time. In 1973, Gov. Jack Williams argued to the U.S. Congress that due to air conditioning units not being used as often in the morning on standard time, energy use would increase in the evening. He went on to say that energy use would rise "because there would be more lights on in the early morning." He was also concerned that daylight savings time would cause children to go to school in the dark.
The early economy of Phoenix was focused primarily on agriculture and natural resources, dependent on the "5Cs" of copper, cattle, climate, cotton, and citrus. With the establishment of the Southern Pacific rail line in 1926, the opening of the Union Station in 1923, and the creation of Sky Harbor airport by the end of the decade, the city became more easily accessible. The Great Depression affected Phoenix, but Phoenix had a diverse economy and by 1934 the recovery was underway. At the conclusion of World War II, the valley's economy surged, as many men who had undergone their military training at the various bases in and around Phoenix returned with their families. The construction industry, spurred on by the city's growth, further expanded with the development of Sun City. It became the template for suburban development in post-WWII America, and Sun City became the template for retirement communities when it opened in 1960. The city averaged a 4 percent annual growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s.
As the national financial crisis of 2007–10 began, construction in Phoenix collapsed and housing prices plunged. Arizona jobs declined by 11.8% from peak to trough; in 2007 Phoenix had 1,918,100 employed individuals, by 2010 that number had shrunk by 226,500 to 1,691,600. By the end of 2015, the employment number in Phoenix had risen to 1.97 million, finally regaining its pre-recession levels, with job growth occurring across the board.
As of 2014, the Phoenix MSA had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of just over $215 billion. The top five industries were: real estate ($35.5B), Finance and insurance($18.8B), manufacturing ($18.2B), Retail trade ($16.6B), and health care ($16.6B). Government, if it had been a private industry, would have been ranked third on the list, generating $18.9 billion.
In Phoenix, real estate developers face few constraints when planning and developing new projects. Accordingly, the city is prone to overbuilding during times of economic prosperity. This explains the city's higher-than-average vacancy rates.
As of 2010, the top five employment categories were office and administrative support(17.8%), sales (11.6%), food preparation and serving (9%), transportation and material moving (6.1%), and management (5.8%). The single largest occupation is retail salespersons, which account for 3.7% of the workforce. As of January 2016, 10.5% of the workforce were government employees, a high number because the city is both the county seat and state capitol. The civilian labor force was 2,200,900, and the unemployment rate stood at 4.6%.
Phoenix is currently home to four Fortune 500 companies: electronics corporation Avnet, mining company Freeport-McMoRan, retailer PetSmart, and waste hauler Republic Services. Honeywell's Aerospace division is headquartered in Phoenix, and the valley hosts many of their avionics and mechanical facilities. Intel has one of their largest sites in the area, employing about 12,000 employees, the second largest Intel location in the country. The city is also home to: the headquarters of U-HAUL International; Best Western; and Apollo Group, parent of the University of Phoenix. US Air/American Airlines is the largest carrier at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Mesa Air Group, a regional airline group, is headquartered in Phoenix.
The military has a significant presence in Phoenix, with Luke Air Force Base located in the western suburbs. The city was severely impacted by the effects of the sub-prime mortgage crash. However, Phoenix has recovered 83% of the jobs lost due to the recession.
Prices in Phoenix
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$0.93|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$12.50|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$25.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$49.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$7.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$4.50|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$3.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$9.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$15.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.12|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$7.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$3.20|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$44.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$35.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$74.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$2.00|
70 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
262 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA:PHX) +1 602 275-4958 is the main air gateway to Arizona. It is at the southeast end of Downtown. It is a hub for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Terminals are numbered from 2-4. There is no Terminal 1.
- Terminal 2: Alaska (Gates 10 & 11), Great Lakes (Gates C & D), Spirit, Sun Country, United
- Terminal 3: Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue
- Terminal 4: Aeroméxico, Air Canada, American, British Airways, Southwest, Volaris, WestJet
Valley Metro #13 goes west to S 75th Ave along S Buckeye (via Greyhound depot) from Terminal 2. Likewise one can take the PHX skytrain over to the nearby 44th & Washington St Station to catch the #1 (west to the downtown Central Station and Priest & Washington in Tempe to the east along Washington St); #44 bus (north to the Desert Ridge Marriott Resort in Deer Valley along N 44th St & Tatum); and the light rail (east to Tempe & Mesa and to Midtown (along Central Ave) via downtown in the other direction).
- Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA) +1 480 988-7600 is located east of Phoenix, in neighboring Mesa. Presently it's served only by Allegiant Air. This is a smaller-sized airport, but is in the process of being redeveloped into a major regional airport.
Due to a dispute among the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak, passenger train service to Phoenix has been discontinued, making it the largest city without Amtrak service in the US. Amtrak passengers may disembark at Maricopa, Arizona (25 mi/40 km south of Phoenix) and arrange their own travel into the city. No regular shuttle service currently exists. (Alternative: they may disembark at Flagstaff instead and take a bus into Phoenix from there. The Maricopa-Phoenix route, which uses taxi services, takes about an hour but one likely has to wait for the taxi after calling; the Flagstaff-Phoenix route takes three hours.) (Another alternative: disembark in Tucson and take a Greyhound bus into Phoenix; the Greyhound station in Tucson is about 5-6 blocks west of the Amtrak depot.)
There are multiple long distance bus lines and shuttles serving Phoenix from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, El Paso, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff & Nogales in the U.S. and from Nogales, Hermosillo, Puerto Peñasco and Cualican in Mexico. Each company has a stop or their own bus stations in different parts of town that are far from each other. The bus stations and stops located in the neighborhoods northwest of the I-17/I-10 junction, northwest of the downtown core, are in rough neighborhoods.
- Arizona Shuttle, toll-free: . Regularly scheduled shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor (Airport) to Tucson, Prescott, Sedona & Flagstaff
- El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express, (Bus depot) 1015 N 7th St(Between E Roosevelt & E Portland St along the east side of 7th St. Only one in or near downtown.), . Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles & El Paso on one route and up to Las Vegas on another route.
- Greyhound Lines & Cruceros USA, (Bus depot) 2115 E Buckeye (SW corner of S 24th St & Buckeye Rd, west of the airport terminals & next to the freeway. Valley Metro #13 bus passes by the Greyhound Terminal on its way to/from the airport terminals.), , toll-free: . Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 10 (Los Angles-Phoenix-Tuscon-El Paso); 17/40 (Phoenix-Sedona-Flagstaff-Alburquerque-Armarillo-Oklahoma City. A divergence of this route goes west from Flagstaff to Kingman & Las Vegas); AZ-85/I-8 (Phoenix-Gila Bend-Yuma-San Diego). Passengers transfer to other buses in Los Angeles, El Paso,Flagstaff, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas,San Diego and/or San Bernardino to get to other cities in the U.S. and in Nogales, Calexico/Mexicali and El Paso/Cd Juarez to get to other cities in Mexico. Prices vary by destination.
- Hoang Express, (Bus stop) Lams Supermarket @ 6470 W Indian School Rd.Travels between SoCal (San Diego, El Monte, Los Angeles, Westminster) and Arizona (Phoenix, Chandler and Tempe).
- Transportes Baldomero Corral (TBC), (Bus stop) 3106 W Thomas Rd, . Goes down to Hermosillo via Tucson and Nogales.
- Transportes Nenas, (Bus stop) 1422 N 35th Ave (Along N 35th Ave between I-10 & W Ft McDowell Rd.), . Runs van shuttles between Phoenix and Puerto Penasco.
- TUFESA, (Bus depot) 1614 N 27th Ave (NW corner of W McDowell Rd & N 27th Ave), . Offers bus service between (Southern) California, Arizona and Nevada in the U.S. and along the Hwy 15 corridor in Sonora and Sinaloa in Mexico. There's also a taxi stand at the Tufesa bus station for onward local travel.
Interstate 10 enters Phoenix from the south and west, and Interstate 17 comes in from the north. US Route 60 is also a major route into Phoenix from the east. Arizona State Route 87 comes in from the northeast from Payson.
Transportation - Get Around
Phoenix is a very car-centered city. If you plan to stay or visit any of the cities on the periphery of the metro area, a rental car will likely be required. However, if you plan to stick to the Tempe-Downtown Phoenix area, the Light Rail is a viable option, with an all-day adult pass running roughly $3.50. So if you are in the United states without a car consider that. Taxis are typically fairly easy to find in proximity to major Light-Rail stops and in popular areas, and will run you from $10-15 for a fairly local trip to well over $100 for a ride to a distant suburb.
Surface roads are usually easy to navigate. The area's roads are designed around a grid system, where most roads are numbered based on their distance from the city center. Addresses also conform to the numbering of the roads around them. Nearly all streets run with the compass directions, and there's a major thoroughfare at every mile in each direction. Central Ave divides east from west while Washington St divides north from south. The numbered roads go north and south, parallel to Central Ave, with "Avenues" west of Central and "Streets" east of Central Ave such as 7th Ave going parallel on the west side of Central Ave while 7th St parallels along the east. The named roads go across east and west and can be "Roads", "Avenues" or "Streets". This also applies to the extended metro area, though addresses in places like Tempe and Mesa have their own numbering system and are not based on downtown Phoenix.
There is an extensive network of freeways, most built since 1987 and some more recent. Note: Heavy construction on some segments and interchanges continues. Check construction schedules and closures in the local media.
Drinking and driving laws are very heavily enforced in Phoenix, especially in Scottsdale and Tempe. Harsh DUI laws & police traps ensure you will most likely be pulled over during peak bar hours 11PM-2:30AM. Mandatory jail time and extremely heavy fines make drinking and driving a very unwise decision in Maricopa County.
- Valley Metro. Extensive metropolitan bus system, and light rail line. The light rail line runs from north-central Phoenix, along the Central Ave. corridor, through downtown, past the airport, and to Tempe and Mesa. One-ride or all day passes may be purchased at varying prices depending on service and location; but generally range from $0.85 to $7.25, with the highest being an all-day pass purchased on an Express Bus.
- Car rental is the most convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.
- Car Hire Unlike most cities, in Phoenix you can get a sedan, SUV or even a limo to pick you up for about the same price as a cab.
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Time-honored souvenirs from Phoenix are scorpion bolo ties and saguaro-cactus salt and pepper shakers. Look for them at various gift shops in Terminal 3 and 4 of Sky Harbor International Airport. These gift shops are also known to stock the ever-popular Cactus Candy and a wide variety of hot sauces.
- Lawn Gnome Publishing, 905. N Fifth St, . 10AM-10PM Mon thru Sat and Sun Noon to 6PM. Used bookstore that specializes in zines located in a building from the 1930's which also is a venue for open mic night every Monday from 8PM to 10PM, storytelling every Wednesday from 8 to 10PM, and a variety of other events. Located across the street from Lost Leaf bar.
- Hidden Track Bottle Shop, 111 West Monroe Street, Suite 120, . 12PM to 7PM Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday. Boutique wine store in downtown Phoenix that offer wine (tasted and selected by owners), beer, chocolate, pasta and snacks. Occasional wine tastings and delivery (for a fee) of wine is available. One block from the Van Buren St light rail station and free covered parking (garage entrance on the west side of the building).
- The Shops at Norterra. Is a major retail power center is located at I-17 on the north side of Happy Valley Rd. Anchor stores include a Harkins 14-screen cinema, Best Buy, and Dick's Sporting Goods. Many smaller retailers and casual dining restaurants are also in the shopping center.
- Town & Country Shopping Center, 20th St and Camelback Rd. Down the street from Biltmore Fashion Square is a mall without a true major anchor tenant, but with a number of smaller shops and less expensive restaurants (including both chains such as Chili's and Black Angus and local restaurants like Baby Kay's Cajun Kitchen).
- Biltmore Fashion Park. 24th St and Camelback Rd. Includes many high-end tenants such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, and Escada; and many highly-acclaimed eateries.
- For cheap eats, look out for many 24-hour Mexican food places such as Filiberto's,Raliberto's and other restaurants offer a burrito the size of your forearm for less than $4.
- Chicago Hamburger Company, 3749 E Indian School Rd, .M-Sa 10:30AM-8PM. "Home of the Original Windy City Slider" is the restaurant's slogan, and the small burgers (along with larger fare) are found here. A Chicago themed sandwich shop offering hot dogs, sandwiches and even Frito Pie (according to the menu, a former manager from Texas added it to the menu and they've left it on). This place is more what you would expect of a traditional burger joint than Delux Burger (listed below). Delux is when you want something more formal, Chicago Hamburger Company is when you want to grab a traditional burger shop-lunch.
- Chino Bandido, 15414 N. 19th Ave, Suite K (on 19th Ave, just North of Greenway), . 11AM-9PM. Strange and wonderful fusion of Mexican and Asian cuisine. It can take a little bit of work to understand how to order, so using the online interactive menu ahead of time is useful for first-timers. Ask for a sample spoon if you're not sure about a flavor combination. $5-$10.
- Fry Bread House, 1003 E Indian School Rd, . M-Th 10AM-7PM, F-Sa 10AM-8PM. Since 1992 this Tohono O'odham owned and operated restaurant has served authentic Native American cuisine, based on family recipes that the restaurant owner learned as a child. Specializes in frybread in all its varieties. Features an all-Native American staff.
- Green Restaurant, 2022 N 7th St,. M-Sa 11AM to 9PM; closed Sunday. Reputed vegan restaurant. PETA named the secret BBQ Chicken sandwich as the best faux chicken sandwich in the USA.
- Matt's Big Breakfast, 825 N 1st St, . Tuesday thru Sunday 6:30AM-2:30PM, Closed Monday. Very popular breakfast restaurant in downtown Phoenix.
- Tee Pee Mexican Food, 4144 E Indian School Rd, . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Neighborhood Mexican food restaurant featuring fairly standard Arizona Mexican food fare at reasonable prices.
- Alice Cooper'stown, 101 E Jackson St, . Alice Cooper themed sports bar with rock music and plenty of merchandise. $10.
- Aunt Chilada's Squaw Peak, 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive, .11AM-1AM. A historic family-run Mexican restaurant that's a popular local hangout. Large patios and beautiful traditional decor, as well as a Palapa bar and Bocce court. Excellent chips and salsa. Band every Friday night, Sunday open mic night. Breakfast on weekends. $8-$15.
- Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe, 914 E Camelback Rd, . An interesting fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisine. One of the only places in the valley to offer an authentic Japanese beer, Calpico, a creamy beer with Japanese calpico brand drink mixed with lager beer.
- Delux Burger, 3146 E Camelback Rd (in Safeway center on NW corner of 32nd St and Camelback Rd), . 11AM-2AM. An upscale burger location, also known for its mini-shopping cart baskets of fries and a wide selection of micro-brews on tap. Has an interesting variety of salads as well as the sandwich fare. A good place when you want to have informal food but not in a totally informal setting.
- The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue, . Large warehouse with vintage design that contains a restaurant (food served from 1965 streamline trailer), soda fountain, bar, ice cream shop, boxing ring and clothing shop.
- Garcia's Las Avenidas, 2212 N 35th Ave (near intersection of 35th Ave & Encanto Blvd), . Founded in 1957, about a half-mile north of the original location that was just south of McDowell Rd. on 35th Ave. A chain was later spawned from the restaurant, but this location remained outside the chain and under family control. Arguably, along with Macayo's, served to define what was expected of Phoenix area Mexican food.
- L'amore, 3159 E Lincoln Dr (in the shopping complex on the SE corner of 32nd St & Lincoln Dr), . M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM. Local Italian restaurant located on the border of Phoenix and Paradise Valley, features fresh seafood and home made pasta.
- La Grande Orange Grocery, 4410 N 40th St (SW corner of 40th St & Campbell), . Su-Th 6:30AM-9PM, F Sa 6:30AM-10PM. Popular neighborhood cafe featuring breakfast, sandwiches and grocery items, as well as pizzeria next door. Parking is often difficult in the area, though valet parking is offered as well as curbside service.
- Los Dos Molinos, 8646 S Central Ave, . Sonoran-style dominates Phoenix-area Mexican cookery, but Los Dos celebrates the cuisine of New Mexico -- which means lots of very hot chiles. This long-established and highly regarded restaurant is a must for all true chile-heads. Reservations not accepted.
- Majerles Sports Grill, 24 N. 2nd St, . Sports grill and lounge owned by former pro basketball player Dan Majerle.
- Nobuo at Teeter House, 622 E Adams St, . Tuesday thru Sunday 11AM-4PM and 5:30PM, Closed Monday. Highly regarded Japanese restaurant in a renovated historic building in downtown Phoenix. The master chef is a James Beard award winner. Serving lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
- The Parlor Pizzeria, 1916 East Camelback Rd, . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su Closed. Neighborhood artisan pizza restaurant, which reused the landmark Salon de Venus beauty salon building when it shut down after 60 years.
- Phoenix City Grille, 5816 N 16th St. M-Th 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-11PM, Sun 10AM-9PM. Southwestern themed variations on grill fare is offered by this local restaurant.
- Pita Jungle, 4340 E Indian School Rd (44th St & Indian School Rd), . 10:30AM-10PM daily. Offers a selection not only of pitas, but also of other Mediterranean inspired meals in a sit down environment.
- Pizzeria Bianca, 623 E Adams St (SW Corner Heritage Sq, 7thSt/Monroe), . Winner of numerous awards. The chef, Chris Bianco, no longer cooks all pies, but is on premises most of the time. Small restaurant, expect lines at popular eating times (6:30-8PM Fri/Sat). $$.
- Postino on Central, 5144 N Central Ave, . Fun little wine cafe on Central Avenue, just north of Camelback Rd. Good wine selection, but the bruschetta boards are the main attraction.
- Texaz Grill, 6003 N 16th St (NE corner of 16th St & Bethany Home Rd), . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-11PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su 4PM-10PM. Originally named "Lone Star Steaks" the restaurant changed its name when a national chain moved to town and wanted to sue. Offers reasonably priced steaks and exceptional Texas fare. Specialties are Chicken Fried Steak, choice aged beef and home made desserts.
- Thai Lahna, 3738 E Indian School Rd (38th St Shops Center), . M-Th 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10:30PM, closed Su. East Phoenix neighborhood Thai food restaurant.
- Wildflower Bread Company, 4290 E Indian School Rd (Arcadia Commons Center), . M-F 6AM-9PM, Sa 7AM-9PM, Su 7AM-8PM. Arcadia location of restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring a bakery. Lunch menu consists of sandwiches and soups, while pasta is added for dinner. Free wi-fi access and power outlets are available at the location.
- The Breadfruit, 108 E Pierce St, . Monday thru Thursday 5PM-10PM Fri and Sat 5PM-11PM for food ( 12AM for drinks). Serving Jamaican food for dinner and also has a rum bar.
- Donovan's Steakhouse Restaurant, 3101 E Camelback Rd, . Wine & cocktails at 4PM daily, dinner 5PM. Upscale steakhouse serving high grade steaks with high grade service. Complementary valet parking provided.
- Durant's, 2611 North Central Ave (On east side of Central at Virginia Ave), . Classic American "special occasion" restaurant, where the price isn't listed on the menu, and the parking is valet. $30-$50+.
- El Chorro, 5550 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley (on Lincoln Drive, just east of Tatum Boulevard), . M-Su 5PM-Close; Sunday Brunch 9AM-3PM. Located at the base of both Camelback and Mummy mountains, this restaurant is well known to locals both for its views of stunning desert scenery and for the historic charm of its buildings. Even if you've just dropping by for drinks on the patio, don't miss trying the complimentary sticky buns. $20-$50.
- Fuego Bistro, 713 E Palo Verde Dr (1 block S of Bethany Home Rd, 100 yards E of 7th St), . Tu-Sa 11AM-2PM, 5PM-9PM. Cozy dining room, patio beneath the stars, and a full service bar. Cuban, Puerto Rican and Latin American dishes such as Pernil Asado, Ropa Vieja and Arroz con Gandules. $$$.
- Rustler's Rooste, 8383 South 48th St, . Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM. Steakhouse located adjacent to Arizona Grand Resort, and shares an elevated, picturesque view of the metro-Phoenix area. A gigantic live bull in a pen at the front of the restaurant, a slide to the downstairs seating, cotton candy at the end of the meal, and loud live country western music are part of the ambiance. In addition to common steakhouse fare, local items include Rattlesnake with Prickly Pear Cactus Fries. $20-$30.
- The Stockyards Restaurant, 5009 E Washington St, . Billed as "Arizona's Original Steakhouse", the aptly named restaurant officially opened for public dinning in 1947. Originally "steak on the hoof" was visible to visitors as they entered and exited the restaurant, as it was located adjacent to the Tovrea families' 200 acre feedlot and packing house, which accommodated more than 300,000 head of cattle each year. While the cattle are now gone, the authentic western cuisine and "refreshments" remain. Includes the 1889 Saloon, which features authentic 19th century Old West decor and furnishings, and the (in)famous Gold Room. $30-$50.
- Tarbell's, 3213 E Camelback Rd, . M-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Chef Mark Tarbell's namesake restaurant, it features Southwestern themed cuisine and local organic ingredients. Per the website, dress is "resort casual" defined as "everything from denim to diamonds."
Sights & Landmarks
- The cultural, governmental, and business center of the city is Copper Square, which is striving to become one of the southwest's most distinctive urban centers. Copper Square was built around the original Phoenix historic town site. Its boundaries extend from Fillmore to south of Jackson Street, 7th Street to 3rd Avenue. Recent and planned revitalization plans in the area are expected to cost more than $4 billion and aim to increase artistic, cultural and entertainment activity. The presence of two state universities (ASU and U of A) and a new convention center are also significantly changing the physical and economic shape of the Phoenix downtown area.
- Downtown and Central Phoenix are home to several historic neighborhoods. These range from turn of the century Victorian to mid-century modern architecture. Some of the more well-known districts include Coronado, Encanto-Palmcroft, FQ Story, Willo and Woodlea. The historic homes in these districts are private residences and not normally open to the public, but the neighborhoods are very pleasant to walk around. Some districts hold annual home tours when several houses in a neighborhood are open to the public, all covered by one ticket usually costing about $10. For example the FQ Story home tour is normally held shortly before Christmas.
- Roosevelt Historic District. This area has retooled itself from a run-down, drug-infested area to the epicenter of the Central Phoenix art scene. This emerging neighborhood has become home to artist live/work spaces, gallery spaces and studio spaces. Since 1994 the monthly First Friday's artwalk has grown to become the largest monthly artwalk in the U.S. Increasing interest in this area has prompted Rooselvelt Row to becoming more pedestrian-friendly and is supportive of small local independent businesses that give Downtown Phoenix character.
Parks and outdoors
- Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy (located in Papago Park, near the Phoenix Zoo.), . 50 acres of exhibits showcasing desert plants, with an emphasis on plant life of the Sonoran Desert and arid lands around the world. Also includes many examples of ethnobotany, or how plants are used to survive in the desert. As a consequence of the many plants in this area there are also many desert animals such as lizards, birds, and occasional roadrunners.
- Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N 3rd Ave, .Tu-Su 10AM-3PM. Japanese-style garden with koi pond and tea house. Closed in the summer due to heat. $5, Student/Senior/Military $3, Under 12 free.
- Deer Valley Rock Art Center, 3711 W Deer Valley Rd., .features a museum and visitor center dedicated to the preservation of historic petroglyphs and pictographs at the base of Hedgpeth Hills. A must see for geologists and archaeologists. $7 Adults, $4 Seniors and Students, $3 Children (Ages 6-12), Children 5 and under are free.
- Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, (Museum Bldg) 4619 E Washington St (Museum Bldg at opposite side of parking lot from the entrance at Washington St. Park entrance between S 44th St & SR-143), .M-Sa 9AM-4:45PM, Su 1PM-4:45PM. The U.S.'s only city-operated archaeological site, preserving a 1500-year-old Hohokam ruin located in the shadow of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which is one of only two Hohokam mounds remaining in the metro Phoenix area (the other being the underdeveloped Mesa Grande ruins). The museum and site is comparable to the more famous (and more remote) Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, but the visible ruins are not as large. Adults (18-54): $6.00, Seniors (55+): $5.00, Children (6-17): $3.00, Children (under 6): Free.
- Orpheum Theatre, 203 W Adams St, . Be sure to take a walk around this amazing piece of historic architecture set in downtown Phoenix. Built in 1929 in the Spanish Baroque style, this building feature intricate murals and moldings.
- USS Arizona Memorial at the Arizona State Capitol, 1700 W Washington.Pay your respects to the victims of Pearl Harbor at the Arizona State Capitol's memorial to the USS Arizona. One of the two 19,585-lb anchors of the Arizona is displayed.
- Pioneer Living History Village, 3901 W Pioneer Rd (Take I-17 North of Phoenix to Exit 225 Pioneer Rd. PLHV is just W of the interstate), . A historically accurate recreation of an 1800s frontier town located between Phoenix and Anthem. Over 30 buildings provide a living example of what frontier life was like over 100 years ago. $7, $6 Seniors (60+), $5 Students (Ages 6-18), Children under 5 free.
- Arizona Biltmore Hotel. 24th St and Camelback Rd. Visit this legendary Phoenix landmark built in 1921 and has hosted famous guests such as Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, and the President of the United States when he is in town.
- Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E Telawa Trl (bus 70 from downtown), . Tours T-Su. Take a tour of the amazing architecture and grounds of this historic mansion built by the famous chewing gum magnate. Regular tours $15, lunch tours $30-45, Tuesday tours are free.
- Tovrea Castle, 5025 E Van Buren St (eastern Phoenix, near airport), . Hours vary by season; reservations required. Tovrea Castle is a historic structure and landmark, which is particularly visible to drivers on Arizona State Route 202. Originally intended as a centerpiece for a resort, it was used as a private residence for the Tovrea family, who owned the Phoenix Stockyards which once were adjacent to the property. The rococo style building was constructed in a unique three-tier fashion which has resemblance to a traditional multilayered wedding cake. The castle is now part of the Phoenix parks system and is designated as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. Currently the park shows over 5,000 individual cacti in over 100 different varieties, all maintained by volunteers of the Tovrea Carraro Society. There's only 1-2 tours on weekend mornings, so they can sell out months in advance. Tours are $15.
- Rosson House Museum, 113 N 6th St (Heritage and Science Park), . W-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su Noon-4PM. A fully-restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian house museum which interprets the history of Phoenix. The only way to enter the house is through an hour-long tour which runs hourly. $9/adult, $8/concession, $4/child.
Museums & Galleries
- Arizona Science Center, 600 E Washington St, .10AM-5PM. This center features 350 permanent hands-on exhibits as well as regularly hosting nationally acclaimed traveling exhibits. Also features a 5-story IMAX threater and Planetarium.
- Heard Museum, 2301 N Central Ave (Btwn E Monte Vista Rd & E Hoover Ave.), . 9:30AM to 5PM Monday-Saturday, 11AM-5PM Sunday. World famous museum celebrating Native American cultures and arts, especially those of Arizona and New Mexico. Be sure to check out the amazing collection of Hopi Kachina dolls. $15 adults, $13.50 seniors 62+, $7.50 children 6-12, free for children under 6 and American Indians.
- Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM (Th until 9PM). 16,000 artworks with an emphasis on American, Asian, Latin American, and modern and contemporary. Free on the first Friday evening of every month.
- Arizona State Capitol Museum (Arizona Capitol Museum), 1700 W Washington St, . M-F 9AM-4PM, Sept-May Sa 10AM-2PM. The Arizona Capitol Museum uses a balance of technology, hands-on activities, historical artifacts, and public programs to help visitors learn about and interact with the government of the 48th state. free.
- The Gallery at City Hall, 200 West Washington St (Corner of 2nd Ave and Washington St). M-F 10AM-2PM. Small, free art gallery on 1st floor of Phoenix City Hall with some of the over 1000 pieces of art on display from the city of Phoenix Municipal Art Collection which began in 1915. Free.
- Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Blvd (Near AZ-51 and AZ-101 intersection), . Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday - 9AM - 5PM Thursday and Friday - 9AM - 9PM Sunday - 10AM - 5PM. Has many exhibits where you can see and hear the history of music from around the world. There's also a room for kids of all ages to try out instruments. $15.
- Phoenix Police Museum, 200 W Jefferson St (NE corner of 2nd Ave and Jefferson), . M-F 9AM-3PM. On the first floor of the historic city hall, it gives the history of the Phoenix Police Department in historic and modern context. Starts with a rock with shackles, which was the original jail. Even has the police department's first helicopter. There's a small exhibit dedicated to Miranda and Miranda rights and a memorial for 9/11. free.
- Children's Museum of Phoenix, 215 N 7th St, . T-Su 9AM-4PM. Third best children's museum in the country.
Things to do
Winter visitors to the area will generally be looking for outdoor events. The area has many resorts with the relevant amenities, such as golf courses and the requisite pools and other activities on site. In the summer, due to the extreme heat, virtually everyone tries to avoid being outside more than necessary.
- Cityscape, One East Washington, . Mixed use urban project which includes retail, shopping and entertainment such as a pub, comedy club, bowling alley and various restaurants. From late November through early January there is a holiday ice skating rink called Cityskate which has an admission fee ($12 to $15 which includes skate rental), nightly lightshows from 7 to 10PM and a 36 foot tall Christmas tree.
- FilmBar, 815 n 2nd St, . M-Th 5PM-12AM; F 5PM-2AM; Sa 1PM-2AM; Su 1PM-12AM. A microcinema (70 seats) and lounge for those aged 21 and older showing mostly independent and foreign movies for $8 per ticket. The bar (no entrance fee) has 30 craft beers and 15 wines available. Tickets available online or at the bar. In 2012 it was listed as the Best Neighborhood Bar in Downtown Phoenix for 2012. $8.
- Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, 721 North Central Ave. Sat-8AM to Noon-Thursdays 5PM-9PM. Farmers market open year round on Saturdays (8AM-Noon) and Thursdays (5PM-9PM) offering fresh produce, prepared food and food trucks.
- The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St, . Venue which hosts live jazz music a few nights every week. Check website for exact event schedule and cost (cover varies from $5 to $15). BYOB-corkage fee of $5 for bottle of wine and $1 for bottle of beer. Listed as Best Jazz Joint in 2013 by the Phoenix New Times.
- Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Rides, 5601 Eagle Rock Ave NE, toll-free: . Scenic hot air balloon rides daily in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
- Paint on Pottery, 3629 E Indian School Rd (36th St & Indian School Rd). Tu-Th, Sa 10AM-7PM, F 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-6PM. A place where the kids (and adults for that matter) can paint their own glazed pottery creation. Studio fee $6 plus cost of pottery.
- Arizona Grand Spa, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, . 9AM-8PM. Rejuvenate your mind, body & soul with a wide variety of spa treatments from this spa. Services include a salon, relaxing body treatments, hydrating facials, & “just for kids” treatments.
- Camelback Mountain (E McDonald Dr at Tatum Blvd), . The most recognizable landmark of the area, Camelback Mountain rises to 2,704 ft (824 m) at its summit. It sits between Phoenix to the south and Paradise Valley to the North. The lower areas of the mountain contain some of the most exclusive residences in the Valley, with the upper sections now part of a park. There are very challenging and difficult hiking trails to the summit that are not recommended for any but experienced hikers. As well, parking near the mountain is extremely limited. The mountain consists of red rock, and is in the general shape of a camel's silhouette. A rock formation on the mountain is known as Praying Monk. The park also contains Echo Canyon.
- Piestewa Peak, 2701 E Squaw Peak Ln or 2421 E Northern Ave, . 5AM-10PM (Dreamy Draw Park) 11PM (Phoenix Mountains Park). Right in the middle of Phoenix lies Phoenix Mountains Park. The park offers a strenuous one to two hour hike to the top of Piestewa Peak, offering fantastic 360° views of the city and its surrounding environment. The other well known mountain in the area (Camelback Mountain being the most well known), the peak was formerly known as "Squaw Peak" prior to being renamed in honor of Army Spc. Lori Ann Piestewa who was the first Native American woman killed in combat in the U.S. Military in 2003. Due to the recent name change visitors will find references to the peak under both names (for instance, the road leading to the park on the south side of the mountain still has the prior name). This mountain, whose summit rises to 2,608 ft (817 m), is much more accessible to visitors than is Camelback Mountain. Picnic areas exist both on the south side of the mountain (Phoenix Mountains Park entrance on Squaw Peak Ln.) and the north side (Dreamy Draw Park, entrance via Northern Ave.). Especially during the hot summer months (up to 110-115°F/43°C in the afternoon), use caution and bring lots of water and a hat. There is no shade and parts of the trail can be quite steep and rocky. The Park also has several picnic areas.
- North Mountain, 7th St north of Peoria Ave (Entrance on 7th St, north of Peoria Ave and south of Thunderbird Rd), . 5AM to 7PM. Picnic areas, hiking trails, excellent view of the city from above. An oasis of desert inside the city limits. free.
- South Mountain Park. South Mountain Park and Preserve is the largest municipal park in the United States. With more than 16,000 acres, it has 51 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. By driving up the scenic Summit Road to Dobbins Lookout, you will be treated to spectacular views of metropolitan Phoenix area.
- Ben Avery Shooting Facility, 4044 W Black Canyon Blvd (Take I-17 North to Exit 224 Carefree Hwy (AZ 74). The facility is on the N side of the road just after the interstate), . The largest outdoor shooting facility in the country. The favorable weather provides excellent year-round conditions for shooting. Eye protection is required; ear protection is recommended. $7 Adult all-day pass, 18 and under free.
- Oasis Water Park. Hours vary by season.
- Arizona Grand Golf Course, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, .Awarded the Four Star Award by Golf Digest, Arizona Grand Golf Course is one of the most challenging golf courses in the Phoenix area and blends desert target golf with traditional links.
- Arizona Biltmore Golf Course.
- Phoenix Symphony, 455 N 3rd St,. The city's classical and pops orchestra, presenting a 25-week season of concerts.
- Arizona Opera, 4600 N 12th St, . Presenting a season of five grand opera productions, with emphasis on Verdi, Puccini, and Mozart.
- Arizona Theatre Company. Professional theater in downtown Phoenix's Herberger theater complex.
- Mesa Arts Center, 1 E Main St, Mesa, . Visit the newly constructed and award winning MAC. Home of contemporary art displays and studios, as well as the Southwest Shakespeare Company and the Mesa Symphony Orchestra.
- Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Ave (Corner of McDowell and Central Ave), . 10AM - 5PM. Professional theatre in an intimate setting. Celebrating its 91st season in downtown Phoenix's Art Museum complex. New Works Festival in July. 62.00.
Unfortunately professional sports events are pricing themselves out of the pocket of the average traveler. There are still $12.50 seats at the Diamondbacks games, not available until 2 hours before the game. Definitely not the best seats, but worth visiting the downtown Phoenix ballpark.
Spring Training Cactus League is a great way to see baseball players. Very relaxed and inexpensive. Games are in different locations in Mesa, Peoria, and Phoenix.
The Cardinals stadium is worth a visit, as it looks like a giant spaceship by the side of the freeway.
- Arizona Diamondbacks, 7th St and Jefferson, . Take in a baseball game at the unique Chase Field (often called "The BOB", from its former name of Bank One Ballpark). The home of the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, it has a capacity of 49,033, with a retractable roof, air conditioning, and a swimming pool available for rental. You can get really decent tickets for $12.50.
- Phoenix Suns, 201 E Jefferson St(Take light rail to 3rd Street/Washington or 3rd Street/Jefferson station), toll-free:. Very popular NBA team featuring players such as Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. The Suns play at Talking Stick Resort Arena which is located right by a light rail station. Tickets start at $25.
- Arizona Cardinals, 1 Cardinals Dr, Glendale (Arizona), .Check out one of the newer NFL stadiums in the country, University of Phoenix Stadium (a private for profit college that acquired the naming rights), named byBusiness Week as one of the 10 “most impressive” sports facilities on the globe due to the combination of its retractable roof and roll-in natural grass field. They are the oldest NFL team still in existence (after relocating twice) and after a long bout of mediocrity have gotten rather good in recent times.
- Arizona Coyotes, 9400 Maryland Ave, Glendale, . NHL Hockey team. 2011-12 Pacific Division Champions. Plays in Gila River Arena.
- Phoenix Mercury, 201 E Jefferson St. Very popular WNBA team. Shares Talking Stick Resort Arena with the Suns.
- Cactus League Spring Training Baseball, Phoenix and Surrounding Cities.Annually February - March the Phoenix Metropolitan Area hosts 15 Major League Baseball teams for their spring training activities and exhibition games. A great way to spend the afternoon on a beautiful Arizona Spring day.
- Arizona State Sun Devils, Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E Veterans Way, Tempe, , toll-free: , e-mail: [email protected]. 9–5, M–F. The teams representing Arizona State University, competing in the Pac-12 Conference alongside other major universities throughout the western third of the country. Most of the athletic facilities are on campus, with the best-known being Sun Devil Stadium (football) and Wells Fargo Arena (basketball). Tickets are often more affordable than those for professional sports.
Festivals and events
- Phoenix Festival of the Arts, Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd St. A 3 day festival in December held at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix that features local artists and exhibitors selling art, a community mural, food trucks, performances on 2 stages and a beer and wine garden. For 2014 the dates for the festival are December 12 to 14 , for after 2014 check the website for exact dates in December the festival be held. Free admission.
- Real, Wild and Woody Beer Festival, Phoenix Convention Center (South Building), 33 South 3rd Street. Annual beer festival hosted by Arizona Craft Brewers Guild in downtown Phoenix with more than 50 local brewers offering local and unusual beers. There is an admission fee ($57 for 2015) which includes attendance to the event, 20 beer sampling tickets and food samples. For 2015 the date of the event is July 18th (check website for exact date for future years) An event for those aged 21 and older.
- First Fridays Artwalk (Roosevelt between Central Avenue and Seventh Street).On the first Friday of every month, hundreds of local art galleries, venues, and shops open up free to the public. This local tradition has been going strong since 1994 and has become the largest art walk in the United States. A great place to see and be seen. (Note: parking at Burton Barr library for First Friday is forbidden, and parking is difficult to obtain nearby. Consider taking the light rail.)
- Phoenix Film Festival, 7000 E Mayo Blvd, Scottsdale. The celebration takes place annually (April) in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. The festival began as a showcase for feature films made for under $1 million and short films made for under $50,000, however, it is quickly climbing its way into elite status in the film circuit due to its first class treatment of filmmakers.
- Arizona Matsuri, Heritage and Science Park at 7th St/Monroe. Annual festival each spring in downtown Phoenix celebrating Japanese culture. Martial arts, taiko drumming, bonsai, cosplay, food, fashion, music, and more.
- PF Changs Rock n'Roll Marathon, Rural and Rio Solado Pkwy (202 Fwy [E], Priest Exit[S], Rio Solado [W], Parking [2 mi]). 7:45AM marathon start, 8:15AM half-marathon start. Annual moving mass of humanity (17 Jan 2010) for the PF Changs Rock N'Roll half-marathon (23,000 in 2009), and marathon (6,500 in 2009). Bands at every mile. Big party in the evening of the marathon. Starts in Phoenix (Washington St/7th Ave) and weaves through Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe to finish in the ASU athletic center. Pretty flat course, reasonable crowd support. Expo in Phoenix Convention Center, Monroe/3rd St.
- Ford Ironman Arizona, Tempe Beach Park, Rio Solado Pkwy. 23 Nov 2009; 7AM-9AM. Swim(2.4 mi)/Bike(112 mi)/Run(26.2 mi) same as Ironman in Kona Hawaii. Entry ($425 limited to 1,500) impossible to get unless sponsored by a charity, contestant in previous year, or part of race crew.
- Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ 99th Ave/Maryland. Jan 4, 2010, 6PM. One of the 4 big college football bowls. Played at the $430m University of Phoenix football stadium (looks like a giant spaceship with a retractable playing field). Parade on Saturday before bowl at 11AM start at Central Ave/Bethany Home in Phoenix is always quite spectacular and free.
- Phoenix Open, TPC Scottsdale, Bell Rd (Loop 101 Fwy (Pima Road), Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd [E]). 22-28 Feb 2010, noon-dark. Phoenix Open Golf tournament, draws a lot of big players, Tiger Woods to compete in 2010. Big party atmosphere at the 16th hole. Lots of happenings in the evening at the Birds Nest.
- Avondale World Fest (Civic Center Amphitheater), 11465 W Civic Center Dr, . Annual cultural festival taking place in September.
Phoenix as a metropolitan area offers a considerable amount of nightlife, though with the fact that the city is so spread out it can be difficult and dangerous to attempt traversing the city on a big night out. Generally, the nightlife is centered around the sub-cities of the metro area. Within Phoenix itself bars tend to cluster within the Midtown or Downtown areas, while in the surrounding areas, Scottsdale offers a lively bar and club scene, Tempe is popular with students given the proximity to the University, and the city centers for Chandler and Glendale both offer some good options if you're in the suburbs. Downtown Mesa lacks any appreciable nightlife given its strong ties to the Mormon church.
- The Lost Leaf, 914 N. 5th St, . 5PM-2AM. Bar in a renovated bungalow from 1922 that features art and live music nightly with no cover charge. More than 100 different kinds of beer, wine and sake available.
- The Rose & Crown, 628 East Adams St, . British pub with over 50 local and import beers and English and American food. In 2011 the Phoenix New Times named it the Best English pub in Phoenix.
- Hanny's, 40 North First Street (SW corner of Adams and 1st St), . M-F 11AM-1AM, Sa-Su 5PM-1AM; bar open daily until 1:30AM. Swanky and stylish bar and restaurant located in a historic Phoenix building constructed in the 1940's serving food such as pizza, sandwiches and salads and a variety of cocktails. $5 classic martinis served all day
- Bar Smith's Rooftop Lounge, 130 E. Washington St, . M-Th 11AM-2PM; F 11AM-2PM, 9:30PM-2AM; Sa 9:30PM-2AM. Downtown Phoenix bar and restaurant with Phoenix's only rooftop dance floor that attracts a young crowd. Nightclub is open Wed thru Sat.
- Angels Trumpet Ale House, 810 North Second St (1 block from Roosevelt/Central light rail station), . Tu-Th 3PM - 12AM; F Sa 11AM-12AM; Su 11AM-11PM; Closed Monday. Bar and restaurant with 31 rotating craft beers on tap serving lunch and dinner. 3,000 foot patio with a diverse menu with snacks, flatbreads and sandwiches.
- Crescent Ballroom, 308 N 2nd Ave (one block west of Van Buren light rail station), . M 11AM-1AM; Th F 11AM-2AM; Sa 5PM-2AM; Su 5PM-1AM. A 7000 square foot lounge, restaurant and music venue in a red brick warehouse built in 1917 which hosts live music every day. Happy hour is Monday thru Thursday from 3-6PM and Friday from 11AM-6PM with 2$ PBR, 3$ wells and 3$ local drafts.
- Seamus McCaffrey's, 18 W Monroe, . Great small Irish pub downtown. Same owner of Rosie McCaffrey's up on Camelback. Live Irish rock music.
- Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, 1 West Jefferson St (near the 1st Ave & Jefferson and Central & Washington light rail stations), .Tuesday thru Saturday 4PM to 2AM. A cocktail parlor situated in a historic building in downtown Phoenix with an extensive drink menu that also serves food.
- Valley Bar, 130 N Central Ave (located in an alley behind the building and 1 block from the Adams light rail station), . Daily 4PM to 2AM. Basement bar and live music venue in downtown Phoenix that serves food and has a game room with darts, shuffleboard and a pool room. Some events have an admission charge and some events are free, check calendar on website for exact schedule and prices.
- Cobra Arcade Bar, 801 North 2nd Street, . M-W 4pm-12am, Th-Sa 4pm-2am, Su 12pm-12am. 3300 square foot Arcade Bar (21 and over) that has 40 vintage arcade games like Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, etc (25 cents a play) that serves beer, wine and cocktails. Happy hour Monday thru Friday from 4 to 7PM and a live DJ plays Thurs thru Sat nights.
- SideBar, 1514 N 7th Ave (SW corner of 7th Ave & McDowell, above the Pei Wei and the Starbucks), . 4PM-2AM. Great cocktail lounge with a hip, modern feel. Bartenders are pretty knowledgeable, and the beer selection, while all bottled, is pretty good. No food is really served here, but if you're hungry there's a Pei Wei Asian Diner just downstairs that you can grab a bite at.
- George and Dragon, 4240 N Central Ave, . British pub offering traditional British food and imported beer.
- Linger Longer Lounge, 6522 N 16th St Ste 6, . 4PM to 2AM daily. Neighborhood lounge with game room with electronic darts and arcade ball machines. 16 drafts or cocktails on tap and happy hour from 4PM to 7PM on weekdays and all day Sunday with drink and food specials. A takeaway case with beer and wine to go is available.
- Rosie McCaffreys Irish Pub, 906 East Camelback Rd, .11AM to 2AM daily. Irish pub with daily specials, happy hour everyday (4 to 7PM) and live music Wednesday through Saturday.
- Fuego Bar & Grill, 9118 W Van Buren St, Tolleson, .
- MercBar, 2525 E Camelback Rd (SE corner of 24th St and Camelback), . A high-end local place with a 'speakeasy' feel to it. It is hidden in the plaza with no sign, but once found it proves to be worth the trouble. Live jazz on Tuesdays.
- Postino Wine Cafe, 3939 E Campbell Ave (Campell is halfway between Indian School Rd and Camelback Ave, with the best access via 40th St from either road), . M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM. A wine cafe located in the former Arcadia post office. In addition to wines, the cafe features panninis and salads. The cafe also offers $5 glasses of wine each day until 4PM.
- Half Moon Sports Grill, 2121 East Highland Ave, . Upscale sports bar with lots of TV's to watch games. Happy hour Mon to Fri (3PM to 7PM).
Things to know
English is the dominant language in Phoenix. However, like much of the Southwest with a large Hispanic population, Spanish is very widely spoken in Phoenix. Spanish is a language often used for day-to-day discourse in many places, although English is the language of preference, especially when dealing with businesses and government.
Safety in Phoenix
Despite being a nice vacation destination, Phoenix is a major American city and as such does contain a fair amount of violent crime. Some parts of the city (and even a few parts of some of the suburbs) should be avoided at night. Downtown Phoenix is safe during the day, but does have a problem with the homeless/transients, some of whom approach well-dressed office workers and tourists asking for spare change. South Phoenix can be unsafe in some areas.
Maryvale, a commercial/residential district on the west side of the city of Phoenix (extending north into Glendale as well), should be avoided at almost all times unless there is a specific reason to go there.
Most of the suburban areas are safe during day and night; however, parts of Mesa and Glendale can be dangerous at night. Some portions of Tempe, near the main campus of Arizona State University (ASU), have seen assaults in the recent past on a few university students. The ASU campus is equipped with several emergency call boxes.
The Sunnyslope area (north central city of Phoenix) has some homeless and other crime issues but a new police station was recently built at Peoria and 7th Ave which has dramatically reduced crime.
The town of Guadalupe (immediately west of Tempe and bounded by Interstate 10 on the west) is unsafe at night, but is an incredibly interesting Hispanic/Native American community to visit during the day. Be warned though that the speed limit suddenly falls from 40mph to 25mph as you enter the town.
In every portion of the Phoenix area, just use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
Phoenix also has one of the highest car theft rates in the country, with a car stolen every 7 minutes. In addition, red light running is more common in Phoenix than any other city in the U.S. Use caution at every turn.
Speeding, tailgating and aggressive driving are common on the freeways.
Be aware of traffic and speed enforcement cameras at most major intersections. Always anticipate someone attempting to beat the amber light before it turns red to avoid being issued a very expensive traffic ticket (usually in the amount of $300 or more). If you see sudden braking, make sure you're going the speed limit. Sometimes, camera vans are set up on the side of the road to snatch speeders, especially in the Northeastern parts of the Valley.