Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital of the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona. Known for its year-round sun and warm temperatures, it anchors a sprawling, multi-city metropolitan area known as the Valley of the Sun. It's known for high-end spa resorts, Jack Nicklaus–designed golf courses, and vibrant nightclubs. Other highlights include the Desert Botanical Garden, displaying cacti and numerous native plants.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is a city located in Maricopa County Arizona. It is also the county seat of Maricopa County. With a 2020 population of 1,733,630, it is the largest city in Arizona and the 5th largest city in the United States.

Phoenix was established as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers in 1867, and it became a city in 1881. In 1889, it was designated as the capital of Arizona Territory. It is located in the Sonoran Desert’s northeastern reaches and has a hot desert climate.

The cost of living in Phoenix is lower than the national average. For those who live on a fixed income, like retirees, Phoenix is an ideal location because not only does it have a low cost of living, but property taxes are also lower than other large retirement destinations like Boca Raton or Orlando.

 

 

Phoenix Arizona History

Phoenix was established as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers in 1867, and it became a city in 1881. In 1889, it was designated as the capital of Arizona Territory. It is located in the Sonoran Desert’s northeastern reaches and has a hot desert climate.

The “Five C’s” that anchored Phoenix’s economy were cotton, cattle, citrus, environment, and copper. Until after World War II, when high-tech firms started to flood into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix’s hot summers more bearable, these remained the city’s driving forces.

For over 2,000 years, the Hohokam people lived in Phoenix. They dug about 135 miles (217 kilometers) of irrigation canals to make the desert land arable, and the Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct all followed in the footsteps of these canals. They also traded extensively with the nearby Ancient Puebloans, Mogollon, and Sinagua, as well as with the more distant Mesoamerican civilizations. Drought and heavy floods are thought to have caused the Hohokam civilization to leave the region between 1300 and 1450. Following the Hohokam’s departure, the Akimel O’odham (also known as Pima), Tohono O’odham, and Maricopa tribes, as well as Yavapai and Apache segments, began to use the area.

On the other hand, the climate in Phoenix is arid, with long, hot summers and mild winters. It has the highest average temperature in the United States of any metropolitan region. The weather changes dramatically from season to season. Although it is not as cold as it is in the northern states during the winter, it does sometimes freeze, with temperatures in the 30s°F (around or just above 0°C) not uncommon. In the summer, the weather is very hot and dry. It can reach 115°F (46°C) or higher on the hottest days, but due to the low humidity, it is never uncomfortable. From July to September, monsoon rains with lightning are common in the late afternoon and evening, and sometimes overnight. April is the best month to visit. Cicada insects make noisy noises in some neighborhoods from sunset to sunrise.

 

Phoenix Geography

Phoenix is the largest and most populous city in the state of Arizona and is the only state capital with a population of more than a million people. It is also the county seat of Maricopa County and the second-largest city in the Western United States after Los Angeles, California. It is the fifth-largest city in the United States in terms of population (2008), and the tenth-largest for land area in the United States at 517 square miles (1,340 km²). It is the region’s primary cultural, economic, and financial center and a major transportation hub.

Phoenix is located in the Salt River Valley, or “Valley of the Sun,” in central Arizona. It lies at a mean elevation of 1,117 feet (340 m), in the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 475.1 square miles (1,230.5 km²).

The Salt River course runs westward through the city of Phoenix; the riverbed is normally dry except when excess runoff forces the release of water from the six dams upriver. The city of Tempe has built two inflatable dams in the Salt River bed to create a year-round recreational lake, called Tempe Town Lake. The dams are deflated to allow the river to flow unimpeded during releases. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located in Northwest Phoenix.

 

Popular Attractions in Phoenix

Founded in 1959, the Phoenix Art Museum has been a favorite institution of modern art and learning for over 55 years, and it is the largest art museum in the Southwestern United States today. The museum houses a variety of permanent collections that span several different genres, including American, Asian, European, and Latin American art, as well as traveling fashion and photography exhibitions.
The museums present a range of vibrant festivals and live performances, educational programs, and art films throughout the year that aims to enlighten, inspire, and stimulate an interest in the arts. One of the top Phoenix attractions, the museum also houses an interactive children’s gallery for future artists. Relax in the beautifully landscaped Dorrance Sculpture Garden, dine at the Museum’s fine dining restaurant Palette, or shop at the Modern Museum Store.

 

Phoenix Art Museum

 

Phoenix-Art-Museum

Founded in 1959, the Phoenix Art Museum has been a favorite institution of modern art and learning for over 55 years, and it is the largest art museum in the Southwestern United States today. The museum houses a variety of permanent collections that span several different genres, including American, Asian, European, and Latin American art, as well as traveling fashion and photography exhibitions.
The museums present a range of vibrant festivals and live performances, educational programs, and art films throughout the year that aims to enlighten, inspire, and stimulate an interest in the arts. One of the top Phoenix attractions, the museum also houses an interactive children’s gallery for future artists. Relax in the beautifully landscaped Dorrance Sculpture Garden, dine at the Museum’s fine dining restaurant Palette, or shop at the Modern Museum Store.

 

Phoenix Zoo

 

Phoenix Zoo

 

Home to roaring Sumatran tigers, awe-inspiring Asian elephants, and towering Savannah giraffes, the Phoenix Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. One of the nation’s largest privately-owned zoos, the animal park features over 1,400 animals, including more than 30 different endangered species from around the world. The zoo also has a number of breeding programs for various species.
Fascinating habitats and exhibits include the Africa Trail, which boasts African wild dogs, African lions, white rhino, and Arabian Oryx, and the Tropics Trail, which is packed with Asian elephants, giant tortoises, iguanas, and ring-tailed lemurs. Enjoy daily animals encounters in the Monkey Village or the Red Barn, get soaked at the Leapin’ Lagoon, or experience the wild in 4-D at the state-of-the-art theater.

 

Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

Founded in 1929 by Dwight and Maie Heard, the Heard Museum is one of the top Phoenix tourist attractions and aims to educate and promote a greater understanding of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, particularly American Indian tribes and other cultures of the Southwest. In order to accomplish this goal, the museum exhibits focus on their arts, heritage, and way of life.
The Museum uses its extensive range of unrivaled collections, innovative programs, world-class exhibitions, and vibrant festivals to respectfully and accurately portray Native arts and cultures and showcase personal perspectives of this ancient and historical culture. A visit to the Heard Museum includes a journey through 12 exhibition galleries, a beautifully manicured outdoor sculpture garden, a contemporary art gallery, and trading-post style shopping store, a lively café, and free guided tours.

 

Camelback Mountain

 

Camelback Mountain

 

 

Situated in the Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area between Arcadia, Phoenix, and the town of Paradise Valley, Camelback Mountain is a popular recreation destination for hiking and rock climbing. Named for its shape, which resembles the hump and head of a kneeling camel, the mountain is home to a diverse range of fauna and flora, including rabbits, snakes, lizards, and a variety of birds. The mountain boasts two popular hiking trails that lead to the summit, as well as many other smaller hiking, mountain biking, and walking trails that can be enjoyed during the summer months.

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