FIPS 55-3 Code
US National Archive Codes
Coordinates Latitude: 33.4483771 Longitude: -112.0740373
Demographics & Economic Data
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The Hohokam people occupied the Phoenix area for 2,000 years. They created roughly 135 miles (217 kilometers) of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable, and paths of these canals were used for the Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct. They also carried out extensive trade with the nearby Anasazi, Mogollon, and Sinagua, as well as with the more distant Mesoamerican civilizations. It is believed that periods of drought and severe floods between 1300 and 1450 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 Hohokam.The Akimel O'odham were the major group in the area and lived in small villages, with well-defined irrigation systems that 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. They banded together with the Maricopa for protection against incursions by 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 other Yuma tribes, settling among 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. The O'odham lived in small settlements as seasonal farmers who took advantage of the rains, rather than the large-scale irrigation of the Akimel. They grew crops such as sweet 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 javelina for meat.The Mexican–American War ended in 1848, Mexico ceded its northern zone to the United States, and residents of that region 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 Maricopa County, to the northwest of Phoenix. 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 Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to forestall Indian uprisings. The fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866, which was the first settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. Other nearby settlements later merged to become the city of Tempe.
Founding and incorporation
The history of the city of Phoenix begins with Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War. He was traveling through the Salt River Valley in 1867 and saw a potential for farming. He formed a small community that same year about four miles (six km) east of the city. Lord Darrell Duppa was one of the original settlers in Swilling's party, and he suggested the name "Phoenix", as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization.The Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County 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 by dividing Yavapai County; it was the sixth one formed in the Arizona Territory. The first election for county office was held in 1871 when Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff. He ran unopposed when the other two candidates (John A. Chenowth and Jim Favorite) fought a duel; Chenowth killed Favorite and was forced to withdraw from the race.The town grew during the 1870s, and President Ulysses S. Grant issued a land patent for the site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. By 1875, the town had a telegraph office, 16 saloons, and four dance halls, but the townsite-commissioner form of government needed an overhaul. An election was held in 1875, and three village trustees and other officials were elected. By 1880, the town's population stood at 2,453.
By 1881, Phoenix's continued growth made the board of trustees obsolete. The Territorial Legislature passed the Phoenix Charter Bill, incorporating Phoenix and providing a mayor-council government; Governor John C. Fremont signed the bill on February 25, 1881, officially incorporating Phoenix as a city with a population of around 2,500.In the 1880s, the arrival of the railroad in the valley was the first of several events that altered the economy of Phoenix, and it 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. The city offices were moved into the new City Hall at Washington and Central in 1888. The territorial capital was moved from Prescott to Phoenix in 1889, and the 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 communities in the northern part of the territory. The increased access to commerce expedited the city's economic rise. The Phoenix Union High School was established in 1895 with an enrollment of 90.
1900 to World War II
On February 25, 1901, Governor Oakes 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, Salt River Dam#1, 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 a lake in the mountain east of Phoenix. The dam would be renamed after Teddy Roosevelt in 1917, and the lake would follow suit in 1959.
On February 14, 1912, Phoenix became a state capital, as Arizona was admitted to the Union as the 48th state under President William Howard Taft. 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 in 1935 by the city, which 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 65,000 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 south side of town. 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 an 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 America West 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 nine villages, but this has been expanded to 15 over the years (see Cityscape below). This officially turned Phoenix into a city of many nodes, which would later be connected by freeways. The Phoenix Symphony Hall opened in 1972; other major structures which saw construction downtown during this decade were the First National Bank Plaza, the Valley Center (the tallest building in the state of Arizona) and the Arizona Bank building.
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 justice. In 1985, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the nation's largest nuclear power plant, began electrical production. Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa both visited the Valley in 1987.
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.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 is in the southwestern United States, in the south-central portion of Arizona; about halfway between Tucson to the southeast and Flagstaff to the north. By car, the city is approximately 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of the US-Mexico border at Sonoyta and 180 mi (290 km) north of the border at Nogales. 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 both South Mountain and the Sierra Estrella to the south/southwest. Camelback Mountain, North Mountain, Sunnyslope Mountain, and Piestewa Peak are located within the heart of the valley. On the outskirts of Phoenix are large fields of irrigated cropland and Native American reservation lands. The Salt River runs westward through the city of Phoenix, but the riverbed is often dry or contains 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.
Maricopa County grew by 811% from 186,000 in 1940 to 1,509,000 in 1980, thanks in part to air conditioning, cheap housing and an influx of retirees. The once "modest urban sprawl" now "grew by 'epic' proportions— not only a myriad of residential tract developments on both farmland and desert." Retail outlets and office complexes spread out and did not concentrate in the small downtown area. There was low population density and a lack of widespread and significant high-rise development. As a consequence Phoenix became a textbook case of urban sprawl for geographers. Even though it is the fifth most populated city, the large area gives it a low density rate of approximately 2,797 people per square mile. In comparison, Philadelphia, the sixth most populous city, has a density of over 11,000.As with most of Arizona, Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time. In 1973, Governor 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 should the state observe daylight saving time. He went on to say that energy use would also rise early in the day "because there would be more lights on in the early morning." Additionally, he said that daylight saving time would cause children to go to school in the dark.Sunrise occurs at around 7:29am on December 21 and 5:19am on June 21. Sunset occurs at around 5:25pm on December 21 and 7:41pm on June 21 (all UTC-7).
Since 1979, the city of Phoenix has been divided into urban villages, many of which are based upon historically significant neighborhoods and communities that have since been annexed into Phoenix. Each village has a planning committee that is appointed directly by the city council. According to the village planning handbook issued by the city, the purpose of the village planning committees is to "work with the city's planning commission to ensure a balance of housing and employment in each village, concentrate development at identified village cores, and to promote the unique character and identity of the villages." There are 15 urban villages: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, Central City, Deer Valley, Desert View, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley, Rio Vista, and South Mountain.
The urban village of Paradise Valley is distinct from the nearby Town of Paradise Valley. Although the urban village is part of Phoenix, the town is independent.
In addition to the above urban villages, Phoenix has a variety of commonly referred-to regions and districts, such as Downtown, Midtown, Uptown, West Phoenix, North Phoenix, South Phoenix, Biltmore Area, Arcadia, and Sunnyslope.
Phoenix has a hot desert climate (Köppen: BWh), typical of the Sonoran Desert and being therefore the greater city of America in this climatic zone. Phoenix has hot summers and mild winters. The city is located within the sunniest region in the world. Measuring 3,872 hours of bright sunshine annually, Phoenix receives the most sunshine of any major city on Earth. Average high temperatures in summer are the hottest of any major city in the United States. On average, there are 107 days annually with a high of at least 100 °F (38 °C) including most days from late May through early October. Highs top 110 °F (43 °C) an average of 18 days during the year. On June 26, 1990, the temperature reached an all-time recorded high of 122 °F (50 °C). Despite the city's claim to the most extreme heat in summer, however, it does not have the highest average annual temperature in the contiguous United States. In that respect, it comes second to Miami; Phoenix has an average daily temperature of 75 °F (24 °C), compared to Miami's 77 °F (25 °C).Unlike most desert locations which undergo drastic fluctuations between day and nighttime temperatures, Phoenix's diurnal temperature variation is limited by the urban heat island effect. As the city has expanded, average summer low temperatures have been steadily rising. The daily heat of the sun is stored in pavement, sidewalks, and buildings, and it is radiated back out at night. The daily normal low remains at or above 80 °F (27 °C) for an average of 67 days per summer. On July 15, 2003, Phoenix set its record for the warmest daily low temperature, at 96 °F (36 °C).
The city averages approximately 300 days of sunshine, or over 85% of daylight hours per year, and receives scant rainfall—the average annual total at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport being 8.03 in (204 mm). Precipitation is sparse during most of the year, but the North American Monsoon brings an influx of moisture during the summer. Historically, the monsoon officially started when the average dew point was 55 °F (13 °C) for three days in a row—typically occurring in early July. In order to increase monsoon awareness and promote safety, however, the National Weather Service decreed that starting in 2008, June 15 would be the official "first day" of the monsoon, and it would end on September 30. When active, the monsoon raises humidity levels and can cause heavy localized precipitation, flash floods, hail, destructive winds, and dust storms—which can rise to the level of a haboob in some years.July is the wettest month of the year (1.05 in (27 mm)), while June is the driest (0.02 in (0.51 mm)). On September 8, 2014, the city of Phoenix recorded its single highest rainfall total by the National Weather Service with 3.30 in (84 mm) breaking a 75-year-old previous record of 2.91 in (74 mm), set on September 4, 1939. The September 2014 storm was created from the remnants of Hurricane Norbert which had moved up from the Gulf of California and flooded the city's major interstates and low-lying roadways, stranding hundreds of motorists. On average, dew points range from 31 °F (−1 °C) in December to 58 °F (14 °C) in August. Occasionally, dew points can rise to 76 °F (24 °C) or higher during periods of strong monsoon activity - creating especially muggy conditions in the area.
Generally speaking, the annual minimum temperature in Phoenix is in the mid-to-low 30s. It rarely drops to 32 °F (0 °C) or below, having done so in only seven of the years between 1995—2015 on a total of sixteen days. However, peripheral portions of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area frequently see frost in the winter. The earliest freeze on record occurred on November 4, 1956, and the latest occurred on March 31, 1987. The all-time lowest recorded temperature in Phoenix was 16 °F (−9 °C) on January 7, 1913, while the coldest daily high temperature ever recorded was 36 °F (2 °C) on December 10, 1898. The longest continuous stretch without a day of frost in Phoenix was over 5 years, from November 23, 1979, to January 31, 1985. Snow is a very rare occurrence for the city of Phoenix. Snowfall was first officially recorded in 1898, and since then, accumulations of 0.1 inches (0.25 cm) or greater have occurred only eight times. The heaviest snowstorm on record dates to January 21–22, 1937, when 1 to 4 inches (2.5 to 10.2 cm) fell in parts of the city and did not melt entirely for three days. On December 6, 1998, snow fell across the northwest portions of the city, and Sky Harbor reported a dusting of snow. On December 30, 2010, and February 20, 2013, graupel fell across much of the city; although it was widely believed to be snow. Most recently, on February 21-22, 2019, the far northern and northeastern sections of the metro area were blanketed with several inches of snow while Sky Harbor received record rainfall.
Flora and fauna
While some of the native flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert can be found within Phoenix city limits, most are found in the suburbs and the undeveloped desert areas surrounding the city. Native mammal species include coyote, javelina, bobcat, mountain lion, desert cottontail rabbit, jackrabbit, antelope ground squirrel, mule deer, ringtail, coati, and multiple species of bats, such as the Mexican free-tailed bat and western pipistrelle, that roost in and around the city. There are many species of native birds, including Costa's hummingbird, Anna's hummingbird, Gambel's quail, Gila woodpecker, mourning dove, white-winged dove, the roadrunner, the cactus wren, and many species of raptors, including falcons, hawks, owls, vultures (such as the turkey vulture and black vulture), and eagles, including the golden and the bald eagle.The greater Phoenix region is home to the only thriving feral population of rosy-faced lovebirds in the U.S. This bird is a popular birdcage pet, native to southwestern Africa. Feral birds were first observed living outdoors in 1987, probably escaped or released pets, and by 2010 the Greater Phoenix population had grown to about 950 birds. These lovebirds prefer older neighborhoods where they nest under untrimmed, dead palm tree fronds.The area is also home to a plethora of native reptile species including the Western diamondback rattlesnake, Sonoran sidewinder, several other types of rattlesnakes, Sonoran coral snake, dozens of species of non-venomous snakes (including the Sonoran gopher snake and the California kingsnake), the gila monster, desert spiny lizard, several types of whiptail lizards, the chuckwalla, desert horned lizard, western banded gecko, Sonora mud turtle, and the desert tortoise. Native amphibian species include the Couch's spadefoot toad, Chiricahua leopard frog, and the Sonoran desert toad.
Phoenix and the surrounding areas are also home to a wide variety of native invertebrates including the Arizona bark scorpion, giant desert hairy scorpion, Arizona blond tarantula, Sonoran Desert centipede, tarantula hawk wasp, camel spider, and tailless whip scorpion. Of great concern is the presence of Africanized bees which can be extremely dangerous—even lethal—when provoked.
The Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert (of which Phoenix is a part) has "the most structurally diverse flora in the United States." One of the most well-known types of succulents, the giant saguaro cactus, is found throughout the city and its neighboring environs. Other native species are the organpipe, barrel, fishhook, senita, prickly pear and cholla cacti; ocotillo; Palo Verde trees and foothill and blue paloverde; California fan palm; agaves; soaptree yucca, Spanish bayonet, desert spoon, and red yucca; ironwood; mesquite; and the creosote bush.Many non-native plants also thrive in Phoenix including, but not limited to, the date palm, Mexican fan palm, pineapple palm, Afghan pine, Canary Island pine, Mexican fencepost cactus, cardon cactus, acacia, eucalyptus, aloe, bougainvillea, oleander, lantana, bottlebrush, olive, citrus, and red bird of paradise.
Phoenix is the sixth most populous city in the United States according to the 2010 United States Census, with a population of 1,445,632, making it the most populous state capital in the United States. Phoenix's ranking as the sixth most populous city was a drop from the number five position it had held since the U. S. Census Bureau released population estimates on June 28, 2007. Those statistics used data from 2006, which showed Phoenix's population at 1,512,986, which put it just ahead of Philadelphia. In 2016, Phoenix regained the position of 5th most populous city, with the census bureau estimating its population at 1,615,017, edging out Philadelphia with a population of 1,567,872.After leading the U.S. in population growth for over a decade, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, followed by the recession, led to a slowing in the growth of Phoenix. There were approximately 77,000 people added to the population of the Phoenix metropolitan area in 2009, which was down significantly from its peak in 2006 of 162,000. Despite this slowing, Phoenix's population grew by 9.4% since the 2000 census (a total of 124,000 people), while the entire Phoenix metropolitan area grew by 28.9% during the same period. This compares with an overall growth rate nationally during the same time frame of 9.7%. Not since 1940–50, when the city had a population of 107,000, had the city gained less than 124,000 in a decade. Phoenix's recent growth rate of 9.4% from the 2010 census is the first time it has recorded a growth rate under 24% in a census decade. However, in 2016, Phoenix once again became the fastest growing city in the United States, adding approximately 88 people per day during the preceding year.The Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (officially known as the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale MSA), is one of 10 MSAs in Arizona, and was the 14th largest in the United States, with a total population of 4,192,887 as of the 2010 Census. Consisting of parts of both Pinal and Maricopa counties, the MSA accounts for 65.5% of the total population of the state of Arizona. Phoenix only contributed 13% to the total growth rate of the MSA, down significantly from its 33% share during the prior decade. Phoenix is also part of the Arizona Sun Corridor megaregion (MR), which is the 10th most populous of the 11 MRs, and the 8th largest by area. It had the 2nd largest growth by percentage of the MRs (behind only the Gulf Coast MR) between 2000 and 2010.
The population is almost equally split between men and women, with men making up 50.2% of city's citizens. The population density is 2,797.8 people per square mile, and the median age of the city is 32.2 years, with only 10.9 of the population being over 62. 98.5% of Phoenix's population lives in households with an average household size of 2.77 people. There were 514,806 total households, with 64.2% of those households consisting of families: 42.3% married couples, 7% with an unmarried male as head of household, and 14.9% with an unmarried female as head of household. 33.6% of those households have children below the age of 18. Of the 35.8% of non-family households, 27.1% of them have a householder living alone, almost evenly split between men and women, with women having 13.7% and men occupying 13.5%. Phoenix has 590,149 housing units, with an occupancy rate of 87.2%. The largest segment of vacancies is in the rental market, where the vacancy rate is 14.9%, and 51% of all vacancies are in rentals. Vacant houses for sale only make up 17.7% of the vacancies, with the rest being split among vacation properties and other various reasons.The median income for a household in the city was $47,866, and the median income for a family was $54,804. Males had a median income of $32,820 versus $27,466 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,110. 21.8% of the population and 17.1% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.4% of those under the age of 18 and 10.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.According to the 2010 Census, the racial breakdown of Phoenix was as follows:
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%
Phoenix's population has historically been predominantly white. From 1890 to 1970, over 90% of the citizens were white. In recent years, this percentage has dropped, reaching 65% In 2010. However, a significant portion of this decrease can be attributed to new guidelines put out by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1980, when a question regarding Hispanic origin was added to the census questionnaire. This has led to an increasing tendency for some groups to no longer self-identify as white, and instead categorize themselves as "other races". 20.6% of the population of the city was foreign born in 2010. Of the 1,342,803 residents over 5 years of age, 63.5% spoke only English, 30.6% spoke Spanish at home, 2.5% spoke another Indo-European language, 2.1% spoke Asian or Islander languages, with the remaining 1.4% speaking other languages. About 15.7% of non-English speakers reported speaking English less than "very well". The largest national ancestries reported were Mexican (35.9%), German (15.3%), Irish (10.3%), English (9.4%), Black (6.5%), Italian (4.5%), French (2.7%), Polish (2.5%), American Indian (2.2%), and Scottish (2.0%).Hispanics or Latinos of any race make up 40.8% of the population. Of these the largest groups are at 35.9% Mexican, 0.6% Puerto Rican, 0.5% Guatemalan, 0.3% Salvadoran, 0.3% Cuban.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 66% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, while 26% claimed no religious affiliation. The same study says that other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 7% of the population. In 2010, according to the Association of Religion Data Archives, which conducts religious census each ten years, 39% of those polled in Maricopa county considered themselves a member of a religious group. Of those who expressed a religious affiliation, the area's religious composition was reported as 35% Catholic, 22% to Evangelical Protestant denominations, 16% Latter-Day Saints (LDS), 14% to nondenominational congregations, 7% to Mainline Protestant denominations, and 2% Hindu. The remaining 4% belong to other religions, such as Buddhism, and Judaism. While there was an overall increase in the number of religious adherents over the decade of 103,000, that did not keep pace with the overall population increase in the country during the same period, which increased by almost three-quarters of million individuals, resulting in the percentage drop. The largest aggregate increases were in the LDS (a 58% increase) and Evangelical Protestant churches (14% increase), while all other categories saw their numbers drop slightly, or remain static. Overall, the Catholic Church had an 8% drop, while Mainline Protestant groups saw a 28% decline.
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 capital. 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.
The city has numerous performing arts venues, most of which are located in and around downtown Phoenix or Scottsdale. The Phoenix Symphony Hall is home to the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona. The Arizona Opera company also has intimate performances at its new Arizona Opera Center, which opened in March 2013. Another venue is the Orpheum Theatre, which is home to the Phoenix Opera. Ballet Arizona, in addition to the Symphony Hall, also has performances at the Orpheum Theatre as well at the Dorrance Theater. Concerts also regularly make stops in the area. The largest downtown performing art venue is the Herberger Theater Center, which houses three performance spaces and is home to two resident companies, the Arizona Theatre Company and the Centre Dance Ensemble. Three other groups also use the facility: Valley Youth Theatre, iTheatre Collaborative and Actors Theater.Concerts can be attended at Talking Stick Resort Arena and Comerica Theatre in downtown Phoenix, Ak-Chin Pavilion in Maryvale, Gila River Arena in Glendale, and Gammage Auditorium in Tempe (the last public building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). Several smaller theaters including Trunk Space, the Mesa Arts Center, the Crescent Ballroom, Celebrity Theatre, and Modified Arts support regular independent musical and theater performances. Music can also be seen in some of the venues usually reserved for sports, such as the Wells Fargo Arena and State Farm Stadium.Several television series have been set in Phoenix, including Alice (1976–85), the 2000s paranormal drama Medium, the 1960–61 syndicated crime drama The Brothers Brannagan, and The New Dick Van Dyke Show from 1971 to 1974.
Dozens of museums exist throughout the valley. They include the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona Capitol Museum, Arizona Military Museum, Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park, Children's Museum of Phoenix, Arizona Science Center, and the Heard Museum. In 2010 the Musical Instrument Museum opened their doors, featuring the biggest musical instrument collection in the world. In 2015 the Children's Museum of Phoenix was recognized as one of the top three children's museums in the United States.Designed by Alden B. Dow, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Phoenix Art Museum was constructed in a single year, opening in November 1959. The Phoenix Art Museum has the southwest's largest collection of visual art, containing more than 17,000 works of contemporary and modern art from around the world. Interactive exhibits can be found in nearby Peoria's Challenger Space Center, where individuals learn about space, renewable energies, and meet astronauts.The Heard Museum has over 130,000 square feet (12,000 m²) of gallery, classroom and performance space. Some of the signature exhibits include a full Navajo hogan, the Mareen Allen Nichols Collection containing 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry, the Barry Goldwater Collection of 437 historic Hopi kachina dolls, and an exhibit on the 19th-century boarding school experiences of Native Americans. The Heard Museum attracts about 250,000 visitors a year.
The downtown Phoenix art scene has developed in the past decade. The Artlink organization and the galleries downtown have successfully launched a First Friday cross-Phoenix gallery opening, as well as hosting Art Detour which has become central to the city's cultural identity. In April 2009, artist Janet Echelman inaugurated her monumental sculpture, Her Secret Is Patience, a civic icon suspended above the new Phoenix Civic Space Park, a two-city-block park in the middle of downtown. This netted sculpture makes the invisible patterns of desert wind visible to the human eye. During the day, the 100-foot (30 m)-tall sculpture hovers high above heads, treetops, and buildings, the sculpture creates what the artist calls "shadow drawings", which she says are inspired by Phoenix's cloud shadows. At night, the illumination changes color gradually through the seasons. Author Prof. Patrick Frank writes of the sculpture that "... most Arizonans look on the work with pride: this unique visual delight will forever mark the city of Phoenix just as the Eiffel Tower marks Paris."
Phoenix is the home of a unique architectural tradition and community. Frank Lloyd Wright moved to Phoenix in 1937 and built his winter home, Taliesin West, and the main campus for The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Over the years, Phoenix has attracted notable architects who have made it their home and have grown successful practices. These architectural studios embrace the desert climate, and are unconventional in their approach to the practice of design. They include the Paolo Soleri (who created Arcosanti), Al Beadle, Will Bruder, Wendell Burnette, and Blank Studio architectural design studios. Another major force in architectural landscape of the city was Ralph Haver whose firm, Haver & Nunn, designed commercial, industrial and residential structures throughout the valley. Of particular note was his trademark, "Haver Home", which were affordable contemporary-style tract houses.
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.
Other attractions and annual events
Due to its natural environment and climate, Phoenix has a number of outdoor attractions and recreational activities. The Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States. Since opening in 1962, the zoo has developed an international reputation for its efforts on animal conservation, including breeding and reintroducing endangered species back into the wild. Right next to the zoo, the Phoenix Botanical Gardens were opened in 1939, and are acclaimed worldwide for their exhibits and educational programs, featuring the largest collection of arid plants in the U.S. South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the U.S., is also the highest desert mountain preserve in the world.Other popular sites in the city are Japanese Friendship Garden, Historic Heritage Square, Phoenix Mountains Park, Pueblo Grande Museum, Tovrea Castle, Camelback Mountain, Hole in the Rock, Mystery Castle, St. Mary's Basilica, Taliesin West, and the Wrigley Mansion.There is long list of annual events in and near Phoenix which celebrate the heritage of the city, as well as its diversity. Some of those are the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show, the largest horse show in the world; Matsuri, a celebration of Japanese culture; Pueblo Grande Indian Market, an event highlighting Native American arts and crafts; Grand Menorah Lighting, an annual December event celebrating Hanukah; ZooLights, an annual December evening event at the Phoenix Zoo, featuring millions of lights; the Arizona State Fair, begun in 1884, an annual fair; Scottish Gathering & Highland Games, an annual event celebrating Scottish heritage; Estrella War, an annual event celebrating medieval life; Tohono O'odham Nation Rodeo & Fair, Oldest Indian rodeo in Arizona; and the Chinese Week & Culture & Cuisine Festival, an annual celebration of Chinese culture.
Like many other western towns, the earliest restaurants in Phoenix were often steakhouses. Today, Phoenix is also renowned for its Mexican food, thanks to both its large Hispanic population and its proximity to Mexico. Some of Phoenix's restaurants have a long history. The Stockyards steakhouse dates to 1947, while Monti's La Casa Vieja (Spanish for "The Old House") was in operation as a restaurant since the 1890s, but closed its doors November 17, 2014. Macayo's (a Mexican restaurant chain) was established in Phoenix in 1946, and other major Mexican restaurants include Garcia's (1956) and Manuel's (1964). The recent population boom has brought people from all over the nation, and to a lesser extent from other countries, and has since influenced the local cuisine. Phoenix currently boasts cuisines from all over the world, such as Korean, barbecue, Cajun/Creole, Greek, Hawaiian, Irish, Japanese, sushi, Italian, fusion, Persian, Indian (South Asian), Spanish, Thai, Chinese, southwestern, Tex-Mex, Vietnamese, Brazilian, and French.The first McDonald's franchise was sold by the McDonald brothers to a Phoenix entrepreneur in 1952. Neil Fox paid $1,000 for the rights to open an establishment based on the McDonald brothers' restaurant. The hamburger stand opened in 1953 on the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road, on the growing north side of Phoenix, and was the first location to sport the now internationally known golden arches, which were initially twice the height of the building. Three other franchise locations opened that year, a full two years before Ray Kroc purchased McDonald's and opened his first franchise in Chicago, Illinois.
Phoenix is home to several professional sports franchises, and is one of only 13 U.S. metropolitan areas to have representatives of all four major professional sports leagues, although only one of these teams actually carry the city name and two of them play within the city limits.
The Phoenix Suns were the first major sports team in Phoenix, being granted a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise in 1968. They had originally played at the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum before moving to America West Arena (now Talking Stick Resort Arena) in 1992. The year following their move to the new arena, the Suns made it to the NBA finals for the second time in franchise history, losing to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, 4 games to 2. The U.S. Airways Center hosted both the 1995 and the 2009 NBA All-Star Games.In 1997, the Phoenix Mercury were one of the original eight teams to launch the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). They also play at Talking Stick Resorts Arena. They have won the WNBA championship three times: first in 2007 when they defeated the Detroit Shock, again in 2009 when they defeated the Indiana Fever, and in 2014 when they swept the Chicago Sky.
The Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball began play as an expansion team in 1998. The team has played all of its home games in the same downtown park, now known as Chase Field. It is the second highest stadium in the U.S. (after Coors Field in Denver), and is known for its swimming pool beyond the outfield fence. In 2001, the Diamondbacks defeated the New York Yankees 4 games to 3 in the World Series, becoming the city's first professional sports franchise to win a national championship while located in Arizona. The win was also the fastest an expansion team had ever won the World Series, surpassing the old mark of the Florida Marlins of 5 years, set in 1997.The Arizona Cardinals are the oldest continuously run professional football franchise in the nation. Founded in 1898 in Chicago, they moved to Phoenix from St. Louis in 1988 and currently play in the Western Division of the National Football League's National Football Conference. Upon their move to Phoenix, the Cardinals originally played their home games at Sun Devil Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University in nearby Tempe. In 2006 they moved to the newly constructed State Farm Stadium in suburban Glendale. Since moving to Phoenix, the Cardinals have made one championship appearance, Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, where they lost 27–23 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Sun Devil Stadium held Super Bowl XXX in 1996. State Farm Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLII in 2008, and Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.The Arizona Coyotes of the National Hockey League moved to the area in 1996, formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets. They originally played their home games at America West Arena in downtown Phoenix before moving in December 2003 to the Jobing.com Arena (now named the Gila River Arena) in Glendale.In 2018, the Alliance of American Football announced the league's Phoenix franchise, the Arizona Hotshots, would begin playing in 2019.
*Note: The Cardinals won two of their championships while in Chicago, pre-modern era.
The Phoenix area hosts two annual college football bowl games: the Fiesta Bowl, played at State Farm Stadium, and the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl, which is held at Sun Devil Stadium (though Chase Field has substituted as host while ASU's football stadium undergoes renovations).Phoenix has an indoor football team, the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. Their games are also played at Talking Stick Resort Arena. They played in the Arena Football League from 1992 to 2016 and had won five AFL championships before leaving the league.The Greater Phoenix area is home to the Cactus League, one of two spring training leagues for Major League Baseball. With the move by the Colorado Rockies and the Diamondbacks to their new facility in the Salt River Indian Community, the league is entirely based in the Greater Phoenix area. With the Cincinnati Reds' move to Goodyear, half of MLB's 30 teams are now included in the Cactus League.The Phoenix International Raceway was built in 1964 with a one-mile (1.6 km) oval, with a one-of-a-kind design, as well as a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) road course. It currently hosts several NASCAR events per season, and the annual Fall NASCAR weekend, which includes events from four different NASCAR classes, is a huge event. After thirty years of hosting various events, especially NHRA drag racing events, Firebird International Raceway (FIR) closed operations in 2013, but the NHRA re-opened the venue to NHRA events in 2014 under the new name, "Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park".The city is also host to several major professional golf events, including the LPGA's Founder's Cup and, since 1932, The Phoenix Open of the PGA.
The Phoenix Marathon is a new addition to the city's sports scene, and is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series has held an event in Phoenix every January since 2004. Phoenix is also home to a soccer club, Phoenix Rising FC.
Parks and recreation
Phoenix is home to a large number of parks and recreation areas. The city of Phoenix includes national parks, county (Maricopa County) parks and city parks. Tonto National Forest forms part of the northeast boundary of the city, while the county has the largest park system in the country. The city park system was established to preserve the desert landscape in areas that would otherwise have succumbed to development and includes South Mountain Park, the world's largest municipal park with 16,500 acres (67 km2). The city park system has 182 parks which contain over 41,900 acres (16,956 ha), making it the largest municipal park system in the country. The park system has facilities for hiking, camping, swimming, horseback riding, cycling, and climbing. Some of the other notable parks in the system are Camelback Mountain, Encanto Park (another large urban park) and Sunnyslope Mountain, also known as "S" Mountain. Papago Park in east Phoenix is home to both the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo, in addition to several golf courses and the Hole-in-the-Rock geological formation. The Desert Botanical Garden, which opened in 1939, is one of the few public gardens in the country dedicated to desert plants, and displays desert plant life from all over the world. The Phoenix Zoo is the largest privately owned non-profit zoo in the United States and is internationally known for its programs devoted to saving endangered species.
In 1913, Phoenix adopted a new form of government, switching from the mayor-council system to the council-manager system, making it one of the first cities in the United States with this form of city government, where a city manager supervises all city departments and executes the policies adopted by the Council. Today, Phoenix represents the largest municipal government of this type in the country.The city council consists of a mayor and eight city council members. While the mayor is elected in a citywide election, Phoenix City Council members are elected by votes only in the districts they represent, with both the Mayor and the Council members serving four-year terms. The current mayor of Phoenix is Thelda Williams, a Councilwoman from District One in office on an interim basis. Thelda Williams replaced Greg Stanton, a Democrat who resigned on May 29, 2018 to run for congress. The mayor and city council members each have equal voting power in regards to setting city policy and passing rules and regulations. The city's website was given a Sunny Award by Sunshine Review for its transparency efforts.
State government facilities
As the capital of Arizona, Phoenix houses the state legislature, along with numerous state government agencies, many of which are located in the State Capitol district immediately west of downtown. The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections operates the Adobe Mountain and Black Canyon Schools in Phoenix. Another major state government facility is the Arizona State Hospital, operated by the Arizona Department of Health Services. This is a mental health center and is the only medical facility run by the state government. The headquarters of numerous Arizona state government agencies are in Phoenix, with many located in the State Capitol district.
Federal government facilities
The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Phoenix, which is within the city limits, near its northern boundary.The Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse, the U.S. District Court of Arizona, is located on Washington Street downtown. It is named in honor of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was raised in Arizona.The Federal Building is at the intersection of Van Buren Street and First Avenue downtown. It contains various federal field offices and the local division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. This building formerly housed the U.S. District Court offices and courtrooms, but these were moved in 2001 to the new Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse. Before the construction of this building in 1961, federal government offices were housed in the historic U.S. Post Office on Central Avenue, completed in the 1930s.
By the 1960s crime was becoming a significant problem in Phoenix, and by the 1970s crime continued to increase in the city at a faster rate than almost anywhere else in the country. It was during this time frame when an incident occurred in Phoenix which would have national implications. On March 16, 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested and charged with rape. The subsequent Supreme Court ruling on June 13, 1966, Miranda v. Arizona, has led to practice in the United States of issuing a Miranda Warning to all suspected criminals.With Phoenix's rapid growth, one of the prime areas of criminal activity was land fraud. The practice became so widespread that newspapers would refer to Phoenix as the Tainted Desert. These land frauds led to one of the more infamous murders in the history of the valley, when Arizona Republic writer Don Bolles was murdered by a car bomb in 1976. It was believed that his investigative reporting on organized crime and land fraud in Phoenix made him a target.
Bolles was the only reporter from a major U.S. newspaper to be murdered on U.S. soil due to his coverage of a story. Max Dunlap was convicted of first-degree murder in the case.Street gangs and the drug trade had turned into public safety issues by the 1980s, and the crime rate in Phoenix continued to grow.
After seeing a peak in the early and mid-1990s, the city has seen a general decrease in crime rates. The Maricopa County Jail system is the fourth-largest in the country. The violent crime rate peaked in 1993 at 1146 crimes per 100,000 people, while the property crime rate peaked a few years earlier, in 1989, at 9,966 crimes per 100,000.In the most recent numbers from the FBI (2012), those rates currently stand at 637 and 4091, respectively. Since their peak in 2003, murders have dropped from 241 to 114 in 2014.In 2001 and 2002 Phoenix ranked first in the nation in vehicle thefts, with over 22,000 and 25,000 cars stolen each year respectively. It has declined every year since then, eventually falling to 7,200 in 2014, a drop of almost 70% during that timeframe. The Phoenix MSA has dropped to 70th in the nation in terms of car thefts in 2012.As the first decade of the new century came to a close, Arizona had become the gateway to the U.S. for drug trafficking. Another crime issue related to the drug trade are kidnappings. In the late 2000s, Phoenix earned the title "Kidnapping capital of the USA". The majority of the kidnapped are believed to be victims of human smuggling, or related to illegal drug trade, while the kidnappers are believed to be part of Mexican drug cartels.
Public education in the Phoenix area is provided by 33 school districts. There are 21 elementary school districts, which contain over 215 elementary schools, and they are paired with 4 high school districts, which have 31 high schools serving Phoenix. Three of the high school districts (Glendale Union, Tempe Union and Tolleson Union) only partially serve Phoenix. With over 27,000 students, and spread over 220 square miles, The Phoenix Union High School District is one of the largest high school districts in the country, containing 16 schools and nearly 3,000 employees. In addition, there are 4 unified districts, which cover grades K-12, which add an additional 58 elementary schools and 4 high schools to Phoenix's educational system. Of those four, only the Paradise Valley district completely serves Phoenix. Phoenix is also served by an expanding number of charter schools, with well over 100 operating in the city.
Arizona State University is the largest institution of higher education in the region. Its main campus is in Tempe. ASU also has campuses in northwest Phoenix (ASU West Campus), downtown Phoenix (ASU Downtown Campus), Mesa (ASU Polytechnic Campus), and Glendale (Thunderbird School of Global Management). ASU is one of the largest public universities in the U.S., with a 2012 student enrollment of 72,254.
An independent, LCME accredited, four-year medical school of the University of Arizona College of Medicine is located near ASU's downtown Phoenix campus. There is also a small satellite Phoenix Biomedical Campus for Northern Arizona University (based in Flagstaff).The Maricopa County Community College District includes ten community colleges and two skills centers throughout Maricopa County, providing adult education and job training. Phoenix College, part of the district, was founded in 1920 and is the oldest community college in Arizona and one of the oldest in the country.
The city is also home to numerous other institutions of higher learning. Notable institutions include: Barrow Neurological Institute, the world's largest neurological disease treatment and research institution; Grand Canyon University, a private Christian university initially founded in 1949 as a non-profit school, it now operates as a for-profit institution; the University of Phoenix is the nation's largest for-profit university with over 300,000 students at campuses throughout North America, as well as online; and the Arizona Summit Law School, a private, for-profit law school located in downtown Phoenix.
The first newspaper in Phoenix was the weekly Salt River Valley Herald, established in 1878, which would change its name the following year to the Phoenix Herald. The paper would go through several additional name changes in its early years before finally settling on the Phoenix Herald, which still exists today in an on-line form. Today, the city is served by one major daily newspaper: The Arizona Republic, which along with its online entity, azcentral.com, serves the greater metropolitan area. The Jewish News of Greater Phoenix is an independent weekly newspaper established in 1948. In addition, the city is also served by numerous free neighborhood papers and alternative weeklies such as the Phoenix New Times' the East Valley Tribune, which primarily serves the cities of the East Valley; and Arizona State University's The State Press.The Phoenix metro area is served by many local television stations and is the largest designated market area (DMA) in the Southwest, and the 12th largest in the U.S., with over 1.8 million homes (1.6% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are KNXV 15 (ABC), KPHO 5 (CBS), KPNX 12 (NBC), KSAZ 10 (Fox), KASW 61 (The CW), KUTP 45 (MyNetworkTV), and KAET 8 (PBS, operated by Arizona State University). Other network television affiliates operating in the area include KPAZ 21 (TBN),
KTVW-DT 33 (Univision), KFPH-DT (UniMás), KTAZ 39 (Telemundo), KDPH 48 (Daystar), and KPPX-TV 51 (ION). KTVK 3 (3TV) and KAZT 7 (AZ-TV) are independent television stations operating in the metro area. KSAZ-TV, KUTP, KPAZ-TV, KTVW-DT, KFPH-DT, KTAZ, KDPH-LP, and KPPX-TV are network owned-and-operated stations.
Many major feature films and television programs have been filmed in the city. From the opening sequences in Psycho, to the night attack by the aliens in 1953's The War of the Worlds, to freeway scenes in Little Miss Sunshine, Phoenix has been the location for numerous major feature films. Other notable pictures filmed at least partially in Phoenix include Raising Arizona, A Home at the End of the World, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Days of Thunder, The Gauntlet, The Grifters, Waiting to Exhale and Bus Stop.The radio airwaves in Phoenix cater to a wide variety of musical and talk radio interests. Stations include classic rock formats of KOOL-FM and KSLX-FM, to pop stations like KYOT and alternative stations like KDKB-FM, to the talk radio of KFYI-AM and KKNT-AM, the pop and top 40 programming of KZZP-FM and KALV-FM, and the country sounds of KMLE-FM. With its large Hispanic population there are numerous Spanish stations, such as KHOT-FM and KOMR-FM.
Phoenix is served by Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX, ICAO: KPHX), one of the ten busiest airports in the United States, serving over 110,000 people on over 1000 flights per day. The airport is centrally located in the metro area near several major freeway interchanges east of downtown Phoenix. The airport serves more than 100 cities with non-stop flights.Air Canada, British Airways, Condor, Volaris, and WestJet are among several international carriers as well as American carrier American Airlines (which maintains a hub at the airport) providing flights to destinations such as Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and London. Domestically, in addition to American, other carriers include Alaska Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, and United.The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA, ICAO: KIWA) in neighboring Mesa also serves the area's commercial air traffic. It was converted from Williams Air Force Base, which closed in 1993. The airport has recently received substantial commercial service with Allegiant Air opening a hub operation at the airport with non-stop service to over a dozen destinations.Smaller airports that primarily handle private and corporate jets include Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, located in the Deer Valley district of north Phoenix, and Scottsdale Airport, located just east of the Phoenix/Scottsdale border. There are also other municipal airports including Glendale Municipal Airport, Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, and Phoenix Goodyear Airport.
Rail and bus
Amtrak served Phoenix Union Station until 1996 when the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) threatened to abandon the route between Yuma, Arizona and Phoenix. Amtrak rerouted trains to Maricopa, 30 miles (48 km) south of downtown Phoenix, where passengers can board the Texas Eagle (Los Angeles-San Antonio-Chicago) and Sunset Limited (Los Angeles-New Orleans). Though UP ultimately retained the trackage, Amtrak did not return, although the station remains.
Amtrak Thruway buses connect Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Flagstaff for connection with the Los Angeles-Chicago Southwest Chief. Phoenix is also served by Greyhound bus service, which stops at 24th Street near the airport.
Valley Metro provides public transportation throughout the metropolitan area, with its trains, buses, and a ride-share program. 3.38% of workers commute by public transit. Valley Metro's 20-mile (32 km) light rail project, called Valley Metro Rail, through north-central Phoenix, downtown, and eastward through Tempe and Mesa, opened December 27, 2008. Future rail segments of more than 30 miles (48 km) are planned to open by 2030.
Roads and freeways
Phoenix auto traffic depends on both freeways and surface streets. Freeways fall under the auspices of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Phoenix ranks first in the nation in the quality of its urban freeways, and the state as a whole ranks first in the nation in the quality of bridges. While being the fifth most populous city in the nation, Phoenix's freeways do not suffer from the same type of congestion seen in other large cities. In fact, in a recent study, there is not a single stretch of freeway in Phoenix ranked in the 100 worst freeways for either congestion or unreliability.
Part of the reason for this is the extensive freeway system in the city, due to the majority of that system being funded by local, rather than federal funds, through a half-cent general sales tax measure approved by voters in 1985. Another offshoot of this local funding is that Phoenix is the largest city in the United States to have two Interstate Highways but no three-digit interstates.As of 2005, the metropolitan area of Phoenix contains one of the nation's largest and fastest growing freeway systems, consisting of over 1,405 lane miles (2,261 lane km). The freeway system is a mix of Interstate, U.S., and state highways which include Interstate 10, Interstate 17, US 60, Loop 101, Loop 202, SR 51, SR 143, and Loop 303. There are still major additions to routes 101, 202 and 303 underway, as well as several other smaller projects around the valley. State Routes 87, 85, and 74 connect Phoenix with other areas of the Valley and Arizona.The street system in Phoenix (and some of its suburbs) is laid out in a grid system, with most roads oriented either north-south or east-west, and the zero point of the grid being the intersection of Central Avenue and Washington Street. The one notable exception to this is the diagonal Grand Avenue, which runs northwest-southeast. The original plan was for the east-west streets to be named after U.S. Presidents, with the north-south streets named after Native Americans; but the north-south streets were quickly changed to numbers, with numbered Avenues running to the west of Central, and numbered Streets to its east. Major arterial streets are spaced one mile (1.6 km) apart, divided into smaller blocks approximately every 1⁄8 mile (200 m). For example, Scottsdale Road, being the 7200 block east, lies nine miles (14 km) to the east of Central Avenue (72 / 8).Freeways and state highways in Phoenix:
Alternate forms of transportation
The Maricopa Association of Governments has a bicycle advisory committee working to improve conditions for bicycling on city streets and off-road paths. Bicycling Magazine ranked Phoenix the 15th most bicycle friendly city of 50 cities in the United States with a population greater than 100,000.
Being located in the desert, Phoenix relies on a water supply delivered to the city via a system of canals which divert water from the region's rivers and lakes, with the largest portion of the city's water coming from the Colorado River through the Central Arizona Project's canal. The city's electrical needs are served primarily by Arizona Public Service, although some customers receive their electricity from the Salt River Project (SRP). The main sources of electrical generation are nuclear, and coal power plants. Arizona is home to the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, the largest nuclear-generating facility in the United States. SRP is also the largest water provider in Phoenix.
In 2011 (the last year for which information is available), Phoenix had a slightly younger population than the country as a whole. While the United States had 13.3% of its population over the age of 65, Phoenix's percentage stood significantly lower, at 8.1%. Phoenix's percentage of 18.8% in the next age group, 45–64 was also a great deal lower than the national average of 26.6%. This results in 73% of Phoenix's population being 44 or younger, as compared to the national percentage of 60.In 2010 (the last year for nationally reported figures), Phoenix was at or below national levels for most reportable diseases, with the exception of both hepatitis A and B, where they were slightly over the national average (0.8 and 1.8 to 0.5 and 1.1%, respectively).
In most major categories, Phoenix had a lower incidence of death than the rest of the nation. Only deaths due to Alzheimer's (29.7 to 27.2 deaths per 100,000) and pre-natal conditions (5.3 to 3.8 deaths per 100,000) were slightly above the national average. Deaths due to HIV and liver disease were exactly at the national average of 2.5 and 10.8 respectively. However, in several major categories, Phoenix had significantly lower indices of death: deaths by cancer stood at only 57% (106) of the national average of 184.6 deaths per 100,000; deaths due to heart disease, 56.1% of the national rate of 249.8 per 100,000. Cancer and heart disease were the two top causes of death in the country.Low-weight births (7.5%) were below the national average of 8.1%, yet infant mortality (7.2%) was higher than the rest of the U.S. (6.1%). Births to teen mothers were significantly higher than the rest of the country, sitting at 12.2% as compared to 8.4% nationally.The Phoenix metropolitan area is serviced by 56 hospitals and medical centers. The Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota. Phoenix is one of two other locations with Mayo Clinics (the other being Jacksonville, Florida). It is the first and largest integrated not-for-profit medical group practice in the world; Mayo Clinic has been near or at the top of the U.S. News & World Report List of "Best Hospitals" for more than 20 years. St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is part of Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West), one of the largest healthcare systems in the western United States. St. Joseph's is a not-for-profit hospital with special advocacy for the poor and underserved. John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital is a general medical and surgical hospital, which performed nearly at the level of nationally ranked U.S. News Best Hospitals in 4 adult specialties. The Phoenix Children's Hospital is nationally ranked in 5 pediatric specialties according to U.S. News & World Report. It is a 425-bed children's teaching hospital. Arizona Heart Institute, opened in 1971, is known internationally as one of the first freestanding outpatient clinics dedicated exclusively to cardiovascular health. Banner Health is a non-profit health system in the United States, based in Phoenix. It operates 23 hospitals as well as specialized facilities. The health system is the 2nd largest employer in Arizona, behind Walmart, employing more than 35,000. Banner Health was created in 1999 through a merger of Lutheran Health Systems, based in North Dakota, and Samaritan Health System, based in Phoenix. Of the top 10 rated hospitals in the city (top 12 in the state), 4 are Banner hospitals. Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is the world's largest dedicated neurosurgical center and a leader in neurosurgical training, research, and patient care. More operative neurosurgical procedures take place at BNI than at any other institution in the United States.
With the creation of the Phoenix Sister Cities (PSC) organization in 1972, Phoenix became a member of the international Sister City movement. It would take the organization several years to become official, not filing for Articles of Incorporation until 1975, and not entering into their first Sister City agreement until 1976, with Hermosillo, Mexico. The organization's mission statement states their purpose is to "create people-to-people relationships between the residents of Phoenix and its sister cities through commercial, educational, cultural and artistic exchange programs and events that create and sustain global, long-term, international partnerships and business opportunities for the citizens of Phoenix." Phoenix has ten sister cities, as designated by the Phoenix Sister Cities Commission and Sister Cities International, shown in the table below. Phoenix and Prague have shared a Capital Cities relationship since May 1991, which was expanded to Sister City Status in 2013.
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. The area is being revived, 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).
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, but never unpleasant due to low humidity. 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.
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.
1 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX IATA), ☎ +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, Boutique Air
Terminal 3: Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue
Terminal 4: Aeroméxico, Air Canada, American, British Airways, Condor, Southwest, Volaris, WestJet
To get to/from the airport:
Valley Metro #13 goes west to S 75th Ave along S Buckeye (via Greyhound depot) from Terminal 2.
The free PHX skytrain goes from Terminal 3/4 to 44th & Washington St Station where you can catch the #1 (west to the downtown Central Station or east to Priest & Washington in Tempe); #44 bus (north to the Desert Ridge Marriott Resort in Deer Valley along N 44th St & Tatum); or the light rail (east to Tempe & Mesa or west to Midtown and northern Phoenix along Central Ave).
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA IATA) +1 480 988-7600 is east of Phoenix, in neighboring Mesa. It is served by Allegiant Air and Westjet (flying from Canada). This is a smaller-sized airport, but is being redeveloped into a major regional airport.
2 Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT IATA) (15 mi (24 km) north of downtown), ☎ +1 623 869-0975. is the busiest general aviation airport in the U.S. The FBO Cutter Aviation provides aviation fuel and a variety of guest services.
There are more than 20 airports in total located within 50 nautical miles of Phoenix, AZ. The aforementioned Deer Valley Airport is the busiest private airport in Arizona and one of the most important business jet hubs west of the Mississippi. Air charter companies including Valley Jet and Phoenix Jet Charter offer access to private planes based at any of the airports in the Phoenix-area, with planes ranging from luxury jets to cost-effective single & twin engine planes. Other private aviation airports include:
Scottsdale Airport (SCF IATA; FAA LID: SDL), around 20 mi (32 km) north in Scottsdale, AZ via US 51. It's one of the busiest single-runway airports in the United States, and Signature Flight Support and Ross Aviation operate the two private terminals.
Glendale Municipal Airport (FAA LID: GEU), just west of the AZ-101 Loop and south of W Northern Ave, around 7 mi (11 km) west of Glendale’s central business district in Maricopa County, AZ. Categorized as a general aviation reliever airport and able to accommodate most size aircraft.
Phoenix Goodyear Airport (GYR IATA, formerly known as Goodyear Municipal Airport), to the southwest in Goodyear, AZ, just south of I-10 and just west of the Agua Fria River. The airport is not served by any airlines, and is home to several aircraft maintenance and commercial pilot training companies. Lux Air operates the airport's only FBO.
Falcon Field (MSC IATA; FAA LID: FFZ), due east of Phoenix off the Red Mountain Freeway in Maricopa County, just 6 mi (9.7 km) northeast of Mesa, AZ, who owns and operates the airport. Falcon Field is home to the CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, the world's largest flight school, and Boeing operates an AH-64 Apache helicopter factory adjacent to the airport.
Chandler Municipal Airport (FAA LID: CHD), just under 30 mi (48 km) southeast of Phoenix via I-10S and AZ-202 Loop E (Santan Freeway) in Chandler, AZ. There are no airlines operating at CHD, and it is one of the 50 busiest general aviation airports in the United States, even though it's runway limits operations to smaller aircraft and light business jets.
Buckeye Municipal Airport (BXK IATA), 38 mi (61 km) west of Phoenix via I-10 E in the city of Buckeye, AZ. There are no commercial services at this airport, which is categorized by the FAA as a general aviation facility.
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. Therefore the nearest station is 35 mi (56 km) south of Phoenix in the town of Maricopa and is connected to Phoenix, Tempe and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport by an Amtrak Thruway Shuttle (operated by Stagecoach Express) or by taxi. Maricopa is served by the Sunset Limited which runs three times a week between New Orleans and Los Angeles. Additionally, Amtrak's Texas Eagle service between San Antonio and Chicago incorporates the Sunset Limited to provide a direct connection to Los Angeles with the same stops as the Sunset Limited between San Antonio and Los Angeles. Both trains stop in Benson, Tucson, Maricopa and Yuma.
Alternatives: disembark at Flagstaff instead and take a Greyhound bus into Phoenix from there or 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. The Southwest Chief runs through Flagstaff on its way between Chicago and Los Angeles with stops in Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams and Kingman. For much of its route, the Southwest Chief follows historic Route 66, and offers an interesting perspective of the historic road and its surroundings.
There are 3 main routes that enter through Phoenix: Interstate 17, Interstate 10, and US-60, also known as the Phoenix-Wickenburg Highway. These routes are the best for being able to move and get around the city. If getting there, these are also ideal for travelling. In Downtown Phoenix, I-10, and I-17 can be congested with traffic, but, normally these are the fastest routes for getting to and going from Phoenix.
There are multiple long distance bus lines and van shuttles serving Phoenix from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, El Paso, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, Yuma & Nogales in the U.S. and from Nogales, Hermosillo, Puerto Peñasco and Culiacán in Mexico. Each company has a stop or their own bus station in different parts of town that are far from each other. The bus stations and stops in the neighborhoods northwest of the I-17/I-10 junction, northwest of the downtown core, are in rough neighborhoods.
Arizona Shuttle, toll-free: +1-800-888-2749. Regularly scheduled shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor (Airport) to Tucson, Prescott, Sedona & Flagstaff
3 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.), ☎ +1 602 254-4101. Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles & El Paso on one route and up to Las Vegas on another route.
Flixbus, (bus stop) 44th St Sky Train Station by airport (At the 44th Street PHX Sky Train Station, the bus will board at the west end of the bus loading zone (which is located on the north side of the 44th Street Station). NOT the light rail station.). They also have an additional "north Phoenix" stop in front of the High & Rye Restaurant at 5310 E High St and another one in Tempe
4 Greyhound Lines, Autobus Americanos & 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. They also have an additional terminal on 2647 W Glendale Ave, NW of the I-17 / W Glendale interchange and another in Mesa.), ☎ +1 602 389-4200, toll-free: +1-800-231-2222. Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 10 (Los Angles-Phoenix-Tuscon-El Paso); I-17 (Phoenix-Sedona-Flagstaff) Some of their schedules continue east on I-40 towards Oklahoma City whiles others go west towards Las Vegas from Flagstaff; 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.
5 Hoang Express, (Bus stop) Lams Supermarket @ 6740 W Indian School Rd (NW of the intersection of N 67th Ave & W Indian School Rd), ☎ +1 714 839-3500, +1 408 729-7885, toll-free: +1 888 834-9336. Travels between SoCal (San Diego, El Monte, Los Angeles, Westminster) and Arizona (Phoenix, Chandler and Tempe). They also have an additional stop at the COFOC Chinese Center on 668 N 44th St.
6 Transportes Baldomero Corral (TBC), (Bus stop) 3106 W Thomas Rd, ☎ +1 602 258-2445. Goes down to Hermosillo via Tucson and Nogales.
7 TAP Royal, (Bus depot) 2707 W McDowell Rd (SW corner of W McDowell Rd & N 27th Ave), ☎ +1 602 272-3030. They also have an additional stop at La Salsita Restaurant at 2345 E Van Buren. Offers bus service between California, Arizona and Las Vegas NV in the U.S. and along the Hwy 15 corridor towards Guadalajara through several cities/towns in Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco in Mexico. Additional stops in Tucson and Nogales between Phoenix and the US/Mexican border.
8 Transportes Express, (Office) 131 N 28th Ave (South of N 28th Ave & W McDowell St, behind Rulis Polarizados Window Tint shop.), ☎ +1 602 442-6670. Runs van shuttles from Phoenix to Nogales via Tucson; Calexico; San Luis and Yuma; Puerto Peñasco or Caborca through Lukeville/Sonoyta; and Douglas/Agua Prieta on separate routes.
9 Transportes Nenas, (Shuttle Depot) 3521 W McDowell St (next to La Reyna Bakery along W McDowell between N 35th & 36th.), ☎ +1 602 442-6802. Runs van shuttles between Phoenix and Rocky Point in Puerto Peñasco via Lukeville and Sonoyta.
10 TUFESA, (Bus depot) 1614 N 27th Ave (NW corner of W McDowell Rd & N 27th Ave), ☎ +1 602 415-9900. 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.
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. 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.
A single ride on a non-express bus or the light rail is $2.
1-day passes are $4 from machines, but $6 on board buses.
The DASH is a free bus that runs M-F 6:30AM-6:30PM between downtown and the state capitol stopping at various government buildings such as city hall.
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.
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. 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
1 Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy (in Papago Park, near the Phoenix Zoo.), ☎ +1 480 941-1225. 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.
2 Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N 3rd Ave, ☎ +1 602 256-3204. Tu-Su 10AM-3PM. Japanese-style garden with koi pond and tea house. Closed in the summer due to heat. Adults $5, student/senior/military $3, under 12 free.
3 Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve, 3711 W Deer Valley Rd., ☎ +1 623 582-8007. 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.
4 Arizona Science Center, 600 E Washington St, ☎ +1 602 716-2000. 10AM-5PM. This center features 350 permanent hands-on exhibits and regularly hosts nationally acclaimed traveling exhibits. Also features a 5-story IMAX theater and Planetarium.
5 Heard Museum, 2301 N Central Ave (Btwn E Monte Vista Rd & E Hoover Ave.), ☎ +1 602 252-8848. M-Sa 9:30AM to 5PM, Su 11AM-5PM. 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.
6 Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, ☎ +1 602 257-1222. 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.
7 Arizona State Capitol Museum (Arizona Capitol Museum), 1700 W Washington St, ☎ +1 602-926-3620. 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.
8 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.
9 Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Blvd (Near AZ-51 and AZ-101 intersection), ☎ +1 480 478-6000. M-W Sa 9AM-5PM; Th F 9AM-9PM; Sa 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.
10 Phoenix Police Museum, 200 W Jefferson St (NE corner of 2nd Ave and Jefferson), ☎ +1 602-534-7278. 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.
11 Children's Museum of Phoenix, 215 N 7th St, ☎ +1 602 253-0501. Tu-Su 9AM-4PM. Third best children's museum in the country.
Hall Of Flame Fire Museum (National Firefighting Hall of Heroes), 6101 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602-275-FIRE (3473). M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su Noon-4PM. Almost an acre of fire history exhibits, with over 90 fully restored pieces of fire apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969. $7/adult, $6/concession, $2/child, children under 3 are free.
Wells Fargo Museum, 145 W Adams St (Wells Fargo Plaza), ☎ +1 602 378-1852. M-F Noon-4PM. Closed bank holidays. Free.
12 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), ☎ +1 602 495-0901. 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 in the shadow of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This ruin 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, seniors (55+) $5, children (6-17) $3, children (under 6): Free.
13 Orpheum Theatre, 203 W Adams St, ☎ +1 602 262-6225. 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.
14 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.
15 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), ☎ +1 623 465-1052. A historically accurate recreation of an 1800s frontier town 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.
16 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.
17 Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E Telawa Trl (bus 70 from downtown), ☎ +1 602 955-4079. Tours Tu-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.
18 Tovrea Castle, 5025 E Van Buren St (eastern Phoenix, near airport), ☎ +1 602 256-3221. 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. The park shows over 5,000 cacti in over 100 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.
19 Rosson House Museum, 113 N 6th St (Heritage and Science Park), ☎ +1 602 262-5070. 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.
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.
2 Enchanted Island Amusement Park.
Cityscape, One East Washington, ☎ +1 480-947-7772. 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, ☎ +1 602-595-9187. M-Th 5PM-midnight; F 5PM-2AM; Sa 1PM-2AM; Su 1PM-midnight. 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. Sa 8AM-noon; Th 5PM-9PM. Farmers market open year round offering fresh produce, prepared food and food trucks.
The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St, ☎ +1 602 795-0464. 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: +1-877-771-0776. Scenic hot air balloon rides daily in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Arizona Grand Spa, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ +1 602 431-6484. 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.
3 Camelback Mountain (E McDonald Dr at Tatum Blvd), ☎ +1 602 256-3220. 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.
4 Piestewa Peak, 2701 E Squaw Peak Ln or 2421 E Northern Ave, ☎ +1 602 262-7901. 5AM-10PM (Dreamy Draw Park), 11PM (Phoenix Mountains Park). 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 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.
5 North Mountain, 7th St north of Peoria Ave (Entrance on 7th St, north of Peoria Ave and south of Thunderbird Rd), ☎ +1 602 262-7901. 5AM to 7PM. Picnic areas, hiking trails, excellent view of the city from above. An oasis of desert inside the city limits. free.
6 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.
7 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), ☎ +1 623 582-8313. 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.
8 Arizona Grand Golf Course, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ +1 602 431-6480. 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.
9 Arizona Biltmore Golf Course.
10 Phoenix Symphony, 455 N 3rd St, ☎ +1 602 495-1999. The city's classical and pops orchestra, presenting a 25-week season of concerts.
Arizona Opera, 4600 N 12th St, ☎ +1 602 266-7464. Presenting a season of five grand opera productions, with emphasis on Verdi, Puccini, and Mozart.
11 Arizona Theatre Company. Professional theater in downtown Phoenix's Herberger theater complex.
Mesa Arts Center, 1 E Main St, Mesa, ☎ +1 480 644-6500. Contemporary art displays and studios. Home of the Southwest Shakespeare Company and the Mesa Symphony Orchestra.
12 Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Ave (Corner of McDowell and Central Ave), ☎ +1 602-889-5286. 10AM - 5PM. Professional theatre in an intimate setting. New Works Festival in July. $62.
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.
13 Arizona Diamondbacks, 7th St and Jefferson, ☎ +1 602 514-8400. Take in a baseball game at the unique Chase Field (often called "The BOB", from its former name of Bank One Ballpark). 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.
14 Phoenix Suns, 201 E Jefferson St (Take light rail to 3rd Street/Washington or 3rd Street/Jefferson station), toll-free: +1-800-4NBA-TIX (622-849). Very popular NBA team featuring players such as Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. The Suns play at Talking Stick Resort Arena which is near a light rail station. Tickets start at $25.
The Arizona Cardinals of the NFL, and the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL, play in neighboring Glendale.
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, ☎ +1 480 727-0000, toll-free: +1-888-786-3857, e-mail: [email protected] M–F 9AM-5PM. 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.
15 Grand Canyon Antelopes, GCU Arena, 330 W Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 639-8979, toll-free: +1-877-552-7362. The teams representing Grand Canyon University, competing in the Western Athletic Conference. The Antelopes, who don't have a football team, have now completed a transition to NCAA Division I sports. As with ASU, most of GCU's athletic facilities are on campus. In the last year or so, the GCU student section, known as the Havocs, has developed a reputation as one of the loudest and most energetic in American college sports.
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. 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. 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. (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. 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, State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ 99th Ave/Maryland. One of the 4 big college football bowls. Played at the $430m State Farm 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]). Noon-dark. Phoenix Open Golf tournament in Feb draws a lot of big-name players. 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, ☎ +1 623 478-3050. Annual cultural festival taking place in September.
16 Carnival of Illusion (Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La), 2400 E. Missouri Ave. (Arizona Biltmore Resort), ☎ +1 480-359-7469. Fris and Sats at 4:30PM and 7:30PM. National recipients for "Excellence in Magic" Roland Sarlot and Susan Eyed present a Vaudeville-inspired illusion show. Carnival of Illusion is the longest running Arizona theater show in history.
Arizona State University. In the eastern suburb of Tempe, with three branch campuses around the Phoenix metro area, ASU is one of the largest public universities in the U.S. and is noted for its engineering, business, music, and creative writing programs.
Maricopa Community Colleges. Largest system of community colleges in the United States, with 10 campuses in the metro Maricopa County area; numerous community and adult education programs.
Phoenix School of Law. Law school with relatively open admissions policy.
Thunderbird School of Global Management. World famous for being the first and oldest graduate school specializing in international management and global business. Ranked #1 in the world in its field.
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.
1 Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, 8034 N 19th Ave, ☎ +1 602-433-0255. Daily 9AM-10PM. This Tucson-based used bookstore chain also carries used CDs, DVDs, video games, etc. There is an electric vehicle charging station and free Wi-Fi, and pets are welcome in the store.
Lawn Gnome Publishing, 905. N Fifth St, ☎ +1 602-682-5825. M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su noon-6PM. Used bookstore that specializes in zines in a building from the 1930s 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. Across the street from Lost Leaf bar.
Hidden Track Bottle Shop, 111 West Monroe Street, Suite 120, ☎ +1 602 566-7932. M-Sa noon-7PM. 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).
2 Metrocenter, 9617 N Metro Pkwy W (West of I-17 between W Peoria and W Dunlap). Su noon-6PM; M-W noon-7:30PM; Th-Sa noon-9PM. Retail power center along the I-17 corridor: over 100 stores and restaurants in and around the mall. Anchor stores include a Harkins 12-screen cinema, Sears, and Dillard's. Many smaller retailers and casual dining restaurants are also in the shopping center and the surrounding areas particularly in the northern end of the mall grounds towards W Peoria. There is also a Radisson Hotel in one of the free standing buildings on the north end of the mall grounds too. The mall served as the filming location for the fictional San Dimas Mall in Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure (1989) where the historic characters brought forward in time, ran loose only to cause mayhem and gotten into trouble. It has since been renovated and no longer looks as it did in the film.
The Shops at Norterra. A major retail power center is on 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.
3 Town & Country Shopping Center, 20th St and Camelback Rd. To the west of Biltmore Fashion Square is a mall that has been revamped and in conjunction with the Colonnade, Camelback Center serve as a bustling shopping area for the Camelback corridor. With many shopping and dinning options for both deep pockets and value seekers, nearby hotels, condos, and apartments the area has become an uptown destination or at least the beginning of your night.
4 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.
5 Arizona Hiking Shack, 3244 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, ☎ +1 602 944-7723. Long-running store with clothing, supplies and gear for hiking, camping, climbing and other outdoor activities.
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, ☎ +1 602 955-4137. 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), ☎ +1 602 375-3639. 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.
1 Fry Bread House, 1003 E Indian School Rd, ☎ +1 602-351-2345. 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.
2 Green Restaurant, 2022 N 7th St, ☎ +1 602 258-1870. M-Sa 11AM-9PM. Reputed vegan restaurant. PETA named the secret BBQ Chicken sandwich as the best faux chicken sandwich in the USA.
3 Matt's Big Breakfast, 825 N 1st St, ☎ +1 602 254-1074. Tu-Su 6:30AM-2:30PM. Very popular breakfast restaurant in downtown Phoenix.
Modern Tortilla, ☎ +1 602 526-5493, e-mail: [email protected] Food truck which turns up at various random events and locations (a calendar is posted on their website). Street tacos, burritos, quesadillas: a mix of southwest culinary roots with classical training.
Tee Pee Mexican Food, 4144 E Indian School Rd, ☎ +1 602 956-0178. 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, ☎ +1 602 253-7337. Alice Cooper themed sports bar with rock music and plenty of merchandise. $10.
Aunt Chilada's Squaw Peak, 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive, ☎ +1 602 944-1286. 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.
4 Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe, 914 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 248-9090. 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), ☎ +1 602 522-2288. 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, ☎ +1 602-866-3823. 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.
5 Garcia's Las Avenidas, 2212 N 35th Ave (near intersection of 35th Ave & Encanto Blvd), ☎ +1 602 272-5584. 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), ☎ +1 602 381-3159. M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM. Local Italian restaurant 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), ☎ +1 602 840-7777. 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, ☎ +1 602 243-9113. 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, ☎ +1 602 253-0118. Sports grill and lounge owned by former pro basketball player Dan Majerle.
6 Nobuo at Teeter House, 622 E Adams St, ☎ +1 602 254-0600. Tu-Su 11AM-4PM and 5:30PM. 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, ☎ +1 602 248-2480. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM. 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, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 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), ☎ +1 602 955-7482. 10:30AM-10PM daily. Offers a selection not only of pitas, but also of other Mediterranean inspired meals in a sit down environment.
7 Pizzeria Bianco, 623 E Adams St (SW Corner Heritage Sq, 7thSt/Monroe), ☎ +1 602 258-8300. 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 (F Sa 6:30-8PM). $.
8 Postino on Central, 5144 N Central Ave, ☎ +1 602 274-5144. 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), ☎ +1 602 248-STAR (7827). 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), ☎ +1 602 955-4658. 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), ☎ +1 602 850-8585. 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.
9 Hula's Modern Tiki, 4700 N Central Ave # 122, Phoenix, AZ 85012, ☎ +1 602 265-8454. Great island-inspired food and drinks.
10 Joyride Taco House, 5202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012, ☎ +1 602 274-8226. Eatery offering elevated Mexican street eats, drinks & patio seating in a hip, colorful setting.
The Breadfruit, 108 E Pierce St, ☎ +1 602-267-1266. M-Th 5PM-10PM, F Sa 5PM-11PM for food (midnight for drinks). Serving Jamaican food for dinner and also has a rum bar.
Donovan's Steakhouse Restaurant, 3101 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 955-3666. Wine & cocktails at 4PM daily, dinner 5PM. Upscale steakhouse serving high grade steaks with high grade service. Complementary valet parking provided.
11 Durant's, 2611 North Central Ave (On east side of Central at Virginia Ave), ☎ +1 602-264-5967. 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), ☎ +1 480 948-5170. Daily 5PM-close; Sunday brunch 9AM-3PM. 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), ☎ +1 602 277-1151. 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. $$$.
Rustler's Rooste, 8383 South 48th St, ☎ +1 602 431-6474. Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F Sa 5PM-10PM. A steakhouse adjacent to Arizona Grand Resort, it shares an elevated, picturesque view of the metro-Phoenix area. A gigantic live bull in a pen at the front of the restaurant, a slide to the downstairs seating, cotton candy at the end of the meal, and loud live country western music are part of the ambiance. In addition to common steakhouse fare, local items include Rattlesnake with Prickly Pear Cactus Fries. $20-$30.
The Stockyards Restaurant, 5009 E Washington St, ☎ +1 602 273-7378. Billed as "Arizona's Original Steakhouse", the aptly named restaurant opened for public dinning in 1947. "Steak on the hoof" was visible to visitors as they entered and exited the restaurant, as it was adjacent to the Tovrea families' 200-acre feedlot and packing house, which accommodated more than 300,000 head of cattle each year. While the cattle are now gone, the authentic western cuisine and "refreshments" remain. Includes the 1889 Saloon, which features authentic 19th-century Old West decor and furnishings, and the famous Gold Room. $30-$50.
Tarbell's, 3213 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 955-8100. M-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Chef Mark Tarbell's namesake restaurant, it features Southwestern themed cuisine and local organic ingredients. Per the website, dress is "resort casual" defined as "everything from denim to diamonds."
12 Quiessance Restaurant, 6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042, ☎ +1 602 276-0601. Farm-to-table fresh delicious food. $$$$.
13 Richardson's and Rokerji, 6339 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016, ☎ +1 602 265 5886. Richardson's serves some of the spiciest New Mexican cuisine in Arizona on copper-topped tables and bars. The Rokerij (pronounced ro-ker-ee) means “smokehouse in Dutch” and features a great selection of steaks, chops, fresh fish and “small plates.” Don’t miss the down stairs bar. Both feature dim-lighting and great service. Reservations for parties of 6 or more suggested.
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, 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.
1 The Lost Leaf, 914 N. 5th St, ☎ +1 602 258-0014. 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, ☎ +1 602-256-0223. 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), ☎ +1 602-252-2285. M-F 11AM-1AM, Sa Su 5PM-1AM; bar open daily until 1:30AM. Swanky and stylish bar and restaurant in a historic Phoenix building constructed in the 1940s serving food such as pizza, sandwiches and salads and a variety of cocktails. $5 classic martinis served all day
2 Bar Smith's Rooftop Lounge, 130 E. Washington St, ☎ +1 602 456-1991. 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), ☎ +1 602 252-2630. Tu-Th 3PM-midnight; F Sa 11AM-midnight; Su 11AM-11PM. 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), ☎ +1 602 716-2222. 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-Thursday from 3-6PM and Friday from 11AM-6PM with $2 PBR, $3 wells and $3 local drafts.
Seamus McCaffrey's, 18 W Monroe, ☎ +1 602 253-6081. Great small Irish pub downtown. Same owner of Rosie McCaffrey's up on Camelback. Live Irish rock music.
3 Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, 1 West Jefferson St (near the 1st Ave & Jefferson and Central & Washington light rail stations), ☎ +1 602-340-1924. Tu-Su 4PM-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 (in an alley behind the building and 1 block from the Adams light rail station), ☎ +1 602 368-3121. Daily 4PM-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, ☎ +1 602 595-5873. M-W 4PM-midnight, Th-Sa 4PM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. 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 M-F from 4 to 7PM and a live DJ plays Th-Sa nights.
4 SideBar, 1514 N 7th Ave (SW corner of 7th Ave & McDowell, above the Pei Wei and the Starbucks), ☎ +1 602 254-1646. 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.
5 George and Dragon, 4240 N Central Ave, ☎ +1 602 241-0018. British pub offering traditional British food and imported beer.
6 Linger Longer Lounge, 6522 N 16th St Ste 6, ☎ +1 602 264-4549. 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, ☎ +1 602 241-1916. 11AM to 2AM daily. Irish pub with daily specials, happy hour everyday (4 to 7PM) and live music Wednesday through Saturday.
7 Fuego Bar & Grill, 9118 W Van Buren St, Tolleson, ☎ +1 623 478-7300.
MercBar, 2525 E Camelback Rd (SE corner of 24th St and Camelback), ☎ +1 602 508-9449. 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.
8 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), ☎ +1 602 852-3939. M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM. A wine cafe 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, ☎ +1 602 977-2700. Upscale sports bar with lots of TVs to watch games. Happy hour M-F (3PM to 7PM).
9 The Little Woody, 4228 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, ☎ +1 602 955-0339. 4PM-2AM. A hip place to enjoy libations and games. $$.
10 The Yard (Culinary Dropout), 5640 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014, ☎ +1 602 680-4040. Don't have room for your own party, bring it here! Spirits flow, games galore, and lots of friends to visit with.
11 Honor Amongst Thieves, 5538 N 7th St #100, Phoenix, AZ 85014, ☎ +1 602 313-1001. Su-Th 6PM-midnight, F Sa 6PM-2AM. Craft cocktails and a large whiskey list are offered in this speakeasy style lounge.
12 The Whining Pig, 1612 Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016, ☎ +1 602 633-2134. 3PM-midnight. Eclectic neighborhood bar with very limited space and classic table games.
The Grand, 718 North Central Ave, ☎ +1 602 795-8552. Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 24 hour coffee shop, bistro and bar that serves food in downtown Phoenix. Live events on some nights such as open mic storytelling and live music.
Hostelling International Phoenix (Metcalf House), 1026 N 9th St, ☎ +1 602 254-9803. Office hours 8AM-10AM and 5PM-10PM; 24 hour access once checked in. Wifi available for $1. Closed during July. $21 dorms, $35-45 privates. Non-HI members charged an extra nightly $3 fee.
Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Avondale, 11460 W Hilton Way, Avondale, ☎ +1 623 882-3351. Includes such amenities as an on site grill, mp3 compatible clock radios, and an outdoor pool.
Homewood Suites Phoenix-Avondale, 11450 W Hilton Way, Avondale, ☎ +1 623 882-3315.
Homewood Suites Phoenix North/Happy Valley, 2470 W Charlotte Dr, ☎ +1 623 580-1800. All suites have a fully equipped kitchen. Hot breakfast buffet, Welcome Home reception M-Th evenings, free hi-speed internet access, business center, outdoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center.
Hyatt Place Phoenix North, 10838 N 25th Ave, ☎ +1 602 997-8800. Just north of downtown Phoenix and a short distance from the new Glendale Arena and Cardinals Football Stadium.
Premier Inns, 8399 W Lynwood St, Tolleson, ☎ +1 623 533-4660. This hotel features such amenities as a heated pool, continental breakfast, and high speed internet access.
Sleep Inn Phoenix North, 18235 N 27th Ave, ☎ +1 602 504-1200, fax: +1 602 504-6100. A North Phoenix hotel near Deer Valley Airport.
Courtyard Phoenix West/Avondale, 1650 N. 95th Ln, ☎ +1 623 271-7660. Free hi-speed internet access, business center, meeting/banquet facilities, outdoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center. On-site cafe and cozy lounge area.
Courtyard Phoenix Camelback, 2101 E Camelback Rd (in the Town & Country Center at 20th St and Camelback, to the W of Bookstar and behind the restaurants in the W part of the center parking lot), ☎ +1 602 955-5200. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Midrange hotel that is 1/2 mi from the Biltmore Fashion Park shopping area and Camelback Esplanade, and about a mile from the Arizona Biltmore resort. Midrange hotel.
1 Courtyard Phoenix Airport, 2621 S 47th St, ☎ +1 480 966-4300. $70-120.
2 Courtyard Phoenix North, 9631 N Black Canyon Hwy, ☎ +1 602 944-7373. Renovated guest rooms and near Chase Field.
Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Happy Valley, 2335 W Pinnacle Peak Rd (I-17 and Pinnacle Peak Rd), ☎ +1 623 879-8800.
Embassy Suites Biltmore Hotel, 2630 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 955-3992.
3 Fairfield Inn & Suites Phoenix, 2520 N Central Ave, ☎ +1 602 716-9900. 10 minutes or so from Sky Harbor Airport and right in the heart of midtown Phoenix north of the Heard Museum.
Hampton Inn Phoenix-Airport North, 601 North 44th St (off of the 44th Street exit), ☎ +1 602 267-0606, fax: +1 602-267-9767. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Offers free 24-hour airport shuttle, complimentary breakfast, high speed internet and spacious rooms.
4 Hotel San Carlos, 202 North Central Ave, ☎ +1 602 253-4121, toll-free: +1-866-253-4121. A boutique hotel that is a historic state landmark and a tourist site. Built in 1928 it is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and The National Trust of Historic Preservation. It has a heated rooftop pool with sundeck and a Vietnamese restaurant in the hotel. In the middle of downtown Phoenix near a Phoenix light rail station.
The Legacy Golf Resort, 6808 S 32nd St, ☎ +1 602 305-5500. 328 oversized condominiums, all with fully equipped kitchens or sleek kitchen-bars and washer/dryers.
5 Residence Inn Phoenix Airport, 801 North 44th St, ☎ +1 602 273-9220. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Extended stay accommodations include full size kitchens and free internet. Complimentary hot breakfast buffet served daily.
6 Residence Inn Phoenix Desert View at Mayo Clinic, 5665 E Mayo Blvd, ☎ +1 480 563-1500. Extended stay hotel in North Phoenix next to the Phoenix Mayo Clinic.
Sheraton Crescent Hotel, 2620 W Dunlap Ave, ☎ +1 602 943-8200.
SpringHill Suites Phoenix Downtown, 802 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 307-9929. All-suite hotel with microwave, fridge, free wired/wireless internet in every room. Pool, small gym, free breakfast, free airport shuttle. From $150.
7 Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E Missouri Ave (enter off 24th St at Missouri), ☎ +1 602 955-6600. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Not only a place to see, it has historically been the place to stay in the area for those not afraid to pay top dollar. The resort features all the expected amenities and services. The resort is between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain, sitting along the smaller mountains between the two larger peaks. High end resort pricing.
Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ +1 602 438-9000. A luxury resort in a desert oasis at the base of South Mountain Preserve in Arizona. Features a championship golf course, a luxury spa, vacation villas, dining at six restaurants and The Oasis Water Park.
8 The Clarendon Hotel, 401 W Clarendon Ave, ☎ +1 602 252-7363. Part of the Midtown Museum District, independent boutique hotel with free international calls and an amazing pool area.
9 Hotel Palomar, 2 East Jefferson St (1 block from Washington/Central station light rail station), ☎ +1 602 253-6633. Boutique hotel at Cityscape shopping and entertainment center with all 242 rooms having city and mountain views. 3rd floor outdoor pool and lounge which is open all year offers views of downtown Phoenix. $119-340, depending on time of year.
10 Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N Second St, ☎ +1 602 252-1234. Very centrally located, across the street from the Convention Center. Glass elevator to 13th floor popular with locals for views. Rotating restaurant on top floor. $100-130.
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak, 7677 N 16th St (on 16th St N of Glendale Ave, S of Northern Ave), ☎ +1 602 997-2626. Major resort close to Piestewa Peak, this was the original Pointe resort built in the Valley. It used to be referred to only as the Pointe. With the addition of other Pointe Hilton resorts (at Tapatio Cliffs to the northwest and the former Pointe South Mountain, now the Arizona Grand Resort) the name was changed to Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak. Then the mountain's name was changed to Piestewa Peak. To locals, both the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak and the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs are known for their waterparks, with multiple pools, cabanas and even a waterslide. High resort pricing.
11 Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 50 E Adams St, ☎ +1 602-333-0000.
12 Royal Palms Resort & Spa, 5200 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 840-3610. The resort is at the base of Camelback Mountain, between the Biltmore area and downtown Scottsdale, 7 mi from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. This luxury resort features 119 rooms in a variety of configurations: casitas, luxury rooms, spa suites, and villas. The resort also features a luxury spa, dining options and meeting & event facilities.
13 The Camby, 2401 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016, ☎ +1 602 468-0700. Across the street from the upscale Biltmore Fashion Park. The former Ritz Carlton was remade into this sleek, contemporary luxury hotel with southwestern touches and modern technology. Upgraded rooms add mountain views. Room service is available 24/7.
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. There have been assaults on a few university students in some portions of Tempe, near the main campus of Arizona State University (ASU). 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 police station 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.
The Arizona Republic, 200 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 444-8000. The city’s main newspaper that is read throughout the city and state.
La Voz, 200 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 444-8000. A popular Spanish language newspaper published by The Arizona Republic.
The New Times, 1201 E Jefferson, ☎ +1 602 271-0040. Independent news and information about events, music, food, published under common ownership with New York's Village Voice.
East Valley Tribune ((formerly the Mesa Tribune)), 1620 W. Fountainhead Pkwy # 219, Tempe, ☎ +1 480-874-2863. +1 480-TRIBUNE. Freely distributed "voice of the East Valley" with annual Best of East Valley readers contests and an East Valley Guide with recommendations for food, drinks, entertainment, shopping and a calendar of local events.
Asian American Times, 668 N 44th St, Ste 343. Excellent Chinese-American newspaper with articles printed in English and Chinese.
Arizona Business Gazette, 200 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 444-7304. Arizona business news, published weekly.
Arizona Capitol Times, 1835 W Adams St, ☎ +1 602 253-7636. Reports on Arizona government, politics and legislative news.
The Echo. Free biweekly gay and lesbian magazine.
Canada (Consulate), 2415 E Camelback Rd.
Ecuador (Consulate General), 645 E Missouri Ste 132, ☎ +1 602 535-5567.
Guatemala (Consulate General), 4747 N 7th St, Ste 410, ☎ +1 602 200-3660.
Honduras (Consulate General), 4040 E McDowell Rd, ☎ +1 602 273-0547.
Mexico (Consulate General), 1990 W Camelback Rd, Ste 110, ☎ +1 602 242-7398.Honorary consulates are typically individual representatives of nations who represent the interest of certain business functions, and are not full-fledged national consulates. Their ability to assist you with individual legal or official matters may be limited.
Austria (Honorary), Paradise Valley, 4521 E. Quartz Mountain Rd, ☎ +1 480 502-8510.
Belgium (Honorary), 2944 N 44th St Ste 250, ☎ +1 602 852-3442, fax: +1 602 852-3878, e-mail: [email protected]
Cyprus (Honorary), 1277 E Missouri, ☎ +1 602 264-9701.
Denmark (Honorary), 14850 N Scottsdale Rd, Suite 155, Scottsdale, ☎ +1 480 694-8882, e-mail: [email protected]
El Salvador (Honorary), 4521 E Charles Dr, ☎ +1 602 948-4899.
Estonia (Honorary), Scottsdale, 7135 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 230, ☎ +1 480 229-9791.
France (Honorary), 2 N Central Ave, Ste 2200, ☎ +1 602 716-8222.
Germany (Honorary), 1007 E Missouri Ave, ☎ +1 602 265-4428.
Iceland (Honorary), 2999 N 44th St, Ste 640, ☎ +1 602 956-8474.
Italy (Honorary), 7509 N 12th St, ☎ +1 480 304-4620, e-mail: [email protected]
Netherlands (Honorary), e-mail: [email protected]
Peru (Honorary), Mesa, 6242 E Arbor Ave., Ste. 118, ☎ +1 480 834-3907.
Spain (Honorary), 3134 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 955-2055.
Sri Lanka (Honorary), 329 W Cypress St, ☎ +1 602 254-1899.
Sweden (Honorary), 2 North Central Ave, Ste 2200, ☎ +1 602 364-7450.
United Kingdom (Honorary), 2425 E Camelback Rd, Ste 1020, ☎ +1 602 515-1029.
Gay and lesbian travelers
The Melrose District,on 7th Avenue between Indian School Rd and Camelback Rd, is a popular location for LGBT+ bars, restaurants, and shops.
"Old Town" Scottsdale in the northeast Phoenix metropolitan area is the single most tourist friendly area in the valley.
Downtown Tempe has a lively night life, being a college town
Many visitors come to Peoria during the spring to see their favorite professional baseball team in the Cactus League for Spring Training.
Mesa serves as the location for a Mormon (Latter Day Saints) Temple and is Arizona's third largest city after Tucson.
Small towns Cave Creek and Carefree lie just north of the city.
Hiking near Phoenix is popular due to central Arizona's climate and large tracts of public land. Several designated National Forest and BLM wilderness areas are within easy driving distance and offer treks ranging from day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips. South Mountain Park, within the city limits, is a popular destination to experience the Sonoran Desert on foot.
Camelback Mountain - very popular hike in central Phoenix. Great views from top. Two routes:
Echo Canyon (West entry - Macdonald/Tatum). Arrive early on weekends for trailhead parking (50 cars), or walk 1/2 mi to satellite parking. 1.25 mi steep hike.
East entry (Invergorden/Jackrabbit). Park 1/2 mi from trailhead. Easier route 1.5 mi, skirts Phoenician (Keating resort), less developed.
Squaw Peak (Piestewa Peak) (Lincoln Dr/20th St) - Arrive early on weekends. Good parking close to trailhead. 1.25 mi hike (easier than Camelback Mtn). Great views (just 3 mi from Camelback Mtn). Park of Phoenix Preserve (48th St to 7th Ave), lots of good hiking and mountain biking. Dogs allowed on trail 300 from Squaw Peak parking.
If you would like to see areas outside of the Phoenix metropolitan area, you might want to visit Tucson, Las Vegas, or San Diego. For cooler weather, head up to I-17 to Flagstaff or Sedona.
A good option for a day trip, or longer, out of Phoenix is a drive north to Sedona. If you have three days or more, head out to Las Vegas via Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon.
Montezuma Castle National Monument (cliff dwelling), near Camp Verde, Arizona is on I-17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff