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Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is called "The Valley of the Sun" because it enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year. The average annual temperature is 72 degrees, but summer days sizzle, with temperatures exceeding 100.

Phoenix was incorporated in 1881, and in 2007 had a population of more than 1.5 million, making it the fifth largest city in the United States. The sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area includes surrounding towns, such as Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Glendale.

Warm weather year-round makes Phoenix a big draw for tourists and retirees who enjoy spending time outdoors. Visitors will find numerous golf courses, parks, hiking trails, and water parks.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Phoenix is a massive city, covering some 500 square miles. As such, the city has numerous neighborhoods and districts, such as:

  • Downtown Phoenix includes two major sports stadiums, a variety of museums, theaters, and restaurants. In addition, downtown is the city's financial and governmental center.
  • The Camelback Corridor region is an urban village of office towers, upscale shops, and hotels. This area is also home to a dizzying array of restaurants.
  • Papago Park, located in a desert valley where the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale meet, is home to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Gardens.
  • In South Phoenix visitors can find resorts as well as the 1,600-acre South Mountain Park, home to an Environmental Education Center and several gathering spaces, which can be reserved for picnics and barbeques. This neighborhood was first known for small-scale farming before developing into housing tracts. South Phoenix has enjoyed a surge in growth since about 2000.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Since Phoenix is the state's capital, as well as the seat of Maricopa County, government and government-related industries are major regional employers. Corporations such as PetSmart, Apollo Group, Allied Waste, Avnet, and Honeywell's Aerospace division are headquartered in Phoenix.

The city is a popular spot for Internet companies. GoDaddy, eBay, and iPowerWeb all maintain major offices in Phoenix.

Phoenix is also home to Luke Air Force Base, one of the United States Air Force's biggest training facilities.

EDUCATION

Arizona State University (ASU), whose main campus is located in nearby Tempe, has a satellite campus within Phoenix city limits. Residents can also attend classes at the University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University, American Indian College, Collins College, and DeVry University.

BEST BETS

  • The Phoenix Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the Southwest. The museum hosts the Cowboy Artists of America exhibit each year in the fall.
  • The Heard Museum is an internationally known museum of traditional and contemporary American Indian art.
  • The Pueblo Grand Museum hosts a prehistoric Hohokam village and museum located in view of Sky Harbor Airport. Guests can view original ruins excavated during various construction projects in Phoenix.
  • The Arizona Science Center is a fascinating museum for children with hands-on activities and a planetarium.
  • More than 20,000 desert plants from around the world are gathered at the Desert Botanical Garden.
  • At the Phoenix Zoo, visitors can observe more than 1,000 animals. It is the largest nonprofit zoo in the United States.
  • The Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum is the largest firefighting museum in the world and features equipment dating back to 1725. The museum sponsors the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, honoring firefighters who have died in the line of duty or who have been decorated for heroism.

GETTING AROUND

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor is the ninth busiest airport in the United States, serving more than 40 million travelers annually.
  • Phoenix is served by buses and a light rail system, enabling travel between Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa.

SPORTS TEAMS

Phoenix is the home of many professional sports teams, including:

  • Arizona Cardinals: NFL football
  • Phoenix Suns: NBA basketball
  • Arizona Diamondbacks: MLB baseball. The Diamondbacks became Phoenix's first professional sports team to win a national championship when they prevailed in the 2001 World Series.
  • Phoenix Coyotes: NHL hockey
  • Phoenix Mercury: WNBA women's basketball. The Mercury won the championship in 2007.

In addition to local sports teams, Phoenix hosts nine MLB baseball teams for their annual spring training practice.

LOCAL MEDIA

Phoenix is the twelfth largest designated market area in the United States. Major network affiliates are:

  • KPHO 5 (CBS)
  • KAET 8 (PBS)
  • KSAZ 10 (FOX)
  • KPNX 12 (NBC)
  • KNXV 15 (ABC)

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The Phoenix Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the Southwest. The museum hosts the Cowboy Artists of America exhibit each year in the fall.
  • The Heard Museum is an internationally known museum of traditional and contemporary American Indian art.
  • The Pueblo Grand Museum hosts a prehistoric Hohokam village and museum in view of Sky Harbor Airport. Guests can view original ruins excavated during construction projects in Phoenix.
  • More than 20,000 desert plants from around the world are gathered at the Desert Botanical Garden.
  • At the Phoenix Zoo, visitors can observe more than 1,000 animals. It is the largest nonprofit zoo in the United States.
  • The Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum is the largest firefighting museum in the world and features equipment dating back to 1725.
  • The Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum sponsors the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, honoring firefighters who have died in the line of duty or who have been decorated for heroism.
  • Phoenix is home to Luke Air Force Base, one of the U.S. Air Force's biggest training facilities.
  • According to legend, Phoenix gets its name from pioneer Darrell Duppa, who saw the prehistoric ruins of the Hohokam and believed another civilization would rise from the ashes.
  • Phoenix is the United States' fifth-largest city with a population of nearly 1.5 million. Some believe it's only a matter of time before it replaces Houston as the fourth-largest.
  • Greater Phoenix (which includes the cities of Chandler, Glendale, Scottsdale and Tempe) has a population of nearly 3.8 million and covers 2,000 square miles.
  • Phoenix's elevation is 1,117 feet.
  • Phoenix has an average annual rainfall of 7.66 inches, an average annual temperature of 72.6 degrees and an annual high temperature of 85 degrees.
  • Phoenix is one of only 13 U.S. cities with franchises in all four major professional sports leagues: the Suns (NBA), the Diamondbacks (MLB), the Cardinals (NFL) and the Coyotes (NHL).
  • University of Phoenix Stadium, the Arizona Cardinals home and site of Super Bowl XLII, is the only stadium in North America with both a retractable fabric roof and a roll-out grass field.
  • Greater Phoenix's major industries are (1) high-tech manufacturing, (2) tourism and (3) construction.
  • The inaugural BCS National Championship game was played at University of Phoenix Stadium.
  • Phoenix has the largest municipal park in the world. South Mountain Park and Preserve covers more than 16,500 acres and has more than 50 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails.
  • There are six lakes within a 75-minute drive of Phoenix.
  • Arizona is home to 23 reservations representing 22 Native American tribes.