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==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
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. If visiting downtown at night (such as a Diamondbacks or Suns game), always go with a group. South Phoenix can be unsafe in some areas.  
+
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.  
 
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.  

Revision as of 19:30, 2 December 2012

Phoenix skyline
For other places with the same name, see Phoenix (disambiguation).
Phoenix is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Phoenix [1] is the capital of the state of Arizona as well as the most populous city in the American Southwest and sixth largest city in the United States. Founded in 1871, it has become the region's primary political, cultural, economic, and transportation center. At an elevation of 1100 ft (335 m), it is situated in the biologically unique Sonoran Desert. Over time it has merged with the neighboring cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Peoria, Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert to form the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Currently exurbs such as Apache Junction, Fountain Hills, Queen Creek, and Sun City are becoming part of this metropolitan area as well. Phoenix is extremely hot in the summertime, so always have sun screen with you!

Contents

Districts

Overview of Phoenix districts
Downtown
This area spans approximately two to three square miles, with main arteries running along Central Avenue and Washington/Jefferson Streets respectively. Three out of the five tallest skyscrapers in Arizona are in Downtown Phoenix.
Midtown
There are a handful of officially recognized and protected historic neighborhoods and a variety of cultural, performance, and sporting venues in this area of town.
West Phoenix
Includes Maryvale and Estrella, this area has seen its better days and is suffering urban decline. However, a highlight in the area includes the Cricket Pavilion which is a great place to see a concert.
North Phoenix
Includes Deer Valley, Desert View, North Mountain, North Gateway, and New Village. The Phoenix Mountains are located here and offer a plethora of hiking and outdoor activities.
Camelback East
A very upscale area of town which contains the famous Biltmore Hotel, Papago Park, the Phoenix Zoo, and world class resorts. The surrounding area is also known to feature expensive office space, upscale stores, and luxury homes.
South Phoenix
This area is home to South Mountain Regional Park, the largest municipal park in the country. However, the neighborhood at it's base is fairly run-down and many sections are not safe. Laveen is a semi-rural area that is nonetheless seeing increasing development.
Ahwatukee
An upscale neighborhood of Phoenix, Arizona bordered on the north by South Mountain Regional Park, on the east by I-10 and the cities of Chandler and Tempe.

See also Greater Phoenix for destinations in the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area.

Understand

Why would anybody want to start a city in the middle of a desert? The answer is, surprisingly, agriculture. The Salt and Verde Rivers of central Arizona were exploited for large-scale agriculture by Native Americans as early as the 11th century. The area that now encompasses Phoenix was a center of the Hohokam culture, which built large canal systems and a network of towns and villages, whose remains may be viewed in the city to this day. White settlers discovered the remnants of the Hohokam culture in the 19th century. The city's name reflects its history as a city "reborn from the ashes" of the previous settlement.

European-American settlement of the area commenced in the 1860s, and in 1911 the completion of the first of several large reservoirs in the mountains north and east of Phoenix insured its success as a center for irrigation-based agriculture. Many tens of thousands of acres were planted in citrus and cotton and other crops, and for many years, intensive, year-round irrigated agriculture formed the basis of the economy. Recent years are seeing a revival, and trendy hotels, bars, shops and restaurants are making it a place to be again.

Mild 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 2006 estimate of 1,512,986 (with the metro area estimated at 4,039,182)[2].

Climate

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 67 71 77 85 95 104 106 105 100 89 76 66
Nightly lows (°F) 46 49 54 60 69 78 83 83 77 65 53 45
Precipitation (in) 0.9 0.9 1.0 0.3 0.1 0 1.1 1.0 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.9

Check Phoenix's 7 day forecast at NOAA

Phoenix has an arid climate with long and very hot summers and mild winters. It has the highest average temperature of any metropolitan area in America. 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 (-1°C) are not unheard of. In the summer, extreme heat is the norm. On the hottest days, it can get up to 115°F (46°C) or more. Monsoon rains with lightning occur regularly from July to September during the late afternoon and evening, occasionally overnight as well. April is the most ideal month. In some neighborhoods, cicada insects make loud sounds from sunset to sunrise. Smog and humidity can be a problem at times throughout the year.

Talk

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.

Get in

By plane

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX) +1 602 275-4958 [3] is the main air gateway to Arizona. It is in East Phoenix 3 mi (5 km) from downtown. It is a hub for US Airways [4] and Southwest Airlines [5]. Terminals are numbered from 2-4. There is no Terminal 1.

  • Terminal 2: Alaska, Great Lakes, United
  • Terminal 3: American, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Sun Country
  • Terminal 4: Aeroméxico, Air Canada, AirTran, British Airways, Southwest, US Airways, WestJet

Phoenix Transit Bus-#13 and #40 run from the airport into the city.

Alternative Airports

  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA) +1 480 988-7600 [6] is located east of Phoenix, in neighboring Mesa. It is served mainly by Allegiant Air [7], although Spirit Airlines [8] also offers service to Las Vegas (LAS) and Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW). Currently, this is a smaller-sized airport, but is in the process of being redeveloped into a major regional airport.
  • Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (IATA: DVT) +1 623 869-0975 [9], located just 15 mi (24 km) north of downtown, is the busiest general aviation airport in the U.S.

By train

Due to a dispute among the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak, passenger train service to Phoenix has been discontinued. Amtrak passengers may disembark at Maricopa, Arizona (25 mi/40 km south of Phoenix) and arrange their own travel into the city. No regular shuttle service currently exists. (Alternative: they may disembark at Flagstaff instead and take a bus into Phoenix from there. The Maricopa-Phoenix route, which uses taxi services, takes about an hour but one likely has to wait for the taxi after calling; the Flagstaff-Phoenix route takes three hours.) (Another alternative: disembark in Tucson and take a Greyhound bus into Phoenix; the Greyhound station in Tucson is about 5-6 blocks west of the Amtrak depot.)

By car

Interstate 10 enters Phoenix from the south and west, and Interstate 17 comes in from the north. US Route 60 is also a major route into Phoenix from the east. Arizona State Route 87 comes in from the northeast from Payson.

By bus

  • Amtrak [10] sells tickets to and from Flagstaff.
  • Arizona Shuttle [11] offers shuttle service between Sky Harbor and Tucson.
  • Continental Transportation [12] offers door to door private shuttle service between Sky Harbor and Tucson.
  • Greyhound Bus Lines, 2115 E Buckeye Rd, +1 602 389-4200, [13]. This is a large bus terminal adjacent to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
  • Hoang Express [14] offers service to and from Los Angeles.
  • MaricopaXpress [15], a commuter service offering two morning inbound trips from the town of Maricopa and two afternoon outbound trips. $3 and under.
  • Autobus Americanos [16], Bus service to/from various points in Mexico.
  • TUFESA Bus Lines [17] , Bus service to/from various points in Mexico.
  • Crucero USA [18], Bus service to/from various points in Mexico.

Get around

Renting a car like a local
The new Car Rental Facility for the Phoenix Airport is just west of the airport itself. National polls have shown that Phoenix is the 4th highest city in terms of surcharges in the nation. Car rental companies are required to add 29% (that's twenty-nine percent!) to your bill to pay for this state of the art building. Take a cab to a local office of a car rental company. Do not tell them you are flying in. That way you are a "local rental" and do not have to pay some of the surcharges that are automatic if you rent at the car rental building at the airport. The surcharges finance everything from the local jails to the new Cardinals Stadium. The cab will likely be $25, but the surcharges for a $499 weekly rental will take your bill upwards of $650 and more. That cab looks a little cheaper now, doesn't it?

Alternatively, if you're doing a tour of the Southwest, consider flying into Las Vegas and renting your car there — the taxes are much lower and doing a one-way drop off to Phoenix is generally not a problem.


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. 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 every mile in each direction. This also applies to the extended metro area, though addresses in places like Tempe and Mesa are not based on downtown Phoenix.

There is an extensive network of freeways, most built since 1987. Note: Heavy construction on some segments and interchanges continues. Check construction schedules and closures in the local media.

Drinking and driving is 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 [19]. Extensive metropolitan bus system, and light rail line. The light rail line runs from north-central Phoenix, along the Central Ave. corridor, through downtown, past the airport, and to Tempe and Mesa. One-ride or all day passes may be purchased at varying prices depending on service and location; but generally range from $0.85 to $7.25, with the highest being an all-day pass purchased on an Express Bus.
  • Car rental is the most convenient form of transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times. Sixt Car Hire
  • 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.

See

Desert Botanical Gardens
Heard Museum Courtyard

Individual listings can be found in Phoenix's district articles

In Phoenix-proper, see:

  • Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St, +1 602 716-2000, [20]. Science and Technology, along with a planetarium and IMAX theatre. Be sure to stop in and see one of the many renowned traveling exhibits that make a stop here.
  • Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, +1 480 941-1225, [21]. Plant life of the Sonoran Desert, and of 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.
  • Heard Museum, 2301 N Central Ave, +1 602 252-8848, [22]. 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.
  • Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, 4619 E Washington St, +1 602 495-0901, [23]. M-Sa 9AM-4:45PM, Su 1PM-4:45PM. The U.S.'s only city-operated archaeological site, exploring and interpreting the pre-Columbian Hohokam civilization. Very fascinating look into the ancient inhabitants of the Phoenix area.
  • Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, +1 602 257-1222, [24]. 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.
  • Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N 3rd Ave, +1 602 256-3204, [25]. Tu-Su 10AM-3PM. Japanese-style garden with koi pond and tea house. Closed in the summer due to heat. $5, Student/Senior/Military $3, Under 12 free.

Do

  • Arizona Grand Spa, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, +1 602 431-6484, [26]. 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.
  • Arizona Grand Golf Course, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, +1 602 431-6480, [27]. Awarded the Four Star Award by Golf Digest, Arizona Grand Golf Course is one of the most challenging golf courses in the Phoenix area and blends desert target golf with traditional links.
  • Arizona Grand Athletic Club, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, +1 602 431-6484, [28]. Arizona Grand Athletic club is one of the top fitness facilities in Arizona with weight rooms, fitness classes, a heated lap pool, indoor racquetball court, golf instruction and personal training instruction.
  • Carnival of Illusion, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., +1 480 359-7469, [29]. The Carnival of Illusion Parlour Show presents national quality magic in an intimate setting at the Historic Arizona Biltmore Resort and is limited to a few dozen guests. The hosts are the National Recipients for Excellence in Magic and have performed as house entertainers at the world's top resorts, for Fortune 100 CEOs, to the 200 Most Powerful Women in America.
  • Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak), 2701 E Squaw Peak Ln (enter off of Lincoln Dr, just west of S.R. 51), [30]. 5AM-11PM daily. Right in the middle of Phoenix lies Phoenix Mountains Park. The park offers a strenuous one to two hour hike to the top of Piestewa Peak (elevation 2,610 ft/795 m), offering fantastic 360° views of the city and its surrounding environment. 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.
  • Phoenix Symphony, 455 N 3rd St, +1 602-495-1999, [31]. The city's classical and pops orchestra, presenting a 25-week season of concerts.
  • Arizona Opera, 4600 N 12th St, +1 602 266-7464, [32]. Presenting a season of five grand opera productions, with emphasis on Verdi, Puccini, and Mozart.
  • Arizona Theatre Company, [33]. Professional theater in downtown Phoenix's Herberger theater complex.
  • Mesa Arts Center, 1 E Main St, [[Mesa]], +1 480 644-6500, [34]. Visit the newly constructed and award winning MAC. Home of contemporary art displays and studios, as well as the Southwest Shakespeare Company [35] and the Mesa Symphony Orchestra.
  • Desert Storm Hummer Tours, +1 866-374-8637, [36]. Since 1995, Desert Storm Hummer has specialized in Sonoran Desert adventures. If you are truly adventurous, experience the dark side of the desert. Night vision tours let you witness desert life after dark!
  • Sea Life Aquarium, 5000 Arizona Mills Circle (Arizona Mills, Tempe), 480-478-7600, [37]. M-Sa 10AM–9PM, Su 11AM–6PM. Features many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep with close views of everything from the humble starfish to tropical sharks, all in displays which carefully recreate their natural habitats. $17.50.
  • Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix, AZ 85050 (Near AZ-51 and AZ-101 intersection), (480) 478-6000, [38]. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday - 9AM - 5PM Thursday and Friday - 9AM - 9PM Sunday - 10AM - 5PM. Fascinating place where you could easily spend several hours. Some distance outside of town - a car is needed to get there. $15. (33.667574,-111.978475)
  • Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Ave (Corner of McDowell and Central Ave), 602-889-5286, [39]. 10AM - 5PM. Professional theatre in an intimate setting. Celebrating its 91st season in downtown Phoenix's Art Museum complex. New Works Festival in July. 62.00.

Professional Sports

Unfortunately professional sports events are pricing themselves out of the pocket of the average traveler. There are still $10 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 at a cost of $357 million in 1999.

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 looks like a giant spaceship by the side of the freeway. Built at the bargain price of $427 million in 2006.

Arizona Diamondbacks' swimming pool
  • Arizona Diamondbacks, 7th St and Jefferson, +1 602 514-8400, [40]. Take in a baseball game at the unique Chase Field (often called "The BOB", from its former name of Bank One Ballpark). The home of the 2001 World Series Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, it has a capacity of 49,033, with a retractable roof, air conditioning, and a swimming pool available for rental. You can get really decent tickets for $12.50.
  • Phoenix Suns, 201 E Jefferson St, +1 800-4NBA-TIX, [41]. Very popular NBA team, formerly featuring all-stars such as Steve Nash and Charles Barkely. Tickets start at $25.
  • Arizona Cardinals, 1 Cardinals Dr, Glendale, +1 623 433-7100, [42]. Check out one of the newer NFL stadium in the country, University of Phoenix Stadium, named by Business Week as one of the 10 “most impressive” sports facilities on the globe due to the combination of its retractable roof and roll-in natural grass field.
  • Phoenix Coyotes, 9400 Maryland Ave, Glendale, +1 623 772-3800, [43]. NHL Hockey team. 2011-12 Pacific Division Champions.
  • Phoenix Mercury, 201 E Jefferson St. Very popular WNBA team.
  • Cactus League Spring Training Baseball, Phoenix and Surrounding Cities, [44]. 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.

College sports

  • Arizona State Sun Devils, Tempe, [45]. The teams representing Arizona State University, competing in the Pacific-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.

Events

  • First Fridays Artwalk, (Roosevelt between Central Avenue and Seventh Street), [46]. On the first Friday of every month, hundreds of local art galleries, venues, and shops open up free to the public. This local tradition has been going strong since 1994 and has become the largest art walk in the United States. A great place to see and be seen. (Note: parking at Burton Barr library for First Friday is forbidden, and parking is difficult to obtain nearby. Consider taking the light rail.)
  • Phoenix Film Festival, 7000 E Mayo Blvd, Scottsdale, [47]. 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, [48]. 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]), [49]. 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, [50]. 23 Nov 2009; 7AM-9AM. Swim(2.4 mi)/Bike(112 mi)/Run(26.2 mi) same as Ironman in Kona Hawaii. Entry ($425 limited to 1,500) impossible to get unless sponsored by a charity, contestant in previous year, or part of race crew.
  • Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ 99th Ave/Maryland, [51]. Jan 4, 2010, 6PM. One of the 4 big college football bowls. Played at the $430m University of Phoenix football stadium (looks like a giant spaceship with a retractable playing field). Parade on Saturday before bowl at 11AM start at Central Ave/Bethany Home in Phoenix is always quite spectacular and free.
  • Phoenix Open, TPC Scottsdale, Bell Rd. 22-28 Feb 2010, noon-dark. Phoenix Open Golf tournament, draws a lot of big players, Tiger Woods to compete in 2010. Big party atmosphere at the 16th hole. Lots of happenings in the evening at the Birds Nest.

Learn

  • Arizona State University, [52]. Located 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, [53]. 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, [54]. New law school, relatively open admissions policy.
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management, [55]. 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.

Work

Buy

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.

  • Ruster's Rooste Gift Shop (Overlooking the Arizona Grand Resort on Baseline), 8383 S. 48th Street (Baseline to Arizona Grand - left UP THE HILL), 602-944-1286, [56]. 4:00PM. Sells complete rattlesnakes, scorpions, belt buckles, T-shirts...I ate the snake and save a horse, ride a cowboy. Many wild west non-expensive gifts to take back home. Varies.

Eat

Phoenix is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


  • Phantom Horse Grill, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, +1 602 438-9000, [57]. This bright and airy American Grill at Arizona Grand Resort offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and features an adjacent sports bar with satellite televisions for the sports fanatic.
  • 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.
  • Aunt Chilada's @ Squaw Peak (Modern Mexican American), 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Dirve (16th ST.Northern/Glendale Ave.), 602-944-1286, [58]. 11AM-1AM. Historic Arizona Local Hangout. Palapa Bar and Bocce Court. Large Patios and beautiful traditional decor. Family owned and operated. Four daughters, a mom and dad and niece and many staff members for years and years. The Best Chips and Salsa, Flour and Corn Complimentary. Band every Friday night...where to be seen...Sunday open mic night. Said to be haunted. Breakfast on Weekends. Groups accomodated from 2 to 650. Friendly and Authentic Arizona. You will love it! Just ask for the owner or daughter and say you read on wikitravel! One of the daughter's French Trained in Paris, Hell's Kitchen, ESPN with LA Angels Coaches and 1st prize, Zane Lamphrey, Drinking Made easy show. Will Ferrell shot "everything must go" on site at Aunt Chilada's! Be sure to ask for one of the family! $12. $8 $8-$15. (All Credit Cards Accecpted,Historic)
  • Rustler's Rooste-Cowboy Steak (Overlooking Phoenix at South Mountain), 8383 S. 48th Street (Overlooking the Arizona Grand Resort), 602-431-6474, [59]. 4PM-12PM. Rustler's Rooste View of the Valley of the Sun is second to none. This Family Owned and Operated Arizona Icon is a true Authentic Arizona Attraction. You can see every mountain and town in the Valley. Greeted by a long horn Bull, walk through a mine shaft, slide down a real tin slide into the dining room, sawdust on the floor, Live Country Band EVERY night, magician, baloonatics, Hundreds of out door seating as well as upstairs and downstairs lounge and dining. You will love this true Arizona Experience. $20. (Historic,Tin Slide/Live Long Horn Bull)

Mid-range

  • 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 the Rio Grande Valley -- 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.
  • Old Town Tortilla Factory, 6910 E Main St, +1 480 945-4567, [60]. 5PM-11PM daily. Modern Southwest cooking with Sonoran touches. Try the Red Chile Pork Chop, with an unlikely but tasty ancho-raspberry sauce. Patio seating, heated in winter, misted in summer. Reservations only accepted for groups of 6 or more, so prepare to wait (preferably in the adjacent tequillaria). $30.

Drink

Phoenix is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Phoenix as a metropolitan area offers a considerable amount of nightlife, though with the fact that the city is so spread out it can be difficult and dangerous to attempt traversing the city on a big night out. Generally, the nightlife is centered around the sub-cities of the metro area. Within Phoenix itself bars tend to cluster within the Midtown or Downtown areas, while in the surrounding areas, Scottsdale offers a lively bar and club scene, Tempe is popular with students given the proximity to the University, and the city centers for Chandler and Glendale both offer some good options if you're in the suburbs. Downtown Mesa lacks any appreciable nightlife given its strong ties to the Mormon church.


  • Amsterdam 718 N Central Ave, +1 602 258-6122‎ [61]. Classy, creative nightclub. Very fun and trendy.
  • Aunt Chilada's @ Squaw Peak (Mexican American Three Patio's), 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive (Between Northern/Glendale Ave), 602-944-1286, [62]. 11:00 A.M.. Historic Arizona Local Hangout. Palapa Bar and Bocce Court. Large Patios and beautiful traditional decor. Family owned and operated. Four daughters, a mom and dad and niece and many staff members for years and years. The Best Chips and Salsa, Flour and Corn Complimentary. Band every Friday night...where to be seen...Sunday open mic night. Said to be haunted. Breakfast on Weekends. Groups accomodated from 2 to 650. Friendly and Authentic Arizona. You will love it! Just ask for the owner or daughter and say you read on wikitravel! One of the daughter's French Trained in Paris, Hell's Kitchen, ESPN with LA Angels Coaches and 1st prize, Zane Lamphrey, Drinking Made easy show. Will Ferrell shot "everything must go" on site at Aunt Chilada's! Be sure to ask for one of the family! $12. (Restaurant,Lounge)
  • Candice Nagel (Mexican American Three Patios), 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive (16th Street/Northern/Glendale AVE), 602-944-1286, [63]. 10:00AM. Aunt Chilada's @ Squaw Peak (Mexican American Three Patio's), 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive (Between Northern/Glendale Ave), ☎ 602-944-1286, [new]. 11:00 A.M.. Historic Arizona Local Hangout. Palapa Bar and Bocce Court. Large Patios and beautiful traditional decor. Family owned and operated. Four daughters, a mom and dad and niece and many staff members for years and years. The Best Chips and Salsa, Flour and Corn Complimentary. Band every Friday night...where to be seen...Sunday open mic night. Said to be haunted. Breakfast on Weekends. Groups accomodated from 2 to 650. Friendly and Authentic Arizona. You will love it! Just ask for the owner or daughter and say you read on wikitravel! One of the daughter's French Trained in Paris, Hell's Kitchen, ESPN with LA Angels Coaches and 1st prize, Zane Lamphrey, Drinking Made easy show. Will Ferrell shot "everything must go" on site at Aunt Chilada's! Be sure to ask for one of the family! $12. $8.
  • Aunt Chilada's @ Squaw Peak (Traditional Mexican American), 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive (7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive), 602-944-1286, [64]. 11AM-1PM. Historic Arizona Local Hangout. Palapa Bar like a beach in Mexico and Regulation Bocce Court. Large Patios and beautiful traditional decor. Family owned and operated. Four daughters, a mom and dad and niece and many staff members for years and years. The Best Chips and Salsa, Flour and Corn Complimentary. Band every Friday night...where to be seen...Sunday open mic night. Said to be haunted. Breakfast on Weekends. Groups accomodated from 2 to 650. Friendly and Authentic Arizona. You will love it! Just ask for the owner or daughter and say you read on wikitravel! One of the daughter's French Trained in Paris, Hell's Kitchen, ESPN with LA Angels Coaches and 1st prize, Zane Lamphrey, Drinking Made easy show. Will Ferrell shot "everything must go" on site at Aunt Chilada's! Be sure to ask for one of the family! $12. $8 $9-$15.
  • Rosie McCaffreys Irish Pub, 906 East Camelback Road, 602-241-1916, [65]. 11am to 2am daily. Authentic Irish pub with daily specials, happy hour everyday (4 to 7PM) and live music Wednesday through Saturday. Named Best Irish pub in Phoenix by Phoenix Magazine in 2010, Best Irish pub in Phoenix (Readers choice) by the Phoenix New Times and 1 of the top 10 Irish pubs in the USA by MSN.com in 2010.


Sleep

Phoenix is a huge city, so all individual listings should be moved to the appropriate district articles, and this section should contain a brief overview. Please help to move listings if you are familiar with this city.


Budget

  • Hostelling International Phoenix (The Metcalf House), 1026 N 9th St, +1 602 254-9803, [66]. Beds start at $18 per night. Closed during the months of July and August.
  • The Lodge at Sun Ridge, 12129 W Bell Rd, Surprise, +1 800-337-6667, [67]. Near Phoenix, is conveniently located between the three Sun Cities in the Northwest Phoenix valley, offers an unbelievable opportunity to enjoy the splendor of Arizona at incredibly affordable prices.

Mid-range

  • AmeriSuites Phoenix North, 10838 N 25th Ave, +1 602 997-8800, [68]. Located just north of downtown Phoenix and a short distance from the new Glendale Arena and Cardinals Football Stadium.
  • Canyonview Resorts Club South Mountain Preserve, 4647 E Francisco Dr, +1 888-828-6745, [69]. Gently cradled in the largest regional wilderness park preserve in the country covering over 50 sq mi of pristine Sonoran desert Canyonview is truly a place of deep relaxation and natural beauty.
  • Embassy Suites Biltmore Hotel, 2630 E Camelback Rd, +1 602 955-3992, [70]. Next to the Biltmore Fashion Park offering over 70 shops and 14 restaurants. The Phoenix Airport is 8 mi away.
  • Hampton Inn, 601 North 44th Street (off of the 44th Street exit), 1-602-267-0606 (fax: 1-602-267-9767), [71]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Offers free 24-hour airport shuttle, complimentary breakfast, high speed Internet and spacious rooms.
  • Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N Second St, [72]. Downtown hotel offering a panoramic view of the state capitol from its revolving restaurant – The Compass.
  • The Legacy Golf Resort, 6808 S 32nd St, +1 602 305-5500, [73]. 328 luxuriously appointed oversized condominiums, all with fully equipped kitchens or sleek kitchen-bars and washer/dryers.
  • MainStay Suites at Phoenix MetroCenter, 9455 N Black Canyon Hwy, +1 602 395-0900 (fax: +1 602 395-1900), [74]. A pet-friendly extended stay hotel located near downtown and the University of Phoenix Stadium.
  • Phoenix Inn Suites, 2310 E Highland Ave, +1 602 956-5221, [75]. All suite accommodations with complimentary breakfast buffet, high speed Internet, and 24 hr business center.
  • Quality Inn and Suites Downtown, 202 E McDowell Rd, +1 602-528-9100, [76]. This hotel is in the central business and arts district.
  • Ramada Plaza Hotel at Phoenix MetroCenter, 12027 N 28th Dr, +1 602 866-7000 (fax: +1 602 866-7000), [77]. A 170-room hotel by Phoenix MetroCenter Mall. Features wedding reception packages, conference room floor plans and area guide and tours.
  • Sheraton Crescent Hotel, 2620 W Dunlap Ave, +1 602 943-8200. Located in the heart of Phoenix's bustling high-tech commerce corridor and 30 min from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the Sheraton Crescent Hotel is also close to the MetroCenter Mall, NHL hockey at the Glendale Arena, and baseball spring training at the Peoria Sports Complex.
  • Sleep Inn, 9455 N Black Canyon Hwy, +1 480-967-7100 (fax: +1 480 921-7400), [78]. A Phoenix hotel near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
  • Sleep Inn Phoenix North, 18235 N 27th Ave, +1 602 504-1200 (fax: +1 602 504-6100), [79]. A North Phoenix hotel near Deer Valley Airport.
  • SpringHill Suites Downtown, 802 E Van Buren St, +1 602 307-9929, [80]. All-suite hotel with microwave, fridge, free wired/wireless internet in every room. Pool, small gym, free breakfast, free airport shuttle. From $150.
  • Wyndham Phoenix Hotel, 50 E. Adams St, +1 602 333-0000, [81]. Only a short walk from the convention center, shops and restaurants at the Arizona Center and Collier Center, America West Arena, Bank One Ballpark, the Herberger and Orpheum Theaters, Symphony Hall, and the Dodge Theatre.

Splurge

Summer Travel Resort Deals
The major resorts all have $99/night deals (newer resorts will be $25 more) from Memorial Day thru Labor Day. Included perks, such as 2-for-1 in the hotel restaurants, or $50 hotel credit. Many have standard 2 room suites, and water parks. Highly recommended for families. Distance reference from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport.

  • [N6 mi] Hilton Pointe Squaw Peak Resort, 7500 N. 16th St. 2 room suites, lazy river, water slide, multiple pools, access to freeway (51), downtown Phoenix (5 miles). One of the Gosnell properties (also Pointe South Mountain - now AZ Grande - and Pointe Tapitao). Very popular with locals on summer weekends. Take my family at least one time each summer.
  • [SE5 mi] Arizona Grande Resort - nice water park, two room suites, water slide, multiple pools, AZ Mills (shopping 2mi), airport, Tempe (5 mi), downtown Phoenix (5 mi).
  • [SE10 mi] Sheraton Wild Horse - big fancy resort on far South side of Phoenix metro area. Water slides, lake, golf, Phoenix (12 mi). Built in 2005.
  • [NE10 mi] Hyatt Gainey Ranch - Scottsdale (3 mi), beach, multiple pools, dive-in movies, beautiful grounds.
  • [N12 mi] Marriott Desert Ridge - water slides, lazy river, multiple pools, Desert Ridge (shopping 1 mi), Phoenix (12 mi). Built in 2004.
  • [NE15 mi] Westin Kierland - water slide, lazy river, multiple pools, Kierland Commons (shopping), Scottsdale (4 mi). Built in 2005
  • [N5 mi] Phoenician - water slide (long), golf, Scottsdale (2 mi), airport (5 mi), Phoenix downtown (6 mi). ($35 resort fee)
  • [N5 mi] Biltmore hotel - water slide, Biltmore (shopping), golf course. ($35 resort fee).
  • [NW10 mi] Hilton Pointe Tapitiao - 10000 N 7th St, 2 room suites, nice pool, good hiking, downtown Phoenix (10 mi).


  • Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, +1 602 438-9000, [82]. A luxury resort located in a desert oasis at the base of South Mountain Preserve in Arizona. This family friendly vacation resort features a championship golf course, a luxury spa, vacation villas, dining at six restaurants and The Oasis Water Park.
  • Royal Palms Resort & Spa, 5200 E Camelback Rd, +1 602 840-3610, [83]. The resort is situated at the base of Camelback Mountain, between the Biltmore area and downtown Scottsdale, 7 mi from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The 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.

Stay safe

Despite being a nice vacation destination, Phoenix is a major American city and as such does contain a fair amount of violent crime. Some parts of the city (and even a few parts of some of the suburbs) should be avoided at night. Downtown Phoenix is safe during the day, but does have a problem with the homeless/transients, some of whom approach well-dressed office workers and tourists asking for spare change. South Phoenix can be unsafe in some areas.

Maryvale, a commercial/residential district on the west side of the city of Phoenix (extending north into Glendale as well), should be avoided at almost all times unless there is a specific reason to go there.

Most of the suburban areas are safe during day and night; however, parts of Mesa and Glendale can be dangerous at night. Some portions of Tempe, near the main campus of Arizona State University (ASU), have seen assaults in the recent past on a few university students. The ASU campus is equipped with several emergency call boxes.

The Sunnyslope area (north central city of Phoenix) has some homeless and other crime issues but a new police station was recently built at Peoria and 7th Ave which has dramatically reduced crime.

The town of Guadalupe (immediately west of Tempe and bounded by Interstate 10 on the west) is unsafe at night, but is an incredibly interesting Hispanic/Native American community to visit during the day. Be warned though that the speed limit suddenly falls from 40mph to 25mph as you enter the town.

In every portion of the Phoenix area, just use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.

Phoenix also has one of the highest car theft rates in the country, with a car stolen every 7 minutes. In addition, red light running is more common in Phoenix than any other city in the U.S. Use caution at every turn.

Speeding, tailgating and aggressive driving are common on the freeways.

Be aware of traffic and speed enforcement cameras at most major intersections. Always anticipate someone attempting to beat the amber light before it turns red to avoid being issued a very expensive traffic ticket (usually in the amount of $300 or more). If you see sudden braking, make sure you're going the speed limit. Sometimes, camera vans are set up on the side of the road to snatch speeders, especially in the Northeastern parts of the Valley.

Cope

Newspapers

  • The Arizona Republic, 200 E Van Buren St, +1 602 444-8000, [84]. The city’s main newspaper that is read throughout the city and state.
  • La Voz, 200 E Van Buren St, +1 602 444-8000, [85]. A popular Spanish language newspaper published by The Arizona Republic.
  • The New Times, 1201 E Jefferson, +1 602 271-0040, [86]. A great source of independent news and information about events, music, food, etc. The closest thing Phoenix has to New York's Village Voice (and the two have recently come under common ownership).
  • Asian American Times, 668 N 44th St, Ste 343, [87]. Excellent Chinese-American newspaper with articles printed in English and Chinese.
  • Arizona Business Gazette, 200 E Van Buren St, +1 602 444-7304, [88]. Arizona business news, published weekly.
  • Arizona Capitol Times, 1835 W Adams St, +1 602 253-7636, [89]. Reports on Arizona government, politics and legislative news.
  • The Echo, [90]. Free biweekly gay and lesbian magazine.

Consulates

  • Ca-flag.png Canada (Consulate), 2415 E Camelback Rd.
  • Ec-flag.png Ecuador (Consulate General), 645 E Missouri Ste 132, +1 602 535-5567.
  • Gt-flag.png Guatemala (Consulate General), 4747 N 7th St, Ste 410, +1 602 200-3660.
  • Ho-flag.png Honduras (Consulate General), 4040 E McDowell Rd, +1 602 273-0547.
  • Mx-flag.png Mexico (Consulate General), 1990 W Camelback Rd, Ste 110, +1 602 242-7398.

Be aware that honorary consulates are typically individual representatives of nations who represent the interest of certain business functions, and are not full-fledged national consulates you would normally seek to assist you with individual legal or official matters.

  • Au-flag.png Austria (Honorary), Paradise Valley, 4521 E. Quartz Mountain Rd., +1 480 502-8510.
  • Cy-flag.png Cyprus (Honorary), 1277 E Missouri, +1 602 264-9701.
  • Da-flag.png Denmark (Honorary), 9280 E Raintree Dr Ste 101, Scottsdale, +1 480 922-4582 (, fax: +1 480 922-3743), [92].
  • Es-flag.png El Salvador (Honorary), 4521 E Charles Dr, +1 602 948-4899.
  • En-flag.png Estonia (Honorary), Scottsdale, 7135 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 230, +1 480 229-9791.
  • Fr-flag.png France (Honorary), 2 N Central Ave, Ste 2200, +1 602 716-8222.
  • Gm-flag.png Germany (Honorary), 1007 E Missouri Ave, +1 602 265-4428.
  • Ic-flag.png Iceland (Honorary), 2999 N 44th St, Ste 640, +1 602 956-8474.
  • Nl-flag.png Netherlands (Honorary), Scottsdale, +1 480 563-0092 (, fax: +1 480 836-2342), [93].
  • Pe-flag.png Peru (Honorary), Mesa, 6242 E Arbor Ave., Ste. 118, +1 480 834-3907.
  • Sp-flag.png Spain (Honorary), 3134 E Camelback Rd, +1 602 955-2055.
  • Ce-flag.png Sri Lanka (Honorary), 329 W Cypress St, +1 602 254-1899.
  • Sw-flag.png Sweden (Honorary), 2 North Central Ave, Ste 2200, +1 602 364-7450.
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom (Honorary), 2425 E Camelback Rd, Ste 1020, +1 602 515-1029.

Gay and Lesbian Travelers

The area around Central and Camelback in Phoenix has many gay residents and gay-friendly businesses. 7th St and Camelback is the unofficial "gay district" and you can see many gay pride flags hanging from businesses. Phoenix and neighboring Scottsdale tend to be quite progressive, but know that many suburbs of Phoenix are considered some of the most conservative areas in the country, so expect many looks and maybe insulting remarks in these areas.

Get out

  • Small towns Cave Creek and Carefree lie just north of the city.
  • 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), located near Camp Verde, Arizona is on I-17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff
  • 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.


Routes through Phoenix
BlytheGlendale  W noframe E  TempeTucson
FlagstaffGlendale  N noframe S  END






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