It wasn't long ago that downtown Phoenix used to be thought of as a ghost town. Although home to various bank headquarters, law firms, and government buildings, at 5PM weekday evenings the place became quite deserted as all of the folks who worked downtown would head home. Sports anchor the scene downtown, with the Suns and Mercury playing basketball, Diamondbacks playing baseball, and for those culturally inclined, the Herberger Theatre Center, Symphony Hall, and the Arizona Science Center are all within walking distance.
Downtown Phoenix can be accessed most directly via I-10 Freeway. Drive your car to a parking lot and go it by foot from then on.
By Light Rail
The Valley Metro Light Rail runs through downtown along Central/First Ave., and along Washington/Jefferson. From Sky Harbor Airport, take the free shuttle to the light rail and then the light rail into downtown.
Downtown Phoenix is served by the highly convenient DASH buses that circle the area connecting the major attractions. DASH buses run approximately every 5-10 min until 11PM and are free.
Arizona Science Center, 600 E Washington St, ☎ +1 602 716-2000, . This center features 350 permanent hands-on exhibits as well as regularly hosting nationally acclaimed traveling exhibits. Also features a 5-story IMAX threater.
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.
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.
The cultural, governmental, and business center of the city is Copper Square. Quickly becoming one of the southwest's most distinctive urban centers, Copper square was built around the original Phoenix historic town site. It's boundaries extend from Fillmore to south of Jackson Street, 7th Street to 3rd Avenue. Recent and planned revitalization in Copper Square, including more than $4 billion in public and private sector development, increased arts, cultural and entertainment activity, and the presence of two state universities (ASU and U of A) and new convention center are resulting in significant physical and economic growth for the Phoenix downtown area.
Roosevelt Historic District
This are 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.
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.
Arizona Diamondbacks, 7th St and Jefferson, ☎ +1 602 514-8400, . Take in a baseball game at this unique stadium. Formerly known as Bank One Ballpark (The BOB), the home of the 2001 World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, capacity 49,033, with a retractable roof and air conditioning. You can get decent tickets for $12.50.
Phoenix Suns, 201 E Jefferson St, ☎ +1 800-4NBA-TIX, . Very popular NBA team featuring all-stars such as Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.From $25.
Alice Cooper'stown, 101 E Jackson St, ☎ +1 602 253-7337, . Alice Cooper themed sports bar with rock music and plenty of merchandise. $10.
Quality Inn and Suites Downtown, 202 E McDowell Rd, ☎ +1 602 528-9100, . $50-70.
Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N Second St, . $100-130.