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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 [56] 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!


Overview of Phoenix districts
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.
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, Norterra/Happy Valley, 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.
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.


Phoenix skyline

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)[57].


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 60 65 77 85 95 104 106 105 100 89 76 66
Nightly lows (°F) 35 47 54 60 69 78 83 83 77 61 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. Carry water and be aware that in extreme heat metal left in sunlight (like seatbelt buckles) can be hot enough to cause minor burns even with fleeting contact. 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.

If you are lucky (or not, depending on your point of view), you may witness a haboob (dust storm) if you stay during monsoon season.


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. It is considered polite or welcomed if you speak Spanish in Hispanic places of business or parts of town where Spanish is spoken more often. However, if you're not sure it is best to simply start with English. Don't assume that someone speaks Spanish based on their appearance as Arizona is a diverse state with a complex history. Arizona is home to a diverse range of Native American tribes with members of all living in Phoenix, most of whom speak English fluently.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX) +1 602 275-4958 [58] is the main air gateway to Arizona. It is in East Phoenix 3 mi (5 km) from downtown. It is a hub for American Airlines [59] and Southwest Airlines [60]. Terminals are numbered from 2-4. There is no Terminal 1.

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

Valley Metro Bus -#13 goes from the airport to 75th Ave & Buckeye along Buckeye [61]. Get off at Buckeye & Central Ave (transfer to the #0 bus going north on Central to downtown). Likewise there's a free PHX Sky Train going from Terminal 4 to the 44th St & Washington Light Rail station for the light rail or #1 bus to downtown. [62]

There is also an airport shuttle bus going out to a remote car rental terminal (west of the I-10/17 junction) from the airline terminals too. (recommended if possible).

Both Phoenix Sky Harbor and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airports are serviced by Skoot Airport Shuttle, which is a low-cost shuttle company that will get you to or from the airport to anywhere in the Phoenix metropolitan area. [63]

Alternative Airports[edit]

  • Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA) +1 480 988-7600 [64] is located east of Phoenix, in neighboring Mesa. It is served mainly by Allegiant Air [65]. 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 [66], located just 15 mi (24 km) north of downtown, is the busiest general aviation airport in the U.S.

By train[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Unfortunately, there is no central bus terminal nor are they located next to each other in the same area. Each company have their own stop(s) or station all over the city. Major operators include:

  • Amtrak [67] sells tickets to and from Flagstaff and the town of Maricopa which is 60mi/100km south of Phoenix. They offer thruway bus service from the airport and Greyhound station in the Phoenix area ONLY to Flagstaff for connection to the Southwest Chief train [68]. Passengers must arrange their own transportation to the Maricopa station for the Sunset Limited.
  • Greyhound, Autobus Americanos & Cruceros USA, 2115 E Buckeye Rd (SW corner of S 24th St & E Buckeye Rd just west of the airport), +1 602-689-4100, [1].  edit
  • Streamliner Lines [69] operates from 44th & Washington Station (just east of the airport with light rail and transit connections) with daily service to Las Vegas and Reno.
  • Arizona Shuttle, At yellow '''AZ City to City Shuttle Check-in''' signs in arrivals area (Pick up at the airport arrivals curb at lower level), 800-888-2749, [2]. offers shuttle service between Phoenix Sky Harbor (Airport) and Tucson, [(Prescott)], Sedona & Flagstaff  edit
  • Continental Transportation, 6113 N Reliance Dr, Tucson 85704 (Call to arrange pick-up), 520 904-0165, [3]. offers door to door private shuttle service between Sky Harbor and Tucson.  edit
  • El Paso - Los Angeles Limousine Express, 1015 N 7th St (Middle of block along N 7th St between E Roosevelt & E Portland St on east side of 7th. Only one in or near downtown.), 602 254-4101, [4]. Goes to Los Angeles (Colton, El Monte, & E L.A.) via Indio in one direction and El Paso via Las Cruces in the other. Goes up to Las Vegas & N Las Vegas on another route.  edit
  • Hoang Express, Lams Supermarket @ 6740 W Indian School Road (At NW corner of N 67th Ave & W Indian School), [5]. offers service to Los Angeles, Long Beach, CA; and San Diego. They have other stops in Tempe & Chandler as well. Check their website as to where your bus is picking up at.  edit
  • Transportes Baldomero Corral, 3106 W Thomas Rd, +1 602 258-2445 or 258-2355, [6]. goes down Tucson and to several locations in Sonora and Sinaloa states in Mexico  edit
  • Transportes Nena's, 1422 N 35th Ave (N 35th Ave & W Willetta St in the Maryville neighborhood), +1 602 442-6802. runs shuttles between Phoenix and Puerto Penasco.  edit
  • TUFESA, 1614 N 27th Ave (NW corner of W McDowell Rd & N 27th Ave), 602-415-9900, [7]. Offers bus service to/from various points in Mexico, California & Arizona.  edit

Get around[edit]

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 or the light rail 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. There are car rental companies like Enterprise, Hertz, Avis and car rental brokers like, where the car can be hired online.

Phoenix is a very car-centered city. With the notable exception of the Light Rail (useful if you are staying in the Tempe/downtown Phoenix corridor, with a stop at the airport) public transit is rubbish and unreliable but if you have no other recourse it is do-able. 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 costing $4.00. Trains run every 12 minutes during peak periods and every 15 or 20 minutes during non-peak periods and weekends. The last train of the day starts its last trip of the day around 11:00PM on most days(finishing its run around 12:00) and 2:00AM on Fridays and Saturdays (finishing its run around 3:00AM). As DUI laws in Arizona are the strictest in the nation, its a good idea to take advantage of "the West's latest running train" when frequenting the bars and clubs in Downtown Phoenix or on Mill Avenue for some weekend fun. 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.

The Light Rail is always a much cheaper option than a cab for traveling to central Phoenix or Tempe from the Airport (cabs charge a flat $15 to make the trip). Take the new Skytrain (free)from your terminal to the Sky Harbor stop. Note that the terminal 3 stop is not yet open so you will have to take a shuttle buss. A single ride pass is $2.

As a tourist, the bus line you are most likely to find useful is the 72 which directly connects downtown Tempe and downtown Scottsdale. It runs frequently throughout the day and can be caught from the Tempe transit center (Tempe->Scottsdale) or anywhere on Scottsdale Road (Scottsdale->Tempe).

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. the road running east & west as Washington St divides the addresses & streets from "North" & "South" while the road going north & south as Central Ave divides the addresses & streets from "East" & "West". The numbered streets running north and south are "Avenues" (such as N 7th Ave) west of Central Ave and "Streets" (such as N 7th St) are east of Central Ave. This also applies to the extended metro area, though addresses in some of the other cities OUTSIDE the Phoenix city limits like Tempe, Avondale, Goodyear, Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa have their own grid system within their own city limits and not based on downtown Phoenix or each other.

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 [70]. 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. At the airport the car rental companies have their own (shared) terminal at 1805 E Sky Harbor Circle [71]. From the airport terminals there are shuttle buses going there & back. Sixt Car Hire
  • Car Hire In America the term "car hire" refers to hiring a driver & the car, an expensive proposition. For just the car you drive yourself it's referred to as "car rental". See above. 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. People do this if they're staying put at a resort such as the Arizona Biltmore for their entire stay in the area and just need a ride there and back. Not economical if requiring to move around. Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also available in Phoenix.

See[edit][add listing]

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, [8]. 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.  edit
  • Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, +1 480 941-1225, [9]. 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.  edit
  • Heard Museum, 2301 N Central Ave, +1 602 252-8848, [10]. 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.  edit
  • Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, 4619 E Washington St, +1 602 495-0901, [11]. 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.  edit
  • Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, +1 602 257-1222, [12]. 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.  edit
  • Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N 3rd Ave, +1 602 256-3204, [13]. 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.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Carnival of Illusion, 2400 E. Missouri Ave., +1 480 359-7469, [14]. The Carnival of Illusion Parlour Show presents national quality magic in an intimate setting at the Historic Arizona Biltmore Resort and is limited to 125 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.  edit
  • Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak), 2701 E Squaw Peak Ln (enter off of Lincoln Dr, just west of S.R. 51), [15]. 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. free.  edit
  • Camelback Mtn (Echo Canyon trail (2704ft elevation)), 5700 N Echo Canyon (Tatum Blvd (changes from 44th St)to Macdonald Dr), [16]. sunrise to sunset daily. Very popular hiking trail. 1.25mi & 1200ft elevation. If in good shape 45min up and 35min down. Go early as only 150 parking spots. Arrive at sunrise or after 10am. Nearest alternate parking, 1mi walk. Cholla Trail is alternate on East end (park on Invergorden). Not as pretty and required to park 1/2mi minimum from trail head. free.  edit
  • Phoenix Symphony, 455 N 3rd St, +1 602-495-1999, [17]. The city's classical and pops orchestra, presenting a 25-week season of concerts.  edit
  • Arizona Opera, 4600 N 12th St, +1 602 266-7464, [18]. Presenting a season of five grand opera productions, with emphasis on Verdi, Puccini, and Mozart.  edit
  • Arizona Theatre Company, [19]. Professional theater in downtown Phoenix's Herberger theater complex.  edit
  • Mesa Arts Center, 1 E Main St, [[Mesa]], +1 480 644-6500, [20]. Visit the newly constructed and award winning MAC. Home of contemporary art displays and studios, as well as the Southwest Shakespeare Company [21] and the Mesa Symphony Orchestra.  edit
  • Desert Storm Hummer Tours, +1 866-374-8637, [22]. 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!  edit
  • Sea Life Aquarium, 5000 Arizona Mills Circle (Arizona Mills, Tempe), 480-478-7600, [23]. 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.  edit
  • Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix, AZ 85050 (Near AZ-51 and AZ-101 intersection), (480) 478-6000, [24]. 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) edit
  • Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Ave (Corner of McDowell and Central Ave), 602-889-5286, [25]. 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.  edit
  • Bicycle Rental (Lime Bikes), scottsdale. download app, enter credit card info, locate a bicycle, and ride throughout area. Arizona canal through Scottsdale and Arcadia to OHSO at 48th St/Indian School. Also Scottsdale greenbelt, paved path parallel to Hayden from Tempe Town Lake to Macdonald. There are other bike rental programs, LimeBikes is the most affordable $1.00/30min.  edit

Professional Sports[edit]

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 Major League Baseball in a relaxed atmosphere. 15 teams prepare for the regular season at 10 stadiums across the valley. Teams typically report for their first workouts around the second week of February; games happen daily typically late February through late March.

The Arizona Fall League hosts some of the best young minor league baseball players receiving additional experience after their regular season ends. Played at spring training stadiums in Mesa, Scottsdale, Salt River, Peoria, Glendale, and Surprise. Considering the advanced level of baseball talent on display, tickets are a bargain at $8 per person, or $85 for a season pass which gives a fan access to every game. Early October to mid November.

University of Phoenix Stadium (home of the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals and the annual Fiesta Bowl college football game, among other events) is worth a visit. Originally designed to resemble a coiled snake, it looks more like a giant spaceship by the side of the Loop 101 freeway in Glendale. Built at the bargain price of $427 million in 2006.

Arizona Diamondbacks' swimming pool
  • Arizona Diamondbacks, 7th St and Jefferson, +1 602 514-8400, [26]. 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.  edit
  • Phoenix Suns, 201 E Jefferson St, +1 800-4NBA-TIX, [27]. Very popular NBA team, formerly featuring all-stars such as Steve Nash and Charles Barkley. Tickets start at $25.  edit
  • Arizona Cardinals, 1 Cardinals Dr, Glendale, +1 623 433-7100, [28]. 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.  edit
  • Arizona Coyotes, 9400 Maryland Ave, Glendale, +1 623 772-3800, [29]. NHL Hockey team. 2011-12 Pacific Division Champions.  edit
  • Phoenix Mercury, 201 E Jefferson St, [30]. Very popular and frequently successful WNBA team. 2007, 2009, and 2014 WNBA champions.  edit
  • Cactus League Spring Training Baseball, Phoenix and Surrounding Cities, [31]. 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.  edit
  • Arizona Fall League, Mesa, Scottsdale, Salt River, Peoria, Glendale, and Surprise, [32]. Annually October - November. For die hard baseball fans wanting to see the next crop of major leaguers, as well as families looking for a day out at a reasonable price. $4-$8.  edit

College sports[edit]

  • Arizona State Sun Devils, Tempe, [33]. 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.  edit


  • First Fridays Artwalk, (Roosevelt between Central Avenue and Seventh Street), [34]. 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.)  edit
  • Phoenix Film Festival, 7000 E Mayo Blvd, Scottsdale, [35]. 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.  edit
  • Arizona Matsuri, Heritage and Science Park at 7th St/Monroe, [36]. Annual festival each spring in downtown Phoenix celebrating Japanese culture. Martial arts, taiko drumming, bonsai, cosplay, food, fashion, music, and more.  edit
  • PF Changs Rock n'Roll Marathon, Rural and Rio Solado Pkwy (202 Fwy [E], Priest Exit[S], Rio Solado [W], Parking [2 mi]), [37]. 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.  edit
  • Ironman Arizona, Tempe Beach Park, Rio Solado Pkwy, [38]. 18 Nov 2018; 7AM-9AM. Swim(2.4 mi)/Bike(112 mi)/Run(26.2 mi) same as Ironman in Kona Hawaii. Entry impossible to get unless sponsored by a charity, contestant in previous year, or part of race crew. Lots of opportunity to see contestants. Swim in Tempe Town Lake; bicycle on Beeline Hwy, Tempe to FountainHills (3 times); run around Tempe Town Lake and South Scottsdale (2 times). 2017 winner Lionel Sanders 7:54:10 swim-0:51:33 bike-4:12.13 (26.4mph) run 2:46:16 (6:20min/mi) $725 (limited to 2800).  edit
  • Fiesta Bowl, University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ 99th Ave/Maryland, [39]. 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.  edit
  • Phoenix Open, TPC Scottsdale, Bell Rd. Jan 31 - Feb 3. Phoenix Open Golf tournament, draws a lot of big players. Big party atmosphere at the 16th hole. Lots of happenings in the evening at the Birds Nest.  edit
  • Phoenix Outdoor Activities, "Phoenix, 888-205-7119, [40]. Large to small groups can enjoy vacation rentals and guided watercraft tours including; boats, jet skis, waverunners, houseboats, stand up paddle boards, wakeboards, water skis, other water toys, water sport lessons, and private tours at all Phoenix and surrounding area lakes.  edit


  • Arizona State University, [41]. 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, life sciences, and creative writing programs.  edit
  • Maricopa Community Colleges, [42]. Largest system of community colleges in the United States, with 10 campuses in the metro Maricopa County area; numerous community and adult education programs.  edit
  • Phoenix School of Law, [43]. New law school, relatively open admissions policy.  edit
  • Thunderbird School of Global Management, [44]. 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.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

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.

Groceries and other basics[edit]

The major supermarket chains in Phoenix are Fry's (which is owned by Kroger), Safeway, WinCo, Albertsons, and Bashas'. In addition the nation's largest discount store chain, Walmart, has several stores in Phoenix most of which are also open 24 hours and some WinCo and Fry's stores in Phoenix are also open 24 hours as well. In addition many specialty and organic supermarkets such as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe's can also be found throughout the area.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Individual listings can be found in Phoenix's district articles

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.

  • Mexican
    • Carolina's. 4 locations, Peoria, Mesa, N Phoenix (Cave Creek/Cactus), Central Phoenix (12th St/Mojave). Excellent mexican food, friendly service, good prices, well prepared.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Individual listings can be found in Phoenix's district articles

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 Uptown, Downtown, and Roosevelt areas, while Scottsdale offers a lively bar and club scene and 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.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Individual listings can be found in Phoenix's district articles.

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).
  • Hyatt Place Tempe/Phoenix Airport, 1413 West Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe AZ, 85281, (480) 804-9544, [45]. Hotel close to Phoenix Airport, in Tempe, near Arizona State University  edit

Stay safe[edit]


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. Although the central city used to have a somewhat deserved reputation for dangerousness, extensive public and private investment in urban core in recent years has made the area among the safest places in the Valley: as a general rule, the area bounded by the Union Pacific railroad tracks just south of the Chase Field up to Camelback Road and Between Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue is both safe and walkable. South of the railroad tracks is South Phoenix which 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), has a somewhat rough reputation.

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.

The carrying of concealed firearms is legal in the State of Arizona without a permit.

Phoenix also has one of the highest car theft rates in the country, with a car stolen every 7 minutes. Always lock your car and remove all valuables or hide them in the glove box or trunk.

Traffic Safety[edit]

Red light running is more common in Phoenix than any other city in the country. When the light turns green, always double check to be sure someone isn't entering the intersection from another direction.

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.

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

While there have been recent, and initially successful, efforts to use technology to reduce incidents of wrong way driving on Arizona freeways, the rate of such incidents has been increasing in recent years. In the period January - May 2017, there were nearly 700 reports of wrong way drivers in Arizona. Most wrong way crashes occur during the late night hours (midnight - 4am), happen on weekends, and are fueled by alcohol. Avoid driving in the left lane on freeways during the late night hours, as the (usually impaired) wrong way driver sees this as the right lane/slow lane.

Valley Fever[edit]

Coccidioidomycosis (Valley Fever) is endemic to the Valley, and is a dust-dwelling fungus that gets kicked up during dust storms. Most people either don't exhibit symptoms or have a respiratory illness resembling a bad cold, but rarely one can develop a disseminated infection involving the bones, meninges, joints, or connective tissues. This severe illness is more likely to occur in people of African, Asian, Filipino, Hispanic, and Native American descent, and is least likely to occur in European (white) peoples. Immunocompromised individuals (HIV/AIDS, etc) are at particular risk for a severe, disseminated infection. It is incredibly difficult to treat once it sets. If you become ill after your trip to the Valley let your doctor know you were in an area where cocci is endemic. It is better than nothing to stay inside during a dust storm if you are worried about cocci, or to wear a paper mask, but realistically you will inhale no small amount of dust no matter what you do. If you are traveling with your dog be advised dogs can also develop a severe cocci infection, as they tend to huff about in the dirt; it is a common cause of morbidity and mortality among Valley dogs. Again, if your dog falls ill shortly after visiting the Valley, let their veterinarian know where you have been traveling.

Heat Safety[edit]

The Phoenix area is well known for its extremely hot temperatures during the summer months. Avoid any type of outdoor exertion during the hottest part of the day, which could start as early as 8am during the late spring through early fall. Fire department rescues are a common occurrence on valley hiking trails during the warmer months due to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and if you need to be rescued you can plan on being featured on the evening news. A recent change in the law has made bringing pets on Phoenix hiking trails illegal when the outside temperature is over 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Wear sunscreen if you're going to be outside more than a few minutes, drink plenty of water, and limit intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. This includes carrying extra drinking water in your car in case of a breakdown or crash. Do not ever leave a child or pet inside a parked car, and if the pavement is too hot to walk barefoot on, it's too hot for your pet's paws.


The presence of the North American monsoon brings with it the threat of thunderstorms, typically between July and September. Common hazards are frequent lightning, briefly flooded roadways, and dust storms reducing visibility to just a few feet. In the Phoenix area monsoon thunderstorms are most common during the late afternoon and evening hours, but can occasionally last overnight and into the next morning if the air mass is particularly moist and unstable. If you see a dust storm approaching pull as far off the roadway as you can (into a parking lot is best), turn off your lights, and keep your foot off the brake pedal. Then wait until the dust moves on and visibility improves. Keeping your lights off prevents anyone behind you from thinking you're moving forwards and possibly hitting you. If you come upon a flooded roadway, it is best to turn around and find another route. Trying to drive through may cause your vehicle's engine to ingest water and stall, or cause your car to float away. Again, if you need to be rescued, you will likely be featured on the evening news, and you may be required to pay for the cost of being rescued.



  • The Arizona Republic, 200 E Van Buren St, +1 602 444-8000, [46]. The city’s main newspaper that is read throughout the city and state.  edit
  • La Voz, 200 E Van Buren St, +1 602 444-8000, [47]. A popular Spanish language newspaper published by The Arizona Republic.  edit
  • The New Times, 1201 E Jefferson, +1 602 271-0040, [48]. 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).  edit
  • Asian American Times, 668 N 44th St, Ste 343, [49]. Excellent Chinese-American newspaper with articles printed in English and Chinese.  edit
  • Arizona Business Gazette, 200 E Van Buren St, +1 602 444-7304, [50]. Arizona business news, published weekly.  edit
  • Arizona Capitol Times, 1835 W Adams St, +1 602 253-7636, [51]. Reports on Arizona government, politics and legislative news.  edit
  • The Echo, [52]. Free biweekly gay and lesbian magazine.  edit


  • Ca-flag.png Canada (Consulate), 2415 E Camelback Rd, +1.  edit
  • Ec-flag.png Ecuador (Consulate General), 645 E Missouri Ste 132, +1 602 535-5567.  edit
  • Gt-flag.png Guatemala (Consulate General), 4747 N 7th St, Ste 410, +1 602 200-3660.  edit
  • Ho-flag.png Honduras (Consulate General), 4040 E McDowell Rd, +1 602 273-0547.  edit
  • Mx-flag.png Mexico (Consulate General), 320 E McDowell Rd, Ste 105, +1 602 242-7398 (fax: +1 602 242-2957).  edit

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.  edit
  • Cy-flag.png Cyprus (Honorary), 1277 E Missouri, +1 602 264-9701.  edit
  • Da-flag.png Denmark (Honorary), 9280 E Raintree Dr Ste 101, Scottsdale, +1 480 922-4582 (, fax: +1 480 922-3743), [54].  edit
  • Es-flag.png El Salvador (Honorary), 4521 E Charles Dr, +1 602 948-4899.  edit
  • En-flag.png Estonia (Honorary), Scottsdale, 7135 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 230, +1 480 229-9791.  edit
  • Fr-flag.png France (Honorary), 2 N Central Ave, Ste 2200, +1 602 716-8222.  edit
  • Gm-flag.png Germany (Honorary), 1007 E Missouri Ave, +1 602 265-4428.  edit
  • Ic-flag.png Iceland (Honorary), 2999 N 44th St, Ste 640, +1 602 956-8474.  edit
  • Pe-flag.png Peru (Honorary), Mesa, 6242 E Arbor Ave., Ste. 118, +1 480 834-3907.  edit
  • Sp-flag.png Spain (Honorary), 3134 E Camelback Rd, +1 602 955-2055.  edit
  • Ce-flag.png Sri Lanka (Honorary), 329 W Cypress St, +1 602 254-1899.  edit
  • Sw-flag.png Sweden (Honorary), 2 North Central Ave, Ste 2200, +1 602 364-7450.  edit
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom (Honorary), 2425 E Camelback Rd, Ste 1020, +1 602 515-1029.  edit

Gay and Lesbian Travelers[edit]

The area around Central and Camelback in Phoenix has many gay residents and gay-friendly businesses. 7th Ave and Camelback is the unofficial "gay district" and you can see many gay pride flags hanging from businesses. Phoenix and neighboring Scottsdale and Tempe 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[edit]

  • If you are flying out of Sky Harbor Airport at Terminal 4, the largest and busiest terminal, this tip is worth knowing. There are four wings of the terminal, A, B, C and D, each with its own security checkpoint. However, once you get past the checkpoint, the wings are all connected by walkways. So if your departure gate is A-10 for example, and the lines at the A checkpoint are very long, you can use a different checkpoint with shorter lines and then work your way around to your gate.
  • Small towns Cave Creek and Carefree lie just north of the city.
  • Several large reservoirs provide water recreation within an hour or so of Phoenix. Lake Pleasant is 35 miles north of downtown Phoenix off State Route 74. Bartlett Lake is about 55 miles northeast off of Cave Creek Rd and Bartlett Dam Rd. Saguaro Lake (off Bush Highway), Canyon Lake, and Apache Lake (both off State Route 88/"The Apache Trail" - part dirt) are all located in the Superstition Mountains a few miles east of Mesa. The Salt River (which forms these three lakes) is a popular destination for float tubing during the summer. A bit farther up the Salt River is Lake Roosevelt, the largest reservoir entirely located within Arizona (off State Route 188).
  • 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 - McDonald/Tatum). Arrive early on weekends for trailhead parking (50 cars), or walk 1/2 mi to satellite parking. Do not park on the street; you will be ticketed and possibly towed. 1.25 mile one way steep hike.
    • East entry (Invergorden/Jackrabbit). Park 1/2 mi from trailhead on 64th St. Slightly longer route (1.5 mile one way), 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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