Phoenix General Information
Think L.A. without an ocean, but with more golf courses and drier heat. The
quintessential New West urban complex, Greater Phoenix comprises 22
freeway-laced cities sprawling over more than 9,000 square miles and hosting
some 3.1 million residents.
||The Valley of the Sun, as it's also known,
is one of the country's fastest growing metroplexes: Only Las Vegas
Șaccelerated at a greater pace since the start of the 21st century. But
while little-known satellites such as Gilbert, Chandler, Peoria and Mesa are
drawing new settlers in droves, visitors tend to spend their time in
Phoenix, Scottsdale and, to a lesser degree, Tempe.
Phoenix is the country's fifth largest city - it outpaced Philadelphia in
2004 - and growing. It's the Valley's prime arena for business, spectator
sports and high culture. Copper Square, the city boosters' designation for
downtowns once decaying core, is home to municipal buildings and high-rise
corporate headquarters, including that of Phelps Dodge.
It's also where
you'll find the Bank One Ball Park and America West Arena sports facilities,
as well as cultural hubs such as the Herberger Theater Center and the
Heritage & Science Park museum complex.
Downtown is fairly dead on the weekends and on most evenings when there are
no games or concerts, however.
Most of Phoenix's action still lies to the north, with its older residential
enclaves, popular restaurants and, along the Camelback Corridor, upscale
lodgings such as the historic Arizona Biltmore and low-slung modern business
Scottsdale, which combines an artist's heart with a capitalist's idea of a
good time, is where both locals and visitors play. Its strollable downtown - an
Old West settlement in an earlier incarnation - is chock-a-block with chi-chi
galleries, trendy eateries and happening nightspots. As you head north on the
city's main thoroughfare, Scottsdale Road branches off towards endless golf
courses, malls and spa-studded mega resorts. In contrast, Tempe, home to Arizona
State University, is a low-key college community with student-oriented shops,
bars and restaurants lining its main drag, Mill Avenue.
A few years ago, Tempe flooded a dry riverbed, thus acquiring a water sports
scene of sorts. But most of the Valley's outdoor recreation - golf, hiking,
biking and horseback riding - is focused around the cactus-rich northern Sonoran
Desert. In winter, you can play outdoors all day, reveling in glorious warm,
sunny weather (as long as you remember the shades, water bottle and sunscreen).
Springtime, when temps can rise into the 90s, is iffier for fresh-air
The Phoenix metropolitan area has always been popular with snowbirds and
retirees, and vacationers flock to the many resorts and spas in the area. The
Camelback Corridor is the newest hotspot in the Phoenix area with many new
businesses, upscale restaurants, and shopping centers.
Phoenix, along with the neighboring towns of Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Peoria,
Chandler, Gilbert, and Glendale, make up the metropolitan area of Phoenix.
Downtown Phoenix - Downtown Phoenix is the center for business,
government and finance but has recently become a prime area for culture, sports
North Central Phoenix - The Camelback Corridor, located between Phoenix
and Scottsdale, is the most popular area of Phoenix for shopping and dining.
Several resorts are located in the North Central district.
South Phoenix - The airport is located in South Phoenix as well as
Arizona State University, otherwise this area is mostly residential. There are
some great Mexican restaurants in South Phoenix.
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