- For other places with the same name, see Phoenix (disambiguation).
Phoenix 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, 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 and dry in the summertime, so always have sunscreen with you!
| 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 its 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, 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.
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.
Warm 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 2014 estimate of 1,537,058 (with the metro area estimated at 4,489,109).
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Phoenix has an arid climate with long, hot summers and very mild winters. It has the highest average temperature of any metropolitan area in the States. 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 (that's around or slightly above 0°C) are not unheard of. In the summer, very hot and dry 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 also. April is the most ideal month. In some neighborhoods, cicada insects make loud sounds from sunset to sunrise.
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.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (IATA: PHX) +1 602 275-4958 is the main air gateway to Arizona. It is at the southeast end of Downtown. It is a hub for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Terminals are numbered from 2-4. There is no Terminal 1.
- Terminal 2: Alaska (Gates 10 & 11), Great Lakes (Gates C & D), Spirit, Sun Country, United
- Terminal 3: Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue
- Terminal 4: Aeroméxico, Air Canada, American, British Airways, Southwest, Volaris, WestJet
Valley Metro #13 goes west to S 75th Ave along S Buckeye (via Greyhound depot) from Terminal 2. Likewise one can take the PHX skytrain over to the nearby 44th & Washington St Station to catch the #1 (west to the downtown Central Station and Priest & Washington in Tempe to the east along Washington St); #44 bus (north to the Desert Ridge Marriott Resort in Deer Valley along N 44th St & Tatum); and the light rail (east to Tempe & Mesa and to Midtown (along Central Ave) via downtown in the other direction).
- Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IATA: AZA) +1 480 988-7600 is located east of Phoenix, in neighboring Mesa. Presently it's served only by Allegiant Air. 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 , located just 15 mi (24 km) north of downtown, is the busiest general aviation airport in the U.S.
Due to a dispute among the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Union Pacific Railroad, and Amtrak, passenger train service to Phoenix has been discontinued, making it the largest city without Amtrak service in the US. 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.)
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.
There are multiple long distance bus lines and shuttles serving Phoenix from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, El Paso, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff & Nogales in the U.S. and from Nogales, Hermosillo, Puerto Peñasco and Cualican in Mexico. Each company has a stop or their own bus stations in different parts of town that are far from each other.
- Arizona Shuttle, toll-free: +1 800 888-2749. Regularly scheduled shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor (Airport) to Tucson, Prescott, Sedona & Flagstaff
- El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express, (Bus depot) 1015 N 7th St (Between E Roosevelt & E Portland St along the east side of 7th St. Only one in or near downtown.), ☎ +1 602 254-4101. Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles & El Paso on one route and up to Las Vegas on another route.
- Greyhound Lines & Cruceros USA, 2115 E Buckeye (SW corner of S 24th St & Buckeye Rd, west of the airport terminals & next to the freeway. Valley Metro #13 bus passes by the Greyhound Terminal on its way to/from the airport terminals.), ☎ +1 602 389-4200, toll-free: +1 800 231-2222. Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 10 (Los Angles-Phoenix-Tuscon-El Paso); 10/19 (Phoenix-Tucson-Nogales); 17/40 (Phoenix-Sedona-Flagstaff-Alburquerque-Armarillo-Oklahoma City-Little Rock. A divergence of this route continues from Oklahoma City to St Louis along I-44); US Hwy 93 (Phoenix-Kingman-Las Vegas); AZ-85/I-8 (Phoenix-Gila Bend-Yuma-San Diego). Passengers transfer to other buses in Los Angeles, El Paso, Flagstaff, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas and San Bernardino to get to other cities the U.S. and in Nogales, Calexico/Mexicali and El Paso/Cd Juarez to get to other cities in Mexico. Prices vary by destination.
- Hoang Express, (Bus stop) Lams Supermarket @ 6470 W Indian School Rd. Travels between SoCal (San Diego, El Monte, Los Angeles, Westminster) and Arizona (Phoenix, Chandler and Tempe).
- Transportes Baldomero Corral (TBC), (Bus stop) 3106 W Thomas Rd, ☎ +1 602 258-2445. Goes down to Hermosillo via Tucson and Nogales.
- Transportes Nenas, 1422 N 35th Ave (N 35th Ave & W Willetta St in the Marysville Neighborhood (not a very safe area)), ☎ +1 602 442-6802. Runs van shuttles between Phoenix and Puerto Penasco.
- TUFESA, (Bus depot) 1614 N 27th Ave (NW corner of W McDowell Rd & N 27th Ave), ☎ +1 602 415-9900. Offers bus service between (Southern) California, Arizona and Nevada in the U.S. and along the Hwy 15 corridor in Sonora and Sinaloa in Mexico. There's also a taxi stand at the Tufesa bus station for onward local travel from the Tufesa bus station.
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 most expensive 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 if possible public transit) 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. So if you are in the United states without a car consider that. 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 laws are 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. 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.
- 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
- Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Rides, 5601 Eagle Rock Ave NE, toll-free: +1-877-771-0776. Scenic hot air balloon rides daily in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
- Arizona Grand Spa, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ +1 602 431-6484. 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. 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. 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.
- Piestewa Peak (formerly Squaw Peak), 2701 E Squaw Peak Ln (enter off of Lincoln Dr, just west of S.R. 51). 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. The city's classical and pops orchestra, presenting a 25-week season of concerts.
- Arizona Opera, 4600 N 12th St, ☎ +1 602 266-7464. Presenting a season of five grand opera productions, with emphasis on Verdi, Puccini, and Mozart.
- Arizona Theatre Company. Professional theater in downtown Phoenix's Herberger theater complex.
- Mesa Arts Center, 1 E Main St, Mesa, ☎ +1 480 644-6500. Visit the newly constructed and award winning MAC. Home of contemporary art displays and studios, as well as the Southwest Shakespeare Company and the Mesa Symphony Orchestra.
- Desert Storm Hummer Tours, toll-free: +1-866-374-8637. 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), ☎ +1 480-478-7600. 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 Blvd (Near AZ-51 and AZ-101 intersection), ☎ +1 480 478-6000. 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.
- Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Ave (Corner of McDowell and Central Ave), ☎ +1 602-889-5286. 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.
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 it looks like a giant spaceship by the side of the freeway. It was built at the bargain price of $427 million in 2006 (roughly equal to $530 million in today's dollars). To put that number in perspective, the three most recently opened NFL stadiums all cost at least $1.3 billion in today's dollars.
- Arizona Diamondbacks, 7th St and Jefferson, ☎ +1 602 514-8400. 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 (Take light rail to 3rd Street/Washington or 3rd Street/Jefferson station), toll-free: +1-800-4NBA-TIX (622-849). Very popular NBA team featuring players such as Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight. The Suns play at Talking Stick Resort Arena which is located right by a light rail station. Tickets start at $25.
- Arizona Cardinals, 1 Cardinals Dr, Glendale (Arizona), ☎ +1 623 433-7100. Check out one of the newer NFL stadiums in the country, University of Phoenix Stadium (a private for profit college that acquired the naming rights), 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. They are the oldest NFL team still in existence (after relocating twice) and after a long bout of mediocrity have gotten rather good in recent times.
- Arizona Coyotes, 9400 Maryland Ave, Glendale, ☎ +1 623 772-3800. NHL Hockey team. 2011-12 Pacific Division Champions. Plays in Gila River Arena.
- Phoenix Mercury, 201 E Jefferson St. Very popular WNBA team. Shares Talking Stick Resort Arena with the Suns.
- Cactus League Spring Training Baseball, Phoenix and Surrounding Cities. 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.
- Arizona State Sun Devils, Sun Devil Stadium, 500 E Veterans Way, Tempe, ☎ +1 480 727-0000, toll-free: +1-888-786-3857, e-mail: email@example.com. 9–5, M–F. The teams representing Arizona State University, competing in the Pac-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.
- First Fridays Artwalk (Roosevelt between Central Avenue and Seventh Street). 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. 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. 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]). 7:45AM marathon start, 8:15AM half-marathon start. 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. 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. 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 (Loop 101 Fwy (Pima Road), Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd [E]). 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.
- Arizona State University. 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. 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. New law school, relatively open admissions policy.
- Thunderbird School of Global Management. 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.
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 St (Baseline to Arizona Grand - left UP THE HILL), ☎ +1 602-944-1286. 4PM. 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.
- 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.), ☎ +1 602-944-1286. 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 accommodated from 2 to 650. Friendly and Authentic Arizona. You will love it! Just ask for the owner or daughter and say you read on wikivoyage! 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.
- Rustler's Rooste-Cowboy Steak (Overlooking Phoenix at South Mountain), 8383 S. 48th St (Overlooking the Arizona Grand Resort), ☎ +1 602-431-6474. 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.
- 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.
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.
- Rosie McCaffreys Irish Pub, 906 East Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602-241-1916. 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.
- CamelBackpackers Hostel, 1601 N 13th Ave, ☎ +1 602 258-4143. Backpackers hostel with homey atmosphere and affordable prices. 6-8 person dorm: $26 per person, 2-4 person private room: $36 for one person, $60 for two people, $70 for three people and $80 for four people.
- Hostelling International Phoenix (The Metcalf House), 1026 N 9th St, ☎ +1 602 254-9803. Beds start at $18 per night. Closed during the months of July and August.
- AmeriSuites Phoenix North, 10838 N 25th Ave, ☎ +1 602 997-8800. 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, toll-free: +1-888-828-6745. 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. 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 St (off of the 44th Street exit), ☎ +1 602-267-0606, fax: +1 602-267-9767. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Offers free 24-hour airport shuttle, complimentary breakfast, high speed Internet and spacious rooms.
- Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N Second St. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. A North Phoenix hotel near Deer Valley Airport.
- SpringHill Suites Downtown, 802 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 307-9929. 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. 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.
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.
- Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ +1 602 438-9000. 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. 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.
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.
- The Arizona Republic, 200 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 444-8000. The city’s main newspaper that is read throughout the city and state.
- La Voz, 200 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 444-8000. A popular Spanish language newspaper published by The Arizona Republic.
- The New Times, 1201 E Jefferson, ☎ +1 602 271-0040. Independent news and information about events, music, food, published under common ownership with New York's Village Voice.
- East Valley Tribune ((formerly the Mesa Tribune)), 1620 W. Fountainhead Pkwy # 219, Tempe, ☎ +1 480-874-2863. +1 480-TRIBUNE. Freely distributed "voice of the East Valley" with annual Best of East Valley readers contests and an East Valley Guide with recommendations for food, drinks, entertainment, shopping and a calendar of local events.
- Asian American Times, 668 N 44th St, Ste 343. Excellent Chinese-American newspaper with articles printed in English and Chinese.
- Arizona Business Gazette, 200 E Van Buren St, ☎ +1 602 444-7304. Arizona business news, published weekly.
- Arizona Capitol Times, 1835 W Adams St, ☎ +1 602 253-7636. Reports on Arizona government, politics and legislative news.
- The Echo. Free biweekly gay and lesbian magazine.
- Canada (Consulate), 2415 E Camelback Rd.
- Ecuador (Consulate General), 645 E Missouri Ste 132, ☎ +1 602 535-5567.
- Guatemala (Consulate General), 4747 N 7th St, Ste 410, ☎ +1 602 200-3660.
- Honduras (Consulate General), 4040 E McDowell Rd, ☎ +1 602 273-0547.
- Mexico (Consulate General), 1990 W Camelback Rd, Ste 110, ☎ +1 602 242-7398.
Honorary consulates are typically individual representatives of nations who represent the interest of certain business functions, and are not full-fledged national consulates. Their ability to assist you with individual legal or official matters may be limited.
- Austria (Honorary), Paradise Valley, 4521 E. Quartz Mountain Rd, ☎ +1 480 502-8510.
- Belgium (Honorary), 2944 N 44th St Ste 250, ☎ +1 602 852-3870, fax: +1 602 852-3878, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Cyprus (Honorary), 1277 E Missouri, ☎ +1 602 264-9701.
- Denmark (Honorary), 9280 E Raintree Dr Ste 101, Scottsdale, ☎ +1 480 922-4582, fax: +1 480 922-3743, e-mail: email@example.com.
- El Salvador (Honorary), 4521 E Charles Dr, ☎ +1 602 948-4899.
- Estonia (Honorary), Scottsdale, 7135 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 230, ☎ +1 480 229-9791.
- France (Honorary), 2 N Central Ave, Ste 2200, ☎ +1 602 716-8222.
- Germany (Honorary), 1007 E Missouri Ave, ☎ +1 602 265-4428.
- Iceland (Honorary), 2999 N 44th St, Ste 640, ☎ +1 602 956-8474.
- Netherlands (Honorary), Scottsdale, ☎ +1 480 563-0092, fax: +1 480 836-2342, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Peru (Honorary), Mesa, 6242 E Arbor Ave., Ste. 118, ☎ +1 480 834-3907.
- Spain (Honorary), 3134 E Camelback Rd, ☎ +1 602 955-2055.
- Sri Lanka (Honorary), 329 W Cypress St, ☎ +1 602 254-1899.
- Sweden (Honorary), 2 North Central Ave, Ste 2200, ☎ +1 602 364-7450.
- 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.
- "Old Town" Scottsdale in the northeast Phoenix metropolitan area is the single most tourist friendly area in the valley.
- Downtown Tempe has a lively night life, being a college town
- 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|
|Blythe ← Goodyear ←||W E||→ Tempe → Tucson|
|Flagstaff ← Glendale ←||N S||→ END|
|Quartzsite ← Glendale ←||W E||→ Tempe → Socorro|