- 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 1,100 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!
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, but never unpleasant due to low humidity. 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.
1 Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX IATA), ☎ . 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, Boutique Air
- Terminal 3: Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue
- Terminal 4: Aeroméxico, Air Canada, American, British Airways, Condor, Southwest, Volaris, WestJet
- To get to/from the airport:
- Valley Metro #13 goes west to S 75th Ave along S Buckeye (via Greyhound depot) from Terminal 2.
- The free PHX skytrain goes from Terminal 3/4 to 44th & Washington St Station where you can catch the #1 (west to the downtown Central Station or east to Priest & Washington in Tempe); #44 bus (north to the Desert Ridge Marriott Resort in Deer Valley along N 44th St & Tatum); or the light rail (east to Tempe & Mesa or west to Midtown and northern Phoenix along Central Ave).
- Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA IATA) +1 480 988-7600 is located east of Phoenix, in neighboring Mesa. Presently it's served by Allegiant Air and Westjet. This is a smaller-sized airport, but is in the process of being redeveloped into a major regional airport.
- Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT IATA) +1 623 869-0975 , located just 15 mi (24 km) north of downtown, is the busiest general aviation airport in the U.S. The FBO Cutter Aviation provides aviation fuel and a variety of guest services.
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. Therefore the nearest station is 35 mi (56 km) south of Phoenix in the town of Maricopa and is connected to Phoenix, Tempe and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport by an Amtrak Thruway Shuttle (operated by Stagecoach Express) or by taxi. Maricopa is served by the Sunset Limited which runs three times a week between New Orleans and Los Angeles. Additionally, Amtrak's Texas Eagle service between San Antonio and Chicago incorporates the Sunset Limited to provide a direct connection to Los Angeles with the same stops as the Sunset Limited between San Antonio and Los Angeles. Both trains stop in Benson, Tucson, Maricopa and Yuma.
Alternatives: disembark at Flagstaff instead and take a Greyhound bus into Phoenix from there or 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. The Southwest Chief runs through Flagstaff on its way between Chicago and Los Angeles with stops in Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams and Kingman. For much of its route, the Southwest Chief follows historic Route 66, and offers an interesting perspective of the historic road and its surroundings.
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 van shuttles serving Phoenix from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, El Paso, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, Yuma & Nogales in the U.S. and from Nogales, Hermosillo, Puerto Peñasco and Culiacán in Mexico. Each company has a stop or their own bus station in different parts of town that are far from each other. The bus stations and stops located in the neighborhoods northwest of the I-17/I-10 junction, northwest of the downtown core, are in rough neighborhoods.
- Arizona Shuttle, toll-free: . Regularly scheduled shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor (Airport) to Tucson, Prescott, Sedona & Flagstaff
- 2 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.), ☎ . Travels along I-10 between Los Angeles & El Paso on one route and up to Las Vegas on another route.
- 3 Greyhound Lines & Autobus Americanos, (Bus depot) 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.), ☎ , toll-free: . Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 10 (Los Angles-Phoenix-Tuscon-El Paso); 17/40 (Phoenix-Sedona-Flagstaff-Alburquerque-Armarillo-Oklahoma City. A divergence of this route goes west from Flagstaff to 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,San Diego and/or San Bernardino to get to other cities in the U.S. and in Nogales, Calexico/Mexicali and El Paso/Cd Juarez to get to other cities in Mexico. Prices vary by destination.
- 4 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).
- 5 Transportes Baldomero Corral (TBC), (Bus stop) 3106 W Thomas Rd, ☎ . Goes down to Hermosillo via Tucson and Nogales.
- 6 TAP Royal, (Bus depot) 2707 W McDowell Rd (SW corner of W McDowell Rd & N 27th Ave), ☎ . They also have an additional stop at La Salsita Restaurant at 2345 E Van Buren. Offers bus service between California, Arizona and Las Vegas NV in the U.S. and along the Hwy 15 corridor towards Guadalajara through several cities/towns in Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Jalisco in Mexico. Additional stops in Tucson and Nogales between Phoenix and the US/Mexican border.
- 7 Transportes Express, (Office) 131 N 28th Ave (South of N 28th Ave & W McDowell St, behind Rulis Polarizados Window Tint shop.), ☎ . Runs van shuttles from Phoenix to Nogales via Tucson; Calexico; San Luis and Yuma; Puerto Peñasco or Caborca through Lukeville/Sonoyta; and Douglas/Agua Prieta on separate routes.
- 8 Transportes Nenas, (Shuttle Depot) 3521 W McDowell St (Next to La Reyna Bakery along W McDowell between N 35th & 36th.), ☎ . Runs van shuttles between Phoenix and Rocky Point in Puerto Peñasco via Lukeville and Sonoyta.
- 9 TUFESA, (Bus depot) 1614 N 27th Ave (NW corner of W McDowell Rd & N 27th Ave), ☎ . 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.
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.
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 at every mile in each direction. Central Ave divides east from west while Washington St divides north from south. The numbered roads go north and south, parallel to Central Ave, with "Avenues" west of Central and "Streets" east of Central Ave such as 7th Ave going parallel on the west side of Central Ave while 7th St parallels along the east. The named roads go across east and west and can be "Roads", "Avenues" or "Streets". This also applies to the extended metro area, though addresses in places like Tempe and Mesa have their own numbering system and are not based on downtown Phoenix.
There is an extensive network of freeways, most built since 1987 and some more recent. 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.
- A single ride on a non-express bus or the light rail is $2.
- 1-day passes are $4 from machines, but $6 on board buses.
- The DASH is a free bus that runs M-F 6:30AM-6:30PM between downtown and the state capitol stopping at various government buildings such as city hall.
- 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.
- The cultural, governmental, and business center of the city is Copper Square, which is striving to become one of the southwest's most distinctive urban centers. Copper Square was built around the original Phoenix historic town site. Its boundaries extend from Fillmore to south of Jackson Street, 7th Street to 3rd Avenue. Recent and planned revitalization plans in the area are expected to cost more than $4 billion and aim to increase artistic, cultural and entertainment activity. The presence of two state universities (ASU and U of A) and a new convention center are also significantly changing the physical and economic shape of the Phoenix downtown area.
- Downtown and Central Phoenix are home to several historic neighborhoods. These range from turn of the century Victorian to mid-century modern architecture. Some of the more well-known districts include Coronado, Encanto-Palmcroft, FQ Story, Willo and Woodlea. The historic homes in these districts are private residences and not normally open to the public, but the neighborhoods are very pleasant to walk around. Some districts hold annual home tours when several houses in a neighborhood are open to the public, all covered by one ticket usually costing about $10. For example the FQ Story home tour is normally held shortly before Christmas.
- Roosevelt Historic District. This area has retooled itself from a run-down, drug-infested area to the epicenter of the Central Phoenix art scene. This emerging neighborhood has become home to artist live/work spaces, gallery spaces and studio spaces. Since 1994 the monthly First Friday's artwalk has grown to become the largest monthly artwalk in the U.S. Increasing interest in this area has prompted Rooselvelt Row to becoming more pedestrian-friendly and is supportive of small local independent businesses that give Downtown Phoenix character.
Parks and outdoors
- Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy (located in Papago Park, near the Phoenix Zoo.), ☎ . 50 acres of exhibits showcasing desert plants, with an emphasis on plant life of the Sonoran Desert and 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.
- Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N 3rd Ave, ☎ . 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.
- Deer Valley Rock Art Center, 3711 W Deer Valley Rd., ☎ . features a museum and visitor center dedicated to the preservation of historic petroglyphs and pictographs at the base of Hedgpeth Hills. A must see for geologists and archaeologists. $7 Adults, $4 Seniors and Students, $3 Children (Ages 6-12), Children 5 and under are free.
- 1 Arizona Science Center, 600 E Washington St, ☎ . 10AM-5PM. This center features 350 permanent hands-on exhibits as well as regularly hosting nationally acclaimed traveling exhibits. Also features a 5-story IMAX theater and Planetarium.
- 2 Heard Museum, 2301 N Central Ave (Btwn E Monte Vista Rd & E Hoover Ave.), ☎ . 9:30AM to 5PM Monday-Saturday, 11AM-5PM Sunday. 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. $15 adults, $13.50 seniors 62+, $7.50 children 6-12, free for children under 6 and American Indians.
- 3 Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, ☎ . 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.
- Arizona State Capitol Museum (Arizona Capitol Museum), 1700 W Washington St, ☎ . M-F 9AM-4PM, Sept-May Sa 10AM-2PM. The Arizona Capitol Museum uses a balance of technology, hands-on activities, historical artifacts, and public programs to help visitors learn about and interact with the government of the 48th state. free.
- 4 The Gallery at City Hall, 200 West Washington St (Corner of 2nd Ave and Washington St). M-F 10AM-2PM. Small, free art gallery on 1st floor of Phoenix City Hall with some of the over 1000 pieces of art on display from the city of Phoenix Municipal Art Collection which began in 1915. Free.
- 5 Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 East Mayo Blvd (Near AZ-51 and AZ-101 intersection), ☎ . Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday - 9AM - 5PM Thursday and Friday - 9AM - 9PM Sunday - 10AM - 5PM. Has many exhibits where you can see and hear the history of music from around the world. There's also a room for kids of all ages to try out instruments. $15.
- Phoenix Police Museum, 200 W Jefferson St (NE corner of 2nd Ave and Jefferson), ☎ . M-F 9AM-3PM. On the first floor of the historic city hall, it gives the history of the Phoenix Police Department in historic and modern context. Starts with a rock with shackles, which was the original jail. Even has the police department's first helicopter. There's a small exhibit dedicated to Miranda and Miranda rights and a memorial for 9/11. free.
- Children's Museum of Phoenix, 215 N 7th St, ☎ . T-Su 9AM-4PM. Third best children's museum in the country.
- 6 Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, (Museum Bldg) 4619 E Washington St (Museum Bldg at opposite side of parking lot from the entrance at Washington St. Park entrance between S 44th St & SR-143), ☎ . M-Sa 9AM-4:45PM, Su 1PM-4:45PM. The U.S.'s only city-operated archaeological site, preserving a 1500-year-old Hohokam ruin located in the shadow of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which is one of only two Hohokam mounds remaining in the metro Phoenix area (the other being the underdeveloped Mesa Grande ruins). The museum and site is comparable to the more famous (and more remote) Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, but the visible ruins are not as large. Adults (18-54): $6.00, Seniors (55+): $5.00, Children (6-17): $3.00, Children (under 6): Free.
- 7 Orpheum Theatre, 203 W Adams St, ☎ . Be sure to take a walk around this amazing piece of historic architecture set in downtown Phoenix. Built in 1929 in the Spanish Baroque style, this building feature intricate murals and moldings.
- 8 USS Arizona Memorial at the Arizona State Capitol, 1700 W Washington. Pay your respects to the victims of Pearl Harbor at the Arizona State Capitol's memorial to the USS Arizona. One of the two 19,585-lb anchors of the Arizona is displayed.
- Pioneer Living History Village, 3901 W Pioneer Rd (Take I-17 North of Phoenix to Exit 225 Pioneer Rd. PLHV is just W of the interstate), ☎ . A historically accurate recreation of an 1800s frontier town located between Phoenix and Anthem. Over 30 buildings provide a living example of what frontier life was like over 100 years ago. $7, $6 Seniors (60+), $5 Students (Ages 6-18), Children under 5 free.
- Arizona Biltmore Hotel. 24th St and Camelback Rd. Visit this legendary Phoenix landmark built in 1921 and has hosted famous guests such as Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Hope, and the President of the United States when he is in town.
- 9 Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E Telawa Trl (bus 70 from downtown), ☎ . Tours T-Su. Take a tour of the amazing architecture and grounds of this historic mansion built by the famous chewing gum magnate. Regular tours $15, lunch tours $30-45, Tuesday tours are free.
- 10 Tovrea Castle, 5025 E Van Buren St (eastern Phoenix, near airport), ☎ . Hours vary by season; reservations required. Tovrea Castle is a historic structure and landmark, which is particularly visible to drivers on Arizona State Route 202. Originally intended as a centerpiece for a resort, it was used as a private residence for the Tovrea family, who owned the Phoenix Stockyards which once were adjacent to the property. The rococo style building was constructed in a unique three-tier fashion which has resemblance to a traditional multilayered wedding cake. The castle is now part of the Phoenix parks system and is designated as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride. Currently the park shows over 5,000 individual cacti in over 100 different varieties, all maintained by volunteers of the Tovrea Carraro Society. There's only 1-2 tours on weekend mornings, so they can sell out months in advance. Tours are $15.
- Rosson House Museum, 113 N 6th St (Heritage and Science Park), ☎ . W-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su Noon-4PM. A fully-restored 1895 Queen Anne Victorian house museum which interprets the history of Phoenix. The only way to enter the house is through an hour-long tour which runs hourly. $9/adult, $8/concession, $4/child.
Winter visitors to the area will generally be looking for outdoor events. The area has many resorts with the relevant amenities, such as golf courses and the requisite pools and other activities on site. In the summer, due to the extreme heat, virtually everyone tries to avoid being outside more than necessary.
- 1 Castles~n~Coasters.
- 2 Enchanted Island Amusement Park.
- Cityscape, One East Washington, ☎ . Mixed use urban project which includes retail, shopping and entertainment such as a pub, comedy club, bowling alley and various restaurants. From late November through early January there is a holiday ice skating rink called Cityskate which has an admission fee ($12 to $15 which includes skate rental), nightly lightshows from 7 to 10PM and a 36 foot tall Christmas tree.
- FilmBar, 815 n 2nd St, ☎ . M-Th 5PM-12AM; F 5PM-2AM; Sa 1PM-2AM; Su 1PM-12AM. A microcinema (70 seats) and lounge for those aged 21 and older showing mostly independent and foreign movies for $8 per ticket. The bar (no entrance fee) has 30 craft beers and 15 wines available. Tickets available online or at the bar. In 2012 it was listed as the Best Neighborhood Bar in Downtown Phoenix for 2012. $8.
- Downtown Phoenix Farmers Market, 721 North Central Ave. Sat-8AM to Noon-Thursdays 5PM-9PM. Farmers market open year round on Saturdays (8AM-Noon) and Thursdays (5PM-9PM) offering fresh produce, prepared food and food trucks.
- The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St, ☎ . Venue which hosts live jazz music a few nights every week. Check website for exact event schedule and cost (cover varies from $5 to $15). BYOB-corkage fee of $5 for bottle of wine and $1 for bottle of beer. Listed as Best Jazz Joint in 2013 by the Phoenix New Times.
- Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Rides, 5601 Eagle Rock Ave NE, toll-free: . Scenic hot air balloon rides daily in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
- Arizona Grand Spa, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ . 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.
- Camelback Mountain (E McDonald Dr at Tatum Blvd), ☎ . The most recognizable landmark of the area, Camelback Mountain rises to 2,704 ft (824 m) at its summit. It sits between Phoenix to the south and Paradise Valley to the North. The lower areas of the mountain contain some of the most exclusive residences in the Valley, with the upper sections now part of a park. There are very challenging and difficult hiking trails to the summit that are not recommended for any but experienced hikers. As well, parking near the mountain is extremely limited. The mountain consists of red rock, and is in the general shape of a camel's silhouette. A rock formation on the mountain is known as Praying Monk. The park also contains Echo Canyon.
- Piestewa Peak, 2701 E Squaw Peak Ln or 2421 E Northern Ave, ☎ . 5AM-10PM (Dreamy Draw Park) 11PM (Phoenix Mountains Park). 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, offering fantastic 360° views of the city and its surrounding environment. The other well known mountain in the area (Camelback Mountain being the most well known), the peak was formerly known as "Squaw Peak" prior to being renamed in honor of Army Spc. Lori Ann Piestewa who was the first Native American woman killed in combat in the U.S. Military in 2003. Due to the recent name change visitors will find references to the peak under both names (for instance, the road leading to the park on the south side of the mountain still has the prior name). This mountain, whose summit rises to 2,608 ft (817 m), is much more accessible to visitors than is Camelback Mountain. Picnic areas exist both on the south side of the mountain (Phoenix Mountains Park entrance on Squaw Peak Ln.) and the north side (Dreamy Draw Park, entrance via Northern Ave.). 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.
- North Mountain, 7th St north of Peoria Ave (Entrance on 7th St, north of Peoria Ave and south of Thunderbird Rd), ☎ . 5AM to 7PM. Picnic areas, hiking trails, excellent view of the city from above. An oasis of desert inside the city limits. free.
- South Mountain Park. South Mountain Park and Preserve is the largest municipal park in the United States. With more than 16,000 acres, it has 51 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. By driving up the scenic Summit Road to Dobbins Lookout, you will be treated to spectacular views of metropolitan Phoenix area.
- Ben Avery Shooting Facility, 4044 W Black Canyon Blvd (Take I-17 North to Exit 224 Carefree Hwy (AZ 74). The facility is on the N side of the road just after the interstate), ☎ . The largest outdoor shooting facility in the country. The favorable weather provides excellent year-round conditions for shooting. Eye protection is required; ear protection is recommended. $7 Adult all-day pass, 18 and under free.
- Oasis Water Park. Hours vary by season.
- Arizona Grand Golf Course, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ . 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 Biltmore Golf Course.
- Phoenix Symphony, 455 N 3rd St, ☎ . The city's classical and pops orchestra, presenting a 25-week season of concerts.
- Arizona Opera, 4600 N 12th St, ☎ . 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, ☎ . 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.
- Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Ave (Corner of McDowell and Central Ave), ☎ . 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 $12.50 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.
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.
- Arizona Diamondbacks, 7th St and Jefferson, ☎ . 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: . 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), ☎ . 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, ☎ . 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, ☎ , toll-free: , 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.
- Grand Canyon Antelopes, GCU Arena, 330 W Camelback Rd, ☎ , toll-free: . The teams representing Grand Canyon University, competing in the Western Athletic Conference. The Antelopes, which don't have a football team, have now completed a transition to NCAA Division I sports. As with ASU, most of GCU's athletic facilities are on campus. In the last year or so, the GCU student section, known as the Havocs, has developed a reputation as one of the loudest and most energetic in American college sports.
- Phoenix Festival of the Arts, Margaret T. Hance Park, 1202 N. 3rd St. A 3 day festival in December held at Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix that features local artists and exhibitors selling art, a community mural, food trucks, performances on 2 stages and a beer and wine garden. For 2014 the dates for the festival are December 12 to 14 , for after 2014 check the website for exact dates in December the festival be held. Free admission.
- Real, Wild and Woody Beer Festival, Phoenix Convention Center (South Building), 33 South 3rd Street. Annual beer festival hosted by Arizona Craft Brewers Guild in downtown Phoenix with more than 50 local brewers offering local and unusual beers. There is an admission fee ($57 for 2015) which includes attendance to the event, 20 beer sampling tickets and food samples. For 2015 the date of the event is July 18th (check website for exact date for future years) An event for those aged 21 and older.
- 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.
- Avondale World Fest (Civic Center Amphitheater), 11465 W Civic Center Dr, ☎ . Annual cultural festival taking place in September.
- 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.
- 1 Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, 8034 N 19th Ave, ☎ . Daily 9AM-10PM. This Tucson-based used bookstore chain also carries used CDs, DVDs, video games, etc. There is an electric vehicle charging station and free Wi-Fi, and pets are welcome in the store.
- Lawn Gnome Publishing, 905. N Fifth St, ☎ . 10AM-10PM Mon thru Sat and Sun Noon to 6PM. Used bookstore that specializes in zines located in a building from the 1930's which also is a venue for open mic night every Monday from 8PM to 10PM, storytelling every Wednesday from 8 to 10PM, and a variety of other events. Located across the street from Lost Leaf bar.
- Hidden Track Bottle Shop, 111 West Monroe Street, Suite 120, ☎ . 12PM to 7PM Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday. Boutique wine store in downtown Phoenix that offer wine (tasted and selected by owners), beer, chocolate, pasta and snacks. Occasional wine tastings and delivery (for a fee) of wine is available. One block from the Van Buren St light rail station and free covered parking (garage entrance on the west side of the building).
- 2 Metrocenter, 9617 N Metro Pkwy W (West of I-17 between W Peoria and W Dunlap). Sun 12PM-6PM; Mon-Wed 12PM-7:30PM; Thur-Sat 12PM-9PM. Was once a major retail power center along the I-17 corridor during the 1980s where there are still over 100 stores and restaurants in and around the mall. Anchor stores include a Harkins 12-screen cinema, Sears, and Dillard's. Many smaller retailers and casual dining restaurants are also in the shopping center and the surrounding areas particularly in the northern end of the mall grounds towards W Peoria. There is also a Radisson Hotel in one of the free standing buildings on the north end of the mall grounds too. The mall served as the filming location for the fictional San Dimas Mall in Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure (1989) where the historic characters brought forward in time, ran loose only to cause mayhem and gotten into trouble. It has since been renovated and no longer looks as it did in the film.
- The Shops at Norterra. Is a major retail power center is located at I-17 on the north side of Happy Valley Rd. Anchor stores include a Harkins 14-screen cinema, Best Buy, and Dick's Sporting Goods. Many smaller retailers and casual dining restaurants are also in the shopping center.
- 3 Town & Country Shopping Center, 20th St and Camelback Rd. To the west of Biltmore Fashion Square is a mall that has recently been revamped and in conjunction with the Colonnade, Camelback Center serve as a bustling shopping area for the Camelback corridor. With many shopping and dinning options for both deep pockets and value seekers, nearby hotels, condos, and apartments the area has become an uptown destination or at least the beginning of your night.
- 4 Biltmore Fashion Park. 24th St and Camelback Rd. Includes many high-end tenants such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren, Cartier, and Escada; and many highly-acclaimed eateries.
- 5 Arizona Hiking Shack, 3244 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, ☎ . Long-running store with clothing, supplies and gear for hiking, camping, climbing and other outdoor activities.
- 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.
- Chicago Hamburger Company, 3749 E Indian School Rd, ☎ . M-Sa 10:30AM-8PM. "Home of the Original Windy City Slider" is the restaurant's slogan, and the small burgers (along with larger fare) are found here. A Chicago themed sandwich shop offering hot dogs, sandwiches and even Frito Pie (according to the menu, a former manager from Texas added it to the menu and they've left it on). This place is more what you would expect of a traditional burger joint than Delux Burger (listed below). Delux is when you want something more formal, Chicago Hamburger Company is when you want to grab a traditional burger shop-lunch.
- Chino Bandido, 15414 N. 19th Ave, Suite K (on 19th Ave, just North of Greenway), ☎ . 11AM-9PM. Strange and wonderful fusion of Mexican and Asian cuisine. It can take a little bit of work to understand how to order, so using the online interactive menu ahead of time is useful for first-timers. Ask for a sample spoon if you're not sure about a flavor combination. $5-$10.
- 1 Fry Bread House, 1003 E Indian School Rd, ☎ . M-Th 10AM-7PM, F-Sa 10AM-8PM. Since 1992 this Tohono O'odham owned and operated restaurant has served authentic Native American cuisine, based on family recipes that the restaurant owner learned as a child. Specializes in frybread in all its varieties. Features an all-Native American staff.
- 2 Green Restaurant, 2022 N 7th St, ☎ . M-Sa 11AM to 9PM; closed Sunday. Reputed vegan restaurant. PETA named the secret BBQ Chicken sandwich as the best faux chicken sandwich in the USA.
- 3 Matt's Big Breakfast, 825 N 1st St, ☎ . Tuesday thru Sunday 6:30AM-2:30PM, Closed Monday. Very popular breakfast restaurant in downtown Phoenix.
- Tee Pee Mexican Food, 4144 E Indian School Rd, ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Neighborhood Mexican food restaurant featuring fairly standard Arizona Mexican food fare at reasonable prices.
- Alice Cooper'stown, 101 E Jackson St, ☎ . Alice Cooper themed sports bar with rock music and plenty of merchandise. $10.
- Aunt Chilada's Squaw Peak, 7330 N. Dreamy Draw Drive, ☎ . 11AM-1AM. A historic family-run Mexican restaurant that's a popular local hangout. Large patios and beautiful traditional decor, as well as a Palapa bar and Bocce court. Excellent chips and salsa. Band every Friday night, Sunday open mic night. Breakfast on weekends. $8-$15.
- 4 Cherryblossom Noodle Cafe, 914 E Camelback Rd, ☎ . An interesting fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisine. One of the only places in the valley to offer an authentic Japanese beer, Calpico, a creamy beer with Japanese calpico brand drink mixed with lager beer.
- Delux Burger, 3146 E Camelback Rd (in Safeway center on NW corner of 32nd St and Camelback Rd), ☎ . 11AM-2AM. An upscale burger location, also known for its mini-shopping cart baskets of fries and a wide selection of micro-brews on tap. Has an interesting variety of salads as well as the sandwich fare. A good place when you want to have informal food but not in a totally informal setting.
- The Duce, 525 South Central Avenue, ☎ . Large warehouse with vintage design that contains a restaurant (food served from 1965 streamline trailer), soda fountain, bar, ice cream shop, boxing ring and clothing shop.
- 5 Garcia's Las Avenidas, 2212 N 35th Ave (near intersection of 35th Ave & Encanto Blvd), ☎ . Founded in 1957, about a half-mile north of the original location that was just south of McDowell Rd. on 35th Ave. A chain was later spawned from the restaurant, but this location remained outside the chain and under family control. Arguably, along with Macayo's, served to define what was expected of Phoenix area Mexican food.
- L'amore, 3159 E Lincoln Dr (in the shopping complex on the SE corner of 32nd St & Lincoln Dr), ☎ . M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM. Local Italian restaurant located on the border of Phoenix and Paradise Valley, features fresh seafood and home made pasta.
- La Grande Orange Grocery, 4410 N 40th St (SW corner of 40th St & Campbell), ☎ . Su-Th 6:30AM-9PM, F Sa 6:30AM-10PM. Popular neighborhood cafe featuring breakfast, sandwiches and grocery items, as well as pizzeria next door. Parking is often difficult in the area, though valet parking is offered as well as curbside service.
- Los Dos Molinos, 8646 S Central Ave, ☎ . Sonoran-style dominates Phoenix-area Mexican cookery, but Los Dos celebrates the cuisine of New Mexico -- 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.
- Majerles Sports Grill, 24 N. 2nd St, ☎ . Sports grill and lounge owned by former pro basketball player Dan Majerle.
- 6 Nobuo at Teeter House, 622 E Adams St, ☎ . Tuesday thru Sunday 11AM-4PM and 5:30PM, Closed Monday. Highly regarded Japanese restaurant in a renovated historic building in downtown Phoenix. The master chef is a James Beard award winner. Serving lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
- The Parlor Pizzeria, 1916 East Camelback Rd, ☎ . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su Closed. Neighborhood artisan pizza restaurant, which reused the landmark Salon de Venus beauty salon building when it shut down after 60 years.
- Phoenix City Grille, 5816 N 16th St. M-Th 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-11PM, Sun 10AM-9PM. Southwestern themed variations on grill fare is offered by this local restaurant.
- Pita Jungle, 4340 E Indian School Rd (44th St & Indian School Rd), ☎ . 10:30AM-10PM daily. Offers a selection not only of pitas, but also of other Mediterranean inspired meals in a sit down environment.
- 7 Pizzeria Bianco, 623 E Adams St (SW Corner Heritage Sq, 7thSt/Monroe), ☎ . Winner of numerous awards. The chef, Chris Bianco, no longer cooks all pies, but is on premises most of the time. Small restaurant, expect lines at popular eating times (6:30-8PM Fri/Sat). $.
- 8 Postino on Central, 5144 N Central Ave, ☎ . Fun little wine cafe on Central Avenue, just north of Camelback Rd. Good wine selection, but the bruschetta boards are the main attraction.
- Texaz Grill, 6003 N 16th St (NE corner of 16th St & Bethany Home Rd), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-10PM, F 11AM-11PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su 4PM-10PM. Originally named "Lone Star Steaks" the restaurant changed its name when a national chain moved to town and wanted to sue. Offers reasonably priced steaks and exceptional Texas fare. Specialties are Chicken Fried Steak, choice aged beef and home made desserts.
- Thai Lahna, 3738 E Indian School Rd (38th St Shops Center), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-9:30PM, F Sa 11AM-2:30PM, 5PM-10:30PM, closed Su. East Phoenix neighborhood Thai food restaurant.
- Wildflower Bread Company, 4290 E Indian School Rd (Arcadia Commons Center), ☎ . M-F 6AM-9PM, Sa 7AM-9PM, Su 7AM-8PM. Arcadia location of restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring a bakery. Lunch menu consists of sandwiches and soups, while pasta is added for dinner. Free wi-fi access and power outlets are available at the location.
- 9 Hula's Modern Tiki, 4700 N Central Ave # 122, Phoenix, AZ 85012, ☎ . Great island inspired food and drinks.
- 10 Joyride Taco House, 5202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012, ☎ . Eatery offering elevated Mexican street eats, drinks & patio seating in a hip, colorful setting.
- The Breadfruit, 108 E Pierce St, ☎ . Monday thru Thursday 5PM-10PM Fri and Sat 5PM-11PM for food ( 12AM for drinks). Serving Jamaican food for dinner and also has a rum bar.
- Donovan's Steakhouse Restaurant, 3101 E Camelback Rd, ☎ . Wine & cocktails at 4PM daily, dinner 5PM. Upscale steakhouse serving high grade steaks with high grade service. Complementary valet parking provided.
- 11 Durant's, 2611 North Central Ave (On east side of Central at Virginia Ave), ☎ . Classic American "special occasion" restaurant, where the price isn't listed on the menu, and the parking is valet. $30-$50+.
- El Chorro, 5550 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley (on Lincoln Drive, just east of Tatum Boulevard), ☎ . M-Su 5PM-Close; Sunday Brunch 9AM-3PM. Located at the base of both Camelback and Mummy mountains, this restaurant is well known to locals both for its views of stunning desert scenery and for the historic charm of its buildings. Even if you've just dropping by for drinks on the patio, don't miss trying the complimentary sticky buns. $20-$50.
- Fuego Bistro, 713 E Palo Verde Dr (1 block S of Bethany Home Rd, 100 yards E of 7th St), ☎ . Tu-Sa 11AM-2PM, 5PM-9PM. Cozy dining room, patio beneath the stars, and a full service bar. Cuban, Puerto Rican and Latin American dishes such as Pernil Asado, Ropa Vieja and Arroz con Gandules. $$$.
- Rustler's Rooste, 8383 South 48th St, ☎ . Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM. Steakhouse located adjacent to Arizona Grand Resort, and shares an elevated, picturesque view of the metro-Phoenix area. A gigantic live bull in a pen at the front of the restaurant, a slide to the downstairs seating, cotton candy at the end of the meal, and loud live country western music are part of the ambiance. In addition to common steakhouse fare, local items include Rattlesnake with Prickly Pear Cactus Fries. $20-$30.
- The Stockyards Restaurant, 5009 E Washington St, ☎ . Billed as "Arizona's Original Steakhouse", the aptly named restaurant officially opened for public dinning in 1947. Originally "steak on the hoof" was visible to visitors as they entered and exited the restaurant, as it was located adjacent to the Tovrea families' 200 acre feedlot and packing house, which accommodated more than 300,000 head of cattle each year. While the cattle are now gone, the authentic western cuisine and "refreshments" remain. Includes the 1889 Saloon, which features authentic 19th century Old West decor and furnishings, and the (in)famous Gold Room. $30-$50.
- Tarbell's, 3213 E Camelback Rd, ☎ . M-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM. Chef Mark Tarbell's namesake restaurant, it features Southwestern themed cuisine and local organic ingredients. Per the website, dress is "resort casual" defined as "everything from denim to diamonds."
- 12 Quiessance Restaurant, 6106 S 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85042, ☎ . Farm to table fresh delicious food. With Worth every cent. $$$$.
- 13 Richardson's and Rokerji, 6339 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016, ☎ . Richardson's serves some of the spiciest New Mexican cuisine in Arizona on copper-topped tables and bars. The Rokerij (pronounced ro-ker-ee) means “smokehouse in Dutch” and features a great selection of steaks, chops, fresh fish and “small plates.” Don’t miss the down stairs bar. Both feature dim-lighting and great service. Reservations for parties of 6 or more suggested.
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.
- 1 The Lost Leaf, 914 N. 5th St, ☎ . 5PM-2AM. Bar in a renovated bungalow from 1922 that features art and live music nightly with no cover charge. More than 100 different kinds of beer, wine and sake available.
- The Rose & Crown, 628 East Adams St, ☎ . British pub with over 50 local and import beers and English and American food. In 2011 the Phoenix New Times named it the Best English pub in Phoenix.
- Hanny's, 40 North First Street (SW corner of Adams and 1st St), ☎ . M-F 11AM-1AM, Sa-Su 5PM-1AM; bar open daily until 1:30AM. Swanky and stylish bar and restaurant located in a historic Phoenix building constructed in the 1940's serving food such as pizza, sandwiches and salads and a variety of cocktails. $5 classic martinis served all day
- 2 Bar Smith's Rooftop Lounge, 130 E. Washington St, ☎ . M-Th 11AM-2PM; F 11AM-2PM, 9:30PM-2AM; Sa 9:30PM-2AM. Downtown Phoenix bar and restaurant with Phoenix's only rooftop dance floor that attracts a young crowd. Nightclub is open Wed thru Sat.
- Angels Trumpet Ale House, 810 North Second St (1 block from Roosevelt/Central light rail station), ☎ . Tu-Th 3PM - 12AM; F Sa 11AM-12AM; Su 11AM-11PM; Closed Monday. Bar and restaurant with 31 rotating craft beers on tap serving lunch and dinner. 3,000 foot patio with a diverse menu with snacks, flatbreads and sandwiches.
- Crescent Ballroom, 308 N 2nd Ave (one block west of Van Buren light rail station), ☎ . M 11AM-1AM; Th F 11AM-2AM; Sa 5PM-2AM; Su 5PM-1AM. A 7000 square foot lounge, restaurant and music venue in a red brick warehouse built in 1917 which hosts live music every day. Happy hour is Monday thru Thursday from 3-6PM and Friday from 11AM-6PM with 2$ PBR, 3$ wells and 3$ local drafts.
- Seamus McCaffrey's, 18 W Monroe, ☎ . Great small Irish pub downtown. Same owner of Rosie McCaffrey's up on Camelback. Live Irish rock music.
- 3 Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, 1 West Jefferson St (near the 1st Ave & Jefferson and Central & Washington light rail stations), ☎ . Tuesday thru Saturday 4PM to 2AM. A cocktail parlor situated in a historic building in downtown Phoenix with an extensive drink menu that also serves food.
- Valley Bar, 130 N Central Ave (located in an alley behind the building and 1 block from the Adams light rail station), ☎ . Daily 4PM to 2AM. Basement bar and live music venue in downtown Phoenix that serves food and has a game room with darts, shuffleboard and a pool room. Some events have an admission charge and some events are free, check calendar on website for exact schedule and prices.
- Cobra Arcade Bar, 801 North 2nd Street, ☎ . M-W 4pm-12am, Th-Sa 4pm-2am, Su 12pm-12am. 3300 square foot Arcade Bar (21 and over) that has 40 vintage arcade games like Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, etc (25 cents a play) that serves beer, wine and cocktails. Happy hour Monday thru Friday from 4 to 7PM and a live DJ plays Thurs thru Sat nights.
- 4 SideBar, 1514 N 7th Ave (SW corner of 7th Ave & McDowell, above the Pei Wei and the Starbucks), ☎ . 4PM-2AM. Great cocktail lounge with a hip, modern feel. Bartenders are pretty knowledgeable, and the beer selection, while all bottled, is pretty good. No food is really served here, but if you're hungry there's a Pei Wei Asian Diner just downstairs that you can grab a bite at.
- 5 George and Dragon, 4240 N Central Ave, ☎ . British pub offering traditional British food and imported beer.
- 6 Linger Longer Lounge, 6522 N 16th St Ste 6, ☎ . 4PM to 2AM daily. Neighborhood lounge with game room with electronic darts and arcade ball machines. 16 drafts or cocktails on tap and happy hour from 4PM to 7PM on weekdays and all day Sunday with drink and food specials. A takeaway case with beer and wine to go is available.
- Rosie McCaffreys Irish Pub, 906 East Camelback Rd, ☎ . 11AM to 2AM daily. Irish pub with daily specials, happy hour everyday (4 to 7PM) and live music Wednesday through Saturday.
- 7 Fuego Bar & Grill, 9118 W Van Buren St, Tolleson, ☎ .
- MercBar, 2525 E Camelback Rd (SE corner of 24th St and Camelback), ☎ . A high-end local place with a 'speakeasy' feel to it. It is hidden in the plaza with no sign, but once found it proves to be worth the trouble. Live jazz on Tuesdays.
- 8 Postino Wine Cafe, 3939 E Campbell Ave (Campell is halfway between Indian School Rd and Camelback Ave, with the best access via 40th St from either road), ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM. A wine cafe located in the former Arcadia post office. In addition to wines, the cafe features panninis and salads. The cafe also offers $5 glasses of wine each day until 4PM.
- Half Moon Sports Grill, 2121 East Highland Ave, ☎ . Upscale sports bar with lots of TV's to watch games. Happy hour Mon to Fri (3PM to 7PM).
- 9 The Little Woody, 4228 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018, ☎ . 4PM-2AM. A hip place to enjoy libations and games. $$.
- 10 The Yard (Culinary Dropout), 5640 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85014, ☎ . Don't have room for your own party, bring it here! Spirits flow, games galore, and lots of friends to visit with.
- 11 Honor Amongst Thieves, 5538 N 7th St #100, Phoenix, AZ 85014, ☎ . Sun-Thurs: 6PM-12AM, Fri-Sat: 6PM-2AM. Craft cocktails and a large whiskey list are offered in this speakeasy style lounge.
- 12 The Whining Pig, 1612 Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016, ☎ . 3PM-12AM. Eclectic neighborhood bar with very limited space and classic table games.
- The Grand, 718 North Central Ave, ☎ . Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 24 hour coffee shop, bistro and bar that serves food in downtown Phoenix. Live events on some nights such as open mic storytelling and live music.
- Hostelling International Phoenix (Metcalf House), 1026 N 9th St, ☎ . Office hours 8AM-10AM and 5PM-10PM; 24 hour access once checked in. Wifi available for $1. Closed during July. $21 dorms, $35-45 privates. Non-HI members charged an extra nightly $3 fee.
- Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Avondale, 11460 W Hilton Way, Avondale, ☎ . Includes such amenities as an on site grill, mp3 compatible clock radios, and an outdoor pool.
- Homewood Suites Phoenix-Avondale, 11450 W Hilton Way, Avondale, ☎ .
- Homewood Suites Phoenix North/Happy Valley, 2470 W Charlotte Dr, ☎ . All suites have a fully equipped kitchen. Hot breakfast buffet, Welcome Home reception Mon-Thur evenings, free hi-speed internet access, business center, outdoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center.
- Hyatt Place Phoenix North, 10838 N 25th Ave, ☎ . Located just north of downtown Phoenix and a short distance from the new Glendale Arena and Cardinals Football Stadium.
- Premier Inns, 8399 W Lynwood St, Tolleson, ☎ . This hotel features such amenities as a heated pool, continental breakfast, and high speed internet access.
- Sleep Inn Phoenix North, 18235 N 27th Ave, ☎ , fax: . A North Phoenix hotel near Deer Valley Airport.
- Courtyard Phoenix West/Avondale, 1650 N. 95th Ln, ☎ . Free hi-speed internet access, business center, meeting/banquet facilities, outdoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center. On-site cafe and cozy lounge area.
- Courtyard Phoenix Camelback, 2101 E Camelback Rd (located in the Town & Country Center at 20th St and Camelback, to the W of Bookstar and behind the restaurants in the W part of the center parking lot), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Midrange hotel that is located 1/2 mi from the Biltmore Fashion Park shopping area and Camelback Esplanade, and about a mile from the Arizona Biltmore resort. Midrange hotel.
- 1 Courtyard Phoenix Airport, 2621 S 47th St, ☎ . $70-120.
- 2 Courtyard Phoenix North, 9631 N Black Canyon Hwy, ☎ . Recently renovated guest rooms and near Chase Field.
- Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Happy Valley, 2335 W Pinnacle Peak Rd (I-17 and Pinnacle Peak Rd), ☎ .
- Embassy Suites Biltmore Hotel, 2630 E Camelback Rd, ☎ .
- 3 Fairfield Inn & Suites Phoenix, 2520 N Central Ave, ☎ . 10 minutes or so from Sky Harbor Airport and right in the heart of midtown Phoenix north of the Heard Museum.
- Hampton Inn Phoenix-Airport North, 601 North 44th St (off of the 44th Street exit), ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. Offers free 24-hour airport shuttle, complimentary breakfast, high speed internet and spacious rooms.
- 4 Hotel San Carlos, 202 North Central Ave, ☎ , toll-free: . A boutique hotel that is a historic state landmark and a tourist site. Built in 1928 it is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and The National Trust of Historic Preservation. It has a heated rooftop pool with sundeck and a Vietnamese restaurant in the hotel. Located in the middle of downtown Phoenix near a Phoenix light rail station.
- The Legacy Golf Resort, 6808 S 32nd St, ☎ . 328 oversized condominiums, all with fully equipped kitchens or sleek kitchen-bars and washer/dryers.
- 5 Residence Inn Phoenix Airport, 801 North 44th St, ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 12PM. The hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Extended stay accommodations include full size kitchens and free internet. Complimentary hot breakfast buffet served daily.
- 6 Residence Inn Phoenix Desert View at Mayo Clinic, 5665 E Mayo Blvd, ☎ . Extended stay hotel located in North Phoenix and located next to the Phoenix Mayo Clinic.
- Sheraton Crescent Hotel, 2620 W Dunlap Ave, ☎ .
- SpringHill Suites Phoenix Downtown, 802 E Van Buren St, ☎ . All-suite hotel with microwave, fridge, free wired/wireless internet in every room. Pool, small gym, free breakfast, free airport shuttle. From $150.
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.
- 7 Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E Missouri Ave (enter off 24th St at Missouri), ☎ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Not only a place to see, it has historically been the place to stay in the area for those not afraid to pay top dollar. The resort features all the expected amenities and services. The resort is located between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain, sitting along the smaller mountains between the two larger peaks. High end resort pricing.
- Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 S Arizona Grand Pkwy, ☎ . A luxury resort located in a desert oasis at the base of South Mountain Preserve in Arizona. Features a championship golf course, a luxury spa, vacation villas, dining at six restaurants and The Oasis Water Park.
- 8 The Clarendon Hotel, 401 W Clarendon Ave, ☎ . Part of the Midtown Museum District, independent boutique hotel with free international calls and an amazing pool area.
- 9 Hotel Palomar, 2 East Jefferson St (1 block from Washington/Central station light rail station), ☎ . Boutique hotel at Cityscape shopping and entertainment center with all 242 rooms having city and mountain views. 3rd floor outdoor pool and lounge which is open all year offers views of downtown Phoenix. $119-$340, depending on time of year.
- 10 Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N Second St, ☎ . Very centrally located, across the street from the Convention Center. Glass elevator to 13th floor popular with locals for views. Rotating restaurant on top floor. $100-130.
- Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak, 7677 N 16th St (on 16th St N of Glendale Ave, S of Northern Ave), ☎ . Major resort located close to Piestewa Peak, this was the original Pointe resort built in the Valley, originally referred to only as The Pointe. With the addition of other Pointe Hilton resorts (at Tapatio Cliffs to the northwest and the former Pointe South Mountain, now the Arizona Grand Resort) the name was changed to Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak--only to recently have the mountain's name itself changed to Piestewa Peak. To locals, both the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak and the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs are known for their waterparks, with multiple pools, cabanas and even a waterslide. High Resort pricing.
- 11 Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 50 E Adams St, ☎ .
- 12 Royal Palms Resort & Spa, 5200 E Camelback Rd, ☎ . 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. This 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.
- 13 The Camby, 2401 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016, ☎ . Located across the street from the upscale Biltmore Fashion Park. The former Ritz Carlton was recently remade into this sleek, contemporary luxury hotel with southwestern touches and modern technology. Upgraded rooms add mountain views. Room service is available 24/7.
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, ☎ . The city’s main newspaper that is read throughout the city and state.
- La Voz, 200 E Van Buren St, ☎ . A popular Spanish language newspaper published by The Arizona Republic.
- The New Times, 1201 E Jefferson, ☎ . 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-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, ☎ . Arizona business news, published weekly.
- Arizona Capitol Times, 1835 W Adams St, ☎ . 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, ☎ .
- Guatemala (Consulate General), 4747 N 7th St, Ste 410, ☎ .
- Honduras (Consulate General), 4040 E McDowell Rd, ☎ .
- Mexico (Consulate General), 1990 W Camelback Rd, Ste 110, ☎ .
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, ☎ .
- Cyprus (Honorary), 1277 E Missouri, ☎ .
- Denmark (Honorary), 14850 N Scottsdale Rd, Suite 155, Scottsdale, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- El Salvador (Honorary), 4521 E Charles Dr, ☎ .
- Estonia (Honorary), Scottsdale, 7135 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 230, ☎ .
- France (Honorary), 2 N Central Ave, Ste 2200, ☎ .
- Germany (Honorary), 1007 E Missouri Ave, ☎ .
- Iceland (Honorary), 2999 N 44th St, Ste 640, ☎ .
- Italy (Honorary), 7509 N 12th St, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- Peru (Honorary), Mesa, 6242 E Arbor Ave., Ste. 118, ☎ .
- Spain (Honorary), 3134 E Camelback Rd, ☎ .
- Sri Lanka (Honorary), 329 W Cypress St, ☎ .
- Sweden (Honorary), 2 North Central Ave, Ste 2200, ☎ .
- United Kingdom (Honorary), 2425 E Camelback Rd, Ste 1020, ☎ .
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
- Many visitors come to Peoria during the spring to see their favorite professional baseball team in the Cactus League for Spring Training.
- Mesa serves as the location for a Mormon (Latter Day Saints) Temple and is Arizona's third largest city after Tucson.
- Small towns Cave Creek and Carefree lie just north of the city.
- 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.
- 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
|Routes through Phoenix|
|Blythe ← Goodyear ←||W E||→ Tempe → Tucson|
|Flagstaff ← Glendale ←||N S||→ END|
|Quartzsite ← Glendale ←||W E||→ Tempe → Socorro|
|Peoria ← Glendale ←||W S||→ Scottsdale → Tempe|
|END ←||W E||→ Tempe → Gilbert|