Phoenix © DGustafson
Arizona's capital city, Phoenix has risen from the
mythical ashes of an ancient agricultural Indian village to become
a sprawling modern metropolis and the fifth most populous city in
the US. Its rapid urban growth has filled what is known as the
Valley of the Sun, encompassing the neighbouring towns of
Scottsdale, Mesa, and Tempe as suburbs. It's one of America's
fastest-growing urban centres, claiming to have more five-star
hotels than any other city in the US.
With luxurious resorts and spas, glitzy shopping
plazas, upmarket restaurants, and superb golf courses, together
with over 300 days of sunshine a year, the area has become a
popular winter getaway for the rest of the country.
However, while some may know Phoenix as a retirement
community, it is home to both the University of Phoenix and the
University of Arizona, as well as over a dozen other colleges,
ensuring a huge student population that keeps Phoenix young.
Phoenix has a number of interesting museums,
including the Heard Museum of Native American culture and the
Phoenix Art Museum. A scattering of parks, a wide variety of
restaurants, and a well-developed arts scene makes a vacation in
Phoenix an attractive prospect for travellers of all ages.
Phoenix's greatest attraction is its location, with
the city surrounded by a vast cactus-studded desert and the
magnificent scenery of the Red Rock Country around Sedona. It's a
landscape of canyons, pinnacles, and red cliffs which have been the
setting for numerous Wild West films and novels. The Apache Trail
is a winding scenic drive that passes through some of the beautiful
rugged terrain of central Arizona, passing ghost towns, ancient
ruins, and the Superstitious Mountains.
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