There are 24 cities that make up the Valley of the Sun. Phoenix and Paradise Valley occupy the central part of the valley. Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, Guadalupe, Apache Junction and Tempe flank it on the east. Buckeye, Surprise, Gila Bend, Avondale, Sun City, Peoria, Glendale, Tolleson, Litchfield Park, Youngtown and El Mirage are in the west. On the north end is Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, Carefree and Cave Creek. The warm temperatures and sunny days, that these communities experience every day coined the nickname Valley of the Sun. However, you will not find it written on any map.
These cities blend together into one large urban area. Many times visitors discover that they have traveled into another, by seeing the sign placed along the roadway designating a different city. The Valley of the Sun is spreading over the desert like a prairie fire and is growing more outward, than upward. Yet, it still holds on to its western hospitality. Each city has its history, which makeup its own unique personality. Every city has attractions and outdoor activities that make it a great place to visit.
The Valley of the Sun is a desert metropolis in the approximate center of the Salt River Valley in Maricopa County. The valley is roughly an oval shape stretching 80 miles to the east and west and 40 miles to the north and south, sloping generally to the southwest. As your eye travels along the horizon, you will see a mountain. The McDowell and Superstition Mountains are at the east, the Estrella and White Tank Mountains to the west, the world’s largest city park South Mountain is in the south, the Matazal Mountains rise in the northeast and dotted in the middle are Camelback Mountain and Squaw Peak Mountain. All of these mountains provide the valley with a scenic backdrop.
The floor of the valley is remarkably smooth and the city’s streets appear uniformly level. As a matter of fact, the view down most streets reveals mountains on the horizon. The valley streets are very easy to navigate. They form an orderly grid along the valley floor. Numbered streets run north and south, intersected by named streets going east and west. The axis is formed by Washington Street, which divides the city north and south and Central Avenue, which separates the east and west sections. All avenues run west of Central and all streets run east.
The warm southwestern climate is a draw for most visitors. The Valley sees 300 sun-filled days every year. This sets the stage for an average yearly temperature of 72 degrees and the word “humidity” is virtually none existent. The coolest month in the valley is January with a mean temperature of 51 degrees, so you won’t need a snow blower. The monthly mean temperature rises steadily up to July, when the temperature often exceeds 100 degrees. Rainfall is approximately seven inches a year, depending on the city.
Life in the Valley of the Sun is full of contrasts from the warm climate to the 150 plus golf courses, coupled by the six lakes located just over an hour’s drive from the valley. Not to mention the diverse cultures ranging from the Native American to Spanish.
Valley living is relaxed, cosmopolitan, conservatively progressive, casual and fun. Visitors will find a western sense of informality and leisure that slows the pace of the Valley. It is an exciting place to live too, knowing that growth and new opportunity are pretty much taken for granted here.
Many times visitors come to the valley to use it as a jumping off spot to explore the rest of the state, but you will find that there is lots of sights worth seeing right here. The Valley of the Sun has something to offer everyone.