The Valley of the Sun, which is what the people call Phoenix these days, was not always the large, modern metropolitan area we see today. Today cars line the streets and people dash about for business and recreation as Sky Harbor sees a steady stream of passengers coming to, or going through, Phoenix from all over the world! Yes, the Phoenix of today is an emerging city, growing into the promise of a bright future for those who live, work and play here.
The natural landscape provides the nature-lover with rare chances to enjoy countryside like no other they will ever find anywhere else in the world! Camelback Mountain and Squaw Peak are both not only landmarks, they are famous hiking spots as well And if you ever have the chance to hike these popular mountains’ ways you will likely meet other friendly hikers, like yourself, who could not resist the natural wonder of the area.
Less hiked, but no less beautiful are Estrella Mountain and South Mountain, which is a 12-mile wide chain of mountains divides the valley from the Sonora desert to the south. Mc Dowell Mountain is a mountain preserve at the north of the valley and the Superstition Mountains in the east. All of these mountains provide a spectacular scenic beauty for the valley.
Located in Maricopa County and the capital of Arizona, Phoenix is the center of almost everything in Arizona- population, government, industry, finance, business, agriculture, fine arts, sports and much, much more.
Now, this sparkling image of modern city life is not how things always were and there is a long and exciting history steeped in the lore of the legends of the legendary Old West. What you think of when you think of the western way of life with its rough-and-tumble way of life and hardy individualism is how western life was when Phoenix was young.
Phoenix, during the early days, as a small farming town. In fact, the images that come to mind from those oh-so-long-ago days are probably images of places, real or not, patterned after real-live cities and towns in the vast Arizona desert.
Phoenix is the state capital of Arizona and was incorporated as a city in, 1881. Phoenix is located in central Arizona in the southwestern United States, 118 miles northwest of Tucson. It is Arizona’s largest city and largest metropolitan area by population. It is also the county seat of Maricopa County and the principal city of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix is appropriately called Hoozdo, or “the place is hot”, in the Navajo language.
The City of Phoenix’s population is over 1.3 million and this makes Phoenix the largest capital city by population in the United States. Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the United States and it is also the third largest capital city by area in the U.S.
The 2000 U.S. Census reported the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as the fourteenth largest in the U.S., with a population of 3,251,876. The city’s MSA grew in population to an estimated 3,790,000 in 2004. From 1990 and 2000, the city area grew by 34 percent. This makes it the eighth fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S.
Just as the mountains surround the valley, so there are a number of cities that surround Central Phoenix. In every direction, there are a variety of cities and towns, and each has its own unique history and character. The City of Scottsdale is to the east, the towns of Cave Creek and Carefree to the north, City of Glendale to the west. Then there is “Arizona’s Golden Corridor”. This is an area that is made up of several cities and towns that wind gradually southward down toward the direction of Tucson.
The closeness to so much other interesting of interest give Phoenix residents a special advantage Central Phoenix dwellers are literally within minutes of most cities and towns located in the Valley of Sun.
So how did this glittering city by the lake get started? And what could life have been like in those early days?
The native people who it is believed first settled in this area, The Hohokam Indians, are believed to have settled in this area over 2,000 years ago. The Hohokams are a people shrouded in mystery and they got their name from the Piman Indian word for “the people who have gone”. These settlers came, stayed then disappeared from the valley a long time ago. We know something about them because they left behind some amazing proof of their civilization.
From the blistering plain, they used their engineering skills and imagination to make it possible to grow some crops in the desert. They did this by digging a series of ditches that allowed them to bring sufficient amounts of water to some areas about the valley so that they could plant their corn and other crops there.
These ditches were built along the Salt River so that those waters could be diverted to agricultural use. The skill and ability of the Indians as planners, builders, and farmers is proven to us today by scholars and archaeologists who have studied the area and the people who lived there long ago. Relics tell us today that these communities along the Salt River flourished for nearly 1,500 years.
Then the trail suddenly vanishes! What, if anything, happened is still not clear to us today. Theories are many as to what could have happened.
Some guess that a prolonged drought may have led to crop failures that finally forced the tribe to move away from the area, or even may have killed them. Some disease that we know nothing about today could also have caused this civilization to die off and disappear. Or perhaps the Hohokam Indians are simply the ancestors of the modern Pima Indians who now live on the Salt River and Gila River reservations and the Tohono O’odham who live in southern Arizona.
Any one of these theories, or a combination of these ideas, could explain the mystery. But all that is known to those who are experts in this area is that the trail of evidence grows cold at about 1459 A.D. and that the hot, dust-swept plains are still and silent as to exactly what happened to the ancient civilization that once thrived there,
Probably the first western man to venture into what is now Arizona was Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado to in 1540. The Spanish were drawn to the New World in their zeal to spread Christianity and in their search for glory and riches. Their adventures saw them travel to what is now South America, Mexico, and the United States, and all along their way, these conquistadores kept hearing tales of never-to-be found riches. Later Coronado led a legion of explorers further northward as far as Kansas but they found nothing that remotely resembled a mystical city of gold either.
It is widely believed that John Y.T. Smith was the first white settler to arrive n the area. Strong and sturdy, he chose the site to start cutting hay because of the remains of the canal ditches left behind by the Hohokam Indians.
After Smith had gotten used to life in the valley and found that the valley had ample bounty for anyone willing to put in the hard work and time to reap its rewards he invited his friends to come out west and see if they didn’t feel the way he did about the area
Now I invite you to join me in turning the clock back a little bit. In fact, let’s turn it all the way back to, let’s say, 1867. Here we are standing alone on a vast and unsettled desert plain. Don’t waste your time looking for any of the landmarks and places of interest that we take for granted today: Bank One Ballpark, America West Arena, Herberger Theater, Phoenix Symphony Hall, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Science Center, or the Convention Center, Arizona State University, The Biltmore- they’re not here yet!
Look around you and you will see little, outside some historic places that have remained with us to this very day, which you will be able to recognize! No busy city streets swelling with traffic, no sounds of powerful jet engines from the jet aircraft overhead – in fact, no paved roads at all!
The Phoenix area in 1867 may strike you as a little confusing! Just where is the Sheriff? Are there any outlaws on the loose and roaming the countryside? And just how does a six-shooter work, anyway?
Then you happen to see a man headed in your general direction, and, needing some quick information you hurry over to talk to him. In a rush, you introduce your self and then begin with a flood of questions.
The man straightens up, looks you square in the eye, and then, with a good-natured smile says “You’re new to these parts, aren’t you?” The man’s easy manner and friendliness are disarming and you follow along as he strolls toward the local feed store. He introduces himself, “My name is Jack Swilling, how do you do?”
You have just befriended one of the important figures in the founding of Phoenix. You see, Mr. Swilling was an engineer of sorts, and he founded a digging and building firm that began bringing water to the Phoenix from the Salt River.
Jack Swilling was from Wickenburg, Virginia. He was a friend of Smith’s and decided to take the invitation and go out west and see if he might not want to “set up stakes” here in what was later to become Phoenix.
Mr. Swilling made the long and dangerous trek across the country, finally arriving here safe and sound. When Jack Swilling got to the foot of the north slopes of the White Tank Mountains he may have taken a moment to rest and look around. He would have seen the vast Salt River Valley stretching out before him.
As he bent down to sample the dusty earth that he stood on his farming knowledge would tell him that there was a chance for life here. He would see farmland that didn’t have a lot of rocks and that had a long and warm growing season. He was very impressed with the area and, like so many who would follow in his adventurous footsteps; he fell in love with the valley and decided to settle here.
By 1868, he had convinced some friends from Wickenburg to join him out west. He told them of what he had seen and of the great promise that the area held for those brave enough to meet the tough physical challenges of the untamed west. Mr. Swilling must have been convincing because a band of brave settlers did leave from the east to join Mr. Swilling in Arizona. When these folks arrived they began to carry out their plan to make the vast stretches of land they saw before them good for farming. So this band of settlers made a canal from the Salt River and settled in a small farming community approximately four miles east of the present city. And it worked. And they stayed.
It is hard to imagine now because when you look around you, you can see plants, trees, and even flowers all around you. But before there was a way to bring water into the valley there was no life here except for native desert life.
You can still get a pretty good idea of what the area looked like in the days before a lot of settlers brought prosperity to the region by traveling just a short way beyond the valley. You will note that before too long the trappings of big-city life will quickly disappear, vanishing into an expanse of rolling desert sparsely populated by cactus and stark in its natural straight-forwardness
How Phoenix Got Its Name
The place where this little settlement was located was first named Swilling’s Mill after Jack Swilling, the founder. Later, the name would change to Helling Mill, Mill City, and then East Phoenix. Swilling wanted to name it Stonewall, after the famous Civil War General Stonewall Jackson. Others wanted to call this area, close to where Arizona State University now sits, Salina.
It is widely believed that Darrell Duppa, an educated Englishman recommended the name Phoenix. It is accepted that the reason he chose this name was that, just as the mythical Phoenix rose from its ashes to spread its mighty wings and fly again, so had the place where the mysterious Hohokams built their marvelous canal system, get a new lease-on-life. The name stuck.
At first, Phoenix was part of Yavapai County. But in 1868 it was officially recognized as its own town. What’s more, later that year Phoenix got its own post office with Jack Swilling acting as postmaster.
The area was surveyed in 1870 to select a suitable piece of unimproved public land for a town site and in 1871 the territorial legislature created Maricopa County, the county in which Phoenix is located. The first county election in Maricopa County was held in 1871 when Tom Barnum was elected the first sheriff of Maricopa County.
The first public school in Phoenix opened on September 5, 1872, in the courtroom of the county building. By October 1873, a small adobe school building was completed on Center Street (now Central Avenue) a short distance north of where the San Carlos Hotel now stands. Miss Nellie Shaver, of Wisconsin, was appointed as the first female schoolteacher in Phoenix.
In 1874 none other than President Grant issued a land patent for the present site of Phoenix. The total cost of the Phoenix Town site of 320 acres was $550, including all expenses for legal fees, surveying, and other services.
At this time cotton became a main crop in the valley. This brought in labor, both migrant and permanent, and the township brew as its cash crop spurred a need for labor.
Forward toward the future
The arrival of the railroad in 1887 was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix. The coming of the railroad in the 1880s caused more growth as travel to, and through, Phoenix was made easier. Merchandise now flowed into the city by rail instead of a wagon.
Phoenix became a trade center with its products reaching eastern and western markets Commercial traffic from east to west also saw the growth of the hospitality industry and of other businesses that catered to the needs caused by increased traffic. In recognition of the increased tempo of economic life, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce was organized.
Two years later Phoenix became the territorial capital. When the construction of the Roosevelt Dam was completed the town’s growth increased. This is because the dam guaranteed a reliable supply of fresh water to support the additional demand caused by the increase in population and farm irrigation.
In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the National Reclamation Act making it possible to build dams on western streams for reclamation purposes. Valley of the Sun residents was quick to supplement this federal action by organizing the Salt River Valley Waters Users’ Association to assure proper management of the precious water supply and to this day it serves as the major agency for controlling the use of irrigation water in the Valley.
In 1911, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam was built to create the Roosevelt Lake. At the time this dam was the largest masonry dam project in the world and it created expanded irrigation of land in the Valley for farming and increased the water supply for the steadily growing population.
Statehood and beyond
President William Howard Taft approved Arizona’s statehood in 1912. This made Phoenix the official state capital.
Shortly after statehood, Phoenix changed its form of government from mayor-council variety to a council-manager system. This form of administration was revolutionary at the time and has been duplicated by many cities in the United States since then.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge sold 13,000 acres of South Mountain to the city of Phoenix for $17,000 so that the city reached its present size of 16,500 acres. In fact, South Mountain Park, which hosts over 3 million visitors each year, is the largest metropolitan park in the world today.
However, gradually the city and state became known for more than just climate. The “Five C’s” (climate, citrus, copper, cotton, and cattle) soon became the mainstays of the city and state. But it wasn’t until the outbreak of World War II that Phoenix really began to grow. Arizona ‘s ideal weather was perfect for air flight. Soon military airfields and the defense industry headed to Phoenix to set up shop.
The war caused Phoenix from a farming focus to manufacturing and distribution center. Phoenix had the work force and the land needed to set up plants for creating a military buildup and that is what happened. The 1940’s saw Phoenix rapidly turn into an industrial city with a mass production of military supplies.
Luke Field, Williams Field, and Falcon Field, coupled with the giant ground-training center at Hyder, west of Phoenix, brought thousands of new recruits into Phoenix.
In 1950, 105,000 people lived within the city limits and thousands more lived in adjacent communities and depended upon Phoenix for their livelihoods. The city had 148 miles of paved streets and 163 miles of unpaved streets for a total of 311 miles of streets within the city limits.
After the war, families headed west to start a new beginning. Then air-conditioning became standard, which made the desert summers bearable. Today tourism has become a leading industry.
Phoenix has been selected four times since 1950 as an All-America City. This is a privileged distinction among big cities. To be an All-America City judging criteria includes the extent to which a city’s private citizens are involved in city government.
Thousands of Phoenix citizens have served on various city committees, boards, and commissions to assure that major decisions are in the best interest of the people.
In 1993, Phoenix was selected as the “Best Run City in the World”, also known as the Carl Bertelsmann Prize, by the Bertelsmann Foundation of Germany. Phoenix is in a very select class of city recipients of this noble honor.
During the 1950’s Phoenix reached its city size of 17 square miles. Current development is pushing rapidly beyond the geographic boundaries to the north and west, south through Pinal County towards Tucson, and beginning to surround the large Salt River and Gila River reservations.
Considered by many at one time as a small western town mostly thought of as a stop along the way to either of the coasts the city developed from a place with the unique reputation as a healthy haven for those suffering from the symptoms of chronic asthma to a world-class city.
Phoenix’s municipal motto is “Vision, and values cascading into the future.” The vision for Phoenix is a city on the rise. The numbers suggest a city that is growing in every important area and the trends do not give any hint of a change in direction. Phoenix has much to offer for anyone, and whatever you are looking for you can be sure that you will be able to find it here.
Phoenix has a personality that is as varied and complex as those of its residents. There is a vibrant and exciting nightlife, but this is in contrast to a large number of quiet residential neighborhoods where those who prefer a more steady-paced lifestyle live. Finally, this is a good saying for a city whose growth is cascading by leaps and bounds so that the rate is among the fastest of any large city in America.
But in spite of all this sprawling growth, Phoenix has been nationally recognized as “One of the Best Managed Cities” in the United States. This has been accomplished by hard work and attention to details. This recognition is the reward for a responsive and caring city administration; one that has had to adapt constantly to new and different demands that appear quickly and that impact many people at once.
Like most large cities, Phoenix is not just a large, faceless mass, but is subdivided into a series of smaller units. Similar to the way New York is broken down into boroughs Phoenix can be separated into 15 distinct neighborhoods or villages. Every major city has to be divided into simpler units for the sake of effective management. Service providers have to be able to respond knowledgeably and quickly and only by knowing an area when the city is as large as Phoenix, can this be done effectively.
Phoenix adopted a commission form of government in 1913. This is long before any other city had thought about using this type of method of city government, as most had never imagined any system other than the long-established major leadership system. The city of Phoenix is managed by a city council consisting of a mayor and eight city council members. The mayor is elected in an “at large (or election open to the public) election.
The winning candidate is elected to serve a four-year term. City council members are elected to four-year terms by voters as well, but each councilperson is voted for by, and to represent, each of the eight separate city districts. The mayor and city council members have equal voting power to make laws and set the policies that govern the city.
In addition to eight voting districts, the city is also divided into 15 “urban villages.” The reason for this is to help in making local laws and regulations that are in tune with the needs of the local residents. Having smaller areas that can express their needs and wants is intended to let people have their say at a level closer to the neighborhood residents
These urban villages(Five of the villages: North Mountain Village, Alhambra Village, Encanto Village, Camelback East Village, and Central City Village, are included in Central Phoenix.) are: Ahwatukee Foothills, Alhambra, Camelback East, Central City, Deer Valley, Desert Ridge, Desert View, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Maryvale, North Gateway, North Mountain, Paradise Valley (not to be confused with the town of Paradise Valley), South Mountain, as well as a fifteenth which is as of yet unnamed (created in 2004 and currently called, “New Village.”). The fifteenth is sparsely populated and new development is not expected anytime in the near future.
All of these villages are unique and have special characteristics. Visit any of these five villages and the differences in history and personality will become immediately apparent to even the most casual observer. Phoenix is in the center of Arizona and it has a little of everything. Discover Phoenix, discover a unique part of America’s heritage.
There has been a lot of building, restoration, and renovation of the downtown area. Examples of the vast amount of development that have been going on are the US Airways Center (formerly America West Arena) and Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark) and the very many coffeehouses, restaurants, nightclubs and shopping areas appearing with increasing frequency. The popular Arizona Center continues to attract people to the downtown area for shopping during the day as well as for the vibrant nightlife. Many new restaurants have done well by offering first-rate food, fun, and service, some using the themes of Phoenix’s early history to add extra charm and uniqueness to the dining experience. Downtown attractions include a variety of events and activities supported by public and private sponsors. There are also many parks and squares to walk, the Arizona Science Center, art and history museums and the public library to visit,
West Phoenix (Growth and Opportunity)
The inner neighborhoods include many reasonably priced homes. Much of the residential building here is recent and took place no later than the 1970s. Shoppers in the west are catered to by a variety of large malls and pavilions that promise not only great selection and price but also provide free open-air entertainment like concerts and other attractions.
The west side continues to grow outward at an amazing rate. Visit charming Historic Downtown Glendale and see how life was in the area in days gone by. Antique vendors tempt visitors with their hidden treasures and the area affords a variety of shopping and diverse dining choices.
Cardinals Stadium is currently under construction in Glendale. The Fiesta Bowl is moving to the stadium in 2007 and the 2008 Superbowl (XLII) is slated to be held at Cardinal Stadium.
South Phoenix (Economy and Scenery)
This area features a lot of inexpensive housing. There is also a lot of commercial activity going on here. But for older adults and urban professionals there is the gated community of Ahwatukee that provides upscale apartments.
Visitors are advised to take the South Mountain Park Scenic Drive while in this area. The beautiful sunsets that are the pride of Arizona and best enjoyed from a desert wilderness vantage point are seen so clearly from these mountains. An impressive shopping mall is located just across the freeway so that area residents can choose from an assortment of goods located very near to where they live.
Northwest (History and Recreation)
Out beyond Peoria and Glendale are the communities of Sun City, Sun City West, Youngtown, and Surprise. The Sun Cities and Youngtown are largely retirement communities and provide full-service to take care of the needs of resident retirees.
But while development is springing up all over the area is also remarkable for its natural beauty. Hikers will enjoy the White Tank Mountain Regional Park. These areas provide some of the best hiking and sight-seeing to be found anywhere.
East Side (Expansion and Diversity)
Nestled again Phoenix on the east is the town of Paradise Valley. Found to the Northeast of Phoenix, this area is popular with middle-class and wealthy residents. South of Paradise Valley is the neighborhood of Arcadia. Unlike most of Phoenix, Arcadia is filled with more mature landscape and citrus trees.
Just to the east of Paradise Valley is the well-known City of Scottsdale. The people who live there like to call it “The West’s Most Western Town.” Scottsdale housing and living is expensive as the area is made to serve those who are the wealthiest Phoenix residents.
Tempe, located south of Scottsdale, is primarily a college town. It is the home of Arizona State University and the Sun Devils. Local festivals, gatherings and a long list of other special events are extremely popular in this area. Arizona State University is the hub of this area.
Continuing further to the east is Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert. The City of Chandler remained largely an agricultural community until the 1970’s when there was a big increase in settlement. Much of this area houses young families and middle-class professionals in traditionally styled housing developments.
Education (Schools and Learning)
Public education in the city of Phoenix is provided by 30 school districts.
The principal institution of higher education in the area is nationally renowned Arizona State University (ASU). ASU’s main campus is located in Tempe, but ASU is a large university with large satellite campuses in Phoenix and Mesa aw well. ASU is currently one of the largest public universities in the U.S., with a 2004 enrollment of 57,543.
The University of Phoenix is also headquartered in, you guessed it, Phoenix! This is the nation’s largest private, for-profit university. It reports an enrollment of well over 130,000 students in campuses throughout the United States and the world. (Foreign campus locations include Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands.)
There is also an extensive network of community colleges throughout the valley. These ten community colleges and two skills centers are sprinkled across Maricopa County in order to provide adult education and job training to the widest possible cross-section of scholars.
Geography and Climate
The heart of the City of Phoenix, and what many would say might be at the very heart of the state, is called Phoenix Arizona Home Central Phoenix. Phoenix is surrounded by a ring of mountains, and therefore finds itself located in a valley. As this valley, blessed by almost year-round constant sunshine, is called The Valley of the Sun, so is Phoenix, the jewel that sits at the center of this valley, often referred to as The Valley of the Sun.
The exact location of Phoenix, in latitude and longitude, is 33 degrees 31’42” north and 112 degrees 4’35” west. This puts it at about the same latitude that would be on an east-west line going from west to east through Long Beach, CA, Shreveport, LA, and Savanna, GA. Phoenix sits in the center of Phoenix Valley, also frequently referred to as the “Valley of the Sun”.
It is easy to imagine the in-state location of Phoenix by just thinking of a place right in the middle of the state of Arizona. The elevation of Phoenix is 1,117 feet above sea level and it is in the heart of the beautiful Sonora Desert.
A major feature of Phoenix is the Salt River. The Salt River is important in the history and development of the city, and of the state. But the Salt River is also an important part of the landscape. The Salt River flows westward through the city of Phoenix; the riverbed is normally dry except when excess runoff forces the release of water from the dams upriver.
The city of Tempe has built two inflatable dams in the Salt River bed to create a year-round recreational lake. The Tempe Town Lake is surrounded by lavish living accommodations and a number of recreation and nightspots to meet the plan of creating a luxurious resort location.
But aside from this man-made lake, the city and surrounding places are mostly made up of land. The city officially has an area of 475.1 square miles. You can see how important water is to the area when you consider that of all this space only 0.05 percent of it is made up of water.
The majestic mountain ranges that enclose, ring and protect the city include Camelback Mountain to the east, Piestewa Peak (Formerly known as Squaw Peak and renamed to commemorate a brave Native American member of our military who fell in the line of duty with U.S. Armed Forces fighting for freedom in Iraq) in the northeast, and South Mountain, appropriately enough, in the south. Completing the enclosure and a bit further away, are the White Tank Mountains.
These mountains, rising spectacularly above the mostly level desert plains, form a breathtaking background for this jewel of a city amidst the desert.
But the Phoenix area itself is not simply a flat plain with no character to its terrain. Within the city are the Phoenix Mountains and South Mountains. These mountains not only add to the scenic beauty of the valley, they are also ideal locations to participate in local recreation.
Phoenix has a very dry and hot climate, with little change during the year. Clear blue skies are typical on most days, and Phoenix boasts nearly 300 sunny days per year on average. The temperature reaches or exceeds 100 degrees on about 89 days during the year.
The hottest times are the days from early June through early September. To get an idea of how hot it can get there record temperature was set on June 26, 1990, when it reached an all-time high of 122 degrees! (The lowest temperature ever recorded in Phoenix was 16 degrees on January 7, 1913.)
The dry Arizona air makes the hot temperatures easier to withstand early in the season. But the resident must be aware of the August monsoon season. At this time Phoenix can get nearly as humid as it gets in the Southeastern United States.
The normal annual rainfall is 8.29 inches and rain is particularly scarce from April through June. Although thunderstorms occur on occasion during every month of the year, they are most common during the monsoon season from July to mid-September.
Snow is extremely rare in the area. Most of the snowfall occurs north at the higher elevations around Flagstaff with snowfall in Phoenix noted. When it snows in Phoenix it goes in the record books!
The Bird (Legend of the Phoenix)
In fact, this is the story of how Phoenix got the name. But the story of the Phoenix, rising from the desert plain, is not a new story, and the idea behind the Phoenix, which suits the city so well, has a varied cultural history.
Ancient Egyptian legend from 5,000 years ago tells us of a magnificent and wonderful bird called the Phoenix. This heron-like bird stood for the beginning of life and of the Egyptian civilization.
The Arabian Phoenix was believed to build itself a funeral pyre before death then set itself ablaze to rise again 3 days later. Other cultures have similar stories. Many travelers get their first look of Phoenix at Sky Harbor. Arrivals to Phoenix will see a huge mural that spans a major section of the terminal wall and depicts the legendary bird emerging, triumphant, from among the ashes!
And this is how the city got the name; it is a major city rising from the heated desert plain- just like that mythical bird from ancient times rose from the ashes to give new life to where there had been none. Congratulations, then, to all those from then up now who have worked so hard to turn what was once a barren desert area into a gleaming city devoted to offering its residents the best of modern life.
Phoenix Trivia (Facts or Fiction?)
Here are some interesting “facts” about the Phoenix area. The following list, though intended to be authentic, has not been updated to ensure currency and those interested in verifying the items on the list are invited to do so!
Phoenix is not only a city in Arizona, it is also a city in New York, Maryland, and Oregon.
• It is illegal to hunt camels in the State of Arizona.
• Arizona once had a navy consisting of two boats on the Colorado River. They were used to prevent California from encroaching on Arizona territory.
• The name Arizona comes from the Indian “Arizonac” which means “little spring”.
• Phoenix averages 211 days of the sunshine per year.
• South Mountain Park covers more than 20,000 acres, making it the largest city park in the world.
• A saguaro cactus will take between 50 and 100 years to grow an arm. The saguaro cactus flower is the official state flower of Arizona.
• There are 11.2 million acres of National Forest in Arizona and one fourth of the state is forested. The largest forest is comprised of Ponderosa Pine.
• The largest freshwater striped bass caught in Arizona was at Bullhead City. It weighed 59 lbs. 12 oz.
• In the City of Glendale, it is illegal for a car to back up.
• Someone who lives in Arizona is referred to as either an “Arizonan” or an “Arizonian”.
Brief Economy Profile (Local Economy)
At first, the Phoenix economy was agricultural. The cash crops in those early days were cotton and citrus products. In the last two decades, the economy has changed as rapidly as the population has grown. As the state capital of Arizona, many residents in the area are employed by the government. Arizona State University has also enhanced the area’s profile and prestige through education and its growing research capabilities. A number of high-tech and telecommunications companies have also chosen to move to the area.
The warm winter climate drives a great deal of seasonal tourism and recreation and the area is prepared to meet the wants and needs of area visitors. The Heard Museum does a tremendous job of preserving and presenting the Native American past with its displays and outstanding artwork collections. The Biltmore has upscale shops and wonderful restaurants. Golfing is big in Phoenix, with the area hosting many Professional Golf Association (PGA) events.
Phoenix is the home for major Fortune 500 companies Avnet, Inc. Electronics Corporation, Phelps Dodge Corporation mineral development specialists, and America West Airlines. Allied Waste Industries, Inc., the second largest non-hazardous solid waste management company in the country, also calls the area its home.
Luke Air Force Base, located to the west, is a large military installation. This Air Force Base that provides jobs and spending that ensure the economic stability to that area
Phoenix is also a popular location for all sorts of filming. Filming for TV and for the movie industry has been popular here for a long time. The city government operates a film office to assist those in motion picture and advertising companies who are interested in using city-owned sites or other locations throughout the metropolitan area in their productions.
Transportation (Getting around, Getting About)
Sky Harbor International Airport is located in the metro area near the intersections of I-10, I-17, US 60, and State Routes 51 and Loop 202. It is a southwestern hub for traffic by air and a center for all air travelers continuing further west or going to the east. It is the fifth largest airport in America. The airport serves more than 100 cities and carries more than 36 million people a year. The airport serves domestic and international customers with a number of major carriers.
The Williams Gateway Airport, an Air Force Base in Mesa recently converted to civilian use, also serves the area’s commercial air traffic. The conversion is an attempt to relieve Sky Harbor of some of the airport’s traffic and to carry passengers to local destinations.
Smaller airports that primarily handle private and corporate jets include the Scottsdale Municipal Airport in Scottsdale and the Falcon Field Airport in Mesa.
Public transportation throughout the metropolitan area is served by Valley Metro bus service that operates a series of buses and ride-share options. Valley Metro is currently building Valley Metro Rail, a light rail project. Several cities have expressed interest in commuter rail on existing railway lines and there are a series of proposals under consideration.
The road system in Phoenix is relatively new. This means that it has been laid out on a grid system so that most roads travel either north to south or east to west. I-10, called the Maricopa and Papago Freeways, starts all the way in Los Angeles and comes east through downtown Phoenix where it continues southeast towards Tucson.
I-17, known as the Black Canyon Freeway, begins in downtown Phoenix and travels north to Flagstaff. US 60, the Superstition Freeway, also travels through the center of the city, going to the northwest through the suburbs of Glendale, Peoria, and Surprise. It also exits to the east of downtown and continuing through Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Apache Junction. State Route Loop 101, named the Agua Fria, Price, and Pima Freeways along parts of its route, is also a major highway that forms a semicircle around the northern suburbs of the city. This ring starts from I-10 in the west and goes around to I-10, by way of State Route Loop 202, in the southeast.
But the rapid growth of the city has seen the need for even more access to, and about, the city. Phoenix continues to add to its highway system to better serve the public with Loop 202 and Loop 303 nearing completion.
Recreation (malls, zoos, pavilions, and parks)
The Phoenix area, or the “Valley of the Sun”, continues to be a favorite winter haven for visitors from all over the United States and the world. The commerce and enterprise that tourism and the tourism industry bring to Phoenix is a large part of what makes Phoenix such a great place to live. There are numerous restaurants, shopping areas and recreational spots for everybody to enjoy.
The relaxed and casual southwestern style of life makes Phoenix an especially desirable place to live or visit for those seeking a break from the hurried pace of like that is so common these days. Phoenix has grown in size to over 430 fun and action-packed square miles and continues to be a town of new opportunities and sensational growth.
The fine weather and availability of many lands for commercial development have meant that there are many outdoor malls throughout the valley. These malls, with their pleasant atmosphere and vendors of all types, have become an ideal place to spend an afternoon. Whether it be a weekend visit for window-shopping, a shopping trip or merely a lazy afternoon of strolling about the malls are always a popular destination.
A great place for shopping is the Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix. This mall features great restaurants and nightlife is another popular location for those focused on fun and shopping.
The Phoenix Zoo is the place to go if you want to learn about animal life from this, and from other, areas. The habitats are well kept and the decoration authentic to the areas in which the species are actually found. There are enough mammals, bird, and reptiles to satisfy the curiosity of even the most avid animal-lover and will provide satisfaction for many, many visits.
The Arizona Science Museum is the place to go to learn about science. The center has a large assortment of displays and features many interactive exhibits. Visitors are often able to see the operation of a scientific idea by models that let the visitor actually operate the exhibit and bringing the display to life!
The Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion is a spectacular outdoor entertainment complex that attracts top acts and music lovers from all over. There is seating for 18,000 and at least 50 major shows make their stop at the pavilion each year. Entertainers like Moody Blues, Kenney Chesney, Dave Matthews, Erykah Badu, Scorpions, Hank Williams Jr., Prince, Harry Connick Jr., Brittany Spears, Santana and the B-52’s are just a few of the big-name acts that have been attracted to this venue. New or old, rock or pop, the talent is diverse and first-rate at Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion.
You will find many outdoor activities in the Valley of the Sun. The Phoenix Mountain Preserve, at over 24,000 acres, is the largest municipal park in the United States. The Phoenix Mountain Preserve is made up of many mountain parks that are a part of the preserve. South Mountain Park stretches 16,500 acres and is a part of the chain of desert mountain parks that go around Phoenix. Squaw Peak Park and North Mountain Park are both very popular hiking areas. Many people use these trails on a daily basis. Papago Park is a wonderful place to see remarkable red rock formations.
The views that the peaks overlooking Phoenix give of the city are breathtaking. Encanto Park is located in the center of Phoenix. The park has rich, forest-like foliage, plentiful water ways and even children’s amusement park making it an ideal place to spend a family outing.
Calgary (Alberta, Canada)
Grenoble (Rhone-Alpes, France)
Hermosillo (Sonora, Mexico)
Prague (Czech Republic)
Arizona Historical Society Museum
Arizona Science Center, designed by Antoine Predock
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds
Bank One Center the tallest building in the state of Arizona
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Burton Barr Central Library, designed by Will Bruder
Castles N’ Coasters amusement park
Desert Botanical Garden
Hall of Flame
Hotel San Carlos
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area
Phoenix Museum of History
Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
St. Mary’s Basilica: Tovrea Castle
South Mountain Park.
Symphony Hall for the Phoenix Symphony at the Phoenix Civic Plaza
Taliesin West and Gammage Auditorium
Major Sports Clubs
Club and Sport
Arizona Cardinals Football
Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball
Phoenix Suns Basketball
Phoenix Mercury Basketball Women’s National Basketball Association
Phoenix Coyotes Ice Hockey
Helpful Contact Information to Know (Getting Started)
Whether you are coming to Phoenix for a brief visit, to stay for a while or to settle down there are things that you will be interested in knowing about the area. Following are some links to sites that might be of interest to you; things to do, places to go and things you might need to get. Take a moment to look at the list of sites and see if any are useful to you as you get started on your Arizona adventure.
• For more detailed information about what’s happening right now in Phoenix. see http://copwww.ci.phoenix.az.us/
• Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, to find out more information about the local headlines and events see http://www.maricopa.gov
• Cox is one of the local cable and telephone providers in the Phoenix Metro area, click here to learn more about their services at http://www.cox.com
• Southwest Gas is the local natural gas provider, click here to learn more about their services and rates go to http://www.swgas.com
• Qwest is another local provider of telephone and internet access providers click here for more information about their services, including long distance visit http://www.qwest.com
• APS is one of the local electricity providers in and around the Valley, click here to see if they service your area! http://www.aps.com
• SRP is another local electricity provider, click here to see if they service your area. Go to http://www.srpnet.com
Here in Phoenix you are surrounded by mountains that skirt the edges of Central Phoenix. Camelback Mountain sits in the east, Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) in the northeast, South Mountain in the south, and in the far distant west is the White Tank Mountains, and all of these amazing mountain ranges make the Central Phoenix’s desert oasis. Look around you. If you appear to be surrounded by this ring of mountains then you are considered to be in the heart of the Valley of the Sun. Situated in the middle of this remarkable range in Central Phoenix.
In every direction, there are wonderful cities and lovely towns full of happy people. Phoenix has it. They found it. Do you want it? They got it!
Central Phoenix Villages Phoenix has been recognized as “One of the Best Managed Cities” in the United States. The city has been broken down into 15 neighborhoods or villages. There are five villages (urban areas) that are included in the Central Phoenix area. These villages are: North Mountain Village, Alhambra Village, Encanto Village, Camelback East Village, and Central City Village. All of these villages are unique and have special characteristics. Phoenix is in Central Arizona.
The City of Scottsdale is to the east of downtown, the towns of Cave Creek and Carefree are north, and the City of Glendale, the gem of the valley, faces California with its back to the east. And you have to check out Arizona’s “Golden Corridor” encompassing several cities and towns. Golden sunlight, golden sand. Central Phoenix is in a unique spot. People who live here are a highly distinguishable lot. Residents are within minutes of most cities and towns in the Valley of Sun. It is easy to get around town when you live in Central Phoenix. And since Phoenix has it all, this means that you can get it all. Easily. So what are you waiting for?
There are numerous freeway choices. Both Interstate 17 and State Highway 51 (Piestewa Peak Freeway) run the entire length of the area, north, and south. Interstate 10 also cuts through east and west. Central Phoenix residents don’t have to travel far because they’re so lucky- they’re right in the middle of everything! They did it so you can have it – you’re in Phoenix.
Central Phoenix Entertainment is great! The area is host to many restaurants, lots of shopping, theaters, museums, professional sporting events, and much more.
Phoenix is simply BOOMING! It is a city of well over 1, 2 00,000 people.
The Central Phoenix area is, by all empirical indicia, a truly metropolitan city. The biggest draw to living in the Central Phoenix area is its proximity to many world class restaurants and major sports venues. Just go to BOB (Bank One Ballpark) for Arizona Diamondback professional baseball games. The more intimate but no less accommodating America West Arena takes you in to see the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Rattlers, and Phoenix Mercury games.
So, do you prefer Mozart or Beethoven?
Herberger Theater provides dramatic presentation while that Phoenix Symphony Hall, Dodge Theater and Orpheum Theater provide symphonic performances of masterworks which are, in most cases, far more accessible than contemporary theater even attempts to be.
And then there are the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Science Center, Phoenix Civic Center, the Convention Center and much, much more. Phoenix is a big place; there is a little of everything here- you just may have to search a little bit.
Central Phoenix Overview
Central Phoenix is an area that stretches from historic downtown Phoenix, northward through the center of Phoenix up to North Mountain. It is an area that many people moving to Phoenix chose to make their home.
The Valley of the Sun (Phoenix metropolitan area) is very large, covering nearly 400 square miles. However, the city of Phoenix itself is divided into 15 sections or urban areas called villages. Each village has its own unique qualities. The Central Phoenix area includes five of these villages. The villages are North Mountain Village, Alhambra Village, Encanto Village, Camelback East Village, and Central Village.
Each of these villages offers an array of properties, from historic homes to new homes. The Central Phoenix area is unlike any of the other towns/cities on its outskirts. This part of Phoenix is more established, giving the Central Phoenix area less of a desert environment and more a city setting.
Many properties include grass lawns and citrus trees. The Central Phoenix area offers residents the convenience of downtown sporting events, galleries, and cultural events.
It is the perfect location for those who want to experience the friendly and relaxed southwest feeling, without living with a desert background.
Discover what developments are available or learn about the Phoenix villages that are included in the Central Phoenix area.
Living in the Central Phoenix area is great! This area is host to many restaurants, lots of shopping, theaters, museums, professional sporting events, and much more. The Central Phoenix area is a truly metropolitan city.
One of the best perks, when selecting the Central Phoenix area as the home is its location. Residents are literally in the center of everything. The Central Phoenix area sits inside a valley. Mountain ranges flank the Valley of the Sun on edges. To the south, South Mountain with the largest municipal parks in the United States, to the west, the White Tank Mountains with a natural waterfall flowing during the winter months, to the north, North Mountain and Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) Mountain both offering hikers wonderful trails, and to the east, Camelback Mountain a rock climber’s paradise with its red rock surface, the Central Phoenix area sits in the middle of it all.
Those arriving in the Valley of the Sun, you will soon discover that the Central Phoenix area is unique. Properties in this area are diverse. Newly constructed lofts or condominiums in the downtown Phoenix area have become very popular. There is also large acre sized properties with horse privileges and large estates that edge the main street in Phoenix, called Central Avenue. Tall palm trees and old trees line the wide streets in several historic areas, such as Palmcroft and Willo. There are also new home developments sprinkled throughout the city. There is something for everyone.
To look at homes in the Central Phoenix area, click here.
As you look around Phoenix, it is hard to imagine what life was like in 1867. It was in this year that Jack Swilling created a canal company. He began channeling water from the Salt River. This small beginning is how Phoenix received its name. The legendary Egyptian symbol of rebirth is the Phoenix bird rising from its own ashes. Travelers coming through Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 2 will see a spectacular mural of the Phoenix bird depicted in all its glory on the west wall in the main section of the terminal. From such small beginnings, this metropolitan city has grown. Today, Phoenix’s motto is “Vision, and values cascading into the future.”
The biggest draw to living in the Central Phoenix area is the proximity to many great restaurants, Bank One Ballpark (for Arizona Diamondback professional baseball games), America West Arena (for Phoenix Suns professional basketball, Arizona Rattlers professional arena football, and Phoenix Mercury women’s professional basketball games), Herberger Theater (for plays), Phoenix Symphony Hall, Dodge Theater (for concerts and performances), Orpheum Theater (for concerts and performances), Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Science Center, Phoenix Civic Center, the Convention Center and much, much more. You will find something is going on every day. As the sixth largest city in the United States, the Central Phoenix area is the heart.
To find out what properties are available in the Central Phoenix area, click here.
The climate is typical of the southwest. There is a mild winter that is balanced by a long hot, dry summer. Many have claimed that the dry, hot summer conditions have helped to relive many of their allergy symptoms.
Summer days are clear and spectacular and the temperatures are truly remarkable. Spring and autumn are mild transitions into the other seasons. There is a brief monsoon season that is truly extraordinary.
Central Phoenix Properties
Phoenix is a sixth largest city in the United States and Central Phoenix area is at the very core. It takes very little time to realize that no matter what your housing needs that the Phoenix home market is completely capable of meeting that need.
Properties in this area are diverse. Newly constructed lofts and condominiums are downtown and more and more units are becoming available every day to meet this growing demand.
There is also large acre sized properties with horse privileges and estates. Many of these are along the main street in Phoenix, called Central Avenue. Tall palm trees and old trees line the wide streets in several historic areas, such as Palmcroft and Willo.
There are also new home developments scattered throughout the city. There is something for everyone. To look at homes in the Central Phoenix area, click here.
So whether your needs are grand or modest, sophisticated or simple you can tie your horse to the hitching post and stop on in for a look what Phoenix living is like.
The spectacular amount of market activity in Arizona over the past decade has been well documented. People of all walks of life have been moving to Arizona, and particularly Phoenix, in numbers unmatched in recent memory.
Figures from 2000-2005 show nothing but increased construction, development, unit sales and unit sales prices in virtually every category of structure offered on the market.
The greatest degree of growth occurred during fiscal 2005, where previous growth statistics, impressive in their own rights, spiked sharply to even higher levels.
Of particular note to the residential home seller/buyer was the record appreciation in new and resale home values. These rates were up for new homes and resale units, rentals, and condominium units, the only difference being one of degree.
While it is true that not all Phoenix area real estate markets showed the same amount of increase it is true that the degree of growth for each area was roughly proportional.
Then along came 2006 and equally well documented has been the decline in the rate of growth of some key market indicators. The greater Phoenix resale home market is showing marked decreases in sales figures for comparable periods last year across the valley and across most unit categories.
One interesting exception is the median price for resale units has increased slightly. This rising price accompanied by a decrease in sales seems to be more in keeping with normal market tendencies. One would expect spectacular growth to lead eventually to a degree of scarcity that would be reflected in higher prices. Could this indicate that the market has reached its peak?
Let’s look at another indicator to see what it may tell us.
Since 1985, the Arizona Real Estate Center has computed what it calls “affordability indexes” for the Greater Phoenix area and several nearby cities.
The index was invented as a guide to predict market activity. When the index value is 100, the typical home buyer (based on the current median resale price and household income) would be able to afford a median-priced home at the stated effective interest rate. A lower index value indicates less availability of affordable single-family homes.
The affordability index for the areas selected for study shows a significant reduction in the availability of that this type of housing within the means of the ordinary consumer.
Whether this data can be used as a reliable indicator for other groups and other types of housing is debatable, but it does beg the question “how much longer will the market be able to sustain a situation where both sellers and buyers can apparently benefit by getting involved in the market?
The short answer is that these conditions can remain so long as they are supported by the market.
So when we take a long look at the larger picture we must ask ourselves whether we can realistically expect to realize more potential gain or value now or at some time in the future and it is very reasonable to conclude that the best possible time to buy or sell Arizona really is now.
Central Phoenix Villages
Phoenix has been recognized as “One of the Best Managed Cities” in the United States. The city has been broken down into 14 neighborhoods or villages. There are five villages (urban areas) that are included in the Central Phoenix area. These villages are North Mountain Village, Alhambra Village, Encanto Village, Camelback East Village, and Central City Village. All of these villages are unique and have special characteristics.
Alhambra Village has a collection of homes built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The village is known for its mature, single family homes. Affordable housing can be found in this village. Most Alhambra Village residents enjoy the ability to take part in the downtown entertainment and employment opportunities. Northern Avenue to Seventh Street to Grand Canal to Black Canyon Freeway to Grand Avenue to 43rd Avenue are the boundaries of Alhambra Village. The village is north and west of Encanto Village, spanning both sides of Black Canyon Freeway.
Camelback East Village
Camelback East Village offers a variety of properties and neighborhoods. Most of the homes in the area were built between 1950 and 1970. This village has several notable local attractions that have made it a popular place to live. Children love the opportunity to go to nearby Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens. Families enjoy taking in a spring training game at the Papago Baseball Facility located within Camelback East Village. However, two of the most popular attractions are Papago and Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) Mountain Parks. Each park draws visitors for a variety of reasons. Over 900 acres make up Papago Park. The park has an 18-hole golf course, fishing, and hiking. Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) Mountain Park has popular hiking trails and picnic armadas. Three five-star resorts also lie within the boundaries of Camelback East Village. Golf course properties and resort style homes edge these high style resorts making Camelback East Village a great place to work and play. The borders of this village include the boundaries of both Paradise Valley and Scottsdale to 7th Street, Northern Avenue to North Mountain to Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) Park to Grand Canal and the Salt River.
Central City Village
Central City Village is a very special area of the city. The majority of the village is comprised of downtown Phoenix. It includes government buildings, local businesses, convention center, and cultural/sports facilities. Transportation is highlighted in this area. Sky Harbor International Airport, multiple freeway access points, and public transit are all found within Central City Village. One of the unique aspects of Central City Village is the numerous historic districts that are located within its boundaries. Because this village has the oldest neighborhoods in Phoenix distinctive vintage architecture can be found. Residents in Central City Village like the old fashion neighborhood concept, along with the accessibility to downtown Phoenix. The boundaries of this village are McDowell Road to Rio Salado and the Black Canyon Freeway to the Grand Canal and the Hohokam Expressway. It includes all of downtown Phoenix.
High rise buildings and cultural facilities make up part of the Encanto Village. This area was named in honor of the local historic park, Encanto Park. The park covers over 200 acres and was inspired by the English garden theme that was popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Paddle boat rides, a small old fashioned children’s amusement park, swimming pool, several fields, and public golf courses all makeup Encanto Park. Both commercial and residential high rise buildings edge Central Avenue which runs through Encanto Village. Although, some of Phoenix’s most unique homes are within the borders of Encanto Village. More historic home districts are found in Encanto Village, than any other village in Phoenix. Homes showcased in the Encanto Village reflect the charming Craftsman bungalow style and spacious haciendas. These districts are set against a backdrop of wide palm tree lined streets and old fashioned gas styled lights. Near the center of this village is Park Central Shopping Center, which was one of the first malls in Phoenix. Today, the shopping center has several restaurants and businesses making it a great retreat during a busy work day. The Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Theater, Burton Barr Central Library, and Cancer Survivors Park make up the cultural facilities. There is something going at one of these places all year long. Both commercial and residential high rise buildings edge Central Avenue which runs through Encanto Village. The boundaries of Encanto Village include Grand Canal to Black Canyon Highway to McDowell Road.
North Mountain Village
North Mountain Village has a variety of neighborhoods and properties. Homes range from older traditional along the Central Avenue corridor to newer properties in the foothills of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve to suburban neighborhoods in the western sections of the village. The diversity spreads from the more affluent properties in the Moon Valley neighborhood to the more affordable family homes in the Sunnyslope neighborhood. Close proximity to outdoor recreational areas are benefits to living in this village. Both the Phoenix Mountain Preserve and the Cave Creek Recreational Area are located within the North Mountain Village. Access to Arizona State University West is another feature of this area. The borders of North Mountain Village are 51st Avenue to Acoma Drive to 39th Avenue to Greenway Road/Parkway to 16th Street (extended) to Cactus Road and through the mountains to Northern Avenue.
Central Phoenix History
The Hohokam Indians are thought to have settled this area over 2,000 years ago. They used the water from the Salt River to build irrigation ditches to support agriculture. Their community flourished for nearly 1,500 years until they suddenly vanished. Nobody knows the reason for certain but not a lot is left to show they were still living here after that time. Even the name “Hohokams” is really an Indian phrase of the Pima Tribe that means “the people who have gone”. Even though they are gone we know that they were here because they left their network of ditches behind.
John Y.T. Smith was the first white settler in the area. He chose the site to start cutting hay because of the remains of the canal ditches left behind by the Hohokam Indians gave him the necessary supply of water he needed for framing. Smith knew a good thing when he saw it and quickly invited his friend Jack Swilling from Wickenburg to come out to his place. Jack also thought it very promising, liked the potential and formed a canal company here in 1867.
It is believed that Darrell Duppa, an educated Englishman came up with the name Phoenix.
The myth says that just as the Egyptian Phoenix rose from its ashes and flew, so might the Hohokams be reborn again. It is unclear what Dupa believed the resurrected Braves would do once they discovered settlers on their land, but it makes for a great story anyway.
The growth of the town was slow and steady. Phoenix was filed as a town site in 1872. It was during this time that cotton became a main crop in the valley. In 1887, the railroad arrived in town. Then two years later Phoenix became the territorial capital. When the construction of the Roosevelt Dam was completed the town’s growth increased. The dam ensured that there was a dependable source of irrigation water.
Arizona became a state in 1912, and Phoenix became the capital. During the 1950’s Phoenix spread out 17 square miles. It was a small western town that was best known for its ideal climate for those suffering from asthma.
Up through the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s Phoenix was most famous for its climate, citrus fruits, copper, cotton, and cattle ranching. But it wasn’t until the encroachment of World Phoenix really began to grow with War II. Arizona climate was great for flying and the air force and the defense industry headed to Phoenix to set up shop. Phoenix had the work force and the land needed to set up plants for creating a military buildup. After the war, families headed west to start a new beginning. Then air-conditioning became standard, which made the desert summers bearable. Today tourism has become a leading industry.
The Phoenix area or “Valley of the Sun” is a haven for winter visitors. Tourism also makes Phoenix a great place to live. There are numerous restaurants, shopping areas and recreational spots for all to enjoy.
The relaxed and casual living makes Phoenix a desirable place to live and visit. Phoenix has grown to over 430 square miles and continues to be a town of new opportunities and growth.
Phoenix Area Entertainment Venues
Now that you have decided on an exciting event to attend, it is time to figure out where the event is located. The following is a list of Phoenix entertainment venues that include the name of the venue and its address. With this information at your fingertips, you will be on your way. You might also discover that this list of Phoenix Arizona entertainment spots might spark an interest in attending other terrific events.
The list of places to go and things do is literally inexhaustible. The few items that follow are only for illustration and this is not a complete list. For more information got to a publication like the Arizona New Times.
Or, better yet, visit the official city website at http://www.phoenix.gov
For shoppers, The Arizona Center is an outdoor mall with great restaurants and nightlife.
The Heard Museum is known around the world for its mission of preserving the Native American past. The museum does a tremendous job with its displays and outstanding artwork collections. Visitors will want to make it one of their stops to learn more about the history of the Southwest.
The Arizona Science Museum is the place to go if you have young ones. This hands-on museum allows children to experience scientific theories and be a part of the learning.
If shopping is your thing, then the Arizona Biltmore is the place for you. The Biltmore has upscale shops and wonderful restaurants.
Most will agree that Phoenix is the ideal place to start your excursions to other the parts of the state, although there is so much to see and do in town too. There are so many attractions in the Phoenix area; it is difficult to decide where to begin.
The Phoenix Zoo is a perfect place to go to see some interesting animals. There are camels, snakes, giraffes and the speckled bear. You will want to make a day of it.
Squaw Peak Park and North Mountain Park are both very popular hiking areas. Many people use these trails on a daily basis.
Papago Park is a wonderful place to see spectacular red rock formations. The views from the park of the city are terrific.
Encanto Park is a lush green park with meandering water ways located in the center of Phoenix. The children’s amusement park located at Encanto is a great place to take little ones.
Mc Dowell Mountain is a mountain preserve at the north of the valley and the Superstition Mountains in the east.
All of these mountains provide a spectacular scenic backdrop for the Valley.
The Desert Sky Pavilion has many bands perform in its outdoor amphitheater.
There is seating for 18,000 and at least 50 major shows make their stop at the pavilion each year.
Camelback East Village
Camelback East Village Property Overview
Camelback East Village offers a variety of properties and neighborhoods. Most of the new homes in the area were built between 1950 and 1970. Prospective residents will find quiet neighborhoods. Living options range from single family properties to condominiums. Large new homes and estates are also located in Camelback East Village.
this village has several notable local attractions that have made it a popular place to live. Children love the opportunity to visit the nearby Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens. Families enjoy taking in a spring training game at the Papago Baseball Facility located within Camelback East Village.
Lofts, Condos, and Town new homes
However, two of the most popular attractions are Papago and Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) Mountain Parks. Each park draws visitors for a variety of reasons. Over 900 acres make up Papago Park. The park has an 18-hole golf course, fishing, and hiking. Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) Mountain Park has popular hiking trails and picnic armadas.
three five-star resorts also lie within the boundaries of Camelback East Village. golf course properties and resort style new homes edge these high style resorts making Camelback East Village a great place to work and play.
Camelback East Village Location
the borders of this village include the boundaries of both Paradise Valley and Scottsdale to 7th
Street, Northern Avenue to North Mountain to Piestewa Peak (Squaw Peak) Park to Grand Canal and the Salt River.
Desert View Village Property Overview
The distinctive lush Sonoran Desert symbolizes Desert View Village in the Northwest Valley. The village ranges from urban to rural land use. However, residents are drawn the areas outdoor opportunities.
Desert View Village maintains an extensive system of trails for hiking and riding. Residents enjoy the large sections of untouched Sonoran Desert, Cave Creek Wash, and nearby mountain ranges. The Cave Buttes Recreational Area is a designated city district park site located within the Desert View Village. The goal is to create a village-wide recreational circulation system. Desert View Village residents take pride in the outdoors and protecting the natural beauty of the desert environment.
Desert View Village Location
Desert View Village is bounded to the north by Carefree Highway, the Central Arizona Project canal to the south, the eastern city limits near Scottsdale Road to the east, and Union Hills on the west. To find out more about which properties are available in Desert View Village, click here.
Master planned developments, a desert setting, sprinkled with golf courses and lakes make up Ahwatukee (pronounced Ah-wah-too-key) Village. The name Ahwatukee in the Native American Crow language means House of Dreams or Magic Place of My Dreams. The name today symbolizes what Ahwatukee Village is to its residents. There are individuals who refer to the area as Ahwatukee Foothills.
Many families and commuters enjoy Ahwatukee Villages proximity to other parts of the Valley of the Sun. Being close to the East Valley and downtown Phoenix makes it easy to get around. Retirees are also drawn to the master planned communities with a selection of floor plans and prices. These communities also provide special amenities such as tennis and golf. Properties range from town houses and patio new homes to custom new homes, mansions, and large estates. Some master planned communities offer community centers with recreational and community activities. Surrounding these neighborhoods are retail and commercial areas, which make it convenient for residents. There is something for everyone in Ahwatukee. Ahwatukee Entertainment
Many people have found education is a priority in Ahwatukee Village. Outstanding elementary and high schools in Ahwatukee and Ahwatukee State University in Tempe, only a stone’s throw away from the community, make this village a popular place to live. Students don’t have to travel far to find a good school to attend.
Accessibility to other parts of the Valley of the Sun is done by way of Interstate 10 to the east. Both Tempe and Chandler are in close proximity to Ahwatukee. Retail and commercial businesses are located in and around the surrounding area. This makes it easy for residents to shop. As predicted growth continues, future roadway construction will take place making it even easier for residents.
Looming above and to the north of Ahwatukee Village, stretching the length of the villages northern border is South Mountain. This spectacular desert mountain gives any resident in the area terrific views. South Mountain is a park that encompasses over 16,000 acres. A cactus studded mountain range with a blue sky background is one of the perks to living in this village. More than forty miles of trails are available for hiking, biking, and walking. Outdoor recreation is part of living in Ahwatukee Village.
Ahwatukee Village is a special place. Outdoor recreation plays a large role in this community. Taking time to get out and share with others the outdoors through golf, hiking, or biking creates a friendly atmosphere that makes up Ahwatukee.
Several new home real estate development companies came together in the 1970s and purchased land at the south and eastern base of South Mountain. Originally this land was owned by the Ames family. The Ames was the first settlement in the area. They built their new home in Ahwatukee in the 1920s and called it Ahwatukee Ranch.
Ahwatukee Village Location
the borders of Ahwatukee Village are Interstate 10 to the east, Gila River Indian Community on the south, Gila River Indian Community/Pecos Road to the west, and South Mountain to the north. This area is sometimes referred to as Ahwatukee Foothills.
Maryvale Village Property Overview
Maryvale Village is the result of the beginning of the post-war housing boom. The village was developed into many planned neighborhoods. Today, Maryvale Village preserves its history with a wide variety of housing and neighborhoods. Properties range from mature homes to new single family subdivisions.
One of the many bonuses of living in the Maryvale Village is its easy access to freeways. Both the Loop 101 and Interstate 10 pass through. Loop 101 runs north and south and is located in the western section of the village. Interstate 10 travels east and west length wise on the southern most boundary of Maryvale Village. These freeway options give residents the convenience of traveling only minutes to downtown Phoenix.
Another area park is the Maryvale Baseball Park, on 51st
Avenue. This ballpark is the spring training home for the National League Milwaukee Brewers. Fans enjoy the state of the art facility, which features a recessed playing field and shaded concourse with uninterrupted views of baseball games. With 7,000 seats, visitors spend lots of time watching games in a fan friendly ballpark. This facility is a highlight for Maryvale Village residents.
Maryvale Village Location
Maryvale Village creates its perimeter boundary with Grand Avenue/Interstate 17 (Black Canyon Freeway) to 83rd
Avenue to McDowell Road to Indian School Road to El Mirage Road, to Bethany Home Road to 99th Avenue to Camelback Road.
Alhambra Village has a collection of homes built in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The village is known for its mature, single family homes. Affordable housing can be found in this community. Most Alhambra Village residents enjoy the ability to take part in the downtown entertainment and employment opportunities.
Alhambra Village Location
Northern Avenue to Seventh Street to Grand Canal to Black Canyon Freeway to Grand Avenue to 43rd Avenue are the boundaries of Alhambra Village. The village is north and west of Encanto Village, spanning both sides of Black Canyon Freeway.
Anthem Arizona represents the highest level of quality and attention to detail. From Anthem’s inception, the Del Webb Corporation committed itself to building a community like none other. As Anthem broadens its horizons, Del Webb’s commitment to quality and value continues with the addition of new builders within the community. You can be assured that the premium standards in quality workmanship, design and service will make your home buying experience a rewarding one.
Things To Do
The Phoenix Zoo is a fun attraction to visit for the whole family. The Zoo has a variety of free activities each day. Some activities include zookeeper talks, elephant encounters, and a cheetah chase. Details on all of these activities can be found in the activity guide given out at the zoo entrance.
As a native Arizonan, I have always enjoyed my trips to the zoo. During the past few years, the zoo has grown and expanded with new animals and exhibits. The Zoo is divided into four zones called Trail Tours. These Trail Tours are called African, Arizona, Tropic, and Discovery. In each Trail Tour, visitors learn about different animals. The Discover Trail Tour hosts a farm. This zone has just recently undergone a large renovation. Visitors are able to be a part of the farm experience through hands on activities. Kids love this section of the zoo, but I have to admit I look forward to this part of the Zoo. It is a must see.
Another exhibit found in the Tropic Trail Tour is the Uco, which houses the Speckled Bear. This is a terrific enclosure for these unique creatures. The enclosure is built in such a way that the visitor feels a part of the environment. You feel like you are in a South American Rainforest. The Zoo did a tremendous job creating this exhibit.
With so many things to see, I have found that the best way to view the Zoo is to begin with a Safari Train Tour. You can catch the Safari Train Tour near the entrance of the Zoo. This tour gives you the opportunity to see the entire zoo in one swoop. After the Safari, I usually head for the refreshment stand to plan my day. I decide what zones interested me the most while on the Safari Train Tour and then I create a map for the day. I also take into consideration any special activities that will be held.
The Zoo is a beautiful place to view animals. Be prepared to be in the sun and to walk. I always wear sunscreen, a hat and good walking shoes. The Zoo does provide strollers and wheelchairs for a reasonable rental fee.
The Phoenix Zoo is open every day of the year, rain or shine (except December 25). The Zoo summer hours are 7:30 am to 4 pm (May 1 thru Labor Day). Winter hours are 9 am to 5 pm (Tuesday after Labor Day thru April 30)
The admission to the Zoo is Adults $8.50, Seniors $ 7.50, Children $4.25 and children two and under are free. I would suggest if you are planning on visiting the Zoo more than once a year, you should become a Zoo Member. It is well worth while. I have been a member for several years and the benefits are great. Be sure to look into it.
The Phoenix Zoo’s entrance is located off Galvin Parkway in the center of Papago Park, just half mile west of the Desert Botanical Garden. Take the Loop 202 to Van Buren and then head east to Galvin Parkway. Turn north on Galvin Parkway and you will see the signs.
I know you will enjoy your trip to the Zoo as much as I have enjoyed my trips.
Arizona Science Center
The Arizona Science Center is a relatively new spot in downtown Phoenix. The Center hosts a variety of activities for the whole family. Children will love going to this place because there are lots of hands on projects. There are many things to do at the Center.
You need to make some decisions when you arrive at the admissions counter. Your choices include visiting the exhibits, viewing a giant screen film or going to a planetarium. The decision is a difficult one to make but use the time you have a set-aside for the visit to guide your decision. Don’t take on too much. You can always make a return visit. All of the admission choices include the exhibit portion. I believe this is the highlight of the trip for children. Children become involved in the activities at the Center. These exhibits allow the visitors an opportunity to not only read and learn about science concepts but also participate. The giant screen film is always changing. When you arrive at the Center you will have to look at what film is currently showing. It can be an awesome experience viewing a film of this size. The planetarium is an amazing experience too. The planetarium takes you out to the night sky, where you are guided through the constellations. Be prepared for a ride at the end of the show. Visitors can also try all three activities.
I have found that taking my time moving through the Center has proven to be the most rewarding. Children can become very excited about all the things to see and touch. It is important to slow them down and talk about the things they are encountering. It will make the experience more beneficial.
The Arizona Science Center is open every day of the year 10 am to 5 pm (except on Thanksgiving and Christmas). The admission is as follows: exhibits only adults $8.00 – children (4-12) and seniors (65+) $6.00, exhibits and giant screen film adults $10.00 – children and seniors $8.00, exhibits and planetarium adults $10.00 – children and seniors $8.00 and all three activities adults $11.00 – children and seniors $9.00.
It is located in downtown Phoenix on the northwest corner of Washington and 7th Street. You may find parking in the parking garage at the Heritage and Science Park only (southeast corner of Monroe and 5th Street). If you bring your parking stub you may get it validated at the admissions counter.
The Center is a fun filled day. Be prepared to spend some time there. The Center also has a gift store full of great objects to remember the day and increase learning. There is also a snack area nearby. If you plan to take more than one trip to this exciting spot you might want to look into a membership. The films and exhibits are always changing and nobody will ever tire of the endless opportunities to explore.
The Outlets at Anthem is located at 4250 West Anthem Way (north of Phoenix on Interstate 17, at the northwest corner of Interstate 17 and Anthem Way). The hours are Monday through Saturday 9:00 to 8:00 and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00. There are over 75 outlet stores at Anthem. The stores range from high-end clothing, shoes to electronics and home décor. There is a food court available to take the edge off during the day.