Desert character. It can’t be conjured, landscaped or kindled with twinkling bulbs. John Ford knew that. So did Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis L’Amour. Spend a few days in Greater Phoenix and you’ll understand, too. America’s sixth-largest city still has cowboys and red-rock buttes and the kind of cactus most people see only in cartoons. It is the heart of the Sonoran Desert and the gateway to the Grand Canyon, and its history is a testament to the spirit of Puebloans, ranchers, miners and visionaries. This timeless Southwestern backdrop is the perfect setting for family vacations, weekend adventures or romantic getaways. Each year, 14 to 16 million leisure visitors travel to Greater Phoenix. They enjoy resorts and spas infused with Native American tradition, golf courses that stay emerald green all year, mountain parks crisscrossed with trails, and sports venues that host the biggest events in the nation. The best way to learn about America’s sunniest metropolis, of course, is to experience it firsthand. The following information will give you a snapshot of what to expect before your visit and provide sound reference material after you leave.
Greater Phoenix encompasses 2,000 square miles and more than 20 incorporated cities,including Glendale, Cottsdale, Tempe and Mesa. Maricopa County, in which Phoenix is located, covers more than 9,000 square miles. Phoenix’s elevation is 1,117 feet, and the city’s horizon is defined by three distinct mountains: South Mountain, Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak.
From charming antique shops to chic boutiques to some of the nation’s most fashionable malls, Greater Phoenix is hope to a spectrum of shopping experiences few regions in the Southwest can match. The basic breakdown for where to find what goes like this: Scottsdale for high fashion; Central Phoenix for vintage; Uptown Phoenix for hipster goods; East Valley for mall fare; and Glendale for antiques. And the excellent gift shops at the Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum and Taliesin West are good choices for thoughtful souvenirs.
Some of the most prominent shopping malls in Greater Phoenix are Biltmore Fashion Park, Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Fashion Square. The latter is the largest shopping mall in the American Southwest. If shoppers at these venues want to step up in style, they can valet their car and select a personal shopper to help find the kind of couture they’ll cherish forever (or at least until next season). Because Phoenix boomed in the ’50s and ’60s and has long been a popular destination for retirees, the city is treasure trove for mid-century fashions and furnishings. And the Melrose District, a concentration of neighborhood boutiques three miles north of downtown, is where savvy shoppers can find them.
CityScape, a two-block lifestyle development in heart of downtown Phoenix, is an eclectic mix of boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues. Downtown visitors can dine at local eateries such as Arrogant Butcher and Vitamin T, get in touch with their inner Jeff Lebowski at Lucky Strike bowling lanes, or catch the biggest names in comedy at Stand Up Live comedy club.
The wooden sidewalks of Old Town Scottsdale lead patrons to both fine works of art and souvenir trinkets. Original Southwestern paintings and sculpture fill galleries along Main Street and Marshall Way.
One of Greater Phoenix’s finest districts for antique hunting is historic Old Towne and Catlin Court in Glendale. Here, it’s easy to spend an entire day strolling brick sidewalks that lead to more than 80 antique stores and specialty shops. Mill Avenue in Tempe holds a shopping experience that is decidedly young at heart. A stone’s throw from Arizona State University,
Mill Avenue is a great place to find unique gifts, jewelry, souvenirs and clothing, much of which is made by local artists and designers.
Phoenix is home to some of the best premium outlet shopping in North America. Between Tanger Outlets, the Outlets at Anthem and Phoenix Premium Outlets, discerning shoppers can browse more than 200 brand-name retailers, each offering savings of 25 to 65 percent every day.
Discover a wealth of information on travelling by Motorhome, Caravan or Boat when planning your holiday or trip of a lifetime
Which ever way you wish to travel, do it with style!