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WHAT IS PHOENIX ARIZONA KNOWN FOR?
Boasting one of the few desert environments in the U.S. doesn’t mean Phoenix, Arizona has to be unbearably hot and dry. There is a lot more Phoenix can offer those who want relaxation and beautiful nature.
Phoenix is known for being the capital of Arizona and providing its visitors and citizens with museums, nature parks, and restaurants. It has become a haven for the retirement community because of its good weather compared to other parts of the U.S.
We’ll explain what makes Phoenix special and which activities are an absolute must when visiting or moving to Arizona.
THE DRY HEAT AND WEATHER
Not many people think of Phoenix, Arizona without thinking of the unbearably hot summer days you’ll experience.
Arizona is mainly a desert environment that can get incredibly hot during the day and then temperatures plummet at night.
The heat is a dry heat which means there isn’t a lot of, if any, moisture in the air on hot days.
This is great if you don’t like humidity but can be hard on those who have naturally dry skin.
The U.S. averages 209 sunny days per year, while Phoenix receives 299 days of sunshine per year. The abundance of sunshine means that Phoenix, Arizona, only gets on average nine inches of rain a year compared to the U.S. average of 38 inches.
It’s understandable why the state has turned into a popular destination for the retirement community.
NATURAL BEAUTY AND TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Because there aren’t many desert landscapes in the U.S., Phoenix, Arizona, has become famous for its beautiful scenery and natural formations.
The desert plants like cactus and agave give the natural scenery a unique beauty compared to the other areas of the United States.
There are endless ways to enjoy the outdoors in Phoenix, including:
- Horseback riding through the desert trails
- Hiking backcountry trails
- Zipline above the desert landscapes
- Ride in an airplane for a panoramic view
Being in Phoenix means you have access to several parks and tourist attractions that each offer unique experiences and sights.
- Camelback Mountain – This small mountain received its name for resembling a kneeling camel and becoming one of Phoenix’s major outdoor destinations. It’s 1200 feet to the summit, and if you can make it during the week, take advantage. The trails are often packed, so any break you can get from the foot traffic will make the experience more enjoyable.
- Desert Botanical Garden – 50 acres of desert gardens are on display in a beautiful arrangement of Arizona’s unique landscape. The garden hosts a number of events and art installments throughout the year including the winter tradition, Las Noches de Las Luminarias.
- Phoenix Zoo – With more than 1400 animals roaming one of the nation’s largest non-profit zoos, the Phoenix Zoo has thousands of visitors each and every year. You’ll have a chance to see Sumatran Tigers, giraffes, rhinos, and a number of local fauna and flora.
- Roosevelt Row – Put your hand on the pulse of Phoenix’s contemporary scene with a visit to Roosevelt Row. Tons of arts don the walls and galleries as well as some of the top restaurants in the city.
RESTAURANTS IN PHOENIX
The popularity of Phoenix has brought some of the best chefs in the world to the area to serve world-class food of all varieties.
- Persepshen – If you are looking for a local meal with fresh ingredients from farms around the Phoenix area then you don’t have to go further than Persepshen. Starting out selling food in farmers’ markets you can now grab a meal at this midtown restaurant that showcases pickling, dry-aging, wood-grilling, and butchering techniques. They also boast an impressive amount of local wines and spirits.
- Chula Seafood Uptown – What was once a specialty of Scottsdale has grown to include a location in uptown Phoenix. This is where locals go to get some of the best-cooked seafood in town. Serving opah, scallops, black bass, and other responsibly sourced fish, they are known for their swordfish caught right off the San Diego coast.
- Arizona Wilderness DTPHX – For a satiating meal with some local brews, the Arizona Wilderness brand has opened a location in the Roosevelt Row area of Phoenix. In the bear garden, you can expect double-decker burgers with a side of duck fat fries.
- Pane Bianco Van Buren – When you’re looking for a great lunch in the Phoenix area you might be able to catch Pane Bianco Van Buren if you make it in time. Not open for any other meals, Van Buren originally started with market sandwiches but has since expanded to include a variety of Italian dishes.
- Saint Pasta – Two Jersey natives found their home in an Italian-style restaurant located in Phoenix, Arizona. You can find classic dishes with a modern twist like Lamb Bolognese, mint-stippled mascarpone, and Aglio e olio.
- Century Grand – For the ultimate cuisine experience and atmosphere there are few rivals that compare to Century Grand in Phoenix. Modeled after 1920s rail travel, every detail has been accounted for like bartenders wearing period garb, ingredients that date back in time, and an entire room decorated to look like a train car. Complete with screens out of the windows that make it look like the scenery is passing by.
- Vecina – The south has a well-documented history of mixing American flavors with Mexican cuisine, and few restaurants execute better than Vecina. Serving pork chop with chicharrones, carne asada rib-eye, and hiramasa ceviche, you can satisfy your craving in one sitting. And all plates are large enough to share with the whole family.
- Taco Boy’s – For a true taste of what Phoenix, Arizona represents, Taco Boy’s presents you with Sonora-style food right downtown. Known for their long strips of skirt steak over mesquite charcoal chopped into carne asada, the once small-town boys are becoming well known throughout the area.
- Josephine – You’ll find an eclectic mix of styles and foods from Josephine in Roosevelt Row. From French to Vietnamese to Indonesian, all dishes here bring an element of surprise and flavor. Visit the cocktail lounge located right behind the restaurant for some after-dinner drinks.
- Kai Restaurant – Known for pushing food to its limits and experimenting with new flavors, you’ll be sharing your dinner photos and stories with your friends after a night at Kai. Cactus in key lime pie and bison creme brulee are just a few of the exciting dishes to try to give you a full sense of what Phoenix, Arizona could be.
MUSEUMS THROUGHOUT PHOENIX, ARIZONA
Another part of what makes Arizona so highly sought after is the different museums and tourist attractions they have for people of all ages.
- Heard Museum – One of the premier museums dedicated to the preservation and history of Native American culture, the Heard is located in Pheonix. Along with celebratory exhibits and collections, you’ll also experience dance performances, traditional skill workshops, and contemporary Native American artists.
- Musical Instrument Museum – Thousands of musical instruments fill up this unique and one-of-a-kind museum. Everything from old and rare instruments to the Steinway that John Lennon used to compose “Imagine” can be found here.
- Hall of Flame Fire Museum – Great for the whole family, the fire museum aims to document the history of the profession and the brave men and women who have given their lives to serve others. You’ll see artifacts dating back to 1725, as well as old firetrucks and fire extinguishers.
- Phoenix Art Museum – The never-ending walls of this facility are covered with fantastic contemporary art. It even includes exhibitions of miniature rooms along with other pieces of priceless art.
- Arizona State Capital Museum – Spread over four floors is a look into Arizona’s history in the old state capital building built-in 1900. There is a huge Arizona flag made entirely of legos and an exhibit on how Arizona got the shape that it has today.
Phoenix, Arizona, is a place where the desert turns into an oasis, and just because you should expect sunny days doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the heat. Beautiful resorts and golf courses offer relaxation and comfort, while museums and local parks provide entertainment. Nature and comfort are in high demand in Arizona, and Phoenix gives you plenty of opportunities for both.
If you’re planning a trip to Phoenix check out this book of 60 hikes here to take full advantage of the beautiful outdoors!