Once the site of ancient Indian settlements, today the largest city in Arizona is home to modern art and architecture and stunning landscapes.—
Phoenix, Arizona is a mix of natural beauty and man-made wonders from ancient times to the present day. Known as “the Valley of the Sun” because of its endless sunshine and desert setting, it is also home to verdant golf courses, inviting swimming pools, and holiday resorts.
The Phoenix area was once home to the Hohokam people, and their presence can still be seen today. They created the extensive network of canals which brought water from the Salt River and its major tributary, the Verde River, to their crops. However, the Hohokam left behind more than just canals. At the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, visitors can gain an insight into how the Hohokam people lived in this harsh landscape. There are replica houses and artefacts such as tools and jewellery just waiting to be explored. Discover more about Native American life at the Heard Museum, which boasts a fine collection of Native American arts and crafts.
Fast-forward, and modern-day Phoenix is teeming with life. Children will love the Phoenix Zoo, voted one of the best zoos for children in the United States. Animals include some endangered species, and visitors can feed giraffes, pet stingrays, and even ride camels. For lovers of natural beauty, the Desert Botanical Garden displays the surprisingly diverse plant life of the region.
Today, Phoenix is a mecca of art and culture. Modern art and architecture can be explored at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where the sun is always present as you walk through the building. The Mesa Arts Center is a favourite for visual and performing arts, and the Musical Instrument Museum is always a fascinating family favourite, where visitors can have a go at playing instruments from around the world.
Camelback Mountain looms large in the distance, not far from Phoenix. Here adventurers can climb or hike to the peak and take in breathtaking views of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, and of the valley below.
If you’re feeling hot, cool off in the country's first and oldest wave-pool at Big Surf. There are also plenty of opportunities to indulge your taste buds. Head over to the restaurants at the Scottsdale Quarter or enjoy an evening looking out over Phoenix from Wrigley Mansion.