Things are different in the desert
. The sky is bigger. The stars are brighter. The sunsets stop you in your tracks. It's a feeling that can't be conjured, landscaped or kindled with twinkling bulbs. John Ford knew that. So did Frank Lloyd Wright. Come to Greater Phoenix and you'll understand, too.
Phoenix is America's sixth-largest city. It has real cowboys and rugged mountains and the kind of cactus most people see only in cartoons.
Projected against this rich backdrop is a panorama of urban sophistication: Resorts and spas that drop jaws and soothe souls. Stadiums and arenas worthy of the world's biggest sports spectacles. Restaurants with inspired cuisine and inspiring patio views. Golf courses that beckon players the year round. Shopping centers as stylish and eclectic as the fashions they house.
Phoenix is the gateway to the Grand Canyon
, and its history is a testament to the spirit of puebloans, ranchers, miners and visionaries. Greater Phoenix is Arizona's urban heart and America's sunniest metropolis
Shrouded by mountains on three sides and covered by a canopy of near-perpetual blue sky, Phoenix and its neighboring communities are home to more courses than you could hope to play in one visit
. Many of the Greater Phoenix courses were designed by the greats, and most don't have merely one signature hole, but many - Aguila, Aguila 9, Cave Creek, Encanto 18, Encanto 9, Maryvale, Palo Verde and Papago. Some courses occupy desert canyons where civilization feels a world away, while others are part of opulent resorts where golfers can indulge themselves with a post-round spa treatment.
Arts, Culture & History
Greater Phoenix is a hub for some of the best museums, art galleries and theaters in the Southwest.
Whether you want to browse through some of the Valley's best local art or explore the remains of a 1,500 year-old Hohokam village at Phoenix's Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department has arts and cultural attractions for people of all ages and interests.
The Phoenix Art Museum is home to classic and contemporary works from around the world, while SMOCA is dedicated solely to modern works of art, design and architecture.
For families with kids, the Children's Museum of Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Zoo are must-dos.
Art Facilities & Programs
Two city facilities have been a long-time home to specialized fine and performing arts education and exhibition. The Shemer Art Center and the Phoenix Center for the Arts both offer affordable arts programs that put professional arts training in reach of arts lovers of all ages. There is also the the Heard Museum for Native American art and culture.
Cultural Facilities and Programs
The Japanese Friendship Garden RO HO EN, Latino Institute and Irish Cultural Center are world-class attractions that offer visitors a glimpse into foreign cultures, right in downtown Phoenix's Hance Park. Tour an authentic Japanese stroll garden and view a lifelike replica of an Irish farmhouse. The Latino Institute offers special events and workshops on a variety of topics from education to health.
Museums and Historical Sites
From historic home sites to Pueblo Grande Museum's preserved Hohokam village, Phoenix Parks and Recreation's historical sites offer visitors a glimpse into Phoenix's past.
Sports & Sporting Events
There's always a game happening in Phoenix, which is home to five professional teams
- the Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) play in Chase Field, while the Phoenix Suns (NBA) and Phoenix Mercury (WNBA) run the court in US Airways Center, and with both venues downtown, getting around is easy. The Arizona Cardinals (NFL) and Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) play at University of Phoenix Stadium and Gila River Arena respectively, and they are neighbors in the West Valley.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open
is the most well-attended tournament on the PGA Tour. The biggest names in golf play the tournament every year at the TPC Scottsdale in early February.
Cactus League Spring Training
showcases 15 teams within miles of each other, so you can see the biggest names in the MLB up-close. Sit in readily available stadium or lawn seats and have the chance to get your memorabilia signed by your favorite player. Cactus Leagues lasts the month of March each year.
The NASCAR series
comes to town twice a year, with the The Profit on CNBC 500 in February and the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 in November. Fans pour into Phoenix International Raceway to catch a glimpse of their favorite driver.
College football's VIZIO Fiesta Bowl
is played at the beginning of every January. The surrounding festivities include a parade and block party at Tempe Town Lake every New Year's Eve.
Recreation, Adventure & Things to do
No matter what time of year you visit Phoenix, you'll find plenty to do. The outdoors invite activities from desert jeep tours, hiking, biking or horseback riding along scenic desert trails, to floating into the clouds in a hot-air balloon or glider.
Pueblo Grande Indian Market
There will be performances by more than 200 Native American artists, local musicians and dancers at the Pueblo Grande Indian Market. Shop at over 100 booths. Walk along the museum trail, purchase fine and contemporary art and hang out with the artists who created them. Enjoy variety of native foods like fry bread and others and watch demonstrations of traditional cooking methods. Participate in hands-on activities such as hoop dancing, drumming, archery, pottery, beading, weaving, drumming, storytelling, creating petro glyphs, throwing a rabbit stick and throwing a spear with an atlatl.
Tempe Fall Festival Of The Arts
This fall event attracts nearly 250,000 visitors to the Mill Avenue District over the course of a 3-day weekend. More than 350 artist booths will line Mill Avenue and surrounding streets at this award-winning festival. Live music and performances are part of the weekend's festivities. In addition to the live entertainment, street performers, vendors, sponsor exhibits and entertainment booths are set up for the amusement of Festival visitors.
Las Noches De Las Luminarias
At this annual holiday tradition, guests can stroll through the scenic Desert Botanical Garden for 16 nights as it's lit by the soft glow of more than 8,000 hand-lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and the vibrant sounds and sights of 10 entertainment groups. Have dinner at the Garden with family and friends, and stroll each path with a warm cup of cider or cocoa.
for complete list of events in the Phoenix area.