Arizona State Capital: Phoenix
Built atop the Pueblo Grande ruins, Phoenix was named to evoke a sense of a great new city rising from the ashes of an old one. Inhabited between 700 A.D. and 1400 A.D. by an indigenous civilization now known as the Ho Ho Kam (“the people who have gone”), the Pueblo Grande ruins included the remnants of a sophisticated irrigation system stretching 135 miles. By the time the land around Phoenix was claimed by American settlers in the 19th century, the Ho Ho Kam were long gone, possibly expelled from their ancestral home by a particularly long drought.
The name “Phoenix” was suggested by “Lord” Darrel Duppa, an alcoholic Englishman known for his Shakespeare recitations, and for habitually squandering the $3000 check he received every three months from his wealthy family. The well-read Duppa proposed the romantic image of the the Phoenix of Egyptian mythology, likening the American settlement to the great bird rising to life after being swallowed by flames. Before dubbing it Phoenix, the early settlers had called the town Pumpkinville.
With over 1.5 million people, Phoenix is the sixth most populous city nationwide, the most populous state capital in the United States, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million. The Phoenix metropolitan area, known as the Valley of the Sun includes the cities of Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, and Mesa. The area has experience an explosive growth over the last decade.
Sunny days and comfortable temperatures are the rule November through April, making this time the most enjoyable and popular time of year to visit. Vacation resorts and spas are plentiful throughout the valley and the most popular outdoor activities are golfing, hiking, hot air balloons and scenic day trips in to the nearby desert or to one of the nearby mountain towns.
When the Mexican–American War ended in 1848, Mexico ceded its northern zone to the United States and residents of that region became U.S. citizens. Settled in 1867 as an agricultural community, Phoenix incorporated as a city in 1881. Located in the northeastern reaches of Arizona, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community, many of the original crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades. On February 14, 1912, Phoenix became a state capital, as Arizona was admitted to the Union as the 48th state under President William Howard Taft..
While some of the native vegetation can be found within Phoenix city limits, most are found in the suburbs and the undeveloped desert areas surrounding the city. There is a variety of mammals and reptiles that take up residence in the Valley of the Sun.
The city has numerous performing arts venues, most of which are located in and around downtown Phoenix or Scottsdale. The Phoenix Symphony Hall is home to the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona. Another venue is the Phoenix Opera. Musical concerts are usually held in the sports arenas, such as the Wells Fargo Arena – home of the football Cardinals and the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Museums: Dozens of museums exist throughout the valley. They include the Phoenix Art Museum; designed by Alden B. Dow, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum was constructed in a single year, opening in November 1959; containing more than 17,000 works of contemporary and modern art from around the world. Other museums are the Arizona Capitol Museum, Arizona Military Museum, Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and the Arizona Science Center. Interactive exhibits can be found in nearby Peoria’s Challenger Space Center, where individuals learn about space, renewable energies, and meet astronauts. The Heard Museum has over 130,000 square feet of gallery, classroom and performance space; exhibits include 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry, the Barry Goldwater Collection, and an exhibit on the 19th-century boarding school experiences of Native Americans.
In 2010 the Musical Instrument Museum opened their doors, featuring the biggest musical instrument collection in the world. The Musical Instrument museum is a top-rated attraction in Phoenix is the world’s only global musical instrument museum, the museum offers a fun, one-of-a-kind experience to be enjoyed by guests of all ages. With more than 6,500 musical instruments and objects on display in delightful, eye-catching exhibits, and showcases music from every country in the world. The museum’s self-guided tour features state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, enabling guests to hear, see, and feel the creative spirit of people as the audio and video equipment, enabling guests to hear, see, and feel the creative spirit of people as they make music across the globe.
Desert Botanical Garden: A beautifully curated garden. Well worth the price of admission. A great place to learn about the diverse native desert flora.
Camelback Mountain: Hike the mountain as a last-minute idea to go on an adventure, you’ll be glad you did! Use hiking shoes, but the trek is manageable in comfortable footwear. Bring water, and you have the best free adventure in Arizona, and the view from the top is awesome!
Flying into Phoenix is easy and as you have already heard, there is much to see and do. Standard hotels are available as well as the traditionally quaint bed & breakfasts. Plenty of food to go around. And transportation around the city is provided by rental car, bus, the metro or cab. Just give us a call and we will make sure your time in Phoenix is very special. Watch Television listings for a PGA Golf Tournament.
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