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Phoenix

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Downtown Phoenix

Downtown Phoenix

Phoenix, from South Mountain

Phoenix, from South Mountain

Taliesin West

Taliesin West

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The Valley of the Sun, otherwise known as metro Phoenix (i.e., Phoenix and all its suburbs, including Tempe and Scottsdale), is named for its 325-plus days of sunshine each year. Although many come to Phoenix for the golf and the weather, the Valley has much to offer by way of shopping, outdoor activities, and nightlife. The best of the latter is in Scottsdale and the East Valley with their hip dance clubs, old-time saloons, and upscale wine bars.The Valley marks the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert, a prehistoric seabed that extends into northwestern Mexico with a landscape offering much more than just cacti. Palo verde and mesquite trees, creosote bushes, brittle bush, and agave dot the land, which is accustomed to being scorched by temperatures in excess of 100°F for weeks at a time. Late summer brings precious rain as monsoon storms illuminate the sky with lightning shows and the desert exudes the scent of creosote. Spring sets the Valley blooming, and the giant saguaros are crowned in white flowers for a short time in May—in the evening and cool early mornings—and masses of vibrant wildflowers fill desert crevices and span mountain landscapes.

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Things You Can't Miss

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Papago Park Is the City’s Favorite Playground

Palm trees surround the ponds at Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona

Papago Park Is the City’s Favorite Playground

Image Credit: Claudia Botterweg/Alamy

A Downtown Showcase for Native American Art

The galleries and outdoor courtyards of the Heard Museum present traditional and contemporary works from a range of Southwestern cultures.

A Downtown Showcase for Native American Art

Image Credit: Richard Cummins / Getty Images

Visit the Desert Botanical Garden

Botanical gardens usually conjure images of lush greens, not arid deserts—but that’s what makes this botanical garden so special. See it for yourself.

Visit the Desert Botanical Garden

Image Credit: Andreas Geh / Getty Images

I Break for Frank Lloyd Wright

A slice of life of an American genius, at Taliesin West you see his buildings as well as his chairs, beds and lamps. It’s the Jetsons meet Fred Flinstone.

I Break for Frank Lloyd Wright

Image Credit: Stephen Saks / Getty Images

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Must Reads Before You Go

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Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe Travel Guide

Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe vacation travel guide and tour information including highlights such as Desert Botanical Garden and Heard Museum.

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7 Sunny Places to Go This Winter

Hate cold weather? Hawaii and Puerto Rico are just two sunny places we recommend visiting during the wintertime.

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7 Safety Tips for Traveling Alone

by Alexis Flippin

Traveling solo? Follow these safety tips when going places on your own.

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5 Tips for Desert Camping

by Eric Peterson

Camping in the desert is an awesome experience. Be sure to plan ahead and takes these tips into consideration.

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