Phoenix may be the fifth largest city in the US, but it is at its heart a community of communities, made up 15 Urban Villages based on historic neighborhoods – ensuring that there is something for everyone in the area dubbed the “Valley of the Sun”.
While Phoenix is a beautiful, modern city, it has several examples of well preserved mid-century neighborhoods. Their angular lines and innovative spaces are proof of Frank Lloyd Wright's residence here in the late 1930's. The Warehouse District, just south of the downtown core, is the home of Arizona State University School of Art, as well as the renowned Bentley Gallery, opened in 2004 by gallerist, Bentley Calverly, featuring both the art of local talent and internationally recognized artists alike.
Restaurant districts go far beyond the cities well-deserved reputation for some of the best Mexican food north of the Rio Grande. From the comfy Sing High Chop Suey House, opened in 1928, to Lo Lo’s Chicken and Waffles, to the high-end cuisine of Celebrity Chef Scott Conant’s Mora Italian (get the Conant’s signature Pasta al Pomodoro!) Phoenix’s foodie scene is booming.
The area is called “Valley of the Sun” with good reason: Phoenix is literally the sunniest place on earth, averaging 3,872 hours of bright sun a year. As such, the population is proud of its many dark bars, from dives like the aptly named Shady’s and Char’s Has The Blues, to trendy craft cocktail experiences like MercBar– a Soho style lounge to 7thstreets Honor Amongst Thieves with its speakeasy feel.
While human achievement is evident in this city, it is the desert’s natural vistas that are really breathtaking. City leads to outback if you hop on Central Avenue bisecting downtown that takes you, more or less, to Dobbins Lookout overlooking the 16,000-acre South Mountain Park. Easy daytrips include visiting the Grand Canyon and rafting the Colorado River. Beyond that the views continue to unfold – for the stout of heart, this includes the Apache Trial– once considered the most treacherous bit of highway in the country. Narrow road and tight turns require a 15mph speed limit, but with those views (and plenty of pull-aways) you don’t want to go fast.
Phoenix is where frontiers meet: nature intersects with a vibrant and diverse community – in culture, business and entertainment.
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