The story goes that Phoenix was named after the mythical bird by British traveler Darrell Duppa, who predicted that a new city would rise from the ashes of the ancient civilization upon whose land present-day Phoenix now stands. And the city has certainly lived up to its name! A thriving cosmopolitan center of the Southwest with arts, culture, sports, and breathtaking desert views, Arizona's state capital has rightfully earned its reputation as Arizona's Urban Heart.
Just minutes from the airport to downtown, you can head straight from the plane to one of Phoenix's cultural destinations, like the Phoenix Museum of Art, the Heard Museum, or the Orpheum Theater. If sports are more your speed, Phoenix is home to teams from all four professional major sports leagues. Enjoy the city's endless sunshine from the stands or from one of the signature golf courses that make Phoenix a top destination for golf internationally.
One of the most unique aspects of Phoenix is its location in the Sonoran Desert. The city is full of parks and natural preserves, and there are six different lakes within 75 miles of city limits. With sunny weather almost every day, there's plenty of opportunity for rock climbing, hot air ballooning, desert touring, and hiking. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden and red rock buttes in Papago Park, walk the 50 miles of trails in South Mountain Park and Preserve, or hike up Camelback Mountain, the 1,200-foot-tall landmark that bears an uncanny resemblance to a kneeling camel. And if you have time for a day trip, the Grand Canyon is definitely worth the trek!