By Molly Hammond, Storage.com
Phoenix is known for being a sunny getaway and a great place to spend the golden years of retirement. But it’s so much more than resorts (Although the resorts are amazing, right?). Whether you’re an Arizonan by birth, a future Phoenix transplant, or just a visitor, check out this countdown of reasons to love Phoenix!
12. SUMMERTIME ALL THE TIME.
Speaking of sunlight, no conversation about Arizona is complete without some talk about that sweet, sweet heat. It might be difficult for northerners or snowbunnies to wrap their heads around, but Phoenicians can look forward to more than 200 days of sunshine a year on average! Fortunately, Arizonans have perfected the art of cooling off with water parks. Wet ‘n’ Wild has everything from slides and rides to a lazy river and wave pool, but there’s plenty to do at Tempe’s Big Surf, too. Or you could easily spend a whole day at Mesa’s Sunsplash, which has mini golf, laser tag, and killer concessions in addition to a great water park!
11. NO NEED TO WATCH THE CLOCK.
Phoenicians will tell you “spring forward, fall back” is a sucker’s game. Why? The city stays on Mountain Standard Time year-round. In fact, almost all of the state chooses not to observe Daylight Saving Time. It seems they don’t need any more daylight hours in the Valley of the Sun
10. SUNNY AND SMART.
While Arizona State University in Tempe is the area’s primary university, Phoenix boasts a number of local education opportunities. ASU has two campuses in Phoenix—ASU West Campus and ASU Downtown Campus (which is home to a branch of the university’s medical school)—as well as a satellite campus for Flagstaff’s Northern Arizona University. Phoenix is also home to Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona Summit School of Law, Grand Canyon University, and Arizona Christian University. In addition to these institutions, Phoenix is part of The Maricopa County Community College District, a system of ten community colleges in Phoenix and surrounding cities, and it’s the headquarters for The University of Phoenix.
Need summer storage? Find storage units near ASU in Tempe and Phoenix.
9. SO MANY SHOWS.
If you’re looking for a live performance, Phoenix is the place! Ballet Arizona, Centre Dance Ensemble, Arizona Opera, and the Scottsdale Philharmonic all put on sophisticated performances throughout the year. If high-caliber stage shows grab your attention, Arizona Theatre Company, Arizona Broadway Theatre, and the Mesa Arts Center are just the ticket! If you’re after music, both indie artists and national tours, Phoenix has plenty of venues that rock. For smaller shows, locals love Trunk Space and Crescent Ballroom, and larger acts take the stage at Ak-Chin Pavilion or Talking Stick Resort Arena.
8. MUSEUMS AND MURALS.
As if the natural views weren’t beautiful enough, Phoenix has been making a name for itself as a city with great opportunities for visual art and artists. The Calle 16 Mural Project has turned 16th Street (in the heart of Phoenix’s downtown area) into a stirring collection of murals by local artists, and Roosevelt Row (RoRo) serves as an arts district that brings culture downtown with First Fridays gallery walks, boutiques, and live music. For as vibrant as the local art scene is, Phoenix has an equally impressive collection of museums. Between the Phoenix Art Museum, the Pueblo Grande Museum and Park, and Heard Museum, there are several ways to immerse yourself in true Arizonan art and culture! Plus, Phoenix is also home to the Musical Instrument Museum—the largest of its kind in the world!
7. RIDE THE RAIL.
The Phoenix Metro Light Rail has been operating since 2008, and it’s a huge hit with Phoenicians. It’s an affordable, clean way to get around town, whether you’re using it for a morning commute or so you don’t have to designate a driver after a night on the town. Having destinations on the rail’s route is a perk.
6. HEAT YOU CAN EAT.
Its closeness to the border spells one thing for Phoenicians: amazing Mexican food. Los Taquitos, with its two Phoenix locations, tops tons of lists for pretty much everything they serve. But declaring a Phoenix favorite is easier said than done with Santos Lucha Libre (free samples abound!), Joyride Taco House, Barrio Cafe, and La Santisima all available. Even then, we’re only scratching the surface! The bottom line? If a Phoenician wants to take you to their favorite Mexican place, you won’t be disappointed.
5. VALLEY OF THE SPORTS.
Phoenix is home to professional sports of all kinds, which means Phoenix residents always have something to cheer for. The Arizona Diamondbacks bring major league baseball to Phoenix at Chase Field, which has a retractable roof to keep the place from overheating, as well as a pool in the right center stands! The D-Backs aren’t the only baseball in town, though, with Arizona’s Cactus League bringing tons of spring training to the state. The Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers hold spring training in Phoenix with tons of other MLB favorites training in nearby Glendale and Mesa. There’s also the Phoenix Suns, who play at Talking Stick Resort Arena, where Phoenicians can also catch the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and NHL’s Arizona Coyotes! While these franchises might not be the “winningest” in their leagues, they’re still majorly supported—and what better way to spend a day than out at the ballpark…or field, or rink, or court?
4. THEY KNOW THEIR JOE.
Phoenicians are wild for local coffee shops! Arizonans take their coffee so seriously, in fact, that there’s an entire website dedicated to helping you find your next cup. Lux Central is one of the local favorites because of its comfy couches, fresh-baked pastries, and beans roasted on-site. People also dig Black Cat Coffeehouse for a great brew and an atmosphere that’s work or study-friendly. One Coffee Company is met with rave reviews for its cozy setup and tasty drinks, and Phoenicians often turn to Cartel Coffee Lab for a serious cup in a chic environment. But if none of these hip havens speak to you, Phoenix is home to Arizona’s “first bikini barista shop,” Bikini Beans Espresso.
3. PHOENIX IS FOR FAMILIES.
Arizona might have a reputation as a destination for retirees, golfers, and spa-goers, but the truth is that Phoenix is a wonderful place for families! There are tons of great ways to spend a weekend or a summer day that kids will absolutely adore, from soaking up desert beauty at the Desert Botanical Garden to burning up energy at The Play Factory. Kids of all ages will go wild for the Phoenix Zoo, which is the largest zoo of its kind in the whole country! If you’re looking for a great way to stretch brains and muscles, look no further than the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and Arizona Science Center, two destinations dedicated to merging education with hands-on play.
2. WAY ABOVE PAR.
Phoenix is a golfer’s dream, from hosting major golf events like the LPGA’s Founder’s Cup and the PGA’s Waste Management Phoenix Open to tons of gorgeous courses for all skill levels. There are top-of-the-line golf resorts like Arizona Grand Resort and Spa and The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, which feature courses designed by golf greats Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo, but locals can hit the links on any number of beautifully-manicured courses. From breathtaking scenery to near-constant sunshine, it’s no wonder Phoenix golfers love where they live.
Did we get it right, or did we miss your favorite thing about Phoenix? Let us know in the comments!
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