While a well-known hub in the Southwest, Phoenix, Arizona is not often listed as a prime tourist hub. This is a great oversight and a reason enough to describe the place as a hidden gem. You see, Phoenix has something for everyone – great food, wild nightlife, unique fashion, and a captivating cultural scene. For those who still have their doubts about whether the hottest city in the US is worth visiting, here are the top 7 reasons why this might just be the best idea you had this year.
1. Phoenix Art Museum
A lot of people travel in a quest for cultural enlightenment. A visit to the Phoenix Art Museum can give you this opportunity. First of all, it’s the biggest art museum in the entire region (Southwest United States), which makes it a mandatory stop for anyone heading this way.
It also offers free tours, which means that traveling on a budget is no longer a valid excuse for failing to visit the place. Even when paying the full price, a ticket for an adult (the most expensive variant) is just $18. Next, its setup is always unique and changing. Its work hours are set in the afternoon, which means that it’s a great way to spend the afternoon.
2. Great Stop for Foodies
Arizona is known for its cheese crisps, chimichangas, Navajo tacos, salsa, Sonoran hot dog, and much, much more. As its greatest hub, Phoenix has the best offer of all these dishes. Other than this, you have the privilege of enjoying a visit to some of the best surrounding vineyards in the vicinity. Seeing as how pubs around Phoenix have a long craft beer tradition, this too is an extra reason to visit.
In a way, you can turn your visit to a Phoenix into a proper hedonist tour. Keep in mind that while you may have a chance to taste some of these dishes and delicacies elsewhere they just won’t taste the same. Keep in mind that people often associate senses (like sounds, sensations, and even taste) with events, which means that you can emotionally fortify this experience and etch it into your memory.
3. Scottsdale Fashion Scene
When it comes to the fashion scene in Arizona, Scottsdale is second to none. Keep in mind that this place is the fashion hotspot of Arizona, regardless if you’re looking for events or shopping opportunities. You don’t even have to look for major brands, seeing as how your local watch store in Scottsdale has amazing and unique accessories for you to browse.
As far as the events go, you can’t afford to miss out on the Phoenix Fashion Week. The event is usually organized somewhere in October and it’s an amazing opportunity for you to get outside of your comfort zone (stylistically) without sticking out. Regardless if you are more glam- or avant-garde-minded, you shouldn’t have too much trouble picking something.
4. Native American History
Not so long ago, Arizona was the home to six different tribes:
- Tohono O’Odham Nation
- Tonto Apache Tribe
- White Mountain Apache Tribe
- Yavapai-Apache Nation
- Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe
Even today, there’s so much to learn about this ancient culture by visiting Arizona. One of the best-known places where you can learn about these North American civilizations is the Heard Museum. This is a non-profit museum in Phoenix, with one of the biggest exhibits on this subject on the entire continent.
One of the most unique things about this place is the methodology that it uses to tell its stories. Namely, the majority of lessons are presented through a first-person perspective, with a Native American as a narrator.
The museum was opened in 1929 and it has played a huge role on the city’s cultural stage since. For anyone planning a culture-focused visit to Arizona, this place should be a mandatory point on the checklist.
5. Roosevelt Row’s Street Art
Not many cities have walkable arts districts but Roosevelt Row is definitely one of them. This is one of the places with the biggest number of murals, especially the so-called Mural Alley. What’s so unique about it is the fact that it’s virtually hidden in plain sight, which is why it’s often referred to as 1½ street.
The majority of murals and fixtures here are made by local artists, as well as some of the bigger names in the local art scene. Now, truth be told, not all iconic Phoenix-based murals are in the Roosevelt Row. There are some that are scattered all over Phoenix. This is merely where the concentration of street art is the largest.
6. Phoenix Nightlife
Local music, craft cocktails, and speakeasies are just some of the things you can experience after the sun sets in Phoenix, Arizona. The place is buzzing with life and there’s something for everyone. For instance, people keen on celebrity-hunting can visit TPC Scottsdale, Barrett-Jackson, or Cooperstown.
Those looking for a place where they can dance can visit Dwntwn or Karamba Nightclub. While there’s a lot of personal preference here, the truth is that, if staying for more than one night, you’ll have a chance to shop around a bit. Visit more than one place and see what Phoenix nightlife has to offer first-hand.
Lastly, Phoenix is the hottest city in the US but this also makes it uniquely beautiful and picturesque. The city, and its surroundings, have some of the most beautiful sunsets that you’ll ever witness. Other than this, there are a lot of desert parks where you can stargaze. People intent on making photographs of the visit shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Phoenix.
There’s just too much to see and experience in Phoenix, Arizona for a single visit. Therefore, you might want to plan to return on the first occasion. The city is definitely not expensive, which means that you might be able to justify returning sooner than you might have hoped. After a first visit, you’ll definitely have plenty of motivation to do so.