Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and is located slightly south of central Arizona. My first time here was in grade school, visiting from Indiana for a family wedding.
I remember thinking that this dusty city full of cacti was the place I wanted to go. Not only was the weather beautiful, but the scenery was beautiful and the city was very lively. In his mid-twenties, he decided to transition to desert life, and has lived in Phoenix for over a decade.
I love this city — everything from the bristly barrel cacti, the scorching summers, and the occasional scorpion infestation. The weather is mild from October to May, mostly in his 1960’s to early 80’s, the desert scenery is stunning and in my experience there is no shortage of things to do. Moreover, I personally have not seen any other city that consistently offers candy-colored sunsets like Phoenix.
With a city sprawling over 500 square miles and a population that has surged to 1.6 million in recent years, Phoenix has become one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities in the United States. I think everyone, from families and young professionals to college students, will feel at home in the city, so the rapid growth makes sense to me.
Outdoor activities such as hiking are a particular draw, and in my experience, the entire valley has a cozy and laid-back environment.
Since moving here, I have explored Phoenix as much as I can. Even in the last five years, we’ve seen a lot of change throughout the town, although key elements such as certain iconic eateries, award-winning museums, and stunning hikes have remained the same. I do my best to keep abreast of the latest attractions and hot new restaurant openings. I also love telling my friends and family first-hand why I love this city.
Here’s a complete guide and the best insider tips for exploring Phoenix, including where to stay, what to eat, and how to spend your time.
Check out the Insider’s guide to visiting Phoenix.