ADD TO LISTFounded in the 1800's, Phoenix is a major transportation hub and one of the largest cities in the southwest. Due to its proximity to Mexico, the city is wellknown for its authentic Mexican cuisine. Other highlights include the arts and culture scene -- Phoenix is home to a number of music festivals, museums and science centres, plus hosts a plethora of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed year-round.
Last edited Aug 30, 09 1:45 AM. Contributors: Liz G.
Travel Tips from people who've been to Phoenix
I was here for work in 115 degree August weather so I didn't spend a whole lot of time out on the town. I do recommend staying away from industrial areas unless you are interested in seeking the services of one of the many local hookers. As my plane was circling to land, my nostrils were assaulted by a strange smell, which I only later discovered was coming from some of the BP petroleum refineries. Lightning storms here are beautiful, though. I drove by Senator McCain's office and was sorely tempted to leave him a message, but I had no rotten eggs to throw. Maybe next time.
In a word: sprawl. Phoenix stretches on for days and days. Maybe it's the fact that ... no, wait, I do like deserts. It's just that I don't really like Phoenix. It's such an expression of American extravagance and willfull disregard for nature. There shouldn't be grass here, and there are golf courses everywhere; shopping is here on the "galore" level. If the desert was just left to being a desert, it'd be lovely, because the natural scenery is stark and striking, but alas, Phoenix manages to be congested and spread-out, and generally rather unpleasant. Take the time to get out of the city.
A friend once commented while flying over Phoenix, "When civilization fails, and it will, because that's what civilizations do, these people will die first." There are few places in this country with such a flagrant disregard for water use or environmentally-friendly urban planning. The desert to the east of the city is gorgeous, though. Take some time to drive the winding desert road from Apache Junction to Tortilla Flat. It is absolutely stunning.
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