Phoenix Travel Guide

USA  #4 in Best Places to Visit in Arizona
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Phoenix Area Map

Neighborhoods

Phoenix is located in central Arizona in the Valley of the Sun, surrounded by the McDowell, Phoenix South, White Tank and Estrella mountains. The Phoenix Metropolitan Area comprises several dozen cities, the primary ones being Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Carefree and Cave Creek.

Home to both city hall and the state Capitol, downtown Phoenix is a business, financial and government district. However, the downtown area is also where most of the city's sports arenas, museums and entertainment venues are located. The Orpheum Theatre, Symphony Hall and the Herberger Theater Center are all located in the downtown area, as well as the Phoenix Museum of History, Heritage Square, the Phoenix Art Museum and the Arizona Science Center. The heart of downtown Phoenix, known as Copper Square, is filled with art galleries that feature contemporary works. Downtown is also home to Civic Space Park, an urban sanctuary that often hosts community events, such as movie nights, and boasts the famous sculpture by Janet Echelman. This area is also home to several high-end hotels, as well as many budget-friendly lodging options. Consider finding a room in the downtown area to be close to the city's top things to do.

Located just north of downtown Phoenix is the Biltmore District. The Biltmore District  also known as the Camelback Corridor because of its location on Camelback Road  is known for its abundance of upscale shopping centers. As well as the numerous shops along Camelback Road, shoppers will enjoy exercising their credit cards at the Biltmore Fashion Park shopping mall. The Biltmore District is also home to several hotels, namely the Arizona Biltmore.

Scottsdale is technically a separate city, though it is considered part of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Scottsdale reaches from Carefree in the north to Tempe in the south, a distance of more than 20 miles. North Scottsdale is characterized by numerous shopping malls and a lively restaurant scene, while downtown Scottsdale is home to popular sites. Old Town, the Main Street Arts and Antiques District, the Marshall Way Contemporary Arts District and the Scottsdale Waterfront all feature boutiques, restaurants and Native American crafts stores. Those who wish to stay in Scottsdale can live in the lap of luxury on Scottsdale Road, which has earned the nickname "Resort Row" due to the large number of resort hotels located there.

Because it shelters Arizona State University's Tempe campus, this area is very hip, with dozens of shops and plenty of nightlife locales. Mill Avenue is crowded with interesting shops and an abundance of sidewalk cafes, making this street the center of attention in Tempe and a popular area for strolling. Just southeast of Tempe is Chandler, which has seen major economic growth in recent years and now offers plenty of dining and hotel options.

Mesa, an eastern suburb of Phoenix, is known for its large shopping malls and collection of inexpensive chain hotels. The area also features several popular small museums, including the Mesa Arts Center.

Northwest of downtown Phoenix, Glendale is characterized by its historic buildings and numerous antiques and collectibles stores. Those who visit Glendale can spend some time visiting the Bead Museum before catching an Arizona Coyotes hockey game at the Gila River Arena or an Arizona Cardinals football game at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Located on the northern fringes of the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area, experts say that the Carefree and Cave Creek neighborhoods represent the best of the Old and New West, respectively. Upscale Carefree is home to the renowned Boulders Resort & Spa, but Cave Creek identifies more with its Western heritage and features Wild West-inspired saloons, restaurants and gift shops.

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