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The hub of a major metropolitan area, Phoenix is not only the capital of the state of Arizona, but also the most populous city in the American Southwest. The area was occupied for 2,000 years by the Hohokam people, whose original system of canals and residences can be viewed in the city to this day. Phoenix has a long history of Mexican settlement, with many Hispanic residents and native Spanish speakers.
The city is situated in the biologically unique Sonoran Desert and has an dry climate with long stretches of hot weather. You may want to avoid May through September, when temperatures can exceed 100°F. Not surprisingly, the most popular time to visit Phoenix is during the mild, sunny winter season.
Things to Do in Phoenix
Phoenix has great opportunities to experience the desert environment. Camelback Mountain offers strenuous terrain with great views from top. Just three miles away, Squaw Peak (Piestewa Peak) offers lots of great hiking and mountain biking. Explore the plant life of the Sonoran Desert and other arid lands around the world at Desert Botanical Garden.
The Phoenix metropolitan area is an established base for professional sports. Baseball fan? Take in an Arizona Diamondbacks game at Chase Field, or check out the spring training activities and exhibition games that take place every year in February and March. For your basketball fix, check out the Phoenix Suns (which has featured all-stars such as Charles Barkley), or the Phoenix Mercury, a very popular WNBA team.
The performing and visual arts are well-represented as well. During the First Fridays Artwalk, hundreds of local art galleries and other venues are free to the public. And when you're ready for dinner, Phoenix offers some of the most authentic Mexican food in the U.S.
You'll find great vacation rentals and short term rentals in Camelback East, an upscale area of town which contains the famous Biltmore Hotel, the Phoenix Zoo, and high-end shopping. In Midtown, along with a variety of cultural, performance, and sporting venues, you'll find house rentals and condo rentals. Phoenix tends to be more progressive than much of the state, and the area around Central and Camelback in Phoenix has many gay residents and gay-friendly businesses. Tripping offers a wide range of apartment rentals and other options for your perfect Phoenix vacation.