Friday, November 23, 2007

Phoenix Arizona Attractions

Phoenix, Arizona is home to an eclectic mix of people, sights and sounds. Phoenix is the nation’s fifth largest metropolitan city and continues to grow.

In the heart of the Southwest, the city of Phoenix combines the heritage of a number of Native American tribes whose ancestors have lived on the land for generations. Phoenix also offers the historical and legendary elements of the Old West, from gold mining to cowboys, along with the spirit of a modern day city and you’ll begin to see what Arizona’s state capitol city is all about.
With more than 325 days of sunshine a year and an average daily temperature of 85 degrees, there’s never a dull moment in Phoenix.

Phoenix Arizona attractions that shouldn't be missed are as follows:

Honoring the heritage of generations of Native Americans who have called the land home, the Heard Museum has been internationally recognized as the nation’s most prestigious private Indian arts collections. For more than 75 years, the museum’s philosophy has been to educate the public on the heritage and living cultures and arts of Native people, emphasizing the peoples of the Southwest. The museum has a permanent collection of more than 35,000 artifacts and regularly hosts special exhibitions, festivals and artist demonstrations throughout the year. Annually, nearly 250,000 people visit the museum.

Phoenix has year-round ideal weather, so, it’s no surprise that Phoenix has become a hot spot for golfing. The metropolitan Phoenix area is home to more than 150 golf courses ranging from the seven city municipal courses to some of the world’s finest golf at several private communities. With so many golf courses to choose from, there are also a number of excellent golf schools and training facilities in the area where newbies can learn the basics and more seasoned players can sharpen their skills under the direction of some of the best teachers in the business. Rather watch than play? During tournament season (November through May), major PGA and LPGA tournaments are played in the area of Phoenix, offering the ideal opportunity to see some of the game’s greatest play. Most well known is the PGA FBR Open (formerly the Phoenix Open), which is held in late January to early February each year. The Open, nearing its 70th year, is one of the longest running events on the PGA Tour.

A must see in Phoenix is a visit to Papago Park, it encompasses the renowned Desert Botanical Gardens and the Phoenix Zoo. Papago Park itself is a 1,200-acre park with a system of relatively easy hiking trails and beautiful red, sandstone buttes. The park offers armadas, picnic table and grills as well as fishing lagoons and bike paths. As part of the park, the Phoenix Zoo features 1,300 animals exhibited throughout five distinctive trails. Highlights include a children’s petting zoo and a trail showcasing desert animals. Perhaps one of the most unique elements of Papago Park is the Desert Botanical Gardens, which hosts one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. The Gardens features more than 50 acres of outdoor exhibits with 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world. Since the gardens’ inception in 1939, the Gardens welcome 250,000 visitors each year.

Hiking in Phoenix is the best, largely because there are so many places to hike. Two of the most popular locations include Piestewa Peak and South Mountain Regional Park. Piestewa Peak (The park was formerly known as Squaw Peak, but renamed during Operation Freedom for fallen Arizonan Lori Piestewa, the first Native American solider ever to be killed in combat.) Featuring dozens of trails – some of which welcome canine hiking companions – the actual peak has an elevation of 2,608 feet and offers remarkable views of the Phoenix area. On the opposite end of the city is the more than 16,000-acre South Mountain Regional Park and Preserve. The largest municipal park in the country, South Mountain offers 58 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, at a variety of skill levels.

Take a trip back in time at Historic Heritage Square, part of Heritage and Science Park. Heritage Square is a city block, dating from the late 1800s, which encompasses the only remaining historical structures from the city’s original town site. At the cornerstone of Heritage Square is the Rosson House, an amazing restored Victorian style home built in 1895. The remainder of Heritage Square includes museums, shops and restaurants. The whole of Heritage and Science Park offers additional shopping, dining and museums including the interactive Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Museum of History.

Every spring, thousands of baseball fans come to the Phoenix area for one reason, Cactus League Spring Training. Nine Major League Baseball teams hold spring training at seven stadiums in the Phoenix area. Large crowds come to see their favorites including the Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, Anaheim Angels, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers. Training runs the entire month of March, with games being played seven days a week. In addition to the draw of getting an early glimpse of their team’s lineup, fans also get unique opportunities to get up close with their favorite players during the frequent autograph signing sessions before and after games. If you’re visiting Phoenix after March, take in an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game at Bank One Ballpark (affectionately known to locals as BOB). The ballpark’s retractable roof ensures that the weather’s always right for a baseball game. The park also features a large swimming pool that can be rented for groups and special events – can you think of a better way to enjoy a game in the desert? If baseball isn’t your thing, Phoenix is one of only eight cities in the nation to have professional teams in all four major sports – baseball, basketball, football and hockey. So, check out a Phoenix Suns Game at America West Arena, an Arizona Cardinals game at Sun Devil Stadium or a Phoenix Coyotes game at the new Glendale Arena.

It’s safe to say, there’s plenty of more to do in Phoenix than this guide could possibly cover. But rest assured there is literally something for every one in Phoenix – for families and couples, for spa-goers and adventure seekers. Phoenix is the place to go for fun in the sun.

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