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Phoenix, AZ

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Located in Central Arizona, Phoenix—Valley of the Sun—is a destination for sun-seekers who stream into the state’s capital to unwind and rejuvenate in the natural landscape. The desert climate and accessibility to open spaces create an ideal environment during much of the year for those who wish to escape colder climates and thaw out in the Arizona sun. Phoenix attractions often center around the outdoors: golfing, tennis and hiking. But the city also offers a buzzing nightlife and huge shopping scene.

Phoenix is a haven for shoppers, reflected in the number of prime shopping destinations and malls. Upscale Phoenix shopping attractions include the Biltmore Fashion Park, an elegantly designed mall with a lineup of high-end labels. The sprawling Desert Ridge Marketplace covers 100 outdoor acres dotted with a collection of shops and restaurants, an open-air stage, a fireplace and a fountain where children play. Visitors looking for regional wares travel east of town to fashionable Scottsdale for shops filled with Southwestern staples ranging from Native American jewelry and crafts to cowboy hats and custom boots.

Sports enthusiasts can select among many things to do in Phoenix. Cheer on the Phoenix Suns basketball team at the U.S. Airways Center or the Arizona Cardinals football team at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Arizona Diamondbacks play baseball in Downtown Phoenix at Chase Field. The landmark facility boasts air conditioning, a retractable roof for protection from the elements, and a swimming pool located a mere 415 feet from home base. In spring, a number of major-league baseball teams train in the area, offering fans a full schedule of exhibition games.

After dark, downtown Phoenix beckons. The selection of nightlife venues ranges from high-rise dance halls to cozy live-music clubs and fashionable wine bars. Air-conditioned indoor attractions such as the Phoenix Art Museum in Downtown are popular in the daytime. The museum’s diverse permanent collection features Latin American, Western American and Asian art, as well as photography and fashion exhibits. Founded over fifty years ago, the dramatic modern structure is the regular site of art films and lectures.

Visitors can hit the northeast side to discover local history at the Arizona Capitol Museum. Housed in the former capitol, a structure built with mellow-colored stone and capped with a rotunda, the four-story museum contains artwork and displays detailing Arizona’s early history.

The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, open since 1929, is a manicured playground for leisure pursuits in Phoenix. Things to do at the luxury resort include golfing or sunbathing and sipping at a collection of swimming pools, one with a swim-up bar. Those who wish to convene with nature in a more rugged setting can hike Phoenix’s famed Camelback Mountain or head to South Mountain Park. Located south of Downtown, the park spans 16,000 acres of undeveloped desert, crisscrossed by a network of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. Sweeping views of the valley are found in the park at Dobbins Lookout, while Gila Lookout is the place to experience a panorama of mountain ranges.

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