As the hub of an international airport and located right on Interstate 10, Phoenix is a favorite travel destination for business travelers, retirees, young adults and families alike. Here’s our quick guide to the Valley of the Sun.
Phoenix was a little late to adopting public transportation, with its Metro Light Rail opening at the end of 2008. However, it soon became one of the most-traveled in the country and is a great way to travel through Mesa, Tempe and Phoenix without having to deal with the aggressive highway system. You can buy passes at any of the stations, and 50% discounts are available to persons with a disability, seniors, Medicare cardholders and children 6-18.
You could spend an entire day at the Phoenix Zoo, with exhibits including the walk-through Monkey Village, Giraffe Encounter, Stingray Bay, and more. The Phoenix Zoo houses 1,400 animals, including 30 endangered species.
Just a mile away, the Desert Botanical Gardens includes 17,000 dramatic and impressive plants, including a wildflower trail; butterfly gardens; Chihuly art installation; and two new exhibits that just opened in fall 2014.
Get Country Chic
Old Town Scottsdale is in the heart of the Valley, less than 10 miles from the airport and about 10 miles from downtown Phoenix. Hop on the free trolley to explore the streets that are home to funky Southwestern souvenirs and western wear. You might be able to catch a Thursday evening ArtWalk, food truck caravan, or a Saturday morning farmer’s market. Aside from the expansive galleries and art museums, Old Town at night is full of trendy nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Plus, around the corner you can visit Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, one of the top malls in the country with almost any designer brand you could want.
Get Your Game On
Whether you’re cheering on the Suns at U.S. Airways Center or rooting for the Diamondbacks at Chase Field, both arenas are conveniently located along the Metro Light Rail. The Arizona Science Center is just a block from Chase Field, or you can arrive early (and miss the crowds on the Metro) and try getting a table at Coach’s Corner Grill right between the two stadiums or at Alice Cooper’stown across the street from U.S. Airways Arena.