Central Arizona, also known as The Valley of the Sun, is the place to be, whether you are limited on funds or have the urge to splurge. From the free art shows on the first Friday of every month in downtown Phoenix, to luxury shopping, dining and entertainment in Scottsdale, central Arizona has it all.
Over on the west side of the Valley, Glendale houses the world-renowned Westgate City Center. Glendale is also host to the Jobing.com Arena, which hosts more than 225 sporting events, concerts and special events each year. Visitors from around the nation and the world visit Glendale for its mega events and nationally-broadcasted sporting events, as well as for the city’s spring training sites and games.
During football season make sure to check out The University of Phoenix Stadium, which is unlike any other stadium in North America; it has a retractable roof and field and is the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. After working up an appetite, stop by restaurants like Saddle Ranch chop house where you can dine, drink and ride a bull all under the same roof.
A few miles away is downtown Phoenix’s CityScape where you can catch a comedy show at Stand up Live or go bowling at Lucky Strike. There are also many places to dine and drink there like the Arrogant Butcher steakhouse or Rasputin Vodka Bar.
Looking for one of the world’s top-ranked schools? How about Arizona State University, which was ranked 81st in the top 100 universities in the world by the Institute of Higher Education in 2010.
If you need a way to get around town, hop on the Valley Metro light rail. It runs from downtown Phoenix to Mesa and makes stops near many of the local attractions including the nightlife spots. Make sure to stop at the Mill Avenue District in downtown Tempe and take a stroll, or visit Tempe Town Lake where you can go boating, walking, fishing or simply take a tour.
A few miles north of Tempe is Scottsdale, considered the shopping and day spa mecca of the state. It’s host to Scottsdale Fashion Square, which has more than 250 luxury shops, including Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and Nordstrom, Gucci and many more. In addition to the great shops, Scottsdale Fashion square has fine dining with restaurants like Grand Lux Cafe, which offers casual global cuisine in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere.
There are also many Las Vegas style casinos like Talking Stick Resort and Casino, which has poker, table games, Keno and over 70 slot machines.
Looking to get away from the city life? There are many beautiful trails to hike or to simply explore the beautiful Arizona scenery, such as Squaw Peak or Camelback Mountain. And a relaxing day of golfing awaits at The Tournament Player’s Club in Scottsdale which hosts the PGA tour.
Take a look at all of the cities within central Arizona: