Phoenix: An Overview
Phoenix is a city of brilliant sunshine, set in the high Sonoran Desert in the southcentral part of Arizona, surrounded by mountains and Indian reservations, and deeply imbued with Southwestern American culture. It is a city with more golf courses - twice as many (roughly 200!) - than the rest of the state combined. It is Arizona’s principal city, its capital city, its largest and most populous city, and possibly its fastest growing city, with nearly a million and a half residents. There are several communities and smaller cities surrounding Phoenix, sharing with it the desert and the sun, averaging more than 300 days of blue skies and sunshine every year. Notable among these are Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria and Sun City, which, together with Phoenix and other neighboring communities, melt into the greater metropolitan area of Phoenix.
And just as the sun is central to life in Phoenix, so, too, is the outdoors. Hiking, biking, horseback riding and other such recreational pursuits are popular in the half dozen or so desert-mountain parks that surround the city and are part of the larger Phoenix Mountain Preserve, particularly Piestewa Peak Park, which alone draws over 750,000 nature lovers every year. Camelback Mountain, the city’s highest peak and a landmark that features prominently in the city skyline, is the other place of supreme interest.
The Phoenix metropolitan area also has several good hotels and resorts, collectively offering more than 55,000 rooms, from luxury to economy, as well as scores of spas, award-winning restaurants, galleries, art and history museums, theater and performing arts venues, shopping malls, botanical gardens, and even a zoo.
The metropolitan area of Phoenix encompasses more than a thousand square miles and has a combined resident population of nearly 3.5 million.
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