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Not so long ago, cotton, corn and alfalfa were the primary focuses of Chandler, but now this rising Arizona city concerns itself with high-tech manufacturing. The population boom that's accompanied firms like Motorola, Microchip and Intel to town has also led to increased cultural and recreational opportunities, as well as notable restaurants and bars.
The Community of Chandler
Like many of its Phoenix-area counterparts, the city of Chandler has grown exponentially in the past two to three decades, changing from a sleepy western town. Central Chandler is now home to shopping as well as the industry that's brought jobs and interest to the city. It also is home to the historic, original downtown area of Chandler. South Chandler is primarily residential, though you'll find the airport and several golf courses and parks in this area.
What to Do in Chandler
At the Huhugam Heritage Center, celebrate the culture of the Gila River Indian Community, located right next to the city of Chandler. Exhibits of pottery, jewelry and tools will help you learn more about the historic and modern-day impact these people have made to the area.
The Arizona Railway Museum is headquartered in Chandler and houses several historic rail cars and railroad memorabilia. Open on weekends only, the museum is staffed by volunteers who will let you walk through the cars and even ring the locomotive's bell.
Need to get your shopping fix? The Phoenix Premium Outlets host nearly every major brand for apparel and accessories in one convenient place for bargain hunting. People watch in the open air mall if you don't feel like reaching for your wallet.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Chandler
The Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery is a combination museum and gallery with an interesting firearms collection. Excellent displays of Native American art, including handwoven baskets, keep you walking around. Open on weekdays only, with free admission.
Dining in Chandler
With a cool vibe and outdoor seating, SanTan Brewing Co. in downtown Chandler offers some of the best local brews paired with enticing pub food. If beer's not your thing, try one of the spirits from SanTan's sister distillery.
The Brickyard Downtown is another top downtown destination, with tapas plates and drinks that are ideal for a night out. Bring friends and share plates or keep your delicious discoveries to yourself.