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Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix is the only state capital in the U.S. with more than 1 million residents, and the city has numerous offerings to make it an enticing place to live in or visit. This "Valley of the Sun" center was once known for an economy based on five "Cs" -- cotton, cattle, citrus, climate and copper -- but now is a center for electronics-sector manufacturing and tourism.

The Community of Phoenix

Phoenix's 15 neighborhoods are called "urban villages" and many were once small independent towns that got swallowed up into the big city. As a practical measure, most people refer to general areas rather than specific neighborhoods. In addition to Downtown, Midtown and Uptown in the Central City and Encanto neighborhoods, West Phoenix, North Phoenix, South Phoenix, Biltmore, Sunnyslope and Arcadia are the main sections of the city.

What to Do in Phoenix

The Musical Instrument Museum is aptly named, but you won't find anything dull in this place dedicated to the love of music. Rooms that focus on specific instruments or regions incorporate special music played through headphones that you get with your admission. A theater on the premises features regular live concerts. Admission is a little pricey at $20/adult, but worth it if you enjoy music at all.

Hoping to play outside? While Phoenix temperatures get high, Papago Park has plenty of shady spots amid its trails and large sandstone buttes. Right next to the Botanical Gardens and the Phoenix Zoo, this park also is home to an archery range, fishing pond and orienteering course. You can even rent a park shelter or play a round of golf at the adjacent Papago Golf Course.

Travel back in time with a trip to The Rosson House Museum on Heritage Square. This restored Victorian mansion dates back to 1895; take a guided tour to learn about the history of the surrounding city. Open Wednesday through Sunday, the tour costs $10 per adult.

One Thing You Shouldn't Miss in Phoenix

The climate of the Phoenix area lends itself well to supporting hot air balloons and the surrounding desert is perfectly viewed from the air. See the city and its sites as well as the desert and its wildlife all in one ride. Several companies offer tours via balloon that are suitable for families, couples or individuals starting at around $150 per person.

Dining in Phoenix

At Bobby Q, wood-fired chicken, baby back ribs, brisket and pulled pork headline the menu. Try a meat combo or platter if you're not sure which one you want. Reasonable prices and big portions are reason enough to visit, but don't forget to leave room for warm cinnamon donuts at the end of your meal.

You can't go wrong with a pizza pie, and Pomo Pizzeria makes some of the best around with thin crust to rival any offering from Italy. Paninis and handmade pasta dishes are an excellent backup if Neapolitan-style pizza isn't your first choice.

85
Very Walkable
65
Good Transit
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