Phoenix, Arizona Lifestyle
OK, it's hot in Phoenix! And when the temperature goes above 110 degrees, the often said conciliatory phrase "dry heat" isn't all that comforting. But our average temperature is a little over 72 degrees. And just take a look at what we have to offer in the Valley, which supports about 3.5 million people. Phoenix alone has experienced a population growth of over 65 percent since 1990, and is now home to more than 1.4 million – making it the fifth largest city in the United States. What do all these people do? Well our main industries are hardly pollution-generating: High-tech manufacturing, tourism, medical, and construction (building homes for more than 12,000 people who move in to this area every month). Can this many folk be crazy to want to live in a hothouse? Perhaps, but that depends on your definition of "crazy".
Make no mistake, we are in the Valley of the Sun, 1000 feet above sea level, with 325 sun-drenched days a year. Rain? About 8 inches a year. Not gonna get Seasonal Affective Disorder (e.g. "cabin fever") in Phoenix. This climate should give you plenty of opportunity to enjoy the 100 miles of hiking trails up and down the myriad mountains, mesas and buttes surrounding our city. Or perhaps take on one of over 200 golf courses in the area. Still too hot? Well, head to one of the six vast lakes in the area for sport boating or maybe fishing. If ya need to move inside altogether, visit one of the 40 museums interspersed throughout Phoenix, filled with prized objects that reflect our southwestern heritage, including that of the Native Americans. Phoenix is home to more than 150 eclectic art galleries, and dozens of top drawer shopping plazas. Concert venues abound, providing a variety of acoustical entertainment to suit the taste of just about any one.
In the world of sports, Phoenix is one of 10 metropolitan areas in the United States that supports the four major professional leagues, whose athletes compete in largely ultramodern facilities. And don't forget the cactus league, with eight major baseball teams completing their spring training in an entirely laidback environment. For those seeking a bit more excitement than baseball might have to offer, we are host to two NASCAR events every year. Perhaps(try to) re-live those college years in Tempe, where Arizona State University men and women student athletes annually compete for national NCAA Division I titles in a variety of sports.
We're pretty easy for family and friends to get to by air, a statement to which the 13 million or so annual "snowbirds" will attest. About two dozen airlines use Phoenix as a destination, carrying about 35 million passengers per year. But ya need to tell them that they aren't just flying in to a year-round desert environment. Yes there is a lot of unspoiled terrain and there are lots of cacti about, including those tall prickly ones with arms, called saguaros (pronounced kind of like "swaro"). But Arizona boasts every climate possible; drive two hours to the north and you are snow skiing in Flagstaff, for example. Don't just stop at the Grand Canyon, which is in and of itself truly awe-inspiring (photos don't do it justice). Drive on over to Bryce Canyon, or up to the Four Corners to imbibe in true unblemished majesty. Head to Karchner Caverns and try to remember the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. Get mystical and experience the vortices of Sedona, or root your feet in the ground by re-living the harsh realities of mining communities like Jerome. So much to do in our state. And I promise that you won't be so burdened with your training that you couldn't take advantage of the desert southwest!