It shouldn’t come as a surprise that each year more than 50,000 Americans move to Phoenix – the capital city of Arizona. The desert metropolis offers a great combination of promising economic opportunities and high quality of life. Add the endless outdoor attractions and recreational activities, reinforced by the city’s stunning natural beauty and sunshine-filled climate, and you’ll begin to understand why so many people dream of making Phoenix their home.
Just like you.
This Relocation Guide will try to make you see you why you have made the right choice moving to Phoenix, Arizona.
Located in the northeastern sections of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is the capital and largest city in the state of Arizona. With 1,445,632 residents (2010 census), it is the 6th most populous city after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia, as well as the most populous state capital in the United States.
Nicknamed the Valley of the Sun, the city of Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate which is characterized by extremely hot summers and warm winters. It receives an abundance of sunshine each year – more than 330 days or over 90% annually. Rainfall is scarce – the precipitation during the driest month of the year (June) is only (.02 inches (0.51 mm).
Statistically, the capital of Arizona has only one day a year where the temperature drops below the freezing point. Snow is an outstandingly rare occurrence – the heaviest snowstorm on record took place in 1937 and covered parts of the city with 4 inches (10 cm) of snow that stayed on the ground for three entire days.
Phoenix’s early economy (before WWII) was shaped and greatly influenced by the “Five Cs”: cotton, cattle, citrus, climate and copper. Nowadays, the top 10 industries that impact the city’s economy are: real estate, financial services, manufacturing, health care, retail, wholesale, professional services, construction, waste management and tourism. Greater Phoenix takes 7th place nationwide in major job markets (markets with more than 1 million jobs) with a $181 billion marketplace that serves as an important center for innovation and entrepreneurs.
The longest running major industry in the city is tourism. Thanks to its 330 days of sunshine, 62,000 hotel rooms in over 500 hotels and 40 resorts, Greater Phoenix has been continuously ranked among the top tourism destinations in the country. Phoenix welcomes more than 16 million tourists each year, while the state of Arizona receives over 37 million visitors.
Main Sights And Attractions
Musical Art Museum
Opened on April 24, 2010, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is the only museum of its kind on the planet. It houses an impressive collection of more than 6,000 musical instruments from nearly 200 countries and territories. Its lucky visitors can see the instruments, hear their sounds via ultra-modern audio and video technologies and learn of how they are mare and played. Also, all guests are welcome to try out different pieces from all over the world in the Experience Gallery.
Arizona Science Center
Located in Heritage and Science Park in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center’s focus is to educate people about the wonders of science, as well as to entertain them. The museum features more than 350 permanent exhibitions arranged in 7 themed galleries: Many Hands Make a Home, The Wonder Center, My Digital World, Get Charged Up, Solarville, Forces of Nature and Nano. Its 400,000 annual visitors can enjoy the numerous interactive experiences, including an IMAX Theater with a huge five-story screen and 285 seats and a computerized Planetarium with 200 seats.
Started in 1984 as a small science center, today the Arizona Science Center covers 40,000 square feet (3,700 square meters) and has become one of the most successful cultural attractions in Arizona.
Phoenix Points Of Pride
The Phoenix Points of Pride are 33 landmarks and attractions within the city limits that best represent the capital city to its residents and visitors alike. Each Point of Pride has been carefully chosen through an election process and is either a man-made structure or a natural phenomenon.
A list of all Points of Pride can be found here.
South Mountain Park
With a mountainous area of 25.5 sq. m (66 sq. km), South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the United States and one of the biggest urban parks in the world. Elephant trees and chuckwallas are notable representatives of the park flora and fauna.
The Phoenix Zoo
Opened in 1960, the Phoenix Zoo is the biggest privately-owned and non-profit zoo in the United States. Spread on 125 acres of land in the Papago Park, it features more than 1,400 animals and has 2.5 miles (4 km) of walking trails, including the four main ones: the Arizona Trail, the Africa Trail, the Tropics Trail and the Children’s Trail.
Other notable attractions in Phoenix include:
- Phoenix Art Museum: the largest art museum for visual arts in the Southwest United States – 18,000 works of modern and contemporary art and fashion design.
- Heard Museum: a living museum dedicated to the heritage and cultures of Native peoples, especially the peoples of the Southwest. It houses the largest kachina doll collection in the country.
- Pueblo Grande Museum: archeological sites and ruins that feature a historic platform mound and irrigation canals.
- Desert Botanical Garden: a 140 acres botanical garden that has the largest collection of arid plants in the country (more than 21,000).
- St. Mary’s Basilica: founded in 1881, the church is the oldest Roman Catholic parish in Phoenix and houses the most extensive collection of stained glass windows in the state.
Moving To Phoenix, Arizona
Let professional local and cross-country movers handle your relocation to Phoenix for a stress-free and smooth moving experience.
Getting Around Phoenix
By air: Regardless of your current location in the city, efficient freeways lead to and from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport which is conveniently located less than 20 minutes from the downtown area. The airport serves over 110,000 people and 1,200 aircraft daily, including 800 tons of air cargo, and is currently one of the ten busiest airports in the nation.
- By road: The Metro area of Phoenix has one of the largest and rapidly growing freeway systems in the United States. Three major freeways facilitate greatly the accessibility of the capital city of Arizona – Interstate 10, Interstate 17 and U.S. Route 60.
- By rail: Despite being the sixth most populous city in the U.S., Phoenix has had no passenger Amtrak service since 1996. Now Amtrak trains are rerouted 30 miles south of the city (in Maricopa) where people can board the Texas Eagle (Los Angeles-San Antonio-Chicago) or the Sunset Limited (Los Angeles-New Orleans).
The city of Phoenix is serviced by METRO Light Rail (together with the cities of Tempe and Mesa). You can access its complete schedule here.
Interesting Facts About Phoenix
Like the mythical bird, the city of Phoenix rose from the ashes of a Hohokam village.
- An Asian elephant at the Phoenix Zoo named Ruby became a worldwide celebrity when, given a brush and paint, she quickly learned to paint. Her paintings raised over US$200,000 for the zoo.
- One of the biggest attractions in Greater Phoenix is golf – there are more than 200 golf courses.
- The Phoenix park system has 189 parks with a total land area of 33,000 acres which offer excellent opportunities for hiking, climbing, camping, cycling, etc.
- The lowest temperature ever recorded in Phoenix was on January 7, 1913: 16 °F (−9 °C), while the all-time high was endured on June 26, 1990: 122 °F (50 °C).
- Only 12 cities in the United States have sports teams in all four major professional sports leagues: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Arizona Cardinals (NFL) and Arizona Coyotes (NHL).
- Founded in 1885, the Arizona State University is the largest public university in the U.S. by enrollment.
- Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time.
- The Phoenix area is home to the largest population of feral rosy-faced lovebirds in the United States.
- Visit Phoenix
- The Official Website of the Valley of the Sun
- City of Phoenix
- Interactive map of Phoenix
Posted on Sep 17, 2014; Last updated: Oct 28, 2014