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What's life like in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona?


largest city in the U.S.


days of sunshine per year, on average


annual events and festivals

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Sports and recreation

Group of people hiking in Phoenix area

A mecca for sports and outdoor activities

The Phoenix and Scottsdale area is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts and professional sports fans alike.

Phoenix and Scottsdale are located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert — a strikingly beautiful, rugged, southwest landscape. Year-round recreational opportunities include a nationally recognized park system, 200 golf courses, tennis courts, camping, skate parks, and miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Hiking Camelback Mountain is a local favorite. You can also find city sports leagues for yourself or the kids.

Sports fans will find collegiate and professional football, basketball, baseball, and hockey teams in the Phoenix area. Phoenix is also home to Major League Baseball spring training sessions.

Unplug and refresh in nature with a visit to nearby South Mountain Park and Preserve, the nation's largest municipal park, or the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a permanently protected 27,800-acre sustainable desert habitat open for nonmotorized trail use.

Food and drink


A melting pot of flavor

The cuisine in Phoenix is directly influenced by the combination of Mexican, Native American, and southwestern U.S. cultures.

Phoenix has a rapidly growing and diverse foodie scene and is bristling with bars, offbeat restaurants, breweries and distilleries, juice bars, and food trucks. Stop by one of the city’s many Sonoran hot dog joints. If you’re craving something sweet, grab some artisan ice cream or try piñon pie, a favorite local dessert.

Annual food and drink events include the Arizona Taco FestivalDevour Culinary Classic Weekend, Cinco De Mayo Phoenix Festival, Scottsdale Culinary Festival, Urban Ale Trail, and Scottsdale Waterfront Fine Art & Wine Festival.

Arts and theater

Phoenix residents at art gallery

Rich variety of cultural and entertainment options

The Phoenix metropolitan area offers a rich variety of cultural and entertainment options that include art galleries, museums, music, theater, and botanical gardens.

Scottsdale itself has more than 100 art galleries, which you can explore through the city’s ArtWalk. The Phoenix Center for the Arts is a hub for arts and culture events.

Beat the heat by visiting one of the area's museums, like the Phoenix Art Museum or Arizona Science Center.

The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts hosts exhibits, music, and dance performances, live adult and children's theater, and outdoor concerts and festivals year-round.

Events and entertainment

Phoenix Crescent Ballroom concert

Always something going on

Whether you’re into the art scene, sports, music, or dining, there is an endless array of opportunities for specialty events and entertainment.

In Downtown Phoenix, you’ll enjoy an eclectic art scene, sports arenas, concert venues, and endless dining options, while Old Town Scottsdale’s entertainment district is the nightlife destination of choice for many.

The area also has a lot to offer shopping enthusiasts, with a blend of retail options that includes unique specialty boutiques, major department stores, and outlet malls like Old Town Scottsdale, the redeveloped Roosevelt Row, and Biltmore Fashion Park, to name a few.

When you need a break from studying, you’re just a car ride away from popular regional attractions. Several lakes just north of Scottsdale are popular places for weekend fishing and boating. Try rafting in the Grand Canyon or skiing near Flagstaff, just two hours away.

Vacation hotspots include California, Nevada, Mexico, and the ski resorts of northern Arizona and the western Rocky Mountains.

Arizona through the seasons

Phoenix and Scottsdale experience four distinct seasons throughout the year, each offering unique opportunities for outdoor activities and events. Summer has a reputation for being hot, but the weather is typically mild the other 9 months of the year. Here are just a few ways you can experience Arizona through the seasons.