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• I have lived in Phoenix for over seventeen years and it has changed for both better and worse. The metropolitan area has grown significantly over that time, especially during the late 90s. The population base has also changed with a large influx from California in recent years vs. the Midwest a generation ago.
Some of the pros include: • Reasonable Cost of Living - Compared to LA, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Seattle, NYC and other major metropolitan cities, Phoenix is a bargain.
• Great Restaurants - A variety of ethnic, fusion and other fine dining options. I am not a big fan of chain restaurants! • Moderate Traffic - For the most part, the metropolitan area has moderate traffic. Yes, there are exceptions, but compared to most metropolitan areas the traffic is relatively light. • Great Place for Hiking/Biking - the City of Phoenix has numerous trails that are dedicated to hiking and biking and shy away from road traffic.
These trails are especially useful during the Fall, Winter and Spring. The summer heat creates its obstacles, but morning hikes can still be rewarding during the hotter months. • Access to Most of the Country - Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is accessible to most of the country.
In addition, it is easy to park and board a plane. Many different airlines service the area, most notably Southwest Airlines and US Airways. • Diversity - A true variety of people from most regions, countries, races, creeds, religions............etc.
Cons.................. • Horrible Schools - The elementary and secondary education is horrible. • Right to Work State - Low pay and few worker rights keeps the economic engine powered in Arizona • Excessive Heat - 110 degree plus days can be the norm during the summer months........need I say more? • Second Rate Media Market - the new is largely imported from LA with some other notable exceptions from the AP wire.
The local newspaper emphasizes the entertainment section which is a second rate rebranding of the LA Times and other LA media. • Air Pollution - High levels of car exhaust contribute to the air pollution and related ailments. • High Sales Tax - Nearly 10% on purchases and dining • Real Estate Dependent - the economic engine in Phoenix is real estate.
Ground Zero of the real estate crisis. The economy has a hard "boom/bust" history due to chasing the fast buck............... ..............I think I will stay? As a recent transplant from California (this will be our third summer here), I have to say most of the pros & cons I've already read here apply, though some do conflict. I’m not going to repeat those here for brevity.
For clarity, we live in a suburb of Phoenix, northwest from downtown in an area where a lot of snowbirds live, so our collective opinions are much different from SOME native Arizonans.
Your mileage may vary! • Politics — If you're a progressive, the overall vibe -- depending where you live, I imagine -- is that this is the opposite of progressive. It’s a Red State, so if you’re from a Blue State (like California), you have a change of mindset before you can accept this new reality.
From the signs on restaurants saying that patrons aren't allowed to bring in weapons (imagine that in Los Angeles!) to those with pickup trucks that intentionally blow black smoke on following Prius drivers (like myself) from kits installed in their trucks for this purpose, the environment and the attitudes of some may take you aback a bit. (If you curious about Rolling Coal, here’s a link (it’s not an urban myth, trust me): If you’re very political, get used to hearing a lot of pontificating about how Obama is ruining the country or how Trump will be the best thing that’s ever happened to us in public places or in private gatherings.
You will find yourself latching onto fellow libs like a barnacle on a whale’s bum :-) • Weather — We chose the Phoenix area for the weather, among other things, as it was closest to California' s weather and much more affordable (and we didn’t want to go back east where our family is and deal with snow).
Two-thirds of the year the weather is temperate and better than most areas of the country. Summer’s another story. I recommend that anyone who is considering moving here to spend a month during the summer just to experience what it's like with day after day, never-relenting no matter how late it gets, heat. "Sure, it's a dry heat, but so's an oven," as we're fond of saying. :-) If you thought it gets cold in the desert, you'll learn right away that during the summer, it's frequently over 100 deg F after midnight.
Basically, you shelter in place during the summer much like one does back east during the winter. You have to take a cooler with ice packs with you most of the year if you're planning to do grocery shopping in order to keep your perishables from getting too warm and going bad unless the grocery store is around the corner and you're going straight home, which doesn't apply to us, unfortunately.
The other weather phenomenon worth noting is the monsoon season, characterized by torrential rains (and mosquitoes!), god-awful lightning, dust storms, and extreme winds. For some, this may be exciting as long as you know you're not in the path of the worst part of the storm.
Sure, it's fun to watch it from a distance. I for one love thunderstorms. But you ain't seen nothing until you lived here. If you don’t live in the desert, of course, the weather extremes may not as impactful on you. • Affordability — Compared to California, housing prices here are about 1/3 that of similar properties there. Gas is cheaper here, too. Food costs are lower here. Property taxes are lower. Surprisingly, sales taxes are about the same.
Your dollar will certainly go further here. • Foodie Love — If you’re a foodie, you’ll probably be very happy living here. Obviously, if you love Mexican food, this is the area to be in.
Besides the presence of national and local chains, there are plenty of funky independently-run restaurants, many of which are featured on the Food Channel shows like Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
One thing that is hard to find is a good Chinese restaurant that compares to our favorite places in L.A. • The People — I’ve read comments about relative friendliness of residents compared to elsewhere as well as differences in road courtesy.
Frankly, I’ve met friendlier people and less friendly people — and drivers here are just as bad / discourteous or as good / courteous as anywhere else I’ve lived. The difference from California is at least the traffic on the freeways usually moves here most of the time. There are pros living here that matter a lot, as I've noted, but if you're heat/weather sensitive and/or you're a die-hard liberal who can't feel comfortable unless you're surrounded by like-minded people, consider relocating here very carefully.
best dates scene in phoenix az -
Situated at the base of , this offshoot of offers spectacular views at every turn. Recent guests say they arrived expecting a high caliber of service and that the exceptional staff delivered. The Canyon Suites all feature beds with Frette Italian linens, private terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows that flaunt views of the desert scene or golf course.
Speaking of the golf greens, visitors say the 18-hole championship golf course is not to be missed. In addition to a golf course, there are a plethora of other on-site facilities, including tennis courts, a full-service spa and an infinity pool with Camelback vistas (a particular guest favorite). When you need to refuel after a full day of activity, you'll have your choice between eight fine and casual dining options as well as an ice cream parlor.
And because this hotel is part of the hotel family, both members and members can earn and use points here. Its name describes this resort perfectly: Sanctuary. And its location, lodged on the side of , is rife with opportunities for both rejuvenation and physical activity. No wonder this hotel has seen its fare share of Hollywood heavyweights passing through its doors. Guest rooms are bright and beautiful, with exposed, whitewashed brick walls, deep soaking tubs and panoramic views.
But for most travelers, Sanctuary's highlights are located outside the rooms. Guests lounge in (or by) the infinity pool and watch their worries drop off the edge of the world.
And for an extra dose of pampering, travelers head straight to the resort spa, which boasts a bevy of Asian-inspired treatments. Visitors can also sip a variety of cocktails made from premium liquor and local ingredients at Jade Bar before enjoying a meal at Elements, the hotel's restaurant run by chef Beau MacMillan.
And although Sanctuary does charge a $30 resort fee per night (to cover parking and internet access, among other amenities) on top of the general room rate, many guests weren't fazed by the extra cost. Travelers willingly travel to the sprawling desert landscape of Pinnacle Peak (in the far reaches of North Scottsdale) for the signature service and luxurious accommodations that only a can provide, not to mention the property's two championship golf courses.
It's exactly the type of seclusion that previous guests had been seeking. The accommodations garner high praise for their comfortable furnishings and high-class amenities, which include a private patio with an adobe-style gas fireplace. And though the resort feels remote, travelers say that you'll find plenty to do here: Spend your days lounging by the pool, working up a sweat on the tennis courts or being pampered at the spa. Meanwhile, recent visitors describe the fare at the four on-site restaurants as delicious.
The Royal Palms Resort and Spa has drawn many a VIP – including President George W. Bush back in 2004 – because of its intimate, luxurious atmosphere. Guest rooms here look as if they belong in an elite Southwestern estate, boasting vibrant, jewel-toned decor and deep-soaking tubs.
Depending on when you visit, the property's pool area can feel a bit crowded (and snagging a lounge chair can be difficult), but it provides much-needed respite from the blazing Arizona heat.
The open-air Alvadora Spa is also nice, offering wellness classes as well as a long list of treatments. Meanwhile, the outdoor dining area at T. Cook's provides a nice ambiance for the restaurant's bold flavors. Located in the Camelback Corridor, this resort is just a short drive from Old Town Scottsdale and downtown Phoenix. Royal Palms Resort and Spa is also a member of the family, so Hyatt members can redeem or use points by choosing to stay here.
The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale has long set the standard for luxury in the Valley of the Sun. It's not hard to see why. For one thing, the setting is unbelievable – when reserving your room, ask for accommodations with views of .
Even if those are all booked, recent visitors say that you won't be too disappointed, as all rooms feature elegant furnishings, Italian marble bathrooms and private balconies or patios. And if you're looking for a little more space, opt to stay in one of the elegant . This 250-acre property also boasts an 18-hole championship golf course, a tennis complex, a full-service spa and plenty of restaurants, lounges and snack bars.
And did we mention the massive art collection on-site? Should you think that all of this is out of your price range (resort and parking fees are expensive as well), you can cut costs by using the loyalty program. The Waste Management Phoenix Open, a popular PGA tournament, puts the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in the spotlight once a year and takes over the resort's two golf courses.
Yet guests believe this palatial resort deserves the fanfare year-round. They rave about the spacious guest rooms, which are adorned in earthy hues and equipped with soaking bath tubs, wet bars and private patios or balconies overlooking the desert landscape. This expansive property in Scottsdale also boasts six pools, some of which include waterslides, along with a full-service spa. Meanwhile, the Fairmont's multiple restaurants cater to a wide variety of tastes.
Carnivores can get their fix at BOURBON STEAK, while spicier palates can indulge in some of Arizona's best Mexican fare at La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval.
The guest rooms, or casitas, at the Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton in Scottsdale, Arizona (roughly 32 miles north of downtown ) look out over miles of cacti and rugged mountains. When you're not admiring the views from your private patio or balcony, order room service and curl up in front of your wood-burning fireplace.
You can also play golf on one of two courses, lounge by one of four pools or grab a bite to eat at one of five restaurants. However, according to recent visitors, you'd be remiss if you stayed here and didn't indulge in a treatment at the massive on-site spa. And because of the resort's ties to , members of the loyalty program can use points to pay for rooms – that means additional cash to invest in massages and facials.
Mixing Spanish influences with the surrounding Sonoran Desert, the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offers luxury befitting of any continent.
Nestled in the heart of Paradise Valley, this member of the hotels family resides at the base of the scenic . A stay here is certainly a break from the daily grind — the property is a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of Phoenix and Scottsdale. However, many travelers say they had no problem with staying on-site; the resort boasts a wealth of activities, from yoga classes to happy hours to guided hikes.
When you need to unwind, soak up the rays by one of the resort's three pools or book a treatment at the Joya Spa. For many visitors, the highlight of their accommodations was the in-room private patio or balcony — If you can, request a room overlooking the mountain for the best views.
And though you may be far from the culinary hot spots of downtown Phoenix and Old Town Scottsdale, you're sure to enjoy the contemporary Spanish fare served at the resort's award-winning restaurant, Prado.
Perhaps the most historical hotel in , the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort has been welcoming Valley of the Sun visitors (including such notable names as Irving Berlin and Marilyn Monroe) since 1929.
And though competing resorts keep springing up around it, this landmark property continues to shine. Rising above the Camelback Corridor, this property keeps guests busy with two exceptional golf courses, an award-winning spa, six tennis courts and eight swimming pools. On the inside, the Biltmore maintains its Gilded Age feel, with the lobby encompassing hardwood floors and low lighting and guest rooms sporting cozy furnishings and contemporary design elements.
In addition to the beautiful grounds, the food served at the hotel's four eateries receives a thumbs-up from previous visitors, who especially love the contemporary American cuisine dished up at Frank & Albert's. All of these lavish amenities and accommodations, though, come at a high price point; however, members may be able to earn and redeem benefits by choosing to stay here.
Sandwiched between Mummy and mountains, the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is a great place to catch a glimpse of the Valley of the Sun at its finest. Downtown is an easy 13-mile drive away from this , and downtown Scottsdale – full of shops, bars and art galleries – is 5 miles away. With numerous pools, two championship golf courses and tons of alfresco spaces, travelers feel the hotel provides plenty of opportunities to kick back and enjoy the surrounding desert view.
Meanwhile, the Spa at Camelback Inn attracts relaxation-seekers with its soothing skin treatments, and the various on-site eateries are appreciated for their convenience. As for lodging, travelers loved the Southwestern-style decor as well as the private patios and balconies that came with them.
What's more, members receive added perks like free Wi-Fi access during their stays here. This mammoth resort in northern Phoenix is a major convention and family vacation hub. Though the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa can sometimes feel a little busy when it's hosting a special event, you should have no trouble finding a little peace and quiet.
The sprawling property houses tennis courts, two 18-hole championship golf courses, multiple restaurants and several pools (not to mention a lazy river), so there's plenty of space to go around. Should you really require some alone time, you can always head to the Revive Spa or retreat to your guest room, where you'll find a soaking tub, a flat-screen TV and your own private balcony.
Be warned that in-room Wi-Fi access costs extra. To help calm any financial worries, keep in mind that since this property honors points. Overlooking the Kierland Golf Club in northern Scottsdale, The Westin Kierland Villas indulges lodgers looking for a little extra breathing room.
These one- and two-bedroom accommodations come equipped with kitchenettes, dining areas, in-room laundry facilities and private patios or balconies. Resort staff will even stock your fridge with all your favorite foods (if you send your requests 72 hours before you arrive). Although you'll have everything you could possibly need in your villa, recent guests recommend venturing outside for a swim in the pool or a meal at the McDowell Market & Grill. And because this hotel is part of the hotel family, both members and members can earn and use points here.
Located in Gainey Ranch (a verdant part of Scottsdale known for its palm trees), the Hyatt Regency exudes a tropical-oasis-meets-Aztec-palace feel. Although guest rooms are spacious and chic – boasting flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and private patios or balconies – it's the 10 pools and man-made beach that garner the most praise from recent visitors. Numerous and varied, this 's swim spots cater to visitors of every age: Some have cascading waterfalls, others have fountains, but if you'd rather stay dry, opt for a gondola ride along the waterways.
Though it may take some coaxing to lure yourself (or your travel buddies) away from the pool, guests also recommend playing a round of golf at the Gainey Ranch Golf Club, or indulging in a massage at Spa Avania.
Then, cap off the day with dinner at one of several on-site eateries. Visitors of the Hotel Valley Ho enjoy the hotel's trendy ambiance. Having originally opened in 1956, this chic hotel has been Old Town Scottsdale's hip lodging spot for more than half a century.
The property's exciting atmosphere and friendly customer service immediately caught the eyes and ears of travelers, but the hotel's retro style, which features bright colors and vintage furniture, is what ultimately stole guest's hearts. In addition to impeccable decor, guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private patios or balconies, as well as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi access and morning bars with complimentary coffee.
If you're looking to mix and mingle with fellow chic clientele, head to one of two on-site pools or plan to attend the evening happy hour at ZuZu, which serves up seasonal American fare and late afternoon libations. And remember, if you're a member of the -affiliated loyalty program, you can earn or redeem points while staying here.
The Wigwam wows in more ways than one. Guests say its friendly staff deserves the most praise while rooms are regularly described as comfortable and spacious (traditional guest rooms start at 480 square feet). The Wigwam's grounds also encompass three championship golf courses as well as four pools (equipped with two water slides), an in-house spa, fitness center, tennis courts and a lawn that hosts bocce ball.
No matter how you choose to spend your day, recent guests recommend kicking off the evening with a meal at one of the resort's restaurants: Red's Bar & Grill serves casual American cuisine, while Litchfield's specializes in farm-to-table fare.
Street art is a phenomenon in Phoenix, particularly in the recently revitalized artsy and eclectic Downtown Phoenix area -- which, in addition to beautiful murals, hosts more and more art galleries, bars, restaurants, and record stores.
While strolling down Roosevelt Row, it’s hard to make it 10ft without seeing a mural, but we’ve rounded up the best of the best for your viewing pleasure. Phoenix Artists: Colton Brock, Lalo Cota, Angel Diaz, Pablo Luna, and JB Snyder 2814 North 16th Street (Behind Barrio Cafe) One of the Calle 16 Mural project murals, this piece was created by five notable Phoenix artists to showcase some of the best (and more diverse) aspects of the city. The fun block style is unique, and the various styles of its artists make the mural stand out from the other pieces around town.
Bienvenidos a Arizona Artists: Gennaro Garcia and DOSE 2822 North16th Street Local restaurateur/chef Silvana Salcido Esparza brought several artists together for the Calle 16 Mural project (an arts, food, and culture district on 16th St). Bienvenidos a Arizona, by Gennaro Garcia and DOSE, was the first of these murals, and was created to inspire Phoenix’s Latino arts community. The piece features an outline of the state of Arizona and boasts the sentiments Bienvenidos a Arizona and Build Your Own.
Untitled Artists: Lalo Cota and Thomas "Breeze" Marcus East McKinley Street at North 2nd Street Commissioned by , this mural was created by renowned street artists Lalo Cota and Thomas “Breeze” Marcus. Marcus was introduced to graffiti at the age of 13 and has been creating murals ever since; Cota has worked on countless murals, such as Phoenix and Find Your Direction, that can be found across the city (and in this article).
Tribute to Margaret Kilgallen Artist: Carrie Marill 821 North Third St, on Roosevelt Row This homage to renowned street artist Margaret Kilgallen is so iconic, it even has its own Downtown Phoenix Snapchat filter. It was also Marill’s first piece of street art, and she decided to draw inspiration from Kilgallen, whom she admired.
The painting also incorporates nearby businesses: the books represent the library, and the flowers represent the (now-closed) Dougherty Wholesale Flower Co.
Find Your Direction Artists: Isaac Caruso and Lalo Cota 2517 North Central Avenue You might not expect to see a whale in Downtown Phoenix, but these two renowned street artists brought one right to you. The mural is on the side of the more-than-100-year-old FastSigns building. We like this piece because it stands out on its spot on Central Ave, and is stylistically different from many other murals in town.
It’s even different than either artist's traditional style. Untitled Artists: Bishop Ortega, Larry Valencia, and Anthony Vasquez 924 North 1st Street, Roosevelt Row Not much is known about this mural, which adorns the side of the stunning Roosevelt Community Church and was created by a congregant.
But despite that, it still manages to be an integral part of the Downtown street art scene. Generations Artist: JBAK West Thomas Road at North 1st Avenue Jbak is a street art duo composed of James Bullough and Addison Karl. The masterpiece created by this duo is six stories high and the tallest mural in all of Arizona. Generations depicts Arizona native Chris Nieto (who commissioned another street art piece), as well as Addison’s grandmother, also a Phoenix native.
Untitled Artist: Tyson Krank 914 North 5th Street, Roosevelt Row This piece was created during Paint Phoenix and lives on the back wall of Lost Leaf. Tyson Krank, who’s been creating street art for about two years and also works at Lost Leaf, said he painted it on a whim without much of an outline or concept.
The result was a beautiful yet simple portrait, with clean lines that make it stand out amongst many of the other pieces in the area. Krank, who also does studio painting, sculpture, and leather work, said he enjoys street art because the painting process often becomes a kind of community event.
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