Nestled amidst a desert full of cactus and saguaro, Phoenix is recognized as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the nation, mainly as a winter getaway for visitors from the northern United States and Canada. Possibly the most popular activity in Phoenix, golf can be played here all-the-year-round at one of hundreds world-class golf courses.
Other integral parts of any Phoenix visit include such added attractions as the Deer Valley Rock Art Center and the Arizona State Capitol Museum, as well as the Celebrity Theatre, located conveniently in the downtown area. In addition, Phoenix boasts a wide variety of award-winning restaurants and fantastic nightclubs that keep its guests entertained and well-fed.
Art connoisseurs will find in Phoenix a selection of fine museums and architectural highlights, while nature lovers will be offered to enjoy one of the Nature Parks and lakes. Some of the greatest architectural highlights and cultural venues include Hunt's Tomb: the Great Pyramid of Phoenix which is the tomb of the state's governor, George W.P. Hunt; Arizona Capitol Museum, providing interesting perspectives on early events and lifestyles in Arizona, and in Phoenix in particular; Arizona Doll and Toy Museum situated in the historic Stevens House on Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix and exhibiting dolls that date back to the 19th century. Kids will be offered to visit the Arizona Science Center, the Phoenix Zoo, the Hall of Flame Firefighting and the Mesa Southwest Museum.
The most popular parks in Phoenix are its preserves and natural areas, including Papago Park, Phoenix South Mountain Park, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, North Mountain Recreation Area, North Mountain Preserve and Camelback Mountain Echo Canyon Recreation Area. Close to downtown Phoenix is the Steele Indian School Park, home to a great number of new gardens, interpretive displays and fountains making it a popular and fascinating place.
Regardless of the population exceeding a million, Phoenix Arizona still presents itself as Wild West theme town, offering its visitors to taste the Old West. The Valley's outer edges are marked by Hollywood style cow towns, considered by many to be tourist traps. Established as a gold mining camp in the early 1870s, Cave Creek is the last of the Valley's towns which has managed to preserve its original Wild West character in addition to housing a variety of saloons, steakhouses and shops offering Native American and Western antiques and crafts.
The most popular family attraction in Phoenix is known as Frontier Town situated on Cave Creek Road. Available here are the Original Crazy Ed's Satisfied Frog Saloon and Restaurant, the Horny Toad and the Cave Creek Museum among other great attractions. Those looking for exciting nightlife in Phoenix may take advantage of the weekly Phoenix New Times featuring the most comprehensive listings for concert halls and clubs.
The greatest shopping venues can be found in the Biltmore District of Phoenix - the main upscale shopping area within the city, and various shopping districts of Scottsdale, home to hundreds of galleries, boutiques, souvenir shops and jewelry stores.