Being based in Phoenix, Arizona, we at The Reid Effect love our home city. This sun-sparkling, southwestern gem, rich in cultural heritage and history is a modern city framed by a picturesque desert. This capital city is one of the fastest-growing in the United States and it’s no wonder, given that Phoenix is, well – fabulous! Here’s just a few reasons why:
1. Amazing Weather Year-Round
Known as the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix’s warm summers and mild winters combine to boast an annual average temperature of 75 degrees. With temps like that, most outdoor activities can be enjoyed all year long.
December is the coldest month with temperatures between 43-46 degrees. So while many in the warmer states are wishing for winter weather, Phoenix residents are enjoying the seasonal change – without having to shovel the driveway!
For those dreaming of a white Christmas, a short road trip can make that dream come true. Because, yes, it snows in the desert.
2. Gorgeous Natural Parks and Gardens
Whether hiking in the picturesque mountains of the Southwest U.S. or strolling leisurely through serene desert gardens, the outdoor offerings in and around Phoenix have something for everyone. As a video production company, being based here is fantastic because of the beautiful landscapes we get to choose from as natural backdrops for our outdoor shoots. Here are a few of our favorite locations:
Papago Park – Phoenix, Tempe & Scottsdale Areas
Just ten minutes from downtown Phoenix, Papago Park is an extensive, hilly park with desert trails that are easy to enjoy. While you’re out there, don’t miss the massive sandstone buttes that make this park unique. The park also includes the Phoenix Zoo and the must-see Desert Botanical Gardens.
Camelback Mountain near Scottsdale, AZ
With the highest peak in Phoenix reaching 2,704 feet, US News & World Report ranks Camelback Mountain as #1 on their “Best Things To Do” list for Phoenix, AZ. With breathtaking views of both Phoenix and Scottsdale, Camelback Mountain is arguably the most scenic location for hiking in the city. You’ll be able to find trails with both steep ascents or more gradual inclines for beginners.
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park
Pueblo Grande Museum is located on a 1,500 year old preserved archaeological site and is the largest within Phoenix. A trail takes you through the village site and the main museum gallery displays artifacts of the Hohokam, a prehistoric culture centered in the Sonoran desert near the Salt, Verde, Santa Cruz and Gila Rivers. The museum also features hands-on children’s activities that make the past come to life.
Heritage Square at Heritage and Science Park
Heritage Square takes a trip back into the city’s Victorian past. The Square dates back to the late 1800s, and is where you’ll find the restored Rosson House Museum as one of the main attractions. This is a great location to sit quietly and reflect or to try out some of delicious nearby restaurants.
The Grand Canyon
And then there is the Grand Canyon. Actually, it’s not in Phoenix. But since it’s only 3 1/2 hours away, and it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it’s well worth the drive. There are hiking trails and camping available on both the South Rim and North Rim of this awe-inspiring National Park. If you’re headed there, be sure to check ahead for campsite availability before you go.
3. Downtown Phoenix Attractions & Nightlife
Nestled in this stunning desert landscape is the urban heartbeat of downtown Phoenix. The central business district of the city is also the center of major sports activities, concerts, shopping, dining, and theatre. Ride the city’s light rail or just take a drive through to see the sights.
Check out Downtown Phoenix’s website for the latest on what to see and where to eat. Each month they publish their “What’s Happening” guide so you won’t miss a thing!
4. Diverse Museums of Culture, Art and Science
The Phoenix area is home to many diverse museums specializing in everything from the art of native peoples of the Southwest to science to musical instruments.
The Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art
Known for its award-winning exhibits, The Heard Museum uses its collections to tell the stories of American Indian cultures while celebrating today’s artists. What sets The Heard Museum apart is the fact that it is a living museum featuring contemporary art alongside historical artifacts.
Arizona Science Center
Named as one of the premier science centers in the nation with hands-on exhibits and a state-of-the-art planetarium, Arizona Science Center is not to be missed. They feature events and workshops for all ages ranging from small children to adults so you can always find something educational and just plain cool to do here.
For more information on the many area museums, check out the Visit Phoenix website.
5. World Class Cuisine & Phoenix Food Trucks on the Move
From steak to seafood, Italian to Asian, Phoenix has it all for excellent dining options! And, of course, some of the most authentic Mexican cuisine you can find. From restaurants to food trucks, you won’t go hungry in the Valley of the Sun.
A Melting Pot of Southwest Dining
According to TripAdvisor, Arizona’s Mexican food is second only to what you’ll find in Mexico and there are many family owned restaurants in and around the Phoenix area to keep you busy trying new options. Fodor’s Travel describes the food scene this way, “Phoenix and its surroundings have metamorphosed into a melting pot for every type of cuisine imaginable: northern to Tuscan Italian; mom-and-pop to Mexico City Mexican; low-key Cuban to high-end French- and Greek-inspired Southwestern; Japanese- to Spanish-style tapas; and kosher to American classics with subtle ethnic twists.”
For an extensive list of sit-down restaurants that includes reviews check out TripAdvisor’s rankings.
Food trucks are plentiful and popular as another means of sampling the local cuisine as well as trying out some unique culinary fusions. Roaming Hunger’s website provides an easy to use map of Phoenix with food truck locations marked so you can quickly find out which of your favorite food trucks is nearby.
6. Professional Sports & A Golfing Destination
Phoenix is the home of professional sports teams in nearly every major U.S. professional sports league, including, the Arizona Cardinals (NFL), the Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Coyotes (NHL), and the Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB). If you’re a lover of live professional sports, then this city is your sporting oasis in the desert southwest.
A Golf Lover’s Dream
From Glendale to Scottsdale to Tempe, you can’t shank a 9 iron without hitting a world class golf course in Phoenix. The area has recently become well-known for its high quality courses. Read more from golf course architect and Phoenix resident Tom Weiskopf about the area’s evolution as a golf destination in this wonderful article on Golf.com, then grab your clubs and hit the fairway to experience it for yourself!
Whether hiking up a mountain or strolling through botanical gardens, checking out a museum or exploring an archeological site, sports-fans and foodies alike will find Phoenix the perfect place year-round with that big city vibe nestled in the sunny Sonoran desert landscape. We’re definitely big fans of our city at The Reid Effect and, after just one visit, we think you will be too!