Before it acquired its firebird affiliation, Phoenix was known in the Navajo language as Hoozdo. Translation: “This place is hot!” While the Navajo were referring to the area’s desert temperatures, the description suits the mythologically named city in other ways–Phoenix is one of the country’s hottest destinations for work and play.
Lying on the periphery of the Sonoran Desert, home of the native saguaro cactus, the Valley of the Sun’s natural landscape can be harsh and unforgiving. Yet it’s also hauntingly beautiful, with expanses of exotic desert vegetation, breathtaking mountains and bright rock mesas in shades of orange, red and yellow. Cultivated neighborhoods are just as lush–oases carved from stark desert. Palm and citrus trees thrive on golf courses, fuchsia bougainvillea blooms on mailboxes and walls of pink oleander line the roads.
But the landscape isn’t all that’s scorchingly spectacular. You’ll find a vivacious, lively arts scene in metropolitan Phoenix. Visit the Heard Museum for its renowned Native American exhibits or inspect masterpieces at the Phoenix Museum of Art. Enjoy a symphony or catch a Broadway show at the city’s world-class venues. And of course, you must visit one of those spas that everyone’s talking about.