Phoenix Tourist Attractions

Phoenix is a city of nearly 3 million people.  The geographical setting of Phoenix is impressive. To the east, soar the massive Four Peaks and the Superstition Mountains, while the Sierra Estrella rides the southeast horizon. Hemming in the city north and south are lower mountain ranges, framing the Phoenix trademark of Camelback Mountain.

Phoenix was transformed forever by World War II. The open desert was ideal for aviation training and much of Phoenix became something of an extension of nearby Luke Air Force Base. Aviation equipment companies moved into the valley and even the cotton fields turned out silk for parachutes. The military revolutionized Phoenician life with a device called air-conditioning. Suddenly Phoenix was a year-round possibility for those who could not stand the heat. The great migration was on – golf courses replaced the ranches and resort hotels sprouted like desert grass after a thunderstorm.

Heritage Square

A block east of the Civic Plaza, is what remains of this city’s Victorian heritage and is part of Downtown’s Heritage Science Park. Most striking of Heritage Square’s 11 buildings is Rosson House – built in 1895 and once one of the most prominent homes in Phoenix. Also part of Heritage and Science Park is the interactive Phoenix Museum of History with exhibits of the city’s development.

Arizona Science Center

Arizona Science Center is a $50-million hands-on funhouse of science embellished with a planetarium.

Heard Museum

The exceptional Heard Museum located on Central Avenue is the one essential museum in Arizona to be visited (even if you don’t like museums). It was founded in 1929 to house the Heard family collection of American Indian art and artifacts. Particularly impressive is Katsina Doll Gallery which features almost 400 dolls, a number of them from the collection of Arizona’s late senator, Barry Goldwater.

Arizona Biltmore Hotel

5 miles northeast of Downtown and Heritage Park, Arizona Biltmore Hotel was built just before the financial crash 1929. The hotel was originally designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a former student of Wright. The interior was refurnished with furniture and textile designs from all periods of Wright’s career.

Desert Botanical garden

Desert Botanical garden is said to be the world’s largest collection of desert plants living in a natural environment. The garden emphasizes, as one might expect – the Sonora desert of Southern Arizona.

Phoenix Zoo

Phoenix Zoo offers, among many other excellent features – the “Arizona Trail” with both flora and fauna of the Southwest.

Taliesin West

Taliesin West in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale was the personal residence and architectural school of Frank Lloyd Wright. Most of the buildings and facilities were intended to be an ongoing hands-on educational exercise for architectural and design students.

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