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Phoenix Travel Tips

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Set in the desert, and surrounded by other-worldly, sun-scorched mountain landscapes, the city of Phoenix enjoys an appealingly far-flung location, yet has the attractions you'd expect from a major city. From impressive museums and culture, to parks with palm trees and exotic flowers, Phoenix has plenty for visitors to do and see.

 

Best Time to Travel

 

There's warm weather and sunshine year-round in Arizona, and when you visit will often depend on how hot you like it. June to September can be uncomfortably sizzling if you're not used to high temperatures, and sudden downpours of rain can put a stop to outdoor activities. December to March are popular months, with warm Spring weather and fun events such as the Arizona Balloon Classic and the Music in the Garden Spring Concert Series to be enjoyed.

 

Not to Miss

 

Phoenix is a sport obsessed city, and events such as the Fiesta Bowl, an important college football game, bring the visitors in. The Annual Winter Range in late February to March is a cowboy-style shooting event, and is great fun for those who want to learn about the Old West and its traditions. The FBR Phoenix Open is a big event in the golfing world, and is held in nearby Scottsdale in late January, bringing visitors to the many picturesque desert golf courses. Phoenix Pride also sees many visitors flocking to the city to enjoy the street parade, which takes place in the spring sunshine around April.

 

Getting around

 

The busy Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport welcomes flights from across the USA, Canada, and Europe, and is just a 10-minute drive from downtown Phoenix. There are buses from the airport to the city center, and the efficient bus network also lets you get to and from the suburbs and center of town in a jiffy. The Phoenix Metro light rail offers a cheap and efficient way of getting around, with stops throughout the city, at the airport, and into Mesa and Tempe.

 

Cuisine

 

Phoenix is a great place to sample southwestern favorites, so get your taste buds prepared for plenty of spice. Mexican-inspired favorites such as chilli, tacos, and taquitos are available in many restaurants, and simple, rustic cowboy dishes such as rice and beans or King Ranch chicken should be tried. The restaurant scene is diverse, and there's a wide selection of casual dining spots where you can wear shorts and enjoy a laid back atmosphere.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

As with most of the USA, service staff in Phoenix make most of their income from tips, and therefore a 15-20% is expected on top of your bill for good service from waiting staff and taxi drivers. If you have a bellhop carry your luggage for you, then it's polite to give them a tip of 1 or 2 dollars for each bag, depending on how long they spend helping you out. The city has a casual, laid back atmosphere, and locals tend to dress for comfort rather than style. Therefore, only the most upmarket eateries will expect a jacket and tie, with shorts and t-shirts acceptable at most social situations.

Fast Facts

 

Population: 1.6 million

Spoken languages: English

Electrical: The USA runs on 120V, 60 Hz current

Phone Calling Code: +1 602911