1. It’s a Sunshine Daydream
With just under 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s no wonder that Arizona’s basketball team is called the Phoenix Suns and ASU’s mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil.
2. And Sunsets Are Spectacular
Every single sunset is the most beautiful array of oranges, pinks, purples, reds and yellows - beaming against mountains. Just check out the hashtag #arizonasunsetsareamazing on instagram. #phoenixsunsets too.
3. The Navajo Vibe That is So Unique to the Southwest.
Where else can you see Kachina doll figures and Gila lizards carved into the side of the highway as art? And the knick knacks and jewelry and bolo ties and beaded things you can buy are endless. Also, if you’re lucky enough to find your way to a Sweat lodge or a San Pedro ceremony, don’t take it for granted. You’re one of the lucky ones.
4. Scottsdale/Tempe are the Day Drinking Capitals of the World
Sunday Fundays are a way of life in the desert. It’s too hot to do anything but be by a pool, so why not drink and have a party while you’re at it?
5. Downtown Phoenix, A Rapidly Expanding Artistic Hub Of Creation
You don’t need a permit to create in Phoenix, so the whole city is one ever-changing art project; complete with murals, sculptures and multi-media art. There may be more opportunity in other cities, but Phoenix is a strong community on the rise. It’s small enough to be noticed but large enough to have a sustaining and supporting culture.
Bars downtown are more than just places to relax with friends, they opt as art galleries with live music (the Lost Leaf), old movie theatres (FilmBar) and arcades with funky live performances (GypsyBar). Because the Phoenix art scene is so new, the community markets it any and every way they can, including First Friday ArtWalks through galleries & funded murals that make the mountainous backdrop even more vibrant.
6. You Can Road Trip —- A LOT.
Phoenix is 5 hours to San Diego, LA and Vegas. 3.5 hours from Mexico. 2 hours to Sedona/Flagstaff (where it is said most of Earth’s energy lies …) and 4 hours to the Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest. The options are endless for weekend getaways!
7. It’s Home to ASU, aka the Best College To Party Your Life Away At
If you’re looking for a place that makes school seem like a code word for the most ridiculous four-year party you’ve ever seen, this is it. ASU is home to outrageous pool parties that make it on Jon Stewart & Tosh.O, 420 beer bongs, pornos made in frat houses and more hot girls than the Playboy mansion (see below).
Because of the party school reputation, ASU’s academics are often overlooked. It’s Journalism, Sustainability and Business schools are considered among the top five in their fields. Overall, it’s in the top 10%, with its’ honor college having more National Merit Scholars than MIT, Duke, Brown, Stanford or the University of California-Berkeley.
8. Pools, Pools, Pools & Girls, Girls, Girls
With bikini season virtually being all year round, people take their bodies VERY seriously. There’s even an ASU-funded group called the “Tempe 12”, a bunch of girls competing to be a part of a 12-month calendar.
9. The Spiritual Sub-Culture
Phoenix is just 120 miles south of Sedona, a Crystal-Fairy-Wonderland and New Age oasis to counter-culture Americana.
Sedona is famous for vortices; spots where the Earth’s energy is increased, leading to self-awareness and various kinds of healing. You can find plenty of Energy Workers, Reiki Healers and the like roaming around the Phoenix area, particularly Tempe. There’s even a store devoted to different kinds of herbs, plants and roots called Happy, High, Horny Herbs. The store also holds monthly classes on things such as Taoist Herbalism & Qi Gong.
10. THE JEWELS.
Native Americans have been mining Turquoise (Arizona’s state mineral) for centuries, and the art of silversmithing it into jewelry has long been a part of their culture. Other gems and minerals such as quartz, garnet, azurite, and peridot have brought people from all over the world to Arizona to even go “gem-hounding” for their own jewels! About two hours south in Tucson, the world’s largest Gem (& music) festival, Gem & Jam, is held every year.
11. Scottsdale is “the Desert’s South Beach” & Spa Country
The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” with “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene”. After NYC & Vegas, Scottsdale has the most AAA Five-Diamond hotels/resorts in the country. Another statistic Scottsdale can boast about? The highest number of destination spas per capita of ANY city in the United States.
12. Mill Avenue - The One Stop Shop For All Your Bar Needs.
You want to dance to house music & “rage”? Try El Hefe. You want a chill night where you can try over 200 different beers while watching the game? Go to World of Beer. You like beer gardens and open spaces where you can have good conversation with your friends? Nothing like Handlebars. Except for Casey Moore’s, which also has the best oysters you’ll ever have so far from water.