Phoenix, the sun drenched capital of Arizona, has a unique and undeniable beauty all its own. Bathed in sunshine 300 days a year, Phoenix has come to be known as “The Valley of the Sun”. The city is 496 square miles in size and is cradled in a valley surrounded by several picturesque mountains. Camelback and Squaw Peak are the most prominent local landmarks and provide a beautiful backdrop to the city’s splendor. Permeated by the sublime quality of the preexisting Native American culture, Phoenix is imbued with a quiet presence that calms the spirit. At the same time, the capitol of Arizona is also a dynamic center of activity. Phoenix has worked hard to develop a rich cultural scene, excellent school system, and a strong economy. Characterized by wide-open spaces, soft muted earth tones and rock formations of enchanting beauty, Phoenix is truly a desert jewel.
For over 1,500 years the area now known as Phoenix was home to the Hohokam Indians who established a peaceful community centered upon agriculture. The Hohokam developed an intricate network of irrigation ditches that drew water from nearby Salt River. This 200 mile system is made more impressive by the available materials at hand which were no more than sharp digging sticks, small hoes and hand shovels made of broken pottery. These well-constructed canals remained long after the Hohokam disappeared. In the mid 1800’s the first white settler to the area, John Y. T. Smith utilized the existing ditches as part of his farming venture. Shortly thereafter John had a visit from his friend Jack Swilling. Due to the lack of water in the region Jack immediately recognized the importance of the sophisticated irrigation system and quickly set in motion plans to restore the canals. With a dependable water supply now available, people began to settle the region in earnest. In 1872 the town of Phoenix was officially established and designated the territorial capital in 1889. Much as the mythological bird of lore rose from the ashes of decay with great power and strength, so too the abandoned desert land experienced a second incarnation and the name Phoenix seemed an appropriate title. With the arrival of the railroad in 1887 Phoenix began to expand and with the building of Roosevelt Dam and a secured source of water, the city’s population exploded. Finally in 1912, Arizona gained statehood, Phoenix became the state capitol and her future was secured.
Phoenix is at the heart of the state less than ten miles from both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. A part of Maricopa County, Phoenix has a population of over 1.3 million and is soon to be the fifth largest city in the U.S. The median age of the population is 30, the median household income is $41,000 and Phoenix has an unemployment rate of 5.6%. Over 77% of adults have graduated high school and over 23% have earned a bachelor’s degree. The Sky Harbor International Airport is just three miles from downtown Phoenix making air travel a breeze.
Ask any local and you will hear that Phoenix is an exciting area in which to live. With so much to enjoy in and around the city, life here is never dull. Cultural activities abound, The Heard Museum being one of the more popular attractions. Dedicated to the preservation of the history of our Native Americans, the museum provides an in depth look into the lives of the first people to inhabit the area. Through thoughtful exhibits and educational programs, the Heard Museum makes available the spirit of a rich and resilient culture. For an exploration of history in another context, a visit to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel takes a step back into the glamour of yesteryear. Since the 1920’s the Biltmore has been a Phoenix landmark hosting such famous celebrities as Marilyn Monroe, Howard Hughes and Clark Gable. The Biltmore is a perfect spot to stop for a drink, to enjoy afternoon tea or to shop at one of the many intriguing boutiques. With over 200 professional golf courses, Phoenix is known as the “Golf Capital of the World” luring golfing buffs from throughout the world to test their skill and enjoy the great outdoors. Nearby Papago Park is a natural wonderland of deep red rock formations that dominate the landscape. For a completely different scenic experience, the rich vegetation and flowing streams threaded throughout Encanto Park in downtown Phoenix offer a welcome respite from the intense summer heat.
Phoenix is a thriving city that keeps on getting better. Rich in history and culture, steeped in the natural beauty of the South West and dedicated to the needs of its ever- growing population, to live in Phoenix is to have it all.