Phoenix is a vibrant, exciting community. It is home to great events and entertainment as well as a thriving economy. This city has gone through tough times in recent years due to the down swing in real estate values and earlier in the changes in the entire structure of the economy of the city. However, the city is resilient and has rebounded to come back stronger.
Despite being a city that has such hot desert-like weather, it is one of the most coveted tourist locations in some seasons. The kind of outdoor activity, trekking and camping that one can do here just about matches the quality of golf that one can get here.
In addition to that, Phoenix offers a lot of contrast to the visitor. From tall cool pines to scenery that is filled with sand and cactus, there is much to be amazed at in here. Whether you are visiting the city for a dining experience, an outdoor experience or for shopping, the city is not likely to let you down in any way.
Located on the banks of the Salt River, Phoenix is city that has mountains surrounding all sides. With this kind of geography, the place has a lot to offer those who enjoy outdoors and love to go for hikes, camping trips and more.
The city also has a bustling nightlife, various places to eat, places to see and can also offer you a great shopping experience.
The history of Phoenix can be divided into five main periods - The American Indian Period, the Early United States period, the founding, incorporation and the modern day Phoenix period. The people of Hohokam lived in the area that we know as Phoenix now. It is believed that sometime in the 1300's there were severe periods of drought that led to an evacuation of the area.
American and European Mountain Men came to the area in the 1800's. Post the Mexican-American War a large area of Mexico passed on to the US and was named New Mexico Territory. Fort McDowell was created by the US Army in 1865 to appease the Native uprising.
As a city Phoenix came into being when Jack Swilling, a veteran of the US Civil War considered the area around the White Tank Mountains and though that the area could be great for farming. With the terrain and climate being optimal, he built canals and slowly a settlement started here. The city was called Pumpkinville because of the large pumpkins that grew in the area. Alter it was named Swilling's Mill in honor of the man who started it all. Later the name was changed to Helling Mill, Mill City, and then East Phoenix.
It was the 11th Territorial Legislature that passed 'The Phoenix Charter Bill' that incorporated Phoenix and provided the place a governor. At the time it was incorporated the population of the city was 2500.
The National Reclamation Act was signed in 1902. It allowed dams on western streams so that some of the area could be reclaimed. The Salt River Valley Water Users' Association was created in 1903 to manage the water and power supply. There were also many lakes that were formed in the mountain areas. There are many diversions that have been created and therefore most of the times the river is dry. This diversion has resulted in the migration of many birds, beaver dams and cottonwood too.
Phoenix became the capital of Arizona in 1912 when the state of Arizona was formed. The city was smaller than Tucson when it was chosen as the capital but it soon outgrew the city to become the largest city in the state in the next 2 decades.
Phoenix is also one of the first cities to have a city government. During World War II the city was a distribution center and also manufactured many military supplies. One interesting wartime incident occurred when a dozen prisoners of war had decided to escape by using boats to go down Salt River to reach Mexico. However, they did not realize that the river was mostly dry and they were caught near the camp itself.
The city is today a major tourist location due to the desert like setting and climate that it has. Central Avenue in the city is a major place for recreational activities. The city is also known for the famous 'Phoenix Lights' UFO sightings that took place in March 1997.
About Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States and it is also the capital of the state of Arizona. According to the 2010 US Census, the population of the state is 1,445,632. Phoenix is also the county seat of Maricopa County. The city is also the only state capital with more than 1,000,000 people.
Even though the city was founded in 1861 near the Salt River close to the confluence of the Gila River, the city was incorporated only in 1881. The city is located in the Salt River Valley or Valley of the Sun. In the northern areas, it reaches the Sonoran Desert. While the city has various hills that surround it, the city main is fairly flat. The mountains towards the North are called McDowell Mountains, those to the West are called White Tank Mountains, those to the far east are called the Superstition Mountains and the ones to the southwest are called Sierra Estrella. The Phoenix Mountains and South Mountains are located within the city limits.
The climate of the city is said to be subtropical arid climate and this is mainly due to the Sonoran Desert. Summers are extremely hot and winters are warm. Summer highs in Phoenix are considered to be the highest in the country. Precipitation is also low through the year but there is some monsoonal moisture that comes in during the months from July to September. This increases the humidity of the place.
More than 75 percent of the population is White and there are less than 7 percent African Americans. The city has about 3 percent Asians. The economy of the city in the earlier years was based on the 5C's - copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate. However, this has changed as the farmlands have been converted to suburbs. The city is today home to about 7 of the Fortune 500 companies.
There are various cultural activities that take place in the city. The Phoenix Symphony Hall is a popular venue for Arizona Opera and Ballet Arizona. Other venues include Orpheum theatre and US Airways Center. The Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography along with Heard Museum are some of the popular museum sin the city.
The city is known for genuine Mexican Food due to the large Hispanic population that exists in the city. However, the recent influx of people has brought in some great international cuisine like Korean food, Brazilian food and French cuisines as well.
For outdoor recreation, there are various parks in the city too. Waterparks have been created all over the city to ensure that the people of the city can manage and tolerate the heat that the city experiences. There is the Big Park in Tempe, Wet 'n; Wild Phoenix and the Golfland Sunsplash that are extremely famous.
About Maricopa County, Arizona
Maricopa is located in the south central part of Arizona. The estimated population of the county is 3,817,117 based on the 2010 US Census. It is the fourth largest county in the country and has a population higher than 23 states of the United States. In 2007, a Forbes study pegged four Maricopa municipalities of the county as one of the top 10 fastest growing cities in the country.
The total area of the county is about 9,224 square miles. The counties adjacent to Maricopa include la Paz and Yuma to the west, Pima to the south, Pinal to the south east, Gila to the east and Yavapai to the north. Some of the protected areas of the county include the Sonoran Desert National Monument and the Tonto National.
The county has always had a republican hold in terms of politics. This is despite the fact that the city of Phoenix is generally a Democratic stronghold. The county has a board of supervisors that governs the place. Each of the members of the board has tenure of 4 years and they may be reelected continuously. It is thought that the Maricopa County is home to about 60 percent residents of the state of Arizona.
Some of the large cities in the county include Phoenix, the county seat, Apache Junction, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Litchfield Park and Tempe.
There are future plans of development of the Douglas Ranch that is expected to cover almost 34,000 acres of land. The project is expected to be larger than the city of Tempe and it is likely to take more than 25 years to complete. It is expected to house between 250,000 to 300,000 people.
Some of the historical places in Maricopa that have been listed in the National Register of Historic places include the Tempe Bridge, Andre Building, Boulder Creek Bridge, Chandler Commercial Historic District, Fort McDowell, Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium, Lewis and Pranty Creek Bridge and the Tempe Beach Stadium.