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Your destination - Phoenix

Phoenix is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, thanks to its dry, warm climate, its wide range of recreational opportunities, and its industrial diversification. Located on the Salt River in south central Arizona, the city is set in the center of the Valley of the Sun at the eastern edge of the Sonoran Desert. Once a small farm town whose healthy environment made it a major tourist attraction in the 1930s, Phoenix has emerged in recent years as the seventh largest city in the U.S., with a population exceeding 1,200,000.

The industrial mix generating the Phoenix economic growth today includes (in addition to tourism) aerospace and electronics, finance, commerce, research and development, agriculture, health services, and planned retirement communities. Phoenix is served by an international airport, two railroads, two interstate highways, and many excellent colleges and universities.

Among the area’s points of interest are the historic Apache Trail; Casa Grande Ruins National Monument; Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural landmark, Taliesen West; Desert Botanical Garden; Civic Plaza, housing Symphony Hall and a convention center; professional football, baseball, basketball, and hockey; Heard Museum, with thousands of archaeological and historical exhibits; Phoenix Art Museum; Pueblo Garden Museum of Native American artifacts; and the Arizona Science Center. Nearby are three Native American reservations.

Archaeological finds reveal that the Phoenix site has been occupied for more than 8,000 years. The area was settled in 300 B.C. by the Hohokam people, called the Canal Builders because they constructed miles of waterways to feed their crops and villages. They apparently vanished when the settlement was destroyed by drought. Because today’s city rose from the ashes of the ancient Hohokam civilization, it acquired its name from the Phoenix, a mythological bird that consumed itself by fire and arose from the ashes. The first permanent white settlement at Phoenix was established in 1867 by Jack Swilling, a farmer who created a canal company to irrigate the valleys. A patent for the city was issued in 1874 by President Ulysses S. Grant, and in 1881 it was incorporated as the City of Phoenix. It was named State Capitol when Arizona was admitted to the Union in 1912.


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