Essential Travel Tips for Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona is so much more than sand and golf – it’s truly the oasis. It’s the jewel of the American Southwest as the nation’s sixth largest city and home to several museums, a science center and even a botanical garden…yes in a desert. If you’re planning on taking a trip that is both unconventional and beyond your expectations, then Phoenix is the perfect place to bring the whole family. To help you plan, here are some Phoenix travel tips:
Although Phoenix is extremely car-centric, there is still reliable public transportation. In the downtown area, you can take the Light Rail to all major attractions and hotels as well as the Phoenix airport. An all-day adult pass costs $4.00 ( the single ride is $2.00) with trains running every 12 minutes during peak hours and every 15-20 on off-peak. The last train runs around 11 p.m. during the week, but on Fridays and Saturdays, it runs until 2 a.m.
While you’re in Phoenix, make an itinerary that has a mix of outdoor and indoor activities because the heat can be quite overwhelming, especially from June-September. The city has a fair amount of museums like the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum. If you’re the outdoorsy type, then check out the Desert Storm Hummer Tour; see the wildlife of the Arizona desert by day or by night with night vision goggles! There’s also the First Fridays Artwalk. Wind down with a stroll down Roosevelt Street as you passed by hundreds of galleries open to the public. Held on the first Friday of every month, this is the largest art walk in the U.S.
Unless it’s an emergency, avoid exchanging currency at hotels or airport kiosks as they will have higher transaction fees. Exchange for American dollars from your local bank before departing. If you cannot do so, Knightsbridge FX offers exchange rates that are less than the bank!
The Phoenix food scene is a mix of American and Mexican fare thanks to Arizona’s border with Mexico. If it’s your first visit to the Southwest, you have to check out In-N-Out Burger. For the best tacos in the city, stop by La Santisima Gourmet Taco Shop, where there’s also several vegetarian options. Of course, the American Southwest is famous for its steaks, so if you’re looking for gourmet dining, there’s Steak 44, a top-notch restaurant with a romantic atmosphere and a wide selection of fine wines.
There is a heavy police presence in the downtown area, as well as at major transport hubs. As with any big city, keep your belongings close and avoid unfamiliar neighbourhoods at night. Most Phoenix residents are actually quite nice and will be happy to provide you with directions or restaurant recommendations, so don’t be afraid to ask!
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