New arrivals in Phoenix will find that the city has a wide range of lifestyle offerings to keep residents entertained. Whether an individual is an art or history buff, an avid foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast who is in Phoenix for the good weather, there is no shortage of things to see and do in Valley of the Sun.
Arts and culture in Phoenix
It may come as a surprise to those who are unfamiliar with Phoenix, but the city has a rich arts and culture scene which attracts creative minds from across the valley. New arrivals will have a whole host of galleries and museums to explore throughout the city. A stroll through the Arts District in the Phoenix suburb of Roosevelt provides a great opportunity to take in a bit or gritty, urban street art. The First Friday Art Walk in downtown Phoenix is a monthly event where the city comes to life as residents come out in their droves to access special art and photography exhibits.
Fans of the performing arts shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to catch a show at the historic Orpheum Theatre which hosts an eclectic range of performances throughout the year.
Eating out in Phoenix
Phoenix has worked hard to rid itself of the reputation of having an incredibly insipid food scene and is now said to be a foodie oasis in the Arizona desert. Local chefs have become champions of sustainability and work tirelessly to promote the use of fresh, local produce. It may come as a surprise to some, but restaurants in Phoenix have become truly innovative in recent years fusing diverse cuisine to create fresh twists on American classics.
The culinary scene in Phoenix is constantly evolving but residents are sure to find an eclectic range of international food offerings here. From Korean bao buns and Mexican tacos to slow-cooked BBQ ribs or wood-fired pizza, there are endless options. So whichever direction their appetite is dragging them, new arrivals are bound to find something to satiate that craving.
Nightlife in Phoenix
Sure, it’s not quite Vegas but new residents will find that Phoenix is a fun place to be when the sun goes down. From ale houses and dive bars to rooftop cocktail bars and sophisticated nightclubs, Phoenix has an exciting bevy of nightlife venues.
There are several nightlife hubs in Phoenix and the surrounding Valley of the Sun area. Downtown Phoenix is the obvious choice but it tends to be geared towards visitors rather than locals. The Roosevelt Row Arts District with its laid-back vibe is the popular gathering spot among the Bohemian crowd who are drawn to the great live music on offer. Old town Scottsdale is home to a high density of bars and clubs, while downtown Tempe is also a top choice for revellers.
Sophisticated or gritty, trendy or historic, newcomers are sure to find their niche among the diversity of nightlife offerings in Phoenix.
Sports and outdoor activities in Phoenix
With an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, there is no excuse not to get outdoors in Phoenix. Hikers, bikers, climbers and general outdoor enthusiasts will be in their element playing outside in the Sonaran Desert. The Valley of the Sun is home to dozens of parks and reserves, both in and around the city, that offers trails galore. From taking a leisurely wander around the red rock buttes of Papago Park to taking on the unforgettably rewarding climb up to the top of the iconic Camelback Mountain, new Phoenix residents will find outdoor activities to suit all fitness levels.
For those who prefer to watch sport rather than take part, there is plenty of action taking place on Phoenix’s sports calendar. New arrivals should check out Phoenix’s local NFL team Arizona Cardinals play at least once. Basketball fans can see the Phoenix Suns in action at the Talking Stick Arena.
►For a list of the top annual events in the Valley of the Sun check out our What's On in Phoenix
Are you an expat living in Phoenix?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Phoenix. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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