Hot air balloons take off into deep blue skies as the sun climbs over mountain tops.
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People move about their day among indigenous art and modern shops and businesses.
With a hearty mix of Native American influence and scenic views you can't see anywhere else, there are many areas of Phoenix worth checking out. Here are five fun facts about a few of the most popular neighborhoods within the Phoenix city limits.
As an up-and-coming shopping and dining district, Arcadia has a great mix of boutique shops, bars and restaurants. It's also an attractive neighborhood for those who enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle. With access to Camelback Mountain and the Arizona Canal Trail, it's a great place for hikers, walkers, runners and cyclists.
Arcadia didn't become a part of Phoenix until the mid-1950s when rapid city growth reached the borders of the neighborhood. Even today, there's still a bit of Arcadia that's technically a part of Scottsdale. With natural boundaries from the Arizona Canal and Camelback Mountain, Arcadia is a quiet neighborhood.
Five fun facts about Arcadia
The word Arcadia comes from the Greek word Arcas, the home of the god Pan. It also refers to the unspoiled, harmonious wilderness.
Fruit trees dot the local landscape, which was also home to the first citrus grove in Phoenix, planted in 1899
Camelback Mountain gets its name from its two summits. They resemble the hump and head of a camel kneeling. It's a difficult mountain to climb but has the highest peak in Phoenix.
In the 1920s, to properly irrigate the citrus groves throughout Arcadia, 15 miles of underground pipe was laid to create an underground irrigation system.
The Arizona Canal Trail is almost 12 miles long and meanders alongside a river, perfect for walking, running and biking. Dogs can also venture out on the trail.
2. Camelback East
Alongside Arcadia sits Camelback East. Situated between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain, the area offers an urban-suburban mix. Listed as the most popular neighborhood in Phoenix in early 2018, the big draw to the area is the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, with its five pools and two championship golf courses.
There's never a shortage of stuff to do in Camelback East. The neighborhood is home to the Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical Garden, which has more than 50 acres of desert plants. A short drive into the neighborhood next door brings you to Old Town Scottsdale. There you can find an assortment of shops and restaurants cloaked in Old West flair.
Five fun facts about Camelback East
Frank Lloyd Wright served as the consulting architect on the construction of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. Open since 1929, the hotel has hosted famous guests like Fred Astaire, Marilyn Monroe and Bob Hope.
An Arizona staple, the Sonoran hot dog is a must-have, but you can't find it just anywhere. Nogales Hot Dogs only serves them from 7 p.m. to midnight. If you're in Camelback East, make time to grab this bacon-wrapped hot dog covered in pinto beans, onions, tomatoes and mayo. You can pile on cheese, guacamole or salsa too without getting dirty looks from locals.
Phoenix Mountains Park is actually a system of parks formed in the early 1970s. Its creation ensured the preservation of the area even as the development in Phoenix continued expanding.
Piestewa Peak is the second-highest point in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. It got the name in 2008 to commemorate Lori Ann Piestewa, the first Native American woman to die in combat on behalf of the U.S. military.
The Phoenix Zoo, located in Papago Park in Camelback East, opened in 1962. It's the largest, privately-owned, non-profit zoo in the United States. The grandson of the founder of the Maytag appliance company built it along with a small group of friends.
3. Deer Valley
In the northwest part of Phoenix sits Deer Valley, a unique combination of modern, residential clusters and Native American history. West of the center of the neighborhood, the Deer Valley Petroglyph Preserve contains more than 1,500 carvings made directly into the rock. Other outdoor attractions around this village include Deem Hills, Cave Buttes and the Adobe Dam Regional Park.
As much as there is to see outdoors, Deer Valley has a dense suburban feel that attracts families and young professionals. With the Phoenix Deer Valley Airport close by, this area is also where a lot of businesses have their corporate offices.
Five fun facts about Deer Valley
Built as a private airfield in 1960, Deer Valley Airport began with one runway. Today, it's a little bigger. It now has two runways, a pilot shop and a restaurant on site.
Deem Hills is a recreation area in Deer Valley known for its unique basalt volcanic rock formations
Cave Buttes is another outdoor recreational area, also offering a field where people can fly model airplanes. It also features an earthen dam that keeps North Phoenix from flooding.
Adobe Dam is more than just a place that holds back water to prevent flooding. The park is also home to paintball, kart racing, an 18-hole golf course and a water park. There's no shortage of activities here.
Also within the Adobe Dam area is the Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park. Unlike anything you'll find elsewhere in Arizona, the park is typically only open to the public between September and May. Visitors can take a train ride through the park and check out a variety of model railroads.
4. Downtown Phoenix
Comprising the urban center of Phoenix, the downtown area is a neighborhood within a neighborhood. It's actually located within the village of Central City, another well-known area with much the same character as downtown.
Phoenix itself is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. It's also the city with the most sunshine. You can catch some rays during 85 percent of the city's daylight hours. Downtown, you can find an amazing children's museum with an indoor treehouse taking up the entire first floor. The neighborhood is also home to an impressive international auto show that takes place each year around Thanksgiving.
Five fun facts about Downtown Phoenix
Phoenix is also known as the Valley of the Sun and is part of the Salt River Valley
An underground bowling alley once hid beneath the surface of Downtown Phoenix. It was open from 1939 to 1959. Glass blocks within the sidewalk are the only remnants. They served as the bowling alley's skylights.
Downtown Phoenix was in the opening scene of Alfred Hitchcock's movie "Psycho." The camera pans across the city as Marion Crane and Sam Loomis talk about their future.
The shape of the Grand Canyon inspired the design of downtown's Phoenix Convention Center
Streets running east-west in Downtown Phoenix are named for U.S. Presidents
5. North Mountain
A quieter neighborhood, North Mountain has access to hiking trails, parks and preserves. An upscale golf club complements the variety of pubs, sports bars and casual restaurants in the area. If you're looking for a dense concentration of coffee shops and breakfast joints, this is the neighborhood for you.
Five fun facts about North Mountain
The actual North Mountain stands more than 2,100 feet and offers a variety of hiking trails with one of the best summit climbs in Phoenix. While exploring the area you may stumble upon abandoned copper mining shafts.
Watch out while on the trail. North Mountain is home to many of the indigenous animals, including javelinas, jackrabbits, roadrunners and cactus wrens.
Castles N' Coasters, North Mountain's own amusement park, includes the Desert Storm Roller Coaster, complete with drops, spins and flips. Not for the faint of heart.
The first people to populate the area were the Hohokam Native Americans. Arriving around 300 A.D., the modern town didn't begin to take shape until the 1800s.
Tapping into the craft beer craze, North Mountain Brewing offers its own handcrafted beer alongside a decent menu. Inspiration for the brewpub comes from the public houses of Colonial America.
6. North Phoenix
What exactly makes up North Phoenix may vary from local to local, but they all agree that there's gray space. Even if your mailing address doesn't say Phoenix, if you're within the actual northern city limits, you're living in North Phoenix. This may mean your address says Glendale or Scottsdale. It's confusing.
Originally slated to be another center for agriculture, attempts to irrigate the area were less than successful. This left the space as mostly desert until housing developments began popping up in the mid-1900s.
Five fun facts about North Phoenix
The North Phoenix Airport was a military airfield the U.S. Air Force established between 1945 and 1948. It stayed in use until after the 1960s.
Arizona Christian University came into being on land donated by Ida Clouse. She specified it to be used for a Christian college. It operated under two different names before becoming Arizona Christian University in 2011.
While all of Phoenix is growing pretty rapidly, North Phoenix is growing the fastest according to the Chamber of Commerce
The average rainfall in North Phoenix is more than 12 inches. Flash floods can occur in the area during the summer months, also known as monsoon season.
In 2016, Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg could be found on Loop 303 in North Phoenix shooting scenes for the fifth installment of "Transformers."
7. Paradise Valley
Heading to Paradise Valley can make for a confusing trip since Phoenix has two choices. Paradise Valley is an incorporated town and the wealthiest suburb of Phoenix. It formed in 1961 after a few locals became concerned that they'd lose the essence of their community as Scottsdale and Phoenix proper grew.
The other Paradise Valley is an actual village in northeast Phoenix known as Paradise Valley Village. This area is known for its golf courses and laid-back social scene. Part of the City of Phoenix Mountain Preserve system, the area also has a lot of space for outdoor activities like biking, hiking and horseback riding.
Five fun facts about Paradise Valley
Located in the heart of Paradise Valley Village is Chompie's, a Phoenix institution. This New York-style deli boasts family recipes from Polish and Russian Jewish grandmothers. Its signature item is the Original Jewish slider with brisket, Monterey Jack cheese and a mini potato pancake stacked within a mini challah roll.
Home to many celebrities, you may spot Charles Barkley or Michael Phelps out and about in Paradise Valley
The Scottsdale Greenbelt, which runs through Paradise Valley Village, contains a network of parks, gardens, art installations and lakes. It also helps control local flooding and erosion issues.
Another famous Paradise Valley resident, Alice Cooper, gives back through his non-profit, Solid Rock. This organization helps inner-city Arizona teens.
At the center of Paradise Valley Village sits the Paradise Valley Mall. It has a little of everything from shopping to eating to family-friendly entertainment.
Located near Downtown Phoenix, Roosevelt was the first area designated as a historic neighborhood in the city. One of the fundamental neighborhoods to signal Phoenix's northward development, the main attractor to this area was its proximity to Central Avenue. In the late 19th and early 20th century, this was the main north-south road through town.
Developing into an area that's architecturally diverse, Roosevelt became a preferred spot for many of the wealthy and elite of Phoenix. Mayors, city commissioners and even Supreme Court justices have all called this area home. Today, it's known as an attractive place for artists.
Five fun facts about Roosevelt
The Roosevelt Neighborhood got a boost in development after the Salt River flood in 1891, sending families from the lower Valley up to higher ground
Gold Spot Marketing Center, one of the first shopping centers in Phoenix built to serve a specific, residential area was constructed in the Roosevelt Neighborhood
The Westward Ho Hotel opened in 1928 in Roosevelt and is still considered a landmark building today, although it's now apartments. The hotel shot to fame after President John F. Kennedy gave a speech on its steps.
Roosevelt Row is a hub for arts and culture in Phoenix. See it for yourself every First Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. at one of the largest self-guided art walks in the country. Free shuttles can help you get around.
Roosevelt is also the site for Phoenix's open-air market, which takes place Saturday mornings year-round. You can shop for produce and also find prepared food from vendors.
9. South Mountain
Home to the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the South Mountain village of Phoenix also contains South Mountain Park. This is the fourth-largest municipal park in the country with more than 16,000 acres within the city limits of Phoenix alone. A popular place for hiking, there are also some amazing desert views.
The area was initially established in 1989 but expanded its borders in 2001. Today, it's a combination of historical sites and natural points-of-interest.
Five fun facts about South Mountain
The Maricopa County Sheriff, Noah Matthew Broadway, bought the first piece of land in South Mountain in 1871, transforming it into Broadway Ranch. The rest of the population in the area at the time were grain farmers.
Mystery Castle, located within the foothills of South Mountain Park, was a gift from father to daughter. After spending a lot of time together making sandcastles at the beach, she asked for a castle that wouldn't wash away.
The hike up to Dobbins Lookout is laced with history, from Precambrian rocks that predate all life on Earth to Hohokam petroglyphs
Built in 1940 by migrant Francisco Vasquez, the San Francisco Xavier Mission is a miniature church full of statues where people visiting South Mountain can still go to worship today
Sky Harbor Airport was originally nicknamed “The Farm" because of its isolated, rural location. This was back in 1935. Today the airport is right in the middle of the bustling city of Phoenix.
Priding itself on the small-town feel and distinct cultural identity, Sunnyslope stands out amid the busy Phoenix area. It's considered one of the most diverse socioeconomic neighborhoods in Phoenix.
A popular location for creatives, Sunnyslope boasts a collection of record labels and studios that work with local and national musicians and bands. It's also well-known for its Oaxacan cuisine.
Five fun facts about Sunnyslope
Sunnyslope failed to incorporate as a city four times before its annexation into Phoenix in 1959
The name Sunnyslope was written out as two words until World War II ended, it was then combined into one
Dr. Kenneth E. Hall named himself the “King of Sunnyslope." He operated the North Mountain Hospital but had his medical license revoked in 1971 for performing unsanctioned medical operations. He also entered a guilty plea for funneling Medicare dollars into a side construction project — a bowling alley that only stayed open for a year.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum took a special interest in the Sunnyslope Rock Garden. The individual pieces, created by Grover Cleveland Thompson, were documented and cataloged.
Sunnyslope or "S" Mountain is one of the most visible landmarks in the area. Since the early 1950s, the freshman class at Sunnyslope High School repaints a large, upper-case "S" into the nearly symmetrical hill.
Lesly Gregory has over 15 years of marketing experience, ranging from community management to blogging to creating marketing collateral for a variety of industries. A graduate of Boston University, Lesly holds a B.S. in Journalism. She currently lives in Atlanta with her husband, two young children, three cats and assorted fish.