Phoenix is a place with eternal sunshine and it may seem #meh ~
The city is the capital of the state of Arizona, and the most populous state capital in the United States – it is situated in Salt River Valley, surrounded by mountains. That’s why it is also nicknamed “The Valley of the Sun“. Thanks to the hot desert climate, it brings the city a long, hot summer and short, cool winter. 85% of the year is sunny, and rainfalls are occasional, especially in December. However, I did experience rainfall when I visited in December.
While most of the treasures in Arizona are in the outskirts of the city, Phoenix is the travel hub for international (or even domestic travelers) to kick start their journey.
There are a number of attractions in Phoenix downtown. For family visitors, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and Arizona Science Center offers interactive and live demos for children to learn all about science. The planetarium is also an impressive site to understand more about nature and outer space.
To get close to nature, visit the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix and the Desert Botanical Garden. While most botanic gardens in the world are green and lush, the Desert Botanical Garden is dedicated to succulent plants with over 50,000 plants spreading in an area of 140 acres.
As for me, the art and history museums are some of the most exciting spots. The Heard Museum is one of the best in the region that exhibits Native American’s art and culture and illustrates the impact of their integration with the new colonists.
Founded in 1929, the Heard Museum is a private, non-profit organization, housing Dwight B. and Maie Barlett Heards’s (the two museum founders), personal collection of art. The original building was a charming mansion designed by American architect Bennie Gonzales; As it continued to grow in size and scale and it gained international recognition, the size of the building has expanded quite a lot as well.
The city celebrates a rich Native American culture. I visited the museum there were Native Americans performing a traditional dance. To my surprise, the museum actually has more to see than I expected – the exhibit showcased the conflict of the Native American and the ‘immigrants’ back in the days, and I guess in the ‘dark times’ it is unavoidable to have a little crash in the course of integration….
There was also a temporary exhibition of Georgia O’Keeffe (match my socks!) – the big name of American modern art. To appreciate more about the artist’s previous works, just move to the Phoenix Art Museum that is about half a mile away.
The Phoenix Art Museum has a collection of many American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, Howard Post, Jonas Lie, Ed Mell, to Gilbert Stuart. It also has an international presence with temporary art exhibitions including Claude Monet, Yayoi Kusama, and Helen Frankenthaler.