What Only Locals Know in Phoenix

Get familiar with the 10 best-kept secrets of the Arizona city.
By: Amy Silverman
Related To:

Phoenix invented the staycation. Long before economists were glooming and dooming and people were staying put, Phoenicians were taking advantage of deals at local resorts during the long, hot Phoenix summer. The Arizona Biltmore shows movies outdoors on weekends while guests float in the pool. Just about all the high-end hotels offer great summer rates. You just have to ask.

There IS a short cut from downtown Phoenix to the East Valley. Take the I-10 to the Sky Harbor exit and cut through the airport. Guaranteed to cut 15 minutes off your commute home.

Irrigated neighborhoods are cooler than nonirrigated. Late spring through fall, many older neighborhoods get weekly flood irrigation, great for keeping big trees alive and lowering area temperatures, if only by a few degrees. But when it’s 115, every bit helps.

There’s one drive-in movie theater left in town, the West Wind 6 Drive-In at 8101 E. McKellips in Scottsdale.

The best playgrounds in town are at the malls. Particularly Westcor malls like Scottsdale Fashion Square and Fiesta Mall. Some even have full-sized carousels.

Everyone goes out to the First Friday art walk but if you want to see the art instead of the people, go on Third Friday, when the artists have their receptions. There's also free wine and cheese.

You can have one last chance at the cheapest designer duds you’ll ever find. Nordstrom sends all its returns and overstocked items to Last Chance, 1919 E. Camelback Road, where you can brave the crowds for amazing deals on designer goods from the likes of Kate Spade and Prada.

There’s a lake in the middle of this dry, dusty town! The barren Salt River bed was dammed in late 1990s to create Tempe Town Lake. It give the locals a chance to row their boats.

If you speed, expect a ticket in the mail. The city is crawling with photo radar cameras. Technically, you don’t have to pay the ticket unless it’s delivered by a process server, but that’s advice best given by a lawyer.

It’s not really a dry heat. Everyone will tell you that, but the truth is it’s downright sticky in July and August, with gorgeous monsoon storms that blow hard through the city. So keep your trees trimmed.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Houston: Know What the Locals Know

Brush up on your knowledge of Houston to fit in with the locals.

Preserving Houston’s History

Discover Old Sixth Ward, the neighborhood committed to restoring and maintaining the city's history.

Houston: Like No Place Else

These nine attractions set this Texas city apart in the Lone Star State.

Local Life and Lore in Tucson

Brush up on your knowledge of Tucson history and lingo.

Tucson: Like No Place Else

Biosphere 2 and Old Tucson Studios are two of the more unusual attractions in this desert city.

Phoenix: Like No Place Else

These destinations make Phoenix and the surrounding area unique.

Profile: Phoenix, Arizona

Here are some basic facts about Phoenix, Arizona, also known as the Valley of the Sun.

Albuquerque: The Hot Air Balloon Capital of the World

Take to the skies! It's what hundreds of hot air balloons do every fall during Albuquerque's Balloon Fiesta.

Austin Essentials

In Austin, the music never stops, politics and education take center stage, and year-round sunshine brings people outdoors.

Local Life and Lore in Austin

Learn the local lingo, cuisine and landmarks to blend in with Austin locals.

On TV

Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.