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The Ultimate Local Phoenix Guide: Experiencing Arizona’s Capital

ultimate movers guide to phoenix az


Are you considering a move to Phoenix, Arizona, in the next year? From hiking trails, luxury accommodations, iconic sunsets, vibrant downtown, and award-winning cuisine, the city has a lot to offer. As you manage your relocation, Storage Sense is well-equipped to handle part of the heavy lifting for you. Let us take control of your boxes and belongings as you settle into your new space, so you can focus on the logistics of your move. Dive into our local Phoenix guide to learn more about the city!

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Storage Sense in Phoenix – North 43rd | Storage Sense in Phoenix – Washington Street

Table of Contents

I. Culture & Attractions

II. The Sports Scene

III. Top Dining Experiences

IV. About the City

Discover Phoenix’s Top Attractions: Fun for All Ages!

With so much to see and do around the city, where do you start? Whether you are traveling with friends, taking on a new city with the family, or adventuring solo, Phoenix has something for everyone.

Explore Nature & Science in Arizona

When you want to get outside the bustle of the city a bit and experience the wonder of Arizona’s unique environment, one excellent option is Papago Park. On the edge of Phoenix, the park a wide range of recreational and educational activities set against a backdrop of distinctive red sandstone formations. It is home to two of Phoenix’s most beloved attractions: the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo. The park’s natural landscape is crisscrossed with hiking and biking trails, including the easy trek to Hole in the Rock, a natural geological formation that provides panoramic views of the surrounding city and desert. 

South Mountain Park and Preserve is another natural gem, as one of the largest municipal parks in the United States at more than 16,000 acres. This expansive park offers a plethora of outdoor activities, including miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails that wind through its rugged terrain, offering visitors a chance to escape to some quiet. The park’s higher elevations provide breathtaking panoramic views of the Phoenix skyline, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking adventure and natural beauty.

For those of you that enjoy learning as much as experiencing, the science center is certainly a stop to add to your list. Located in downtown Phoenix, the Arizona Science Center serves as a vibrant hub for science and technology exploration. This family friendly attraction is designed to spark curiosity and inspire learning in visitors of all ages through its interactive exhibits, state-of-the-art planetarium, and engaging IMAX theater. From exploring the mysteries of the universe to understanding the mechanics of human biology, the center provides a dynamic environment where science comes to life in exciting and innovative ways. You and your kids can learn together!

Take in the Culture

What are some of the beloved attractions and things to do around Phoenix? Culturally, the city has an exciting collection of prominent theaters, museums, performance centers, and more.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Phoenix, the Roosevelt Row Arts District exudes creativity and vibrancy. This dynamic neighborhood is celebrated for its rich arts scene, characterized by an eclectic mix of galleries, colorful street murals, and live music venues. The area is also a culinary and shopping destination, with an array of restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques offering unique local finds. First Fridays Art Walk is a monthly highlight, drawing art enthusiasts and casual observers alike to explore the area’s cultural offerings.

Pictured above, the Phoenix Art Museum is perhaps the city’s most significant museum, and is a national and international cultural attraction that draws thousands of visitors each year. Located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, this museum is the largest museum for visual art in the southwest United States, and it features international exhibitions alongside its comprehensive collection of more than 18,000 works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. Notable artists featured throughout the museum include Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Bernardo Strozzi, George Romney, and Camille Corot, among many, many others. Another must-visit museum is the Heard Museum—internationally renowned for its commitment to celebrating the art and cultures of American Indians. You can explore exhibits like traditional weaving, pottery, contemporary art, and more, providing a deep dive into the diversity and complexity of Native American cultures. 

Beyond taking in the beautiful visuals at the art museum, you can treat your eyes and ears a number of local performances.  Phoenix Symphony Hall, the Orpheum Theatre, and the Herberger Theater Center. Of the aforementioned, the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix is of particular note, acting as a 1364-seat theatre in the heart of Downtown Phoenix. First opened in 1929, this venue was originally used for vaudeville acts as part of the nationwide Orpheum Circuit, a chain of vaudeville and movie theaters originally founded in 1886. Since its original opening, this theater has enjoyed an extensive $14 million restoration effort, and in 1985 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, this historic theater is home of the newly-formed Phoenix Opera, and in addition, the Orpheum presents concerts, Broadway musicals, performances of Ballet Arizona and special events. 

The Musical Instrument Museum, located in north Phoenix, offers an unparalleled global music experience. With a collection of more than 6,800 instruments from more than 200 countries and territories, MIM showcases the incredible diversity of musical expression found around the world. Each exhibit is meticulously curated to not only display the instruments but also to provide visitors with an immersive experience through state-of-the-art audio and video that showcases the instruments being played in their cultural context. MIM is a must-visit for music lovers of all ages, offering educational programs, live performances, and hands-on opportunities to play some instruments.

Catch a Game During Any Season

In Phoenix, we love our professional sports franchises. The city is notably one of only 13 U.S. cities to have representatives of all four major professional sports leagues: the Phoenix Suns of the NBA, the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL, the Arizona Diamondbacks of the MLB, and the Arizona Coyotes of the NHL. No matter the season, you have exciting games to watch year-round. If you are ever in the greater Phoenix area you should absolutely consider taking in a game with friends or family.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Phoenix is also home to Phoenix Raceway, which is home to two annual NASCAR race weekends and is one of 13 facilities on the NASCAR schedule to host more than one race weekend a year. The 1-mile, low-banked tri-oval race track hosts the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and the raceway has previously hosted the CART, IndyCar Series, USAC and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Beyond racing, you can check out our professional soccer team, the Phoenix Rising FC, and take advantage of the opportunity when the city hosts the LPGA’s annual Founder’s Cup, a women’s professional golf tournament held in March.

Satisfy Your Taste Buds with Southwest Flavors

The city’s location in the Southwest U.S. makes Phoenix a well-rounded culinary scene, celebrating a variety of Native American and Mexican food dishes. Subsequently, squash, beans and corn – the “three sisters” of American Indian cooking – are just a few ingredients used in the flavorful dishes highlighted throughout the area. Here are some of our favorite restaurants that you should check out when you are in the Phoenix area!

  • Cornish Pasty Co – Founded by Cornwall native Dean Thomas in 2005, Cornish Pastry Co is your first stop for the traditional British street snack, the Cornish pastry. Currently featuring four Valley area locations, diners can choose from a variety of pastries filled with meat like lamb, pork, chicken and bacon and veggies like potatoes, carrots, peas, green beans and celery.
  • Cocina Madrigal – Frequently cited as having the “Best Tacos in Phoenix,” Cocina Madrigal is a relaxed and casual restaurant that serves classic Mexican-fare food, along with a variety of tequilas, margaritas, and Mezcals. Signature menu items include the restaurant’s Enchiladas & Burros, Oaxaca Shrimp, Tropical Fish, and the Achiote Braised Chicken.
  • Rusconi’s American Kitchen – Rusconi’s American Kitchen offers a hearty menu of regional American cuisine featuring a wood burning grill. Chef Rusconi’s menu is ever-changing and reflective of the season, and features menu highlights that include Grilled Beef Tenderloin Medallions, Grilled Sustainable Salmon, English Pea Risotto, and the restaurant’s signature dish, the Natural Sea Scallops.
  • Bobby-Q – Currently featuring 3 location within the greater Phoenix area, Bobby-Q is a casual steak and barbeque restaurant that was previously voted “Best Fried Chicken” in Arizona. Highlights of their menu include the Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs, the Smoked Jumbo Texas Beef Ribs, and the Wood Fired Ribeye Steak.
  • Pomo Pizzeria – Featuring four locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, Pomo Pizzeria is a casual and relaxed pizzeria providing Neapolitan pies, plus Italian fare from antipasti to gourmet paninis. In particular, this pizzeria is known for its homemade Pomo dough consisting of imported, highly refined organic wheat flour from Naples, Italy.

If you are looking for a casual spot to meet up with friends and grab a drink (or a few), Phoenix is host to a number of innovative breweries, such as:

  • Wren House Brewing Company – Frequently cited as the “Best Brewery in Phoenix,” Wren House Brewing Co. crafts innovative and exciting craft beers utilizing fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Beyond their taproom, this location features an extensive patio area and is known to feature food trucks on a weekly basis.
  • Arizona Wilderness DTPHX – Currently featuring two locations throughout the Phoenix area, Arizona Wilderness brewing features a Downtown Phoenix Beer Garden, serving craft beers and locally focused food and cocktails while practicing low-impact, and sustainable principals.

A New Mover’s Local Guide to Phoenix, AZ

Quick Facts

Population: 1,680,992

Median Home Value: $235,400

Median Household Income: $57,459

History & Economy

As the largest and most populous city in Arizona, Phoenix ultimately boasts a diverse and thriving economy. The area grew rapidly grew thanks to its fertile land and the construction of a canal system that tapped into the Salt and Gila Rivers. This development laid the groundwork for its urban expansion. By 1889, Phoenix’s strategic importance and growth were recognized when it was chosen as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing Prescott. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of Phoenix’s ascent to political and economic prominence in the region. The city continued to flourish and, following Arizona’s admission as the 48th state in 1912, Phoenix was affirmed as the state capital. Pre-WWII, the city’s economy was based primarily on agriculture and natural resources (due to its location along the Mexican border), and the city was dependent mainly on the “5Cs,” which were copper, cattle, climate, cotton, and citrus. 

Currently, the city’s economy has become much more diversified, with the city’s top five industries being: real estate, finance and insurance, manufacturing, retail trade, and health care. Notable Fortune 500 companies within the area include the electronics corporation Avnet, mining company Freeport-McMoRan, retailer PetSmart, and waste hauler Republic Services. Additionally, the city is also home to the headquarters of U-HAUL International, Best Western, and Apollo Group, parent of the University of Phoenix. Despite challenges presented by the pandemic, Phoenix’s economy is in a comfortable position, and the city should be expected to continue growing for years to come.

Climate Considerations

Phoenix, is known for its desert climate, characterized by hot summers and mild winters, making it an attractive destination for those seeking year-round sunshine. Summer temperatures often soar above 100°F, especially in July and August, while winters are relatively gentle, with daytime temperatures typically ranging from the mid-50s to low 70s°F. The city enjoys more than 300 sunny days per year, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

However, newcomers should prepare for the dry heat by staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, and investing in proper sun protection. Monsoon season, from June to September, brings brief but intense rainstorms and cooler temperatures, offering a respite from the summer heat and adding a dynamic weather pattern to the region.

Higher Education Opportunities in the City

Phoenix is home to a diverse array of students throughout the year.

  • Arizona State University (ASU), one of the largest public universities in the United States by enrollment, has several campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, including the downtown campus. ASU is renowned for its research programs, business school, and commitment to innovation.
  • The University of Arizona, through its College of Medicine in Phoenix, offers top-tier medical education and research opportunities.
  • Grand Canyon University, a private Christian university located in the heart of Phoenix, provides undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields, including business, education, and nursing.
  • Maricopa Community Colleges, the largest community college system in the U.S., offers accessible education options and professional certificates across multiple campuses in the Phoenix area.

Settle into Phoenix, AZ, with Storage Sense

If you are considering living in Phoenix, AZ, this year, what are your next steps? Storage Sense is your premier self storage resource for supporting your move. We are here to help you with your relocation to Phoenix providing affordable storage units at our two convenient locations on Washington Street and N 43rd Street. With both drive-up and climate-controlled storage, as well as parking options, we can help you tackle any storage need. Our storage experts at both locations can help you find the perfect storage unit for you at the best prices. Discover additional features and our current move-in specials here for both of our facilities in Phoenix. 

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Storage Sense in Phoenix – North 43rd Street | Storage Sense in Phoenix – Washington Street


Katie Mest

Katie Mest

About the Author: Katie Mest is a Content Marketing Specialist at Storage Asset Management in York, PA. She specializes in writing about the self storage industry, including storage tips and helpful resources. Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time exploring the outdoors and snuggling in with a crochet project and her cat, Billie.

Tim Glasow

Tim Glasow

About the Author: Tim is an SEO Strategist at Storage Asset Management in York, PA. He is a self-storage industry specialist who has written about everything from storage advice and helpful resources to industry trends. In his free time, Tim enjoys sampling craft beer and exploring the local music scene.