Friday, January 30, 2015

Yes, it's raining today. I know. But MOST days the sun IS shining.

So, welcome to the Valley of the Sun. We are glad you have come for the Super Bowl or whatever.

The Valley of the Sun is one great big happy metro area.

But I would like to tell you about about some of the cities that make up this big area.

Golf, hotels, spas, upscale shopping---all come to mind when Scottsdale is mentioned. The downtown area can be divided into several distinct districts. The Main Street Arts and Antiques District features a range of dining options, antique stores and art galleries. On 5th Avenue from Scottsdale Road to Goldwater Boulevard there are more than 35 dining establishments and over 80 specialty shops. This is a great place for dining and shopping. Twenty-five years ago when we moved to Scottsdale just a short distance from our new home there was nothing to the East but desert. Now it is a bustling, booming area with large hotels and spas and fantastic shopping. The Kierland shopping area is great plus there is a newer area just across the street---Scottsdale Quarter.

Glendale is one of the fastest-growing cities in Arizona. It is known mostly for the Cardinals Stadium and the Glendale Arena. But the old downtown area, divided into two sections spanning 10 blocks, gives Glendale small town charm. This weekend there is a big Chocolate Affair going on. It's too bad it's raining. That will put a little damper on it. But this is a charming little place with a lot going on.

Tempe is home to Arizona State University, the largest university in the United States. The downtown area consists mainly of ASU and the Mill Avenue District with many shops and restaurants, taverns and nightclubs. Even if you are well past your "night on the town flings" there are plenty of "grown-up" activities. Tempe has a lively cultural scene and a young attitude.

Downtown Phoenix has really changed in the last few years. It is vastly different than it was 25 years ago when we came to the area. There is probably more than 100 restaurants, 20 or more art galleries, Herberger and Orpheum theaters, Phoenix Symphony Hall, Arizona Science Center, plus Chase Field, America West Arena and the Dodge Theater. There is just too much going on to describe it all. You must go and see for yourself.

Again, we are glad you have come to visit and we hope you come back often. Just please don't come to stay. We are filling up fast!