Photos: Valley of the Sun

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  1. Authentic Arizona

    Spanish and Mexican culture has always been as much a part of Arizona and the Sonoran Desert as the Saguaro cactus. Mexico remains Arizona's most significant cultural partner. Today, Arizona abounds with authentic Mexican art, architecture, entertainment. (Babe Sarver / Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Copper Square

    From sun-up to sundown and well into the night, Copper Square provides a truly unique urban environment. Delight in the aromas and tastes of over 90 restaurants, bars, and markets. Expand your horizons with museums, live theater, and music events. (City of Phoenix) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Desert oasis

    Spending a day on the water might not be the first thing you'd think about doing in Greater Phoenix. Yet several lakes are within a 90-minute drive of the city, offering water sports and breathtaking sights. (William Hawkes / Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Museum of History

    The Phoenix Museum of History, located in Downtown Phoenix, showcases the city's early history with interactive and educational exhibits. (Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Year-round adventures

    Outdoor recreational opportunities, such as biking, are plentiful throughout the Greater Phoenix area. Perfect weather conditions allow outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the Sonoran-Desert landscape year-round. (Harry Karidis / Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Diamondbacks at the diamond

    The Arizona Diamondbacks play 81 home games per year inside Chase Field, the only Major League stadium with a pool and Jacuzzi just beyond the outfield wall. The stadium seats more than 48,000 fans. (Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Orpheum Theatre

    The Orpheum Theatre is a Spanish Baroque Revival playhouse, built in 1929. It once saw the likes of Mae West and W.C. Fields. Its marquee at Second Ave and Adams Street again announces the names of first class productions, drawing thousands of people to a vibrant show. (Orpheum Theatre) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Sonoran serenity

    Guided horseback tours among cacti and other wildlife allow you to experience the thrilling days of the Old West while enjoying the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. (www.peterjordanphoto.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Ancient stories

    Petroglyphs, or ancient rock drawings, are an indication of the cultures that inhabited Phoenix before the city grew to be the fifth-largest in the U.S. (Bob Rink / Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Old West tucker

    Picture yourself having a rip roarin' cowboy cookout under the stars. Add a Country Western band, a quick-draw contest, an Old West casino or line-dance lessons, and experience a taste of the real West. (Jeff Noble / Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Superstition sensation

    The Superstition Mountains are known for the Legend of the Lost Dutchman, a gold miner who sealed up his find, never to return. The area is also home to some great rock climbing, and is a perfect place for peace and relaxation. (William Hawkes / Greater Phoenix CVB) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 7/10/2006 1:27:12 PM ET 2006-07-10T17:27:12

Hiking Up Camelback Mountain or Piestewa Peak. Hiking the trails up these two mountains is a favorite activity among the city's more active residents. Both trails are steep climbs, but the views from up top are superb. Bring water and start early in the morning if it's going to be a hot day.

Strolling through the Desert Botanical Garden after Dark. This cactus-filled garden is beautiful any time of day, but is particularly enjoyable after dark, when the crowds are gone and hidden lights illuminate the cacti.

Hanging Out Midday at the Oasis. Phoenix and Scottsdale have plenty of great pools, but the Oasis water park at the Pointe South Mountain Resort is the biggest and the best. Not only are there terrifyingly steep water slides, but there's also a wave pool.

Taking the Scottsdale Art Walk. Thursday evenings from October to May, both dilettantes and connoisseurs turn out to visit the nearly 60 galleries in downtown Scottsdale, many of which have artists on hand and provide complimentary refreshments.

Attending a Spring-Training Baseball Game. Get a head start on all your fellow baseball fans by going to a spring-training game while you're in Phoenix. Just be sure to book your hotel well in advance; these games are the biggest thing going in the Valley each spring.

Mountain Biking in South Mountain or Papago Park. The trails of these two desert parks are ideal for mountain biking, and whether you're a novice making your first foray onto the dirt or a budding downhill racer, you'll find miles of riding that are just your speed.

Spending the Day at a Spa. When it comes to stress relief, there's nothing like a massage or an herbal wrap. The chance to lie back and do nothing at all is something few of us take the time for anymore. And, for the price of a single 1-hour treatment, you can usually spend the whole day at a spa.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.

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