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Exploring Arizona: Downtown Phoenix

Hey everyone!  I wanted to start a new series of blogs here called Exploring Arizona.  Here, I want to feature places of interest in the great state of Arizona to accompany my Rugged Tramper series (click here to check out my first installment of the Rugged Tramper series).  Rugged Tramper will focus specifically on hiking and backpacking trips whereas Exploring Arizona will focus more on general places of interest.  I figured I would start this series on a walk I did around Downtown Phoenix a little while back.    

In the eight years that I've lived here, Downtown Phoenix has evolved into a more vibrant area.  Being the sixth largest city in the U.S, Downtown Phoenix itself never really lived up to the cosmopolitan vibe associated with cities of its size and stature.  However, in the last few years, I feel this has changed.  There has been an effort to make Downtown Phoenix a more liveable area for residents rather than a transient area for business travelers and conventions.  There is now a wealth of excellent restaurants and bars, theatres, music venues and sporting venues.  None more prominent than Chase Field, home of the professional baseball team the Arizona Diamondbacks.  

(click on images to make larger)

U.S Airways Arena - home to the Phoenix Suns

Heading down Jefferson St. (all east-west streets in downtown Phoenix are named after former U.S Presidents), U.S Airways Arena comes into view.  It is home to the NBA basketball team the Phoenix Suns as well as the WNBA women's basketball team the Phoenix Mercury.  The arena also plays host to many large concerts.  I saw AC/DC there a few years ago.  Another prominent area in downtown Phoenix is Heritage Square.  There is a collection of carefully restored historic homes and buildings here as well as the Arizona Science Center.  Built in 1895, the Rosson House is the main feature in Heritage Square.  Close by, Pizzeria Bianco occupies two historic buildings and is a culinary icon in the Phoenix bar and restaurant industry.  The Rose and Crown pub opposite Pizzeria Bianco is a great traditional English watering hole and also occupies a beautiful, colonial-style building dating back to the 1800s. Heritage Square is very popular for weddings and engagement photography.

My walk on this beautiful winter day took in the buildings that makes up Phoenix's growing skyline as well as views from the top of the nearby Clarendon Hotel.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my short walking tour of Downtown Phoenix.  This was really just a snippet of many of the architectural features of the downtown area and I'm sure there will be more to follow.  I look forward to bringing you more images and stories in this series of Exploring Arizona!