10 Surprising Facts about Phoenix You Didn’t Know


While almost everyone has heard of Phoenix, how much do we know about it? That it’s the capital of Arizona State? That it has a subtropical desert climate? Maybe. But there are some fascinating facts about the city many of us might not know about – until now.

Read on to learn some terrific new Facts about the Valley of the Sun.

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  1. Phoenix is the sixth-biggest city in the States, with a population of more than 1.4 million people. It has more than 514 square miles of land, and yet only 50 percent of this land in the city is actually developed. The city is separated into 15 areas, known as urban villages, including Ahwatukee Foothills, Encanto, Estrella, Laveen, Rio Vista, and South Mountain.
  2. While Phoenix is 75 miles from its nearest lake, Arizona once had a navy – at its peak, the fleet itself had two vessels. This was formed to defend against a possible invasion by California.
  3. Unlike much of the States, Phoenix does not observe daylight saving time. Arizona Governor, Jack Williams, made this decision in 1973. However, the Navajo nation does observe the change.
  4. While Phoenix is based in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, it has an elevation of 1,117 feet – far higher than any part of Florida).
  5. The world’s biggest municipal park is based in Phoenix. South Mountain Park covers 20,000 acres, with over 1,700 acres of traditional park land – all beautiful. The park’s lookout point reaches higher than 1000 feet above the desert floor, while there are 58 miles of trails for hiking, cycling, and even riding horses.
  6. Legend has it that Phoenix received its name from Darrell Duppa (a pioneer & Cambridge graduate). When he saw ruins and prehistoric canals of the Hohokam, he believed another civilization would one day rise from the ashes of the old. The site was resettled by Duppa and Jack Swilling: irrigation canals were restored to aid farming, while ranching and prospecting started in the land surrounding the site. In 1881, the city was incorporated as a city, and became the state capital in 1912, when Arizona joined the Union.
  7. Along with 13 other cities across the entire States, Phoenix has franchises in all of the four major professional sports leagues: the Phoenix Suns play in the NBA; the Arizona Diamondbacks play in the MLB; Arizona Coyotes play in the NHL; and, last but not least, the Arizona Cardinals play in the NFL.
  8. According to the U.S. Census, Phoenix’s metropolitan area is defined as Maricopa and Pinal Counties – in its entirety, this is known as the ‘Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)’. Over half of Arizona’s population is based in Maricopa County, including Toscana of Desert Ridge.
  9. In the Arizona desert surrounding Phoenix, the Saguaro Cactus creates the state flower – the arms of these cacti can take between 50 and 100 years to grow.
  10. Due to its dry, warm climate, Phoenix saw fast development following the Second World War. During 1950 and 1990, the population swelled from 100,000 to 980,000. From then on, it continued to be one of the U.S.’s quickest-growing cities, with a population growth of 34% in the next decade.

The best way to find out is to visit the city yourself!

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