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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Arizona > Phoenix

Phoenix Weather

30°C

Local time Phoenix

Currency

US$

Travel to Phoenix

Flying to Phoenix

A number of US airlines offer domestic flights to Phoenix from destinations across the state. These airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United. British Airways operates direct flights to Phoenix from the UK.

Flight times

From London - 10 hours 30 minutes; New York - 5 hours 15 minutes; Los Angeles - 1 hour 30 minutes; Toronto - 4 hours 40 minutes; Sydney - 17 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Phoenix is a car-oriented city and is built, as with many American cities, on a grid system that makes working out how to get around fairly easy.

Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age is 16. A valid national driving licence is required. One quirk that European drivers may not be used to is that drivers are permitted to turn right through a red light as long as there is no traffic coming from their left, or unless it is signed as prohibited.

The maximum speed limits in and around Phoenix are 120kph (75mph) on rural interstates, 105kph (65mph) on urban interstates and 88kph (55mph) on other roads. In business or residential districts, a limit of 40kph (25mph) applies.

The AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357; www.aaa.com) provides information and roadside assistance to members.

Emergency breakdown services

AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).

Routes

The Interstate 10 connects with Los Angeles to the west. Interstate 17 connects with Flagstaff to the north and then continues south to Tucson. These roads are all well maintained and generally have at least two lanes available to traffic in each direction.

Coaches

Greyhound (tel: +1 214 849 8100; www.greyhound.com) operates a 24-hour coach station at 2115 East Buckeye Road. Greyhound coaches link every major city in the US as well as most of the smaller ones.

Another good-value option is Arizona Shuttle (tel: +1 800 888 2749; www.arizonashuttle.com).

Time to city

From Los Angeles - 6 hours 30 minutes; Flagstaff - 2 hours 15 minutes; Tucson - 2 hours; Las Vegas - 4 hours 30 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

There is no national passenger rail service to Phoenix, even though there is still a station building. However, it is still possible to get close to Phoenix by Amtrak train, stopping your rail journey in a nearby major city and then taking a bus or coach on the remaining leg of your trip.

Operators

Trains to nearby cities are run by the national rail network Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245; www.amtrak.com) and then connect by Amtrak Thruway or Greyhound bus. The best city for you to catch the train to is dependent upon where you are travelling from, but popular options are Tuscon, Flagstaff and Maricopa because they have good Greyhound bus links (tel: +1 214 849 8100; www.greyhound.com).

Journey times

To Flagstaff: from Los Angeles - 10 hours 20 minutes; from Chicago - 31 hour 50 minutes.

Featured Hotels

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The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

This luxurious desert retreat's backdrop is in the dramatic McDowell Mountains, and has pools, fountains, falls and lagoons in its own grounds. A plaza and courtyard have a Mexican village style. Rooms are spacious, with a southwest theme and either a patio or balcony. Casitas include butlers. Amenities include a free kids’ club, golf concierge for its famous golf course, five restaurants, five pools, water slides and an indoor/outdoor lounge with live entertainment.

Four Seasons at Troon North

Everything you expect from a luxurious Four Seasons resort. The lobby is a living gallery of desert art. Accented with a desert motif, the spacious rooms include a fireplace and a balcony, often with picture perfect views. Marble bathrooms have deep soaking tubs. Accommodation is in casitas, small villas. Excellent cuisine is accompanied by sweeping desert views at Acacia, a contemporary steakhouse, and the southwest-flavoured Crescent Moon. Amenities include a spa and fitness centre, and two lounges.

The Phoenician

With US$25 million worth of art (there is a self-guided tour), this hotel is opulent. The grounds have a large cactus garden, nine pools (some shaped like grand pianos) and a golf course. The hotel's restaurants range from epicurean, with a wine list of 4,500, to an ice-cream parlour and tea court. Airy rooms feature Berber carpeting, Irish linens, as well as rich and oversized Italian marble bathrooms. Not to be missed is its plush spa with a complete treatment menu, and the unusual addition of Tarot card readings.

Orange Tree Golf Resort

This hotel complex, on one of Scottsdale's popular golf courses, offers plenty of luxury for the discerning guest with a slightly less discerning budget. The décor is newly renovated and modern, and has 160 suites, all with a balcony or patio. The facilities include fitness and sports centre, swimming pool and golfing lessons. The poolside bar serves lunch and the golf restaurant is an alternative destination for dinner.

The Saguaro Scottsdale

Vibrant colours, handcrafted Mexican furniture and two outdoor pools help give this trendy hotel in Oldtown Scottsdale the va-va-voom factor.
Recently renovated, the hotel boasts 194 guest rooms, each furnished with a pillow-top mattress and 42-inch flat screen TV. Outside, a tropical garden sits between two outdoor pools and a margarita bar, stocking more than 100 varieties of tequila.

Arizona Biltmore Resort

Since 1929, this has been the place for celebrities, dignitaries and presidents. Spread over 16 hectares (40 acres), structures are interspersed with gardens, nine pools (the Catalina was Marilyn Monroe's favourite) and Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas here. The grounds include: tennis courts, lawn chess, croquet and two championship golf courses. Guests will find earthy-toned, spacious accommodation, large marble bathrooms and excellent service. Light meals are available at a café in the hotel's plaza.