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Phoenix EventsIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals, events and a host of fun things to do that may coincide with your vacation.

Winter

What are New Year’s festivities without college football? Pregame fun for the Cactus Bowl , held the day after Christmas, includes a party near Chase Field with marching bands, pep rallies and live music. Starting in mid-November enjoy a hole-in-one golf tournament and a block party that leads up to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl , held at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, in early January. The excitement continues with Phoenix’s annual Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade , one of the country’s largest. It proceeds down Central Avenue and includes marching bands that travel from around the country, gussied-up horses, lavish floats and colorful balloons.

Spring

In March, the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market brings together the finest Native American artists in the Southwest. You'll see pottery, carved Kachina dolls, baskets, jewelry, photography and paintings—along with talented musicians, drummers and feather-costumed dancers. If you’re wondering where to eat, be sure to try the fry bread and posole stew.

Summer

The Valley of the Sun knows how to put on a party for Independence Day, and the Fabulous Phoenix Fourth lives up to its name. Enjoy live entertainment by local acts, amusement rides, a classic car exhibit and lots of food from local restaurants. The party wraps up with a spectacular fireworks display at Steele Indian School Park.

Fall

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After a long, sizzling summer the heat finally breaks in October, just in time for the Arizona Exposition & State Fair . If you're into livestock shows, carnival games, live tunes, handmade quilts, homemade jellies and unique places to eat, you'll love this family-friendly destination. The grandstand is home to rodeos, a stunt show and a demolition derby. Ride the Ferris wheel, test your aim at the shooting gallery or visit the Home Arts Building to see if you agree with the judges' blue ribbon choices.

The bratwurst's steaming, the accordion's jamming and the tap's open at Tempe's annual Four Peaks Oktoberfest . Knockwurst and potato latkes are on the menu, and so is your favorite brew. Sitting is verboten, so boogie to an R&B band, feel irie with a reggae outfit or oompah into the night with polka players.

In December, more than 3.5 million lights transform the Phoenix Zoo into a twinkling holiday wonderland that’s one of the most magical things to do in Phoenix. ZooLights features fantastic creatures and light sculptures, including an 18-foot-long rattlesnake and a life-size talking giraffe. For holiday shopping, don't miss the Pueblo Grande Museum Indian Market , held on the museum grounds. One-of-a-kind crafts by more than 100 top artisans make perfect gifts for friends and family.

From late November to late December you can experience Christmas lights the old-fashioned way at the Desert Botanical Garden's Las Noches de las Luminarias . A Southwestern Christmas tradition, luminarias are sand-weighted paper bags holding a candle, and they're typically spaced along walkways and rooflines. In the botanical garden, thousands of luminarias light the paths and cast a radiant glow on beautiful desert flora. Stroll the garden and enjoy musical entertainment, and sip on a glass of wine or warm cider to keep the December chill at bay.

See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.

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Phoenix, AZ

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

2400 E Missouri Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85016

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The Camby, Autograph Collection

2401 E Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016

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Sheraton Crescent Hotel

2620 W Dunlap Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85021

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Travel Information

City Population

1,445,632

Elevation

1,117 ft.

Sales Tax

The statewide sales tax is 5.6 percent; an additional 2.3 percent is added in Phoenix and an additional 0.7 percent is added in Maricopa County. There is a hotel/motel tax of 12.57 percent. Rental cars incur a 15.1 percent tax, plus an 11.11 percent concession fee. There is a stadium tax of 3.25 percent. Airport parking includes a daily surcharge of $4.50.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(602) 262-6151

Hospitals

Banner Estrella Medical Center, (623) 327-4000; Banner—University Medical Center, (602) 839-2000; Maricopa Integrated Health System, (602) 344-5011; St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, (844) 369-5479.

Visitor Information

125 N. 2nd St., Suite 120 Phoenix, AZ 85004. Phone:(602)254-6500 or (877)225-5749

Air Travel

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Rental Cars

At the airport, Hertz, (602) 267-8822 or (800) 654-3131, offers discounts to AAA members.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc. has terminals at 2115 E. Buckeye Rd., (602) 389-4200, and 2647 W. Glendale Ave., (602) 246-0907 or (800) 231-2222.

Taxis

Taxi companies serving the greater Phoenix area include Yellow Cab, (480) 888-8888; Discount Cab, (602) 200-2000; and VIP Taxi, (602) 300-3000.

Public Transportation

Valley METRO Light Rail connects downtown Phoenix to the neighboring communities of Tempe and Mesa. To reach Sky Harbor International Airport, get off at the station at 44th and Washington streets. From there, the free PHX Sky Train connects to the East Economy parking area and Terminals 3 and 4. At Terminal 4, shuttle buses provide transportation to Terminals 2 and 3.

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