Submitted by Tiffany Luu, Development Operations Associate
Arizona will celebrate its 110th birthday on February 14th!
Known for its hot and dry desert climate, who would ever want to live here? You would be surprised — the state known for its daunting heat has grown exponentially in recent years. In fact, Arizona was ranked as the third-fastest growing state by the U.S. Census Bureau this past year. From 1991 to 2001, the population growth in metropolitan Phoenix increased by 45%.
Two of Arizona’s suburbs in the West Valley of Phoenix, Buckeye, and Goodyear, were the fastest-growing cities during the decade.
Besides the heat, Arizona is loved by its dwellers for its breathtaking landscapes year-round, providing amazing hiking and biking opportunities. The activities don’t stop there; the culture continues to grow across the state at unprecedented rates.
Here is a look at why I love Arizona.
Contrary to popular belief, Arizona boasts a diverse and beautiful landscape.
If you love to travel and be with nature, especially for its view, Arizona is home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. This natural wonder is carved by the Colorado River, displaying a colorful, billion-year history. We are also known for other iconic views, such as Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and the red rocks of Sedona. If you are an avid hiker or looking for an adventure, there are many outdoor trails and experiences, including rivers, lakes, and swimming holes that will not disappoint.
Arizona has a rich culture of Native American history.
Did you know that eight of the fifteen counties in Arizona are named after various tribes that reside here? To learn more about their history, culture, and language, you can visit the Heard Museum, where they have worked to develop professional relationships with American Indian tribes to advance Indigenous art. There are national monuments throughout Arizona celebrating Native American history, notably Montezuma Castle and Canyon de Chelly.
If you want to experience the Wild West, you have come to the right state!
Lost Dutchman State Park is located on the outskirts of Phoenix and is known for its authentic scenery of the West. In that area, a reconstructed ghost town offers a classic Western experience, complete with gunfights and the opportunity to pan for gold. Other notable cities to visit include Bisbee, which offers you a glimpse into Arizona’s frontier history influenced by the mining industry, and Tombstone, a town known for its prevalence of outlaws and the infamous gunfight at O.K. Corral.
Looking for places to eat?
As more people move to Arizona, the food scene diversifies, and new restaurant concepts emerge. Growing up in California, I was exposed to lots of tasty food, something I missed when living in Arizona. Now that I have spent more years living in Arizona than I did in California, it has been refreshing to see the food scene expand in Arizona. A lot of Asian-inspired restaurants and dessert stores have made their way to Arizona – Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Indian – you name it, we have it!
I do also love some good Latin food, especially Mexican dishes. In Phoenix, La Santisima is a personal favorite for its creative tacos, rice and beans, and salsa bar. If you make your way south to Tucson, I love a good Sonoran hotdog packed with bacon. Other personal favorites from Tucson include Guadalajara Grill and El Charro.
There is no surprise that Arizona’s anniversary falls on Valentine’s Day—it is a beautiful state to be in! Happy 110th to state 48!