Getting to Phoenix and Around
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (3400 E. Sky Harbor Blvd., 602/273-3300, www.phxskyharbor.com) is a major regional hub for national and international flights. Tempe-based US Airways (800/428-4322, www.usairways.com) is the hometown airline, but more than 20 carriers fly to Sky Harbor’s terminals 2, 3, and 4, including British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines. Shuttles connect the three terminals, as well as parking lots, the Rental Car Center, and the light rail’s 44th Street stop.
You’ll need a vehicle to get around Phoenix, especially if you plan to explore the Valley of the Sun’s diverse attractions scattered around the city. Take the free shuttle from any of the terminals to the Rental Car Center (1805 E. Sky Harbor Circle, 602/683-3741). You’ll find major companies, like Budget (602/267-4000, www.budget.com), Hertz (602/267-8822, www.hertz.com), and Enterprise (602/489-6898), which has convenient drop-off centers around Phoenix and Scottsdale and offers free pickup service. It can be hard to find a gas station near the rental car center, so be sure to fill up before returning your vehicle.
Limos, Shuttles, and Taxis
Join a shared-van ride to your resort or hotel with the reliable SuperShuttle (602/232-4610, www.supershuttle.com). Its bright blue vans are easy to spot at each of Sky Harbor’s terminals.
AAA Sedans (602/454-7433) has a fleet of town cars that can ferry you to downtown Phoenix for about $50, plus tip. Desert Knights Sedans & Limousines (480/348-0600, www.desertknights.com) provides taxis, sedans, limos, and luxury minibuses, which can be a practical option for families or groups.
Also, you can grab a taxi at Sky Harbor with one of three contracted companies: AAA Cab (602/437-4000), AllState (602/275-8888), and Discount (602/266-1110). And if you want to hit the town at night, try Courier Cab (602/232-2222).
The Valley’s 20-mile light-rail system opened in December 2008, and it has proven to be popular with commuters, bar-hoppers, and visitors alike. Trains wend from 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix, through downtown and Tempe’s Mill Avenue, before ending one mile into Mesa. It stops at many of the city’s most popular attractions, including the Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum, the Phoenix Convention Center, and Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.
Trains run daily, every 10 to 20 minutes. The last full trip begins at 11 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday nights, the hours are extended to 2 a.m. Fares start at $1.75 for a one-ride trip, and multi-ride passes are available.
The Valley Metro (602/262-7433, www.valleymetro.org) public transportation network connects the entire Phoenix metropolitan area. In addition to the light-rail line, its buses run throughout the city. Visit the website for a comprehensive schedule, map, and fares.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition