The setting sun enhances the majesty of these canyons in Sedona, about a two-hour drive north of Phoenix
Like the phoenix of ancient mythology, Arizona's capital city of Phoenix rose from its own ashes——in this case, the ruins of an ancient Indian village. The name Phoenix, given to the city by an early settler from Britain, has proven apt. Rising from the dust of the desert, this city has become one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.
Though the city has had its economic ups and downs, the Phoenix metropolitan area, often referred to as the Valley of the Sun, is currently booming. The Camelback Corridor, which leads through north-central Phoenix, has become the heartland of the city and shiny glass office towers keep pushing up toward the desert sky. This burgeoning（增长迅速的，发展很快的）stretch of road has also become a corridor of upscale（高档的）restaurants and shopping plazas（市场；购物中心）, anchored （原意是抛锚使船停泊，使固定） by the Biltmore Fashion Park, the city's temple of high-end consumerism. Today Phoenicians are flocking to （涌向）this area both for work and play.
Even downtown Phoenix, long abandoned as simply a place to work, is taking on a radically new look of late. Two new museums——the Phoenix Museum of History and the Arizona Science Center——have been built adjacent to（邻近）historic Heritage Square, and the Phoenix Museum of Art has undergone a major renovation and expansion. However, the biggest project in downtown Phoenix in recent years was the construction of the Bank One Ballpark, a covered baseball stadium with a retractable（可来回收缩的）roof.
Beauty in the Arizona desert
Throughout the metropolitan area the population is growing at such a rapid pace that an alarm has been raised: Slow down before we become another Los Angeles! Why the phenomenal growth? In large part it's due to the climate. More than 300 days of sunshine a year is a powerful attraction. Sure, summers are hot, but the mountains——and cooler air——are only 2 hours away. And it's in the winter that the Valley of the Sun truly shines. While most of the country is frozen solid, the valley is sunny and warm. This great winter climate has helped make this area the resort（常去的休闲度假之处）capital of the United States.
Golf and tennis are only the tip of the iceberg (so to speak). With the cooler winter weather comes the cultural season, and between Phoenix and the neighboring cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, and Mesa, there's an impressive array of（一系列；大量）music, dance, and theater to be enjoyed. Scottsdale is also well known as a center of the visual arts, ranking only behind New York and Santa Fe in its concentration of art galleries.
Over the years, Phoenix has both enjoyed the benefits and suffered the problems of rapid urban growth. It has gone from tiny agricultural village to sprawling（迅速拓展的）cosmopolitan metropolis in little more than a century. Along the way it has lost its past amid urban sprawl and unchecked development; at the same time, it has forged a city that's quintessentially（典型地，标准地）20th-century American. Shopping malls, the gathering places of America, are raised to an art form in Phoenix. Luxurious resorts create fantasy worlds of waterfalls and swimming pools. Wide boulevards（大马路）stretch（延伸）for miles across land that was once desert but has been made green through irrigation. Perhaps it's this willingness to create a new world on top of an old one that attracts people to Phoenix. Then again, maybe it's just all that sunshine.