Phoenix is the largest, most populated, and capital city of the state of Arizona. It is the largest state capital, as well as 5th largest city in the nation, with an estimated population of 1,552,259 inhabitants in 2007. Phoenix is the major cultural, economical and financial center for the region it is located in. The airport is also a major transportation hub for the surrounding area.
The culture of Phoenix and its surrounding area is diverse and broad. There are several musix venues around Arizona, but they primarily converge in and around Phoenix. There has been a rapid growth in local arts since 2002, with such programs as The Artlink Program, and smaller theaters like Trunk Space and Space 55. Several museums are scattered about the city. The most well-known would be the Heard Museum, slightly north of the downtown area; it attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year.
Several sport franchises call Phoenix home. The Phoenix Suns (NBA) and the Phoenix Mercury (WNBA) both play at the US Airways Center. The Arizona Cardinals (NFL) moved to Arizona from St. Louis in 1988, and play at the Sun Devil Stadium of Arizona State University. The Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) have played at Chase Field since 1998. Other than the larger professional franchise teams, Arizona also hosts a variety of smaller league teams, such as the Arizona Rattlers (Arena Football). They also have a NHL team, the Phoenix Coyotes, and NASCAR auto racing events.
For those who do not wish to attend sporting events, the large number of parks and recreation areas should satisfy any outdoor recreation cravings. There are many waterparks in the area to counter the heat, as well as many nature parks to traverse.