Why Is Phoenix, Arizona Known As The Valley Of The Sun?

Sunrise over the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix is both the capital and the most populated city of Arizona, has an area of about 518.90 square miles and a population of about 1.6 million people. Interestingly, among all the state capitals of the US states, Phoenix is the only one with a population of at least one million people. The history of the city of Phoenix goes all the way back to 1881, which is the year it was incorporated as a city. Over the years, Phoenix has developed a number of nicknames such as the “Valley of the Sun.”

The Valley of the Sun

This name is mostly associated with the Greater Phoenix Area (not just the city proper), especially in relation to the tourism sector. The name emerged in the 1930s during a time when the authorities were avidly marketing the tourism sector. This name is descriptive as it depicts the climate of the region. Lying in the Sonoran Desert, the city of Phoenix is extremely sunny and receives little rainfall in a year. Aside from that, the name also comes from the valley in which the city lies, that is, the Salt River Valley.

Climate of Phoenix

According to the Köppen climate classification system, the city has a hot desert climate. The summers are extremely long and hot while winters are short and mild or warm. In a year, it receives at least 3,500 hours of bright sunshine, one of the highest in the world. In addition, Phoenix experiences sunshine for around 300 days of the 365 in a year. Naturally, the temperature is equally high with at least 100 days in a year having a high temperature of at least 100 °F. Most of these days fall between May and October. The highest temperature ever recorded was 122 °F back in June 1990. In a year, the rainfall received in Phoenix ranges from 4 to 12 inches and an annual average of only 8 inches, which is smaller than the national average of 36 inches. Some other regions in Arizona get higher rainfall than Phoenix, especially those in higher elevations. 

The Tourism Sector In Phoenix

Unsurprisingly, the tourism sector in Phoenix has a long history going all the way back to the 1920s. Today, Phoenix is a top destination for visitors from all around the country. It has at least 62,000 hotel rooms in more than 500 hotels and at least 40 resorts. Estimates place the number of visitors at more than 16 million every year.


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