Resorts, spas, golf and shopping are here at this gateway to the Grand Canyon.

The state capital of Arizona, Phoenix, lies in the valley of the Salt River in a basin known as the Valley of the Sun. With warm weather year-round and plenty of cultural attractions, it’s easy to see why tourism plays a major role in this city’s economy.

Papago Park presents a full-day of fun: scope colorful cacti at the Desert Botanical Garden, observe animals at the Phoenix Zoo, and explore the park’s many fishing lagoons, cycling paths, and nature trails. South Mountain Park, the largest city park in the nation, is a must-stop for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. On the cultural side, visit the Heard Museum for an in-depth look at Native American history or stop by the Phoenix Museum of Art.

Sports enthusiasts can always catch a game in Phoenix, which is home to five professional teams. The city also hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the most popular tournament on the PGA Tour by attendance. Visit in February or November to catch a glimpse at your favorite driver as NASCAR whips into town.