t Cityscape of downtown Phoenix against a mountain backdrop at dusk
Experience Phoenix and Southern Arizona
The land in Southern Arizona was first farmed around 400 BC by the Hohokam people, who carefully used the meager water supplies to irrigate their crops. When the Spanish settled here in the 18th century, they built fortified outposts throughout the region. This Hispanic heritage is recalled by the beautiful mission churches of San Xavier del Bac and Tumacácori, and in the popular historic city of Tucson, which grew up around the 1776 Spanish fort.
When silver was discovered nearby in the 1870s, the scene was set for a decade of rowdy frontier life. Today, towns such as Tombstone, famous for the Gunfight at the OK Corral, re-create this Wild-West era. The influx of miners also spurred the growth of Phoenix, a farming town established on the banks of the Salt River in the 1860s. Phoenix is now the largest city in the Southwest, known for its warm winter climate and recreational attractions.