Bobby: 111 degrees?! Phoenix really can't be that hot, can it? Oh my God, it's like standing on the sun!
Peggy: This city should not exist. It is a monument to man's arrogance.Arizona, the 48th and last state admitted in the contiguous United States, celebrated its centennial in 2012. It's best known for having the Grand Canyon, the Saguaro cactus and the Sonoran desert, and plenty of other noteworthy attractions. And for being really hot. Really, really, really hot. The Grand Canyon state offers unique interesting subjects seen nowhere else in the United States or the rest of the Earth. First, let's start off by explaining the significance of this state. Arizona, given its stereotypical desert image, may not for some be very fascinating like the neighboring state of California. But Arizona is not a place with nothing at all. Its capital, Phoenix, is already the fifth largest city in the United States, and it's the biggest capital overall.note The mining industry fuels commercial growth throughout the state, where the predominant mineral extracted is copper, earning the state the nickname "the Copper state". Although as copper has declined, the real economic powerhouse has increasingly become real estate. Arizona is also known as a major state for retirees to move to so they can avoid winters in the Midwest or Northeast of the United States and much of Arizona's tourism industry caters to them. Speaking of the natural features, the Grand Canyon is among the biggest canyons in the world, being 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide. Also of note, the state of Arizona has had one ship of the United States Navy named in its honor, the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39). If you've ever seen footage of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, you have likely seen footage of the Arizona's forward magazine exploding, resulting in the loss of the ship and 1,177 of her crew. The ship itself has a Grey's Anatomy character (Dr Arizona Robbins) named for her. And so here are some towns and cities:
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- Colorado City (formerly Short Creek): On the Utah border and north of the Grand Canyon, synonymous with the fundamentalist/polygamist Mormon sects there. Where the Warren Jeffs clan was based before the move to Texas. Also in 1953 the Governor set a armed raid to break up the polygamists but ended up in a PR disaster.
- Flagstaff: Largest city in northern Arizona. Best known as one of the cities in the country with the most days of sunshine, despite not being in a desert. Also known as one of the country's snowiest cities, thanks mainly to its elevation of over 6,900 feet (2,100 m), lifting it above the desert climate that prevails in the region. The location of Northern Arizona University. Route 66 crosses the city. For some reason it doesn't have the state hockey team. Does have the historic and classic Hollywood favorite Hotel Monte Vista.
- Holbrook: Town founded along with the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (acquired by the Santa Fe railway; now BNSF Railway). A Route 66 town, it's situated close to Petrified Forest State Park.
- Kingman: County seat of Mohave County, which is the county in the northwestern section of Arizona. Also had Route 66.
- Page: Situated near Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell by the northern Utah border.
- Seligman: A town located at what is called the heart of Route 66. Has been used as a reference for Radiator Springs from the Cars films.
- Williams: A town that relies on tourism based on its Route 66 heritage and being a gateway to the Grand Canyon. The popular train ride attraction to the Grand Canyon's South Rim begins in Williams.
- Window Rock: The capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory controlled by a Native American tribe.
- Winslow: Another one of the Route 66 towns, it has a majestic railroad station hotel, and fame from The Eagles' song "Take it Easy". Gateway to Meteor Crater, its most famous attraction.
- Camp Verde: Has the largest Kokopelli (Native American fertility deity) statue. Mentioned in Paul.
- Casa Grande: A city located in a fast-growing area between Phoenix and Tucson. It shares its name with a set of Native American ruins in nearby Coolidge.
- Coolidge: Home of the ruins mentioned above. Named after the 30th president Calvin Coolidge.
- Cottonwood: A town that's southwest of Sedona.
- Payson: This town is close to the geographical center of Arizona and the Mogollon Rim, hence the use of "Rim Country" in some businesses.
- Prescott: Former capital of Arizona, this city's downtown is very historical, having some buildings dating from the 19th century. Alan Dean Foster lives here. The locals call it "Press-kitt."
- Sedona: A small city famous for the bright red rocky landscapes surrounding it. It has a small but thriving community of New Agers.
- Wickenburg: A large town which touts itself as the Dude Ranch capital of the world. Still strives today as an Old West themed town.
There's a reason this area of the state is called the Valley of the Sun: It experiences most of the high temperatures in the state, particularly during summer (the highest temperature ever recorded in Phoenix was something like 128º Fahrenheit —just over 53° Celsius). Contrary to time-worn assertions of out-of-state retirees who come to avoid harsh winters that "at least it's a dry heat", Phoenix and its surrounding cities usually experience a few weeks of humidity during the annual monsoon season. Probably of note is that local residents frequently distinguish between the East and West Sides of the Valley; the East Side is generally seen as tonier, cleaner, less disreputable, and also wimpier than the West Side, largely thanks to the East Side having Scottsdale, Chandler, and Mesa (q.v. all below).
- Phoenix: The capital and principal city of the state. The home court of the NBA Phoenix Suns (US Airways Center) and the home field of the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Fieldnote ) are both located downtown. The Sky Harbor International Airport is east-southeast of downtown.
- Avondale: Location of the Phoenix International Raceway, despite not directly located on Phoenix.
- Buckeye: Westernmost city in the Phoenix metropolitan area, which currently sees the fastest growth rates in the area. Upton Sinclair of The Jungle fame lived here in one of his last years.
- Chandler: A city in the southeast part of the area that is home to most of the area's technology development industries.
- Gilbert: Largest incorporated town by population in the United States. Its population in 2016 was around 237,000, just behind Chandler (around 247,000), which is a city.
- Glendale: The city that's currently home to the NFL Cardinals and NHL Coyotes. The Cardinals' stadium hosted the 2015 Super Bowl and 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship. Don't ask why a desert city has a hockey team.
- Goodyear: Named from the Goodyear company (yes, that tire company), where they established cotton farms for their tires. Don't remind them of that.
- Guadalupe: Nestled in between Tempe and southeast Phoenix. Founded in 1900 by Yaqui Indians fleeing persecution in Mexico, it remains a small ethnic enclave of working-class laborers and lower-middle-class commuters, proudly branding itself as the meeting place of three cultures — Indians, Hispanics, and working-class whites. Many jokes have been made at the expense of East Siders who point to Guadalupe as proof that they have a "bad part of town", too.
- Maricopa: The southernmost city in the area, about fifteen miles away from the "body" of the metro area. Sometimes known for having the only Amtrak station in the area. To the east for several miles is the site of a former Japanese American internment camp.
- Mesa: Founded by Latter-Day Saints in the 19th century, this city contains most of the Valley's LDS population, including a Mormon temple (renowned for its outdoor Easter pageant and its Christmas-season display of lights). It's famous for serving as the spring-training base of both the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics. Has its own small but vibrant music scene (thanks largely to being Tempe's next-door neighbor), having produced two nationally known bands in recent years, Jimmy Eat World and Authority Zero.
- Paradise Valley: A small community located in rocky hill territory between Phoenix and Scottsdale. Site of some of the most envied views and expensive real estate in the Valley (most of the famous people with homes in the Valley live here, making it a sort of Beverly Hills of Arizona), and home to no less than eight resort hotels.
- Peoria: Site of the Luke Air Force Base. One of the dominant cities in the northwest part of the area.
- Scottsdale: An affluent city located northeast of Phoenix filled with nightlife amenities. It's the Arizona version of South Beach, or the Bel Air to Paradise Valley's Beverly Hills.
- Surprise: A city in the northwest corner of the Phoenix area. It's a winter training place for two Major League Baseball teams.
- Tempe: Home of Arizona State University's primary campus, as well as US Airways and the aforementioned university's Sun Devils sports teams. Birthplace of the nationwide ice cream chain Cold Stone Creamery. Acknowledged as one of the central axes of the Valley's music scene, and politically the farthest-left of any city in the Phoenix area.
- Bullhead City: Located by the Colorado River, this small city hosts the annual River Regatta event, and is across the river from the casino strip of Laughlin, Nevada.
- Lake Havasu City: City in western Arizona on the Colorado River. Best known for the Lake Havasu boating scene, and the London Bridge, which was transported piece-by-piece from London.
- Parker: A town on the Colorado River. Home of one of the deepest dams in the world, which is front of Lake Havasu. No one is sure to pick who is the namesake of the town, since there's either Ely Parker, first Native American commissioner for the nation's government, or Earl Parker, a railroad surveyor and engineer.
- Poston: A tiny town 15 miles south of Parker, known for having one of the largest Japanese American internment camps that operated during World War 2.
- Quartzsite: A town along Interstate 10 notable for having a huge number of winter residents between November and Spring in every year. These residents are usually from the northern states or Canada. This period is when Quartzsite hosts flea markets and gem shows from its winter residents.
- San Luis: The town containing a border entrance to Mexico from the Yuma Valley, and the most geographically southwest community of the state.
- Yuma: A small city along the Colorado River near the state's southwest corner. Mostly sunny all year as well. There is an agriculture industry that produces winter vegetables for the U.S., but it couldn't resist the city from one of the highest rates of metro unemployment in the country, unfortunately.
- Tucson: Largest city in southern Arizona and the oldest incorporated city in the state, which is 100 miles southeast of Phoenix. Home to the University of Arizona's campus. It has a aircraft boneyard in the Davis–Monthan Air Force Base, and many companies that develops optics here. A bit more left in politics than the Phoenix area.
- Ajo: This remote town between Gila Bend and the Mexican border has an inactive copper mine.
- Benson: A former Southern Pacific railroad town. Considered to be a gateway to the Kartchner Caverns State Park.
- Bisbee: A town located near the southeast corner of the state. It has well preserved mining scenes from the past, and is built largely on the walls of a canyon, making for many winding roads and a lot of stairs. Come for the scenic vistas, stay for the cardio.
- Bowie: A town along Interstate 10 near the New Mexico border. This is the hometown of the main character in the Rambo franchise.
- Douglas: A town that's also located close to the southeast corner. Situated next to the Mexican border, it was used to be a smelting town with ore from Bisbee. One of the state's most famous hotels, the Gadsden Hotel, is in Douglas.
- Gila Bend: A town located southwest of Phoenix and east of Yuma.
- Nogales: A border town south of Tucson, and Arizona's main entry to Mexico, which accesses the state of Sonora. Interstate 19, the highway between Nogales and Tucson, is the only highway in the United States with distances provided in metric measurements.
- Sierra Vista: Another town in the southeast corner of the state and one of the largest there, it primarily serves Fort Huachuca to the northwest, and thus combined with its proximity to the border is largely populated by military families, border patrol agents and their families, and retirees. Also a popular bird-watching destination, bearing the nickname "the Hummingbird Capital of the United States."
- Tombstone: Town that's best known for the quick gunfight in 1881 when Wyatt Earp and lawmen fought several outlaws at the O.K. Corral.
- Clifton: Town in eastern Arizona where a particularly ugly copper mine strike occurred in the early 1980s.
- Globe: The core city in a populated area called "Globe-Miami", which is adjacent to a copper mine and the Pinal Mountains.
- Snowflake: One of the few remaining towns that has a logging business in the state. The town's papermill shut down in 2012, causing a potential economic decline in the town and its railroad, the Apache Railway.
- Safford: An agricultural town that is a primary setting for the film Lost in America.
- Show Low: A town in the forests within the Mogollon Rim, a highland in eastern Arizona.
- Superior: Town where several films such as How the West Was Won and The Prophecy were filmed.