Phoenix Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Phoenix, Arizona - AZ, USA)
Once a tiny agricultural town, Phoenix is now a rapidly developing city of skyscrapers, resorts, SUV's and golf courses. Its cow town image is now reduced to marketing hype and visitors will now find life in Phoenix bursting with state-of-the-art sporting facilities and shiny office towers, excellent museums and art galleries, huge shopping malls with upmarket boutiques and a lively nightlife.
Yet despite all this, it's only a short drive from untouched mountains and the spectacular landscapes of the Sonoran Desert. Here are some handy Phoenix travel tips.
Tourism and Tourist Information
The main visitor center is the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau, which offers advice when planning your holiday and provides information on a comprehensive list of attractions as well as logistics such as opening times and admission costs.
Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau
Address: 400 East Van Buren Street, Suite 600, Phoenix, Arizona AZ, 85004, USA
Tel: +1 602 254 6500
Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau
Address: 4343 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona AZ, USA
Tel: +1 480 421 1004
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 18:30, Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 11:00 to 17:00
More than 300 languages are spoken in the USA, including over 170 that are indigenous to the area, with the most commonly spoken language in Phoenix being English. Many different ethnicities and nationalities are well represented in Phoenix and Arizona, with many other languages available for study in schools and local language centers.
A number of different types of visa available in America, with tourists traveling to Phoenix usually requiring a non-immigrant visa that permits temporary stay in Phoenix. Citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries are allowed to enter Phoenix and America without a visa if they can meet certain requirements. If you are applying for a visa before your arrival, it is worth applying well in advance as there can be delays on processing applications.
Several categories of non-immigrant visas are available to those wishing to work in Phoenix on a temporary basis. Working without a visa in Phoenix, Arizona and throughout America is against the law and there are harsh penalties for those who are caught breaking this law. People wishing to work here must apply for the relevant visa in their home country and usually need a letter from their prospective American employer, together with other documentation.
Tipping is common in Phoenix and is only required should you consider service to have been satisfactory. When in local restaurants, a 15 percent tip is standard, although it is worth noting whether there is a service charge already included in your bill. Bars in Phoenix differ slightly, with a tips tray at the counter where customers are expected to leave a dollar or two upon as they leave.
Taxes and Refunds
Most states in the US have a sales tax of between seven and eight percent on goods and services although some states have no tax at all. Phoenix tourists leaving America can only reclaim tax if the relevant working visa is held.
Smoking in Phoenix has changed dramatically in recent years and laws now restrict areas where people are permitted to smoke, including all methods of public transportation. Eateries are required to have non-smoking areas and cigarette advertising is banned from the television and radio. Sensible advice would be to check with those nearby before smoking in Phoenix, Arizona.