Back in 2014, USA Today named downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row as one of the top ten art walks in the country. If you’ve never been to a First Friday, you may not realize that it’s become one of the nation’s largest self-guided art walks, and over the past few years, the area has become home to several new galleries, boutiques and restaurants, with more being added almost on a monthly basis.
For years, city officials and leaders in the downtown community have worked hard to transform the atmosphere and the reputation of downtown Phoenix into a destination for students, residents and professionals. The day has come when downtown is not just where you went for a baseball game and then left as quickly as possible. Especially on First Friday, thousands of college students, families, tourists and art lovers from all around Arizona come down to Roosevelt Street to be a part of the festivities.
The art walk is centered on Roosevelt Street just West of 7th street, with 5th street playing a major role. On top of the galleries, there’s also an Arts Market on Roosevelt that’s occupied by several vendors and food trucks as well as musicians, dancers and street performers. Another great aspect is that the whole thing is light rail adjacent, so you can catch the train to the Roosevelt stop and then walk East until you see the massive crowd of people. After taking in the sights, you also have several dining options, both on Roosevelt and close by.
No longer a “No Man’s Land,” downtown Phoenix is undergoing a rapid transformation and developers are flocking to the area with plans for thousands of housing units to be built in the next few years, and shops, restaurants and bars are tagging along for the ride. If you’ve never explored this mecca for local art and festivities, grab your walking shoes and head out for #PHXFridays. (Contrary to popular belief, downtown is definitely not ovah!)