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Peoria

Trip Planner USA  /  Arizona  /  Central Arizona  /  Peoria
(3.9/5 based on 900+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: fun & games, nightlife, golf
Peoria is a city in Maricopa and Yavapai counties in the State of Arizona. Most of the city is located in Maricopa County, while a tiny portion in the north is in Yavapai County. It is a major suburb of Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau releases, the population of the city is 154,065. Peoria is currently the sixth largest city in Arizona for land area, and the ninth largest for population. It was named after Peoria, Illinois. (The word peoria is a corruption of the Illini word for “prairie fire”.) Peoria is now larger in population than its namesake. It is the spring training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners who share the Peoria Sports Complex. In July 2008, Money magazine listed Peoria in its "Top 100 Places to Live".HistoryInitial settlementPeoria sits on flat gently sloping desert terrain in the Salt River Valley, and extends into the foothills of the mountains to the north. Seasonal rainfall and runoff from mountain snowmelt filled the Salt River, at times flooding the valley and wiping out months of backbreaking labor. If the area was to become habitable and productive all year, the cycle of flood and drought had to be replaced with a reliable supply of water that could be controlled year-round. The pioneers turned to irrigation. In 1868 John W. “Jack” Swilling organized a group of men to dig the first modern irrigation ditch in the Salt River Valley. Their success enticed more people to settle in the area and reap the benefits of a revitalized irrigation system.
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