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72 2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE retirement by Andrea Markowitz L ike the mythological bird for which it was named, Phoenix symbolizes renewal, and the Valley lives up to its name by revitalizing and replenishing mind, body and soul. The Valley boasts world- class resorts and day spas, eclectic shops, colorful galleries, fine museums, jazz clubs, concert halls, theaters, and restaurants that range from ethnic takeout to four- star elegance. For sports fans, Greater Phoenix boasts top professional football, hockey, baseball and basketball teams: the Cardinals, Coyotes, Diamondbacks and Suns. Scottsdale hosts the FBR Open golf tournament, Glendale hosts the Fiesta Bowl, and Avondale's Phoenix International Raceway presents NASCAR and Indy races. Recreation that rejuvenates Recreational activities abound, too. " The Valley of the Sun offers an active adult lifestyle and winter- free living for people who are looking for a great place to retire," said AARP Arizona Communications Director Cynthia Fagyas. " Communities throughout Greater Phoenix offer a variety of amenities like golf, tennis, community fitness centers and walking paths." Many communities are built with active lifestyles in mind, and some, like Shea Homes' Trilogy at Vistancia in Peoria, and Encanterra in Queen Creek, cater to affluent, boomer- age consumers who have no intention of slowing down. " Greater Phoenix is the ideal place for people who are ready to do everything BUT retire," said Hal Looney, Arizona-area president of Shea Homes Active Lifestyle Communities division. " What makes the Valley of the Sun so alluring is the active lifestyle it promotes — great weather and recreational opportunities, beautiful sunsets, unbelievable desert views and housing with everything right at your doorstep." Whether that doorstep leads to an apartment or condominium, a mobile, modest or luxury home, or an independent or assisted living facility, there is never a shortage of activities to enjoy. More than 200 golf courses and Sweet Dreams Greater Phoenix is the perfect place to enjoy the rewards of which retirement dreams are made PHOTOS: The Arizona Republic retirement