Because Washington D.C. and Phoenix are capital cities, there are many cultural activities available in both. As a suburb of Washington D.C., Silver Spring residents have easy access to sites such as the national museums--the Smithsonian Institute, the Air and Space Museum, and the National Gallery of Art. One can also visit the Capitol, the White House, the Vietnam Memorial and many other monuments. Phoenix similarly has many fascinating attractions. The Heard Museum houses exhibits reflecting Native American culture, and the Phoenix Art Museum--which has a remarkable collection-also hosts visiting exhibits. Other cultural attractions not to miss include the Arizona Science Museum and the Phoenix Zoo. But it isn't only the cultural activities that Silver Spring and Phoenix have in common; both states offer plentiful sites of natural beauty as well. Washington D.C. is a beautiful city in itself with its key landmarks creating a memorable skyline, especially at night. While Maryland also has a beautiful coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay offers its own charms. In western Maryland, the Appalachian Mountains provide ample beauty for its hikers and skiers. Even though Maryland has a variety of natural highlights, no state can compete with Arizona's jewel, the Grand Canyon. Less than a day's drive from Phoenix, the Grand Canyon is a majestic sight. Not only are the Canyon's depth and width simply breathtaking, the layered colors lining its walls are even more stunning. Throw in the bright azure sky and the vista is almost overwhelming. Sedona is another beautiful site in Arizona, offering its own awesome red-rock canyons and scenic vistas. And for the outdoors types, there's skiing in the mountains of Flagstaff and boating and fishing in the numerous lakes throughout the state.
There's no question that Silver Spring and Phoenix are both diverse, yet similar. Maryland's cold winter and hot summers are unpleasant, but the spring and fall make up for them. Yes, it is HOT in Phoenix in the summer, but the mild weather the rest of the year makes the three long summer months worth it. Both cities offer numerous cultural opportunities due to being near state capitals. Although they are a country apart, they have common qualities that make them similar. Both are fine places to live, and at the very least, intriguing places to visit.