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Phoenix on a budget: New rail line, hikes, golf

People wait in line for a table at Matt's Big Breakfast (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

[Source: Terry Tang, Associated Press, reprinted in the San Jose Mercury News] — In Phoenix, there’s nothing a trip to the golf course can’t fix.  It’s a warm winter escape for those who can afford a second home, and it basks in the spa-facial glow of being a place where people will pay a lot for five-star fun.  But for those with shallow pockets, the Valley of the Sun has budget-friendly options mixing an urban identity with access to nature.  It’s not every big city where you can scale a mountain, sample authentic Mexican food, and take in a free art show — all in one day. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]