They don't call it Central Avenue for nothing: As metro Phoenix sprawls endlessly every which way, the thoroughfare continues to mark the boundary between the east and west sides of town. And a drive from its northern terminus to the southern end (or vice versa) provides a vibrant look at the heart of the city. You can start in Sunnyslope, where Central dead-ends near North Mountain Park. Take it south and admire the historic, upscale neighborhoods that line Central from Northern to Missouri avenues. This section boasts the historic Murphy's Bridle Path; no longer used by horses and the people who ride them, the tree-lined path is often filled with pedestrians out for a little fresh air. Head a little farther south, and you're into central Phoenix proper. Check out Midcentury Modern architectural gems such as the Phoenix Financial Center, stop for a bite at popular eateries including Clever Koi and Forno 301, or get some culture at the Heard Museum or Phoenix Art Museum. Keep going, and you'll cross the trendy Roosevelt Row arts district before finding yourself entangled in the mess that is downtown Phoenix construction (a low point on our tour while the streets are still torn up). Make it through downtown, and you're now in south Phoenix, where the buildings are shorter and you'll see much more Spanish on the signs of the businesses. This stretch of Central has its fair share of work going on (they're building a new section of the Valley Metro Light Rail), so consider pulling over for some shopping or a meal to support the local businesses who have seen their revenues drop because of the construction mess. Finally, just as it began at a mountain, Central Avenue ends in South Mountain Park. Pull over to stretch your legs and contemplate the slice of urban Phoenix life you've just experienced.