You know you live in Phoenix when the four seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and are you freakin' kidding me. -Unknown
The Best Thing About Phoenix?
Making Hay While The Sun Shines
300 days of sunshine a year make it the sunniest major city in the country. While some of those days are obscenely toasty the great majority are just plain nice. Which makes it hard to not enjoy being outside hiking, or biking, or outdoor yoga, or poolside cocktails, or whatever it is people do when it is nice out all the time. If you like a casual lifestyle of shorts and t-shirt this is going to be your nirvana.
Here's a local on the weather and outdoor culture:
LIKES: weather is awesome in general .. take away the 4 months where summer is brutal and most people would rather take it over the alternative plus driving distance to snow
Things to do… MANY places to hike, skiing/snowboarding in the winter up north, down south and to the east.. various lakes around the state.. closest beach from the Phoenix area is in Mexico but driving distance to California.. plenty of casinos here but if you wanna go big then Las Vegas is driving distance as well
For more reviews of Phoenix from locals check out: The Buzz
The Worst Thing About Phoenix?
All the boom Phoenix experienced had to end up somewhere. People come here in part for the same reason people have been coming west for hundreds of years: lots of space. Which means that as far as the eye can see the homes and commercial strips stretch out into the dessert. Phoenix lacks green, and trees, and many tall buildings so this sprawl is visually striking and detracts from the sense of Phoenix having character.
Here's a local on the sprawl issue in Phoenix:
The sprawl is utterly depressing and it’s a horribly boring and bland city. The “downtown” area feels like a mid 2000s open world game - utterly nondescript copy and pasted buildings and almost no one around. Not to mention the city is an absolute environmental disaster. And once you get past all of that, hey, it’s only absolutely miserable to live in Phoenix like 6 months out of the year.
Lifestyle Of Phoenix
Like most sunbelt cities, Phoenix is a mix of: retirees/snowbirds, families who flocked here for inexpensive housing, young professionals from throughout the southwest looking for a lively city, and finally work-from-home refugees from more expensive cities.
What all these populations have in common first and foremost is an appreciation for the outdoors. If you live here you’re going to spend most of the year hiking, camping, golfing, biking, running, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing or any other activity that takes advantage of the weather or helps you get cool relief from the weather.
If you’re looking for something to do after you finish your hike or swim, then expect to enjoy a massive outdoor culture of rooftop bars and beer gardens. That is the Phoenix lifestyle. Play outdoors during the day, and have a cocktail and fine meal outdoors at night. This is how they roll here.
If you want to see what's happening in Phoenix check out the calendar of events: https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/phoenix/Event
Workstyle Of Phoenix
Phoenix has a small number of Fortune 500 companies relative to its size but with wfh on the rise that’s likely increasingly irrelevant. Where Phoenix excels is in the small business community. Consider the costs of starting and running a small business in NYC or San Francisco v. Phoenix and it is easy to understand why Phoenix was the fastest growing city in the U.S. between 2010 and 2020. Neighboring Scottsdale is home to a big percentage of the Arizona tech businesses so if you don’t mind a small commute that could be your huckleberry.
While there isn’t much venture capital here there is tons of human capital that appreciates the low tax rate and inexpensive real estate. Generally the population here works in mid-pay to low-pay service jobs and now increasingly a side-hustle lifestyle. The low cost-of-living makes all of this possible where you can feel like you’re drowning in other parts of the country. One oddity to the Phoenix job market is the large volume of call-center jobs available here. The lack of natural disasters that would force a closure, the low cost of land/office space for housing lots of cost-center workers, and the neutral accent of most of the locals seems to pull in the business.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Take Down Your Temp
Even though Phoenix has boomed it remains an extremely inexpensive option for a big city. Much of the stress that goes with trying to slug it out in one of the other big cities comes down here. The economy is good, the cost of living is low, there are no city taxes, and the lifestyle is healthy. That makes it perfect for youngsters looking for an inexpensive place to get a start or raise a family, and ideal for empty nesters or retirees looking to stretch a relatively fixed buck.