Phoenix, Arizona

The Spicy Chicken

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The Area

As was noted in the workstyle section the Phoenix metropolitan area, known as the Valley by locals, includes Scottsdale, which is just a few miles from downtown. It also includes the city of Mesa, which at over 500k in population, is no slouch itself. The suburban cities of Glendale, Peoria, Tempe, and the aforementioned Scottsdale are all 200k+ populations making “the Valley” a booming metropolis.

Most of the area gets around by car but there is a light rail system, called the METRO Light Rail, that runs 20 miles from Mesa, through Tempe and into Phoenix. The line connects these three downtowns, the major Phoenix airport and two of the four metro area campuses of Arizona State. It ain’t much by New York standards but there are expansions in the planning and construction stages so expect the public transport scene to improve here.

Downtown

Young Professionals

As with most cities, Downtown Phoenix is the starting point for young professionals looking for a place to live. It sits right next to the financial and business districts so you can walk to work but perhaps even more importantly it’s where the greatest concentration of bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and rental properties sit. Neighborhoods that border the downtown area, and so get the walkscore benefits, but without some of the density, include Encanto and Camelback East. Both have their own commercial districts for more casual nights out, but they also have quick access to downtown nightlife but have the benefits of not only reasonably priced apartments but also single-family homes.

  • Downtown Phoenix
  • Encanto Village
  • Camelback East Village

Estrella

Young Families

One of the most popular neighborhoods for families getting started is Estrella. Just 20 minutes from downtown it has newer subdivisions with great homes at very low purchase or rental prices. It also has a robust commercial district for restaurants and shopping. It also is home to the Tres Rios Wetlands, a 700- acre reclamation project that offers free outdoor exploration for you and the little ones.

  • Estrella
  • North Gateway
  • South Mountain

Ahwatukee Foothills

Established Families

Established Families:
One of the most highly rated neighborhoods for families in Phoenix is Ahwatukee Foothills. Located on the southernmost border of Phoenix in the foothills of South Mountain Park and Preserve it has the highest rated public schools in the area and beautiful shaded homes and blocks for kids to play. The immediate proximity to 16,000 acres of parkland with trails for hiking and horseback riding don’t hurt either. Paradise Valley Village is another great option for those with the $ for a bigger home and more of a country club lifestyle. It sits near Old Town Scottsdale, which has a jumping social scene, but has a small town feel with its own police and fire departments. We should finally note that Encanto, which has great options for young professionals, also has a historic district that has great big beautiful homes for those who crave the manor but want to be in a more dense urban district.

  • Ahwatukee Foothills
  • Paradise Valley Village
  • Encanto Historic District
  • Desert View
  • Deer Valley
  • Arcadia

Sun City

Retirees/Empty Nesters

The Phoenix area, it probably goes without saying, is one of the most popular locations for retirees, empty nesters and snowbirds in the country. This includes quiet neighborhoods in the city that satisfy the peaceful part of the equation. It also includes vast developments like Sun City that are outside the city limits but serve the needs of those looking to live near the city. Sun City is the original 55+ community and while it is not a gated resort like some it has a self-contained neighborhood feel that attracts full-time retirees and snowbirds. Sun City, like many of these resorts has its own pools, rec centers, restaurants, event center, banks, & shopping, all reachable by golf-cart. If you’re looking for this lifestyle then the Phoenix area should be on your list.

  • Sun City
  • Sun Lakes
  • PebbleCreek
  • Trilogy at Verde River
  • Victory in Verrado