Known for its warm climate and beautiful desert landscape, Arizona has long been considered a great place for vacation. But it’s also a great place to live because of median income, safety, graduation rates, weather, and cultural offerings. Ten best places to live in Arizona:
10. Catalina Foothills
With fresh air, a beautiful mountain view and low crime rate, Catalina Foothills is a great place to retire. With a population of just above 50,000, the city is large enough to contain all the necessary amenities, but not so big that you’ll be stuck in traffic. The neighborhoods are primarily suburban with plenty of parks, excellent restaurants, and bars nearby for you to enjoy in your time off. In the summer, Mount Lemmon is a cool retreat from the stifling heat of the valley floor, and in winter offers excellent snow skiing an hour from poolside. The school districts are also highly rated in the area, and it does indicate that you’ll be living in a very nice area with low crime rates and excellent amenities.
9. Sun City and Sun City West
Sun City and its sister city Sun City West have high populations of retirement communities. The tax burden (16%) is much lower in these areas than the rest of the city, which means you can enjoy golf, social clubs, and other amenities of a retirement community without the high taxes. In Sun City there are a lot of parks. The public schools in Sun City are above average. Healthcare and utility costs are on par with the national average. The overall climate is fairly dry, with an average of only one or two days of precipitation per month each year.
Flagstaff offers an ideal, scenic environment for living and learning. Students make up a large part of that number. Flagstaff’s bustling economy now centers on education through Northern Arizona University, science research at the United States Geographical Survey, and tourism due to its proximity to the Grand Canyon, which is an hour drive north. Also, during the late spring, summer, and early fall, you’ll often find festivals going on downtown or at one of several parks in the area. With a four-season climate and dynamic landscapes, you’ll discover outdoor adventures unlike anywhere else in Arizona.
Tempe has the most convenient location; it’s very close to the most desirable cities. The cost of living is decent compared to the surrounding cities. This city is safe and a fun city for retirees. With lots of restaurants, coffee shops, and parks, you will always have something new to try here. Many of the buildings located downtown are listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Tempe is also home to Arizona State University, recognized as the #1 university in the United States for innovation. With a low unemployment rate of 3.4%, finding work should be much easier than the average city. Other employers in Tempe include GoDaddy’s Global Technology Center, Direct Energy, Freedom Financial, Insight, and many more.
Prescott is a very family-friendly town, a great place to raise kids, and a peaceful place to settle down. Situated next to the Prescott National Forest, and south of the Granite Dells, Prescott attracts nature and outdoor recreation enthusiasts from all over the country. In Prescott, hikers, mountain bikers, and travelers are all welcome. The central location of Prescott puts everything within reach for you, and there is no state income tax on your Social Security benefits. And your air temperatures will feel cooler than they do further south. Prescott is also a college town, which means that your kids can pursue higher education without needing to leave home if money is tight for you.
If you are looking for a job in Arizona, then Scottsdale may be for you. The booming healthcare and finance sectors — combined with well-established individuals and families living in Scottsdale — makes it a huge hub for employment. Jobs in the tourism industry are also plentiful here. Scottsdale is also one of the healthiest cities in America, with a safe community, exciting nightlife, beautiful scenery, and more. This city is also ranked high in high school graduation rates and home value.
Peoria’s location is ideal for having easy access to abundant employment and entertainment opportunities while being a step away from the urban bustle. This city is a great place to live and raise a family. It’s safe for the most part with good police presence. Peoria has some large employers as well, including the Peoria Unified School District and the City of Peoria, along with several other contractors and retirement centers. Housing costs in Peoria are less expensive than the national average, and living costs are just below the national average, making it an affordable place to live. Living in Peoria provides you with the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of arts, entertainment, and culture all year round.
3. Oro Valley
Oro Valley is a wonderful place to live, might be the most beautiful city on this list, just a few minutes north of downtown Tucson. Due to its location, Oro Valley has become an area with high earning potential for residents along with a low cost of living. This area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. You can enjoy leisurely walks or bike rides along the paths around town, or community events to bring family, friends, neighbors, and visitors together. Catalina State Park also offers hiking and camping opportunities. Also, boasting an impressive graduation rate, Oro Valley’s school system is another reason the city ranks so highly.
Chandler is a diverse and vibrant community, home to global industry leaders, exciting startups, talented workers, and their families. This city is very family-friendly and catered to children with many events and free activities. Chandler has a low cost of living, with groceries, transportation, and utilities, all costing well below the national average. The homes are slightly more affordable, and the median income and graduation rates are among the highest in the state. Most neighborhoods have peaceful green belts with walking paths, and it is rare to hear a loud party in one of their family-based communities.
Gilbert is a young, vibrant community fueled by a strong economy. The people here are very friendly, and the city is fairly safe. If you have a family or are planning a family, this is the best town to live in within Arizona. And working parents enjoy an average commute time of 27 minutes. The city has a low cost of living, allowing families to spend more of their income on fun activities. Despite this city’s quiet agricultural history, Gilbert boasts one of the highest median household incomes in the country.