The Grand Canyon State is known for sunny weather as well as beautiful cities. Here’s a brief introduction to 10 of the best places to live in Arizona.
Named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece, Tempe is home to Arizona State University as well as Tempe Town Lake that welcomes 2.5 million visitors a year. Mills Avenue is a robust bar and restaurant district, and Livability.com named Tempe among the 10 Best Foodie Cities in America for 2015.
Scottsdale attracts 7 million visitors a year who enjoy 70 resorts/hotels and the late-night party atmosphere. Tourism accounts for 40 percent of local employment, and attractions include Tonto National Forest and a 2 million-square-foot Scottsdale Fashion Square mall. The famed Mayo Clinic has one of its three major branches in Scottsdale.
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A prominent suburb of Phoenix, the median income for a family in Chandler is $84,000. Intel and its 10,000 employees head a vibrant technology sector, and shopping opportunities include a spacious Chandler Fashion Center. Chandler-Gilbert Community College serves 13,000 students, and the health needs of residents are met at Chandler Regional Medical Center.
Flagstaff, located adjacent to Mount Elden, is home to Lowell Observatory, The U.S. Naval Observatory and Northern Arizona University. The tourism industry welcomes 5 million visitors a year who access sites like the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater and historic Route 66, and this city of Ponderosa pine trees aplenty has many public parks and trails.
Billed as “Arizona’s Antique Capital,” Glendale houses a thriving Arrowhead Towne Center mall as well as a highly regarded Midwestern University with its acclaimed medical and international business programs. The city hosts a well-attended annual Glendale Chocolate Festival and a Glendale Jazz & Blues Festival, and three local hospitals accommodate residents.
Gilbert is one of the fastest growing communities in America, with its population soaring from 5,700 residents in 1980 to 268,000 today. This suburb of Phoenix features a diverse economy along with many public parks, two hospitals, Gilbert Public Schools (with its 3,600 employees) and SanTan Village mall.
Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, Peoria is the spring training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. Four public school systems serve residents, and Money magazine recently listed Peoria among its Top 100 Places to Live. The community features six golf courses, while health-care needs are met at Kindred Hospital Arizona-Northwest Phoenix.
More than 800 buildings in Prescott are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and this city of many Victorian-style houses is also home to the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe reservation. Community attractions include four golf courses, Prescott Gateway Mall, Prescott College and a thriving nightlife and downtown district.
Spanish for “mountain range view,” Sierra Vista is nicknamed the Hummingbird Capital of America because of Ramsey Canyon Preserve, which draws bird watchers from all over the world. The city’s largest employer is Fort Huachuca Army Base, and community amenities include five colleges and universities, two hospitals and The Mall at Sierra Vista.
The population of Yuma is 204,000, including 85,000 retirees who make Yuma their winter residence. The major employer is Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, and top health care is provided by Yuma Regional Medical Center. The Colorado River runs along the city, and higher education choices include Arizona Western College and Northern Arizona University-Yuma.