The Best Place To Live In Arizona – From the rolling hills of the Sonoran Desert to the clear Colorado River running through the red dirt, to the snow-capped mountains, Arizona has it all. So how do you choose the best places to live in Arizona? It’s not just the scenery (though there’s no doubt about it when it comes to the state’s beauty), but the cities that best suit your lifestyle, career direction, education system needs, and more.
If you’re thinking of moving to the Grand Canyon State, Arizona Rankings lists the top 10 places to live in Arizona. The footwork was done for you, so grab a coffee (if this list appeals to you during happy hour, grab a coffee!) and start exploring the best places to stay in Arizona today!
The Best Place To Live In Arizona
These Arizona cities are ranked on five different dimensions: accessibility, schools, entertainment and transportation. Each factor is rated on a 5-point scale, with an overall lifestyle score of 20.
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Queen Creek is known for offering residents in the Phoenix area beautiful new homes at affordable prices. Many homeowners consider themselves first-time owners of these homes, but as the population grows, so do the prices. What used to be one of the cheapest areas in Phoenix may not be as affordable as it once was.
As the population grows, Queen Creek’s school rating continues to climb to a 4 out of 5 rating.
While you’ll find plenty to do in the area, recreational amenities like parks and shopping malls are still catching up with the growing population but are expected to continue to grow.
If you work from or close to home, travel time should not be a major obstacle for you. However, if you work near downtown or Scottsdale and live in Queen Creek, you will spend a fair amount of time in your car, hence the 2 out of 5 rating.
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Like Queen Creek, newcomers are surprised to find affordable new housing, but unlike the above, it appears to be solidly affordable. Arizona Ranking gives this suburb a perfect 5 out of 5 affordability without increasing home prices.
Arizona has some of the largest school districts in the country, and the Phoenix area in particular is known for having excellent public schools, but most of them are in the East Valley; The surprise is in the West Valley. While none of the districts on our list were rated “poor” for public education, districts like Chandler and Gilbert fall surprisingly short when it comes to school systems.
Surprisingly many of the other top ten cities offer fewer entertainment options, but most people travel to the area for convenience, which means they are happy to go elsewhere for shopping, parks and movie theaters to be able to save money. For the price of staying at home.
This inaccessible part of the valley benefits greatly from the new 303 Freeway, making it easier than ever for surprising residents to get in and out of the city. However, even with this improvement, “Surprise” can be said to be a bit “out of reach”. Highways or not, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the car even if you live in Surprise.
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Even though Mesa is one of the most populous cities in the state, it is still very affordable. Much of Mesa is filled with older, often more affordable housing, so it has maintained its accessibility score despite the emergence of newer, less expensive neighborhoods in the area.
You’ll find good schools in Mesa, but because of the large population, the area has too many schools to accommodate the population and the ratings drop as more schools need to be rated. You’ll find Mesa schools are average, with some great schools spread out as well.
There are plenty of things to do in Mesa, like visiting the Mesa Arts Center, but the options aren’t as great as some of the other cities on our list. Surprisingly, if you live here to afford it, the lack of entertainment probably won’t bother you all that much.
Covering such a large area, Mesa’s overall traffic is difficult to measure. Some areas are denser than others, but because of the proximity to the Phoenix metro area, you’ll still be closer than suburbs like Queen Creek or Surprise.
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Chandler, another large area of the Phoenix metro area, has seen home prices continue to rise as the city expands and housing improves. It’s still cheaper than living in the city, but you really start to see the prices on our list go up here.
Chandler Unified School District to School District No. 1. Chandler has excellent public schools in Phoenix, which means it’s a great city to consider if you’re looking for a school for the whole family.
Chandler offers world-class entertainment with a water park, outlet shopping and museums. If the outdoors is more your thing, you can also enjoy beautiful views of the star-studded Sonoran Desert from many parts of the city.
Chandler has a better commute and is easier to get to than the outer Phoenix areas, with shorter drive times and higher transit ratings.
Tucson, Arizona Realtor Services
With a population of over 1.5 million people, Phoenix itself is the jewel in the crown, so it is difficult to make an economic assessment of the city as a whole. You’ll find planned neighborhoods, mansions and run-down areas of the city, and you’ll find railings on most windows and doors. Thus, the accessibility rating gets three points. As with any major city, the cost of living is higher than in the surrounding suburbs, and Phoenix is no exception.
Also, having so many schools in such a large area can make evaluation difficult. Taken together, Phoenix schools score fairly average.
What Phoenix may lack in amenities and schools, it makes up for in lifestyle! In Phoenix, the options for dining, shopping, outdoor activities, parks, museums and more are absolutely endless; Easy 5 out of 5!
If you already live in Phoenix, you’ll typically spend less time in your car because you’re closer to where people drive in outlying cities. No need for long commutes when everything you need is right in your backyard!
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Scottsdale is the most expensive of all the top 10 cities in terms of median home prices, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find affordable options here. Also, with other categories ranked so high, many felt the home was overpriced.
Scottsdale schools are consistently ranked highly, making it a great choice for families who still want to experience “city-centric” living.
With restaurants and nightlife, Pinnacle Peak Park and a butterfly wonderland in Old Town Scottsdale, Scottsdale attractions draw people from all over the Phoenix area for day trips, sightseeing, entertainment.
Best Place To Live In Gilbert
Like Phoenix, Scottsdale has many transportation options, whether it’s driving, public transit, or carpooling.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag on this list, Goodyear didn’t even crack the top 10 in previous years, and in its first year it went straight to number four! A steady stream of new, relatively affordable housing has made Goodyear popular with residents moving to Arizona from other states.
Goodyear schools score average statistically, but academic standards continue to improve as Goodyear grows. In a few years, we may see Goodyear schools score as high as Chandler’s or Gilbert’s.
Goodyear has some great parks and amphitheaters for outdoor recreation, but as a growing community, it still doesn’t have as much as some of the other cities on our list. However, like the education system, this too is likely to improve over time.
Google Map Of The City Of Phoenix, Arizona, Usa
Goodyear’s transit rating may be a bit low, but with so many attractions in the area, many find transit worth it given its affordability and lifestyle.
Consistently voted the best place to live in the Phoenix area, Peoria is one of the most affordable places on our list, with a score of 5 out of 5 for cost of living and accommodation.
New neighborhoods are constantly popping up around Peoria, especially in this neighborhood, where schooling is very high.
Peoria borders the iconic Lake Pleasant for boaters and those looking to enjoy water sports in a desert landscape. Peoria is also home to the Peoria Sports Complex, where spectators can watch Major League Baseball teams begin spring training.
These Are The Top 25 Best Places To Live In Arizona
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