I first visited Phoenix when I was 18. I loved the scenery! I convinced my husband to move out here (in an RV in JUNE!) and suddenly 7 years has gone by. We are just now getting tired of the heat, though I love the perpetual sunshine. With over half a million people the city feels big for us. Traffic is no where near the traffic of Boston and other big cities, but bumper to bumper in HOV is driving me nuts! I will say the highways are designed very well. I love my job, love the diverse restaurants in the city, and love the laid back attitude of natives and transplants alike. We live in a good neighborhood of North Phoenix, but there are MANY areas in need of improvement. Same is true of schools, many good, many bad and in between. If it weren't for our desire to move back east to be near family and a desire for more acreage (most affordable homes are 1/4 acre lots) we would stay longer. I decided to write this review after reviewing places to move. Every review will give you something to think about, but don't put much stock in anything we all say here. To each is own...I personally found Phoenix to be very progressive despite other reviews. There are lots of festivals, concerts, family activities, and outdoor stuff to do. Hiking, climbing and boating are great! I think I will have a hard time finding a smaller city with the same amenities and welcoming people to call neighbors.
Background: I lived in Phoenix off and on for approximately 11 years. In Phoenix terms, this length of time is almost earns an AZ native status.
1. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, this is a great city! There are "mountains" in the city, and a couple hours north in Flagstaff, 12,000 ft mountains, and a snow bowl in winter. The city mountains are great places to hike, mountain bike, rock climb, and boulder. Be careful though, many experienced outdoors people underestimate the harshness of the desert and pay for it. Also, there are a system of "lakes" where people swim, boat, scuba, fish etc
2. Cost of living is very affordable
3. A couple years before I left I discovered a pretty awesome salsa dancing scene. Best one I've found so far in the states!
4. Phoenicians think traffic is bad during rush hour, but compared to other big cities, it's really NOT
5. Day's drive to LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Mexico
6. Parking. There's always parking. Even downtown, if you patronize a business they will validate your parking for you.
1.I found "Phoenicians" to not be very welcoming to new individuals in their social groups. It is hard to make friends as a new person in town. Having said that, it's possible; join Meetups, employee outings, church groups...whatever floats your boat. As Phoenix is growing really fast, there are plenty of other people in the same boat as you experiencing the same things.
2. The dating scene for women isn't great. Men are kind of non-committal. There is a lot of that "plastic personality" thing going on.
3. Not very culturally diverse, despite being close to Mexico.
4. There isn't very much of a community feel. Other cities I've lived in have neighborhood festivals, block parties, etc. People are literally walled in here (everyone has a six foot high wall around their house). This echos back to number 1.
5. HOT HOT HOT in the summer. I've experienced temps in the 120's with no respite from the sun. Most people just stay indoors during these months until the sun sets.
6. Most jobs are just mediocre
7. Public trans sucks and the city is so spread out you pretty much have to own a car
Phoenix is the worst place to come to if you're trying to have a life! The Mexicans are the most hateful and jealous people in the world!!! People don't know how to drive or use roads properly! Even the ugly bitches think that they're hot shit....wow come on now! And everyone and their dog think they're better than the world when they don't even have a clue of what the real world consist of...pathetic! Fuckin dumb fuckers who think they found a new world and their mentality is prehistoric! All in all Arizona is one the most beautiful place in th world but Phoenix is shit!!!!
Its very bland. The architecture is a brown and tan color. Which doesn't help because thats all there is here. Dirt and more dirt. I don't see how they can say that this city has an "A" in the weather. Have they ever been there? Its 90 degrees 9 or 10 months a year and its not unusual for it to be 100 for 2 months straight. Now tell me, how is that an "A" grade? NOPE
The only reason I gave it what I did was because theres so many people here that its not hard to find attractions or good food.
Oh and I hear the nightlife doesn't suck
I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, for 24 years. I was born and raised in the city, went to college there, and only moved away to the Middle East in 2009. There were good reasons for leaving; Phoenix is not the prevue of young people. But there are reasons why many keep moving there.
Phoenix and its satellite cities are essentially gigantic suburbs, with all the blessings and headaches such places imply. It's also a cultural outpost of southern California without the creativity (and pretentiousness) of Hollywood. People in Phoenix value their wide open spaces, their ease of transport, their abundant malls, but for a city of 1.5 million, with a metro area of 4.5 million, there's not much of a soul to the place.
Much of that has to do with the suburban vibe of Phoenix. Malls are easy to get to and plentiful. Prices are generally lower, as are taxes. There are several amusement parks, including Castles and Coasters, which has the state's only major roller coaster. There are plenty of golf courses and hiking opportunities on the mountains sprinkled throughout the city limits. It has plenty of food options, as well.
But there's very little in Phoenix that is unique to the city. Hardly anything of the cowboy past has been allowed to survive. Beyond the weather, there's not much to differentiate Phoenix from Los Angeles, New Jersey, or Las Vegas. Culturally, the city attracts headliners but produces very little of its own; successful creatives move to the coasts. Neighbors are often strangers to one another; there's hardly any incentive to leave one's abundant yard and home, and community life is stagnant in most neighborhoods. Parks sit empty, remarkable only when they're used.
I have lived in the Ahwatukee Foothills, Phoenix, AZ neighborhood for about five years. While living here, I have noticed that it is one of the safest places I have ever lived. It is ranked as the number two neighborhood in Phoenix. This makes me feel very confident in raising my family in the area. Gas prices are low in this area, and driving an SUV, that is something I enjoy. The crime rate is also considerably lower than other neighborhoods I have lived in, and that means a lot considering I have children.
I live in a very nice apartment complex. My rent is about $700 for a two bedroom. Most apartments in the area are within the $700-800 range. This is very affordable for Phoenix and compared to other large cities in the same area of the country. My view of the mountains in the distance is breathtaking. I enjoy taking my bike and riding along the numerous trails I have found, and I also enjoy hiking on the mountains.
One thing that I don't like about the neighborhood is that everything seems so congested. The beauty of the city is amazing, but it doesn't mean a lot if you can't get to your destination easily. My children don't have to worry about schools because there are at least a dozen that I have seen in the area. Coffee is a favorite part of my day, and I have only seen a few coffee shops that I like. There is only one park in the area, but it is beautiful. There are plenty of activities for my children, and I feel safe in letting them play on the equipment while I sit on a bench nearby and watch them. Something I noticed about the area is that there isn't a local library. This saddens me because I grew up going to the library every year. However, there are plenty of restaurants, my favorite being Dessert-a-Licious. This is somewhere I can get a delicious pastry or cake. I also enjoy The Melting Pot because it offers a variety of foods from Italian to Mexican.
Phoenix is hot. Most people will tell you you will get used to it, but you may not. It's hot enough in the summer that it's not really safe for kids to play outside very long. That can be a problem when they're out of school with nothing to do. Also, the air quality in Phoenix is not good, and that's a big consideration when raising young kids like we are. Education is good in spots, downright miserable in others. The economy is probably way too based on housing and entertainment. We've lived here over 10 years, generally enjoyed it, but also know there are things that may induce us to leave before too long.
As the capitol of Arizona, Phoenix is a phenomenal place to visit and experience. From an active and young nightlife, to beautiful gardens, to breathtaking landscapes, this city is a must see on anyone's "bucket list".
I traveled to Phoenix recently with my husband and young children. We found plenty of child friendly restaurants with reasonable prices and kid friendly menus. In addition, my husband and I had a fabulous time visiting area attractions like the unbelievable Botanical Gardens, museums, and galleries. The kids really enjoyed the Rawhide Western restaurant and, of course, the zoo. There was a wide variety of animals for viewing, and the staff was more than patient with our little one's inquisitive minds. For us adults, our favorite places to explore were those with quiet and romance- specifically the museums, with their mystery and intrigue.
Phoenix's best feature is by far its residents. They are some of the friendliest people we have encountered in any city we have visited. The weather in this city can be challenging to the very young or old, or for those with health issues. We would recommend that travelers visit the area either in the spring or in the fall. There are plenty of adventures to be had, and memories to be made at both times of the year. Fortunately, there is an abundance of attractions to be found indoors, or in cooler areas. Phoenix is high on our list to visit again, and there has been some talk of retiring there too!
Phoenix is a huge, sprawling city - the fifth largest in the United States. Because the metro area is so spread out, it's often hard to find other people who enjoy what you do, an ethnic grocery, a special restaurant, a place to hike or bike. But it's all here! Just keep looking, and you will find what you want.
Along the way, you'll definitely find friendly people. It may be because almost everyone is from somewhere else, but you'll find that people are willing to go out of their way to help you.
You're also close to hiking, sailing, swimming, skiing - Arizona is an amazing state.
I visited Phoenix in the spring of 2008. It was the perfect time to be in Arizona because the weather was always sunny and about 80 degrees, and there were desert flowers in bloom everywhere! I don't think I'd like Phoenix much in the summer, but that dry heat is amazing in March!
When I was in Phoenix, I spent a lot of time outdoors, and surprisingly, I did a lot more than just sit by the pool. The amount of natural beauty in the Phoenix area was simply astounding! I spent a full day at the Desert Botanical Garden, which is about halfway between Phoenix and Scottsdale. The flowers were beautiful, especially in the butterfly pavilion. They also have live jazz music there every Friday night, so it is an excellent place to kick off the weekend, surrounded by flowers and great music. I also found the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Museum of History very interesting. Phoenix is a great place to visit, and I'm sure I'll be back soon!