If living in Phoenix brings to mind scorching temperatures and shopping malls, it's time to reexamine a false first impression. Yes, it's hot (but it's a dry heat), and yes, malls are aplenty, but the Valley of the Sun is multifaceted and richly explorable. New charms reveal themselves each year, and little by little more people learn that the correct answer to the question, "Should I move to Phoenix?" is a resounding "Yes!" You might want to jump in while the jumping is good, because the word on Phoenix is getting hotter than an Arizona summer.
From food to sports to quality of life, there are endless ways this city will capture your heart, and we can prove it. Here are the best reasons to move to Phoenix for people of all interests.
1. For Sports Fans: Five professional sports teams
You can't throw a ball without hitting a sports team in Phoenix. From the Mercury and the Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena to the Diamondbacks knocking it out of the park at Chase Field, the sheer number of sports teams in the city mean you'll never lack a team to root for, no matter the season. They're easy to root for off the field and out of the arena, as well. Phoenix teams are active community members. For example, the Coyotes host skates for area children and free on-ice workshops, and Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham keeps getting social media shout-outs for random acts of kindness. Then there's Cactus League spring training and the widely attended Phoenix Open to round out the thriving sporting spirit of Phoenix.
2. For Aesthetes: The beauty of the desert
Desert landscapes appear sparse at first glance, but warrant closer inspection. There's a wide array of beauty that can make you feel like you've landed on another planet (in the best way). Alien-esque cacti and otherworldly sunsets lend this city its unique aesthetic, where something seemingly flat or monochrome can burst into multi-hues and dimensions with the shifting of the sun. Catch those beautiful rays as they melt color across the sky from the revolving 360-degree rooftop at Compass Arizona Grill. Within central Phoenix lies Phoenix Mountain Preserve, where the vantage points from Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain paint the city in its prettiest light. At the Desert Botanical Garden, everything from light shows to hands-on workshops let you see the details of the desert up close.
3. For Foodies: Flavors from all corners of the world
Phoenix loves flavor, and it shows: it seems the city grows more foodie-friendly every year. Acclaimed spots like Pizzeria and Bar Bianco (and dessert contingent Le Dinersaur) raise the bar for fresh, local, well-made food. Outfits like the Taco Guild have taken food to the level of art, consistently claiming spots in best-of lists. The tastes of Japan meet the desert at places like sleek and sophisticated Shimogamo, while the table-top grills at Sizzle Korean Barbeque are ripe for some self-cooked magic. The growing coffee culture in Phoenix is ready to impress your palate at stylish joints like Cartel Coffee Lab, Rollover Doughnuts, and Royal Coffee Bar. Oh, and get your camera ready—these plates are all as pretty as they are tasty.
4. For Weatherphobes and Sun Worshippers: All the good weather (none of the bad)
Not to say moody weather never happens in Phoenix—there is the occasional dust storm or flood—but it's far more protected from the wrath of Mother Nature than most U.S. cities. Large earthquakes are unheard of, the city lies far off hurricane or tornado paths, and the last time there was an official inch of snow on the ground was in 1937. Add to that 300 days of sunshine on average each year, and Phoenix becomes a sure bet for the weather-averse among us. Maybe it's just us, but not living in fear of a catastrophic weather event might be one of the best things about living in Phoenix.
5. For Wanderlusters: Tons of bucket-list destinations around
You'll never have to fear when the travel bug bites in Phoenix. Well, unless decision making is not your forte, because you'll be spoiled for choice. Many amazing day trips lie within easy driving distance. To give you an idea, there's: the healing vibes and statuesque red rocks of Sedona (2 hours); mountain scenes and fresh pine air in Flagstaff (2 hours, 15 mins), the pioneer-era spirit and live music on Whiskey Row in Prescott (2 hours); the charming old mining towns of Jerome (2 hours) and Bisbee (3.5 hours); the Grand Canyon, which needs no introduction (3.5 hours); and all the delights of Las Vegas (5 hours, or a quick flight). Prefer to fly? Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport is a major hub that serves over 84 low-cost destinations.
6. For Every Generation: Entertainment for the young and young-at-heart
Taking life at full speed? Looking for a life of leisure? Phoenix has a spot for you. Arizona is regularly voted one of the best places to retire, and not just because of its warm, dry climate. With more than 200 golf courses and a wealth of leisure opportunities like kayaking, bowling, bingo, and swimming, Phoenix is the perfect place to stay active yet relaxed. On the other hand, the city also has an array of bars and clubs, like Crescent Ballroom for live music, Monarch Theatre for dancing, and Rip's Bar for old school vibes. Moving on from the club scene? Young families benefit from their choice of residential neighborhoods like Paradise Valley and Desert View. Kids love hands-on adventures at the Arizona Science Center, Children's Museum, and Phoenix Zoo.
7. For Outdoor Enthusiasts: Adventures galore
When the mercury lowers, there is no better place to get outdoors than the Phoenix area. With so many nearby parks and accessible outdoor day trips, this region beckons you to explore its natural treasures. The Sonoran Desert, Tucson Mountain Park, Tonto Natural Bridge, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Saguaro Lake, Petrified Forest National Park, Slide Rock State Park, and Lake Pleasant are all within arm's reach. With such finery at your fingertips, it's easy to discover and explore the scenic wonders of the Southwest. For those who need to feel the earth beneath their feet and nature all around, the rich outdoor life that's possible here is one of coolest things about Phoenix.
8. For Students: Havens for curious minds
It's been said that education is the passport to the future, and this city agrees. Living in Phoenix gives you access to some highly ranked institutions of learning. Arizona's BASIS schools are top-rated charters, and BASIS Phoenix is the No. 14 high school in the nation, according to U.S. News rankings. Best College Reviews named nearby Tempe, home to Arizona State University, one of the top 50 college towns in the country. Students benefit from a wealth of activities, museums, parks, and parties to explore throughout Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and beyond.
9. For Commuters: No traffic (sort of)
Traffic is the bane of many an existence, and every city argues theirs is the worst, as if vying for cred that no one actually wants. Phoenicians are no exception, but maybe they should count a few blessings and thank the traffic gods. This fair city actually ranks relatively low in commute times. It was one of only two cities with a population of over 1 million people that made the list of 20 shortest average commute times (according to Trulia). The Valley Metro Light Rail is also a reliable way to get around when you'd rather be reading a book than keeping your eyes on the road. When you ask, "Is Phoenix a good place to live?," you can bet your bumper stickers the answer is yes.
10. For Homeowners: A dollar that goes further
Homeownership is a numbers game, so here are some for you: Phoenix ranks as No. 5 in home ownership rates (against other major cities), at 58.5 percent. It's No. 13 in median household income, and the median home price is just over $311,000. With five Fortune 500 companies in the area, a strong economy, and relatively low cost of living in Phoenix, building a home and a future is an attainable dream.
11. For Pool Partiers: Cool dips and drinks
If you want to know what to expect when moving to Phoenix, one answer may rise above the rest: pool parties. The Phoenix area has over 100 non-residential pools, and it seems like more houses than not come equipped, though in the Phoenix/Mesa/Glendale area, the number is closer to one-third. Bars and pools are fast friends in this climate, and places like Lustre Rooftop Bar and pool, and Wade Poolside Bar at The Camby give you the opportunity to get out of the house in style, even when it's too hot to think outside. To really get away from it all, the pool at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain is a dream.
12. For Creative Types: Plenty of artsy kindred spirits
Artists have been drawn to desert scapes since long before Phoenix was producing painters like Jackson Pollock and Ed Mell. The complex and spacious scenery still inspires, and Phoenix art has found both voice and space to thrive. Street art is abundant, especially on Roosevelt Row, and Downtown Phoenix is dotted with constellations of galleries, murals, and music venues. Artlink hosts the First Fridays Art Walk with a complimentary trolley tour through the various arts districts, including RoRo, the Warehouse District, and the Central Arts District. Phoenix Art Museum has a vast permanent collection, and exhibits like "In the Company of Women: Women Artists from the Collection" shine a spotlight on some of the best. Phoenix staples like Rhythm Room and Char’s Has the Blues bring joy to the musically minded, as does the Musical Instrument Museum with its array of artifacts and exhibits.
Have we convinced you yet? Good. Don't waste any time—you can always throw your stuff in Phoenix storage while you figure out the lay of the land.