Arcadia Arizona, Best Neighborhoods in Phoenix, Arizona

From atop the prominent Camelback Mountain, hikers can gaze out over the beautiful desert landscape, and get a bird’s eye view of one of the most charming Phoenix neighborhoods, Arcadia. Located northeast of Phoenix, upscale Arcadia offers beautiful landscape, entertainment options, and a respite from city life. Trendy and up-and-coming, Arcadia is known for its excellent location and unique small businesses. Whether you are looking for a post-hike beer at a microbrewery, a lengthy bike ride along the canal, or grabbing a cup of coffee and hitting the boutiques is more your scene, there’s plenty to see and do in Arcadia, Arizona.

Arcadia, Arizona – a top Phoenix Neighborhood

Where is Arcadia located in Phoenix?

view of the Phoenix Arizona canal, Arcadia Arizona neighborhood of Phoenix (1)

Arcadia is located in the northern end of the Phoenix metro area, and spreads over a liberal stretch of land. Long and skinny, it borders Scottsdale to its east, and Paradise Valley to its north, with the nearby Echo Canyon Recreational Area offering an expanse of undeveloped land nearby.

Signature to Arcadia is the Arizona Canal, running throughout the city. Though it dips throughout other neighborhoods and parts of Phoenix, the canal runs throughout the entire zip code of 85018. Almost 50 miles long, and over a hundred years old, the canal originally served as a means for bringing water to the north valley. Today, the canal acts as a place for bikers, joggers, and anyone wanting to get out and about and enjoy a little bit of water in an otherwise aqua-barren land. Breweries and restaurants dot the canal, and nearly all of them have outdoor seating and bike racks to accommodate outdoor enthusiasts (and probably some canine friends, as well) on their adventures.


Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountina, Arcadia Arizona neighborhood of Phoenix (2)

Camelback Mountain supplies the backdrop for all of Arcadia, and what a sight it is. While the mountain obviously beckons to the outdoor enthusiast, you don’t have to lace up your hiking boots to enjoy it. The beautiful geography (aptly named for its likeness to the humps on a camel’s back) can be observed from almost anywhere in the city.

If you’re up for the adventure, there are two hiking trails on Camelback Mountain: Echo Canyon Trail, and Cholla trail. Each of these are over a mile in length and peak at an altitude of 1,280 feet, so be prepared for a hike that’s on the strenuous side, and set aside 1.5 to 3 hours to hike out and back, depending on your hiking speed.

(*Important note: Parking lots around the trailhead are open from sunrise to sunset, and if you plan to enjoy an afternoon hike, be sure to be down and leaving by sunset, because cars are ticketed often here.)


Neighborhoods in Arcadia, Arizona

Arcadia as a whole can be slightly ambiguous when it comes to boundary lines and where certain neighborhoods are located. Generally speaking, the canal serves as the boundary line between Arcadia Proper, and Lower Arcadia. Arcadia Lite is on the eastern edge of the area, and is much smaller than the other two neighborhoods. While there are different parts of town, most of Arcadia looks and feels the same. Mature foliage lines the streets, and homes are a mixture of midcentury and new construction.

Given the diversity, you can usually find something within most budgets depending on the size and age of a home.  You won’t find HOA’s in Arcadia, but you might think there are, given the well kept lawns and homes. There’s a great deal of home ownership pride in the Arcadia area, and rarely is a home left in disrepair or with overgrown landscaping.

Flood Irrigation in Arcadia

Arcadia is known for its large, lush home lots. Many of them still echo of their citrus grove past, when Phoenix was first being settled. An irrigation system was needed to bring water to the groves by using runoff from Camelback Mountain. While the runoff will take care of itself, without a way to keep the water it would soon be lost to the sandy soil.

Often you will find in these large lawns of Arcadia homes berms are built up along the edges of the lots, creating “pooling” areas to keep rain runoff. This was extremely valuable to the former residents of the lot, the citrus trees; but for current residents it can be less than pleasurable to have a small moat outside the front door. Just keep this in mind when buying a home in the area, and talk to the realtor about the irrigation issues the home might face during certain times of the year.



Things to do in Arcadia

We touched briefly on the great location of Arcadia and its proximity to a plethora of activities and amenities. The nearby Biltmore area; home to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel and its pools, spas, and golf courses, is just a few minutes to the west of Arcadia. To the east you’ll find ever popular Scottsdale, and especially in Old Town Scottsdale, there are endless options when it comes to dining and nightlife. To the south, just a hop and a skip over the canal is Tempe, where you can enjoy sporting events at the University of Arizona, or indulge in the funky and unique “college town” bars and restaurants.

For the traveler, the airport is just a few minutes from Arcadia. With the advent of Uber and other rideshare companies, close proximity to the airport really makes travel days a breeze, and eliminates long term parking fees and spotty bus/shuttle schedules. Even areas that aren’t directly bordering Arcadia are still very accessible, within a ten to fifteen minute drive, such as Downtown Phoenix, so count on being extremely well located if you choose to call Arcadia home!

Interior of Biltmore Hotel, Arcadia Arizona neighborhood of Phoenix (3)

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Dining and Entertainment in Arcadia

We mentioned the proximity of close hot spots near Arcadia where one can find a bite to eat or a pint, but you really don’t even have to leave Arcadia to enjoy either. If you’re looking for upscale dining, Steak 44 is modern and chic, with a high end menu and contemporary atmosphere. If something a little more laid back is what you have in mind, check out The Henry. This chill, “work and dine” environment offers coffee, food, and plenty of cozy spaces for patrons to meet up for work or pleasure (or why not both?!)

As a clear attribution of the success of small businesses in Arcadia, many restaurants and coffee shops that have spread throughout the valley had their flagship location in Arcadia first.


Arcadia Schools

The Scottsdale School District is very popular, so if you’re looking for an experience in which your student will cultivate social skills and the ability to individualize themselves among many, this is a great choice. Hopi Elementary School is perhaps one of the largest schools in Arcadia for primary school, and Tavan Elementary School continues to rate higher and higher, showing itself to soon be a close runner up. Arcadia High School is an excellent option for secondary education, and there are plenty of charter and private school choices as well.

If you have school aged children, or plan to, do a few school tours before relocating to the Arcadia area, to make sure you find a home in the right district for your children to attend the school of your choice.


Styles of Homes in Arcadia

Arcadia is a historic and beautiful part of Phoenix. Mature trees and bushes line the streets, and many lots come with large, expansive yards. Due to its once agricultural nature, you’ll find the lots to be relatively flat, even though it sits at the foot of a mountain.

The homes are primarily ranch style homes, and though many remain from the middle of the 20th century, most have been updated and blend in extremely well with the new construction in Arcadia. These homes are very unique, and you definitely won’t get the “cookie cutter” feeling you get in master-planned communities.

If you’re looking for character, you’ll find it here.  You’ll see everything from southwestern architecture, to Tudor, to classic all-American siding and picket fences.  One of the greatest attributes of the neighborhoods in Arcadia is how truly lush it feels. Amid the baking southwest sun, it can feel like you’re living in an oven many days of the year in Arizona. But luckily for Arcadia residents, views of towering shady trees out the window can sure make it feel cooler, regardless of what the mercury says!

aerial photo Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix

What is the cost of living in Arcadia?

Though Phoenix is known for its great weather and affordable living expenses, Arcadia falls on the higher end of the latter. In this cozy but upscale community, you’ll struggle to find housing prices anywhere below $500,000. At that, you’ll be looking at an older home that lacks renovations and upgrades, so count those into your budget as well if you see yourself working on the home at a later date.

As far as the steeper end of the housing costs, the sky’s the limit. You see everything in Arcadia; from single story two bedroom ranch homes to multimillion dollar homes with driveways lined in Italian cypress trees and glittering fountains in the front yard. You can be sure with the unique character of Arcadia, everywhere you turn you’ll see something different!

Interested in living in Arcadia, Arizona?

If you like what you’ve read (or watched) about Arcadia, Arizona and are ready to call this top neighborhood of Phoenix home, then we can help! Reach out to us today to get started on finding your dream home in Phoenix.