Paradise Valley vs Arcadia

If you were to ask a local, they might tell you that Paradise Valley and Arcadia are nearly the same. Both of these luxury neighborhoods have beautiful, upscale housing, manicured lawns, and a friendly atmosphere. If you’re considering living in Phoenix and like either of these neighborhoods, there are some key differences between the two to be aware of.  Check out a quick breakdown of living Paradise Valley vs Arcadia, and a few pros and cons to calling either place home.

Arcadia vs Paradise Valley, Arizona

Living in Arcadia

Arcadia is one of the oldest, most established neighborhoods in the Phoenix Metro Area. This historic area was once home to groves of citrus trees. And its flat, green home lots still provide excellent soil and irrigation for the many mature and lush trees you will see throughout its neighborhoods. Though the citrus trees are gone, many of the foliage still in the area dates back almost as far as its establishment.

If you choose to call Arcadia home, you’ll also be paying for the Arcadia address. This part of Phoenix is well known to be one of the most upscale and well-located parts of town, and you will pay for both the name recognition and amenities. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you get what you pay for, and you’ll certainly be getting a lovely lifestyle if you decide to call Arcadia home.

The homes in Arcadia are diverse and unique; there are no cookie-cutter neighborhoods here. Homes range from historic to new construction and everything in between. Many of the older homes in Arcadia have been completely remodeled, but have retained their mid century “bones,” ensuring the originality of the structure even with its modernized amenities.

Homes in Arcadia are more expensive than many other Phoenix neighborhoods, and while you still get much for the price, it isn’t necessarily in home or lot size. A $3.5 million dollar home in Arcadia will be beautiful, no doubt, but it might not have a large yard or a pool. You could certainly have a pool and a large yard in many parts of Phoenix for far less than a few

Living in Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley is every bit as lovely as Arcadia, but it has a noticeably different energy. Paradise Valley is a quiet and peaceful place to call home. Like Arcadia, the homes in Paradise Valley range in size and construction date, and there are plenty of beautiful older homes in this part of town right next to brand new construction. There is just as much character in Paradise Valley, it just looks a little different.

The lot sizes in Paradise Valley are usually bigger than those in Arcadia, and the neighborhoods are more spread out. Whether that spread out feeling is due to larger lot sizes, or the fact that there is actually more room here for homeowners to spread out, this only adds to the quiet feeling of these residential streets. You’ll notice fewer residents out walking the dog or going for a bike ride, especially considering many of these homes are nestled up into the mountains.

The views in Paradise Valley are hard to beat, especially if you are lucky enough to own one of these hillside manors. Prices in this neighborhood are comparable to Arcadia, but the neighborhoods aren’t as tight, and there’s a great deal of elevation gain and loss among the foothills. Though Paradise Valley is known as a luxury suburb, it still doesn’t have quite the clout of Arcadia. Think of the two kind of like Bel Air and Beverly Hills: both ritzy as can be, but one is nestled in the middle of metropolitan Los Angeles, the other in the Hollywood Hills. Both good, just different.

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Neighborhood vibes of Arcadia vs Paradise Valley

If you happen to be one of the many Phoenicians who has relocated to the desert from the Midwest, you will likely feel right at home in Arcadia. The green, tree lined streets feel somewhat out of place here in the middle of the desert, and evoke feelings of other, greener parts of the country. The friendliness of its residents only adds to its “Anywhere, U.S.A.” feeling. Many people choose to live in Arcadia just because it reminds them of other parts of the country they may have left behind. After all, home should feel like home, right?

If you want the sprawling desert landscape views Phoenix is famous for, Paradise Valley has all that you’re looking for and more. Not only are the expansive views to die for, but even the homes and landscaping embrace desert plants and colors in this part of town. You will truly feel like you are living the desert lifestyle. You’ll also see more of the mountains in Paradise Valley. Even if your home isn’t necessarily mountainside, just driving around the neighborhood will immerse you in the mountain vibe you won’t find in Arcadia.

sunset view over Paradise Valley neighborhood of Phoenix, Paradise Valley vs Arcadia

Lifestyle differences between Paradise Valley and Arcadia

Both Arcadia and Paradise Valley are very safe places to live, but Arcadia is just slightly more family friendly. For one, the smaller neighborhoods that are closer together are very inviting for families, especially for their walkability. Paradise Valley is not a very walkable part of town. Arcadia also benefits from bordering the canal, which interconnects many parts of town for pedestrians and is dotted with great places to linger along the way such as coffee shops and brew houses.

Paradise Valley is not only more spread out than Arcadia, but a great deal of its homes are second residences that are not inhabited all year long. This means it’s harder to get to know your neighbors which makes it feel like less of a congenial community environment. This also means many of these homeowners are trying to make a dime during their off months, and that often means these homes end up on Airbnb, VRBO, and other rent-by-owner vacation rental sites.

The vacation rental industry has been booming in Phoenix over the last half decade, and though it may seem relatively harmless (beneficial even, perhaps) many neighborhood residents don’t love the idea of strangers coming and going from their streets. Especially in larger, luxury homes, the rentals are often rented with the intent of filling them with a lot of people who are there to in the very least congregate, at the worst throw noisy parties and potentially damage property.

The city has certainly cracked down on the rules for short term rentals in Phoenix. But if you don’t want to live in a neighborhood where at least somebody is renting their house regularly, you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere in Phoenix to call home. Undoubtedly, however, the issue is more prevalent in Paradise Valley than it is in Arcadia. So if walkability, amenities, and actually knowing your neighbors are all paramount to you, Arcadia is likely the better fit.

neighborhood of Arcadia PHX, Paradise Valley vs Arcadia

Amenities in Arcadia and Paradise Valley

If your idea of easy-to-access amenities is walkability, Arcadia wins this one hands down. But before you write off Paradise Valley because you can’t necessarily walk to the coffee shop, let’s break down what the amenities are actually like in both neighborhoods. Yes, without a doubt, the more centrally located Arcadia has more small businesses, grocery stores, and walkable pedestrian areas than Paradise Valley. But Paradise Valley isn’t just a trading post out in the middle of the desert with tumbleweeds blowing through the street and lonesome buzzard cries resonating through the air.

Paradise Valley is less urban than Arcadia, but it surely doesn’t have any fewer amenities, they are just different in this part of town. There are plenty of grocery stores, drugstores, places to eat, and doctors’ offices all over Paradise Valley. You will probably have to drive to most of the things you want to do and see in Paradise Valley, but they are still there. If you would rather drive to the coffee shop from the comfort of your air-conditioned car than walk along the canal in the desert heat, the lack of walkability likely won’t bother you.

beautiful home in Arcadia PHX, Paradise Valley vs Arcadia

Are Paradise Valley and Arcadia my only options in Phoenix for luxury housing in Phoenix AZ?

Absolutely not! Both Paradise Valley and Arcadia are great places to live but they are certainly not the only place in town where you can have a beautiful, spacious home in Phoenix. In fact, because these neighborhoods are so well known for their luxury living, much of your expense is paying for that neighborhood living. If you aren’t specifically looking for the name of either neighborhood, you can find a beautiful home extremely comparable to what you would find in Arcadia or Paradise Valley for a fraction of the price in a number of other Phoenix suburbs.

golf course view over Paradise Valley neighborhood of Phoenix, Paradise Valley vs Arcadia

Want to move to Arcadia or Paradise Valley?

Are you thinking of moving to Paradise Valley or Arcadia? If so, reach out to me at AZLiveStyles, I would love to help you find your perfect home in the Phoenix Metro Area.