Pros & Cons of Moving to Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona leads the nation as the fastest growing city in America for the fourth year in a row (According to the U. S. Census Bureau, in 2019). With an influx of the population flocking to this desert oasis for nearly a half decade, it brings to mind the pros and cons of moving to Phoenix, Arizona. Maybe it’s the weather, summoning the snowbirds? Maybe it’s the hip vibe, calling to millennials with its siren song of nightlife and street tacos. Most likely its reasons to each their own for calling Phoenix their new home, so let’s dive in to some of those pros and cons, and see where you stand!
The Arizona landscape is one of the most unique and diverse desert biomes in the world. While some deserts in America, such as the Mojave Desert, are characterized by long, vast stretches of land scattered with Joshua Trees and large boulders, the Sonoran Desert that stretches throughout the body of Arizona is extremely varied. Just in the Phoenix area alone, you can find mountains to hike, and gorgeous sunsets to behold yearlong, and even more rewarding oases just a short drive away.
Arizona hosts the only one of the Seven Natural Wonders to be found in the United States, The Grand Canyon. The mighty Colorado River has carved a path for itself through this canyon that is visible from space, and standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon is one of the few places where one can literally see “As far as the eye can see.” Also near to Phoenix, is the charming and eclectic town of Sedona, perfect for weekend getaways or even just a day drive.
Tucson is also a quick hour and a half drive, where you can enjoy the vast Saguaro National Park. If hiking in these environments isn’t for you, it still might be worth the drive. During Phoenix’s monsoon season, the lightning storms that light up the desert sky are a sight to be seen.
As with any desert environment, however, it can be expected that greenery is a part of the landscape that is lacking. Are you used to living in a lush part of the country; especially one with deciduous forests that shed their plumage in the fall in shades of amber, giving way to their skeletal frame for the winter? If so, then when you move to Phoenix you might find the seasonal indicators (or lack thereof) in Phoenix to be disappointing.
The desert, even in the winter, gives off an “endless summer” feel to the Phoenix area, and many miss the evergreens and shade trees. This isn’t to say you can’t find this environment close by. Nearby Flagstaff, AZ, is the perfect place for a weekend getaway to enjoy the whisper of the wind through the pines, and you can even find (believe it, or not) snow!
Learn More: Cost of Living in Phoenix, Arizona
Weather in Phoenix
With an average of 299 days of sunshine a year in Phoenix, it’s easy to see why the weather here is a huge pro of living in Phoenix. Many retirees enjoy the area for the lack of snow and other inclement weather that becomes more difficult to navigate with age. Outdoor enthusiasts and other sun worshippers love the extended “outdoor friendly” season. Especially January through March, when the hot desert sun succeeds to cooler days, it brings with it a rejuvenating chill that’s perfect for “sweater weather.”
While it does rain in Phoenix, it doesn’t happen often, and during monsoon season, you do have to watch for road closures and flash floods. Even with the occasional flash flood, Phoenix is immune to most of the weather related natural disasters found in the United States, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.
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With sunshiny days you can imagine the heat index climbs in Phoenix like the elevator of the Empire State Building. It can get HOT. As in, triple digits for days in a row, hot. The “summer” months in Phoenix tend to last from June through September. The earliest of those summer days can remain pretty mild, and maybe even entice you to jump in a swimming pool and soak up the rays. But by the time September rolls around and you are craving crunchy leaves and pumpkin adorned front porches, the scorching heat can feel oppressive.
This heat often lingers into the fall, so for those who enjoy the crisp fall air they may have experienced living elsewhere, that will certainly be absent in Phoenix.
Another weather con can be the lack of typical seasonal indicators, such as leaves falling in October, and snowy Christmas mornings. For the exact reason many choose to come to Phoenix, others may find these same factors to be drawbacks.
Learn More: 5 Things to about Mesa, Arizona
Life in Phoenix
The great weather in Phoenix is conducive to a fun and fulfilling lifestyle. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast who likes to hit the trail at sunset to catch one of those iconic Arizona sky’s, or a golfer looking to perfect your swing, there are so many activities outside to enjoy in Phoenix.
Nearby you can find fishing and boating, or even create your own backyard oasis that you’ll never want to leave. The Phoenix area hosts a variety of festivals all year long, and there are plenty of groups and meet-ups one can find for yoga, hiking, and other healthy outdoor activities to get your blood pumping, however you choose. Phoenix is a very health conscious place, and it’s easy to find like minded individuals in the area to enjoy the lifestyle with.
Because Phoenix offers such a great outlet for one’s social and personal lifestyle, it also attracts the traffic that comes along with that. For many who aren’t lucky enough to live in Phoenix, it’s worth the drive to visit, which means more cars on the road, and more traffic. Especially given the upswing in Phoenician residents in general, the traffic is probably only going to continue to increase. However, if you are moving to Phoenix from a place like Los Angeles or Chicago, the traffic is still going to look like a walk (or, drive) in the park!
Food & Nightlife in Phoenix
The food scene in Phoenix is one for the books! There are so many amazing restaurants in the area, everything from fine dining and international foods, to dive bars and food trucks. Many of the top restaurants and chefs from all over the world find their way to Phoenix. Meaning you would be hard pressed to ever run out of options when looking for something new to try. If a more casual scene is your vibe, the food at small local establishments and street fare is every bit as delicious, while offering a more economic option for your dining activities.
The nightlife in Phoenix is also on the rise, and residents often head into Scottsdale for the evening to grab a bite and hit the bars. Many young people even choose to live in Scottsdale specifically for the easy access and walkability to its nightlife.
Like all good things, this exciting food scene comes at a price. As the population grows in the Phoenix area, and the culinary and nightlife options expand, the expense of a night out is on the rise. Even the more “middle ground” establishments are beginning to charge premium prices, making it harder for some people to go out and enjoy these places.
If the expense doesn’t seem worth it to you, luckily there are plenty of healthy grocery and farmers market options in Phoenix, so you can bring it home and make it yourself! Remember that wonderful patio weather we talked about? How about some fresh fajitas served al fresco….in your own backyard!
Some of Arizona’s most beautiful and unique cities and landscapes are only a couple hours from Phoenix.
- Take a trip to Sedona and enjoy some beautiful hiking.
- Head to Snowbowl for a ski day and hit the powder.
- Throw the family in the car and go enjoy the Grand Canyon, a site most people have to travel the world (or at least the country) to see!
With the higher elevation of many of these locations, you can beat the heat during the summer and get a weekend respite, while enjoying a little away from home recharge.
If you are a frequent flyer, Phoenix is a fantastic location to live in as a “gateway to the West.” Just an hour flight away is Las Vegas, as well as Los Angeles and Denver being short flights. Looking to REALLY get away? Phoenix is home to the Sky Harbor International Airport, where you can fly directly out of the country, and upon your return, already be home!
While many large cities in America are very walkable and public transit friendly, such as New York City and Chicago, Phoenix is not one of those places. Unless you plan to use ridesharing everywhere you go, you pretty much have to have a car.
Biltmore and Arcadia are areas in which you could probably get around without a car, but public transit in Phoenix isn’t optimum yet. And the city is definitely still trying to figure out the best solution for public transportation. The Light rail is both affordable and eco-friendly, providing those who travel along its path of transit to have a safe and clean transportation option that allows them to avoid parking at their destination,. However it is pretty central to the city and downtown, and doesn’t go too deep into residential areas.
Mass transit, however, is constantly being upgraded in Phoenix, and the options will no doubt continue to increase.
So, there you have it, the pros and cons to living in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’re interested in moving to a Phoenix, Arizona or anywhere in the Phoenix area, give us a call, shoot us a text, or send us an email. We’ll find the perfect location for you.
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