Top 5 Cities to Live in Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona, is the fifth-largest city in the United States. This can make the thought of moving daunting, to say the least. How can you narrow down which neighborhoods and suburbs of Phoenix might be the best place for you? Living in a city so large is actually more like living in one of its many smaller towns that make up a greater metropolis. Check out five of the best cities to live in Phoenix, and see if any of them sound like your “Goldilocks” town: not too much of this, or too little of that, but just right!

Top Cities to live in Phoenix

1. Chandler

While there are so many wonderful places to call home in the southeast valley, perhaps the most well-located is Chandler. Slightly more developed than many of its nearby neighbors, Chandler is the closest neighborhood in the area to freeways and entertainment. Tech jobs make up a great deal of the job opportunity in Chandler, so its population grows annually as this mini-Silicon Valley gets larger and larger. Family-friendly and comfortable, Chandler has very low crime rates, making it a wonderful place to raise a family.

Entertainment is paramount in Chandler. Whether that’s going to a movie, or going out to eat at a fun restaurant, Chandler has a ton of great entertainment options close to home. This cozy town offers aesthetically pleasing shopping centers, a great downtown with fun nightlife, and plenty of smaller local establishments. You’ll never run out of fun restaurants to try, or places to shop; and as Chandler grows, these areas only get nicer and nicer. Perhaps one of the cons of Chandler, however, is the fact that as it continues to grow, it is becoming increasingly crowded. While a bit of elbow-rubbing may seem of little inconvenience to you, it’s worth taking into consideration

main street of Chandler AZ at night, top cities to live in Phoenix AZ

2. Fountain Hills

Fountain Hills is arguably one of the lesser-known suburbs to make our list, but this small and sparsely populated town certainly deserves a place of honor. Only about 25,000 people call Fountain Hills home, but the residents like it that way. Peaceful, quiet desert living is the name of the game in Fountain Hills. If you like to get rowdy, you probably should look for a different neighborhood. But if you love the tranquility of the desert sunset and a laid-back lifestyle, the rolling hills and desert views might make Fountain Hills just the place for you.

The median home price in Fountain Hills ranges from around $500,000 to $700,000, so this certainly isn’t a neighborhood for the penny pincher. Because the homes are more expensive and the lifestyle is quieter, Fountain Hills attracts an older demographic. That doesn’t mean you won’t see families and young couples around town, it just won’t have the same density of young people as perhaps Glendale, or Scottsdale. Golf is a very popular pastime in Fountain Hills. But even if you don’t have the best golf swing, there are so many places to hike and get outdoors you will hardly miss out if you aren’t spending your outside hours on the course.

Aerial view of Fountain Hills neighborhood, top cities to live in Phoenix AZ

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3. Tempe

Just north of Chandler, south of Scottsdale, and east of Phoenix, is one of the most popular neighborhoods on our list: Tempe. One of the biggest draws to Tempe is the proximity to the rest of the Phoenix Metro Area. Tempe is a great location for the frequent flier because the Phoenix airport is just about ten minutes away. The Phoenix epicenter of entertainment, Scottsdale, AZ, is about a five to ten-minute drive from Tempe, making it a popular place for young adults to call home. The stadiums in Downtown Phoenix are ten to fifteen minutes from Tempe, so it’s perfect for the sports enthusiast. Whatever you like to do in Phoenix, you’re close to it all in Tempe.

Arizona State University calls Tempe home, so that brings the liveliness of a college town to the area. The campus is beautiful and inviting, dotted with unique and fun places to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. The north and south sides of Tempe are visibly defined due to the highway, I60, running horizontally right through the middle of town. Tempe’s north side is the oldest part of town. With the boundaries of Tempe being pushed inward by surrounding suburbs, you see a lot of upward growth here. South Tempe is a bit more family-friendly and residential (though anywhere in Tempe is wonderful for raising a family.) Neighborhoods abound, and buyers will see plenty of new construction homes in South Tempe. If you like Tempe, but want a yard and a large home, South Tempe will definitely be a better fit for you than the north end of town.

Bridge to Tempe AZ, top cities to live in Phoenix AZ

4. Scottsdale

With a population of 250,000 people, Scottsdale is not only one of the largest suburbs on our list, but in all of the Metro Phoenix Area. Scottsdale is well known and relatively expensive. When you think of all it has to offer, the sticker shock comes as no surprise. For every consumer, Scottsdale has an entertainment option, and not just in Old Town Scottsdale. Nearby you’ll find countless ways to enjoy hiking trails and the beautiful Arizona weather. If you’re a sports person, the arenas are always hosting some sort of sporting event. The downtown area is known for its excess of bars and dining options, and a plethora of art galleries supporting local southwestern art.

The attention to detail and cleanliness in Scottsdale is palpable to both residents and visitors. The Phoenix area is huge, but you’ll absolutely notice when you’ve stepped into Scottsdale borders. There is no graffiti, sidewalks are clean, trash cans aren’t overflowing, and beautiful landscaping is manicured and well kept. All the parks are clean and safe, and the general infrastructure is held to high standards so that the entire town has a cohesive upscale vibe.  Though the look and feel of Scottsdale may not be for everybody, it’s certainly lovely.

Beautiful Scottsdale home, top cities to live in Phoenix AZ

5. Glendale

West Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing parts of town, but well-established Glendale has been there for over a century. Glendale is located in what’s referred to as the “West Valley” region of the Phoenix area.  Here you’ll also find Peoria, a quickly growing suburb of Phoenix, as well as Sun City West, if you continue Northwest, away from Phoenix. Glendale is only about twenty minutes from Phoenix, and the 101 runs right through the area, making travel a breeze getting in and out of the city. Some of the most popular areas of Glendale are Westgate and the University of Phoenix Stadium, always bustling with sporting events, festivals, or concerts.

Glendale is one of the most affordable and family-friendly suburbs of Phoenix. There is always something fun to do, and the homes are some of the most “home for your dollar” properties in Phoenix.  Nearby you’ll find an outlet mall and golfing areas, and plenty of activities in historic Glendale. The Arrowhead Towne Center on the northern end of Glendale is a massive shopping center, replete with everything a shopper could need, and plenty of dining options for those hungry shopaholics!  Like so many of the small communities surrounding the Phoenix Metro Area, you’ll find so much to do here, you almost never even need to go into Phoenix if you don’t want to!

Aerial view of Glendale Arizona, top cities to live in Phoenix AZ

Are these the absolute best places to live in Phoenix?

Well, subjectively, yes and no. While all of these cities have much to offer residents, they are certainly not the only places to live in Phoenix. In fact, you might not even consider them to be the best of the Phoenix suburbs at all! The perfect place to call home looks different for everybody. That’s one of the wonderful things about Phoenix, there is truly a place for almost every kind of resident. Whether you are looking for nightlife, or proximity to hiking, or a safe place to live where your children can walk home from school in the afternoon, you can almost certainly find whatever you desire in Phoenix.  

One of the best ways to find out if an area you are considering would actually be a good place for you and your family to live is to ask around.  Facebook groups and other online forums are a fantastic way to chat with locals and see what they have to say about their area. Websites like are excellent resources for information about local school ratings in any given area. You can read about crime rates and other statistics on websites like At the end of the day, if you think an area looks perfect, and you have done your research, only you can decide if it is the best city in Phoenix for you!

Moving to Phoenix, Arizona?

Are you thinking of moving to the Phoenix Metro Area? If so, reach out to me at AZLiveStyles, and let’s get to work finding your next home in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona!