The opportunities and experiences of living in Phoenix, Arizona are immense. Warm weather, abundant golf courses, world class resorts, outstanding dining, major sports events, numerous colleges and universities, vast local attractions and events, endless shopping, and continuous golden sunsets combine to create living in Phoenix Arizona an extraordinary lifestyle.
Phoenix, Arizona is located in Maricopa County. Phoenix is the capitol of Arizona, has a population of 1,500,000 plus inhabitants and is the 7th largest metropolitan city in the United States. The “Valley of the Sun” is encompassed by sun soaked desert vistas, the distinguishable saguaro cactus, tall majestic palm trees, the rocky mountain peaks of the Estrella Mountains, refreshing lakes, shining rivers, and many square miles of agricultural fields. Just as the Phoenix area is diverse in its landscape so are the reasons people choose to live here.
Living in Phoenix, Arizona presents some of the best winter weather this country has to offer. This needs be the main reason a person chooses to live in Phoenix, because if you do not enjoy constant warm weather, Phoenix is not going to be your favorite place to live. The warm temperatures Phoenix presents to its populace is the key factor for my enjoyment of living in the “Valley of the Sun”. Phoenix averages 300 sunny days a year and the average rainfall is 8.4 inches. It is no wonder so many people take advantage of the Phoenix area in the winter months. After my first winter living in Phoenix I finally understood the “snowbird” mentality. The summer weather in Phoenix is a totally different story all together. Yes, it is a dry heat but when the monsoon season comes, typically in July and August, it is no longer a dry heat. The high summer temperatures can reach over 110 degrees which pulls moisture up from the Gulf of Mexico and causes the monsoons. High winds and precipitation in the summer months is not uncommon. And even a small amount of humidity can be very uncomfortable. When this happens you can stay in your air-conditioned home, travel in your air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned office or air-conditioned shopping mall. Air-conditioning is a must have for living in Phoenix, Arizona.
Phoenix, Arizona offers the golfing enthusiast numerous golf courses to improve their game. I am not a golfer, but if you love golf, the Phoenix area is a golfers Mecca with over 200 courses to choose from! These are the courses I hear about over and over; Troon North Golf Club, The Phoenician Golf Club, Greyhawk Golf Club, The Boulders Golf Club and TPC of Scottsdale. Price ranges from $150 to $200 and most top courses require reservations.
If you are looking for a special weekend getaway right at home, world class resorts are abundant in the Phoenix area. Some of the services provided at a world class resort are; dining, tennis, golfing, day spa packages, outdoor adventure, weddings, group events and shopping. To receive a 5 Diamond rating by AAA a resort has to be renowned, be a world-famous property with the highest standards of service and hospitality in the industry. Here is a list of the 5 Diamond Resorts in the Phoenix area; The Boulders Resort, The Fairmont Scottsdale, Camelback Inn Marriot Resort &Spa, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, and The Phoenician. Prices vary considerably; you will need to contact the resorts for availability and rates.
The dining out experience is huge in Phoenix, Arizona, from inexpensive fast food to gourmet meals prepared by renowned chefs. A person might not ever have to cook in their own kitchen living in Phoenix, Arizona and be able to visit a new eating establishment every day! A few of my personal favorite sit down restaurants are; The Black Angus Steakhouse, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Ruby Tuesdays, and Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. My favorite Fast Food eateries are; Panda Express, Filibertos Mexican Food, and Patrons Pizza. The top rated Gourmet restaurants in Phoenix are; Houston’s, T. Cooks and Kai Restaurant. Phoenix is soon to be recognized as an international dining destination. Whatever your budget and taste buds consent there is a restaurant in Phoenix to satisfy your cravings!
Major sporting events are also the norm in Phoenix, Arizona. The NBA’s Phoenix Suns, the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and the world champion Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team all reside in the Phoenix area. Home games are always exciting to attend. This past baseball season we were in attendance for the last home game of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nosebleed seats were only $5 and included the game, a fireworks show and a live concert. How is that for a night of cheap entertainment!
The vast local events and activities that happen in the Phoenix area everyday are sure to bring some type of entertainment for everyone. If you think there is nothing to do in the Phoenix area you have not explored the opportunities. A very informative event website is About.com/Phoenix. There are so many annual events and festivals, family events, sports, nightlife, arts, music, outdoor events and much more happening in the greater Phoenix area you simply can not do it all! Bookmark and keep checking back here on my profile because I will be posting upcoming events in Phoenix, Arizona as well.
Shopping is across the board excellent in Phoenix because you have every type of store and shop imaginable. Malls such as Arizona Mills can give you that “shop ’till you drop” experience. For the guys who love the outdoors there are sporting goods stores including the famous Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops. Cabelas is like an amusement park for hunters and can provide them with the “shop ’till you drop” experience as well. Outlet stores, discount stores, strip malls, clothing chains, second hand stores, boutiques, specialty shops, home improvement, and more make Phoenix a retail haven. Whatever you need to purchase you will find it in Phoenix!
Now let’s take a look at non recreational topics for living in Phoenix, Arizona because it can’t be all play!
If you want to further your education while living in the Phoenix area, you are in luck because Phoenix has a large selection of colleges, technical schools, institutes, and universities. Many community colleges are scattered throughout the valley. ASU is located in Tempe. Other university campuses include University of Phoenix, DeVry University and Grand Canyon University. One of the institutes that most interests me is Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you are longing to become a great chef like my daughter does, this is the school for you. The education possibilities are enormous in the Phoenix area.
Elementary, middle and high schools vary in academic quality throughout the Phoenix area as they do in any large city. It is wise to investigate each school for academic rating, parental comments, and reviews before placing your child in a specific school. GreatSchools.org can provide information on local schools and parent – student reviews. Just because you live in a certain district does not mean you can not apply for a variance to a different school. There are also private and charter school alternatives.
Because of the recent national economic struggles, Phoenix is experiencing its share of economic woe and it is predicted that it might not be until 2013 before Arizona’s non farm employment returns to the pre-recession levels and for the unemployment rate to drop below 6%. This economic information is not happy news, but needs to be shared so that you can see both sides of the coin so to speak. Phoenix still has a positive business climate and the cost of living is reasonable, couple that with the agricultural, industrial, private and service industries, we can hope that the economy in Phoenix, Arizona will begin to repair itself soon. If you are searching out employment opportunities in Phoenix there are resources available to help you land that perfect job. Here are some helpful links:
Arizona Employment Resources
If you live here in Phoenix, as the day comes to an end go outside and enjoy the golden fiery sunset, maybe take a few photos to share with your friends or family who aren’t as blessed as you to live here and plan what you will do this weekend in the “Valley of the Sun”.
Sources: city-data.com/phoenix, About.com/phoenix, Eller College of Management