Arizona sunset near Phoenix, Arizona

City Guide / Phoenix

A Beginner’s Guide to Moving to Phoenix

By Bri Hand | Aug 2, 2021

Phoenix, Arizona, has become an increasingly popular location for those looking for a change of scenery—whether you’re seeking ruby desertscapes or skyscraper-embellished skylines. 

If you’re considering moving to Phoenix, this guide covers everything from the most popular neighborhoods to the most beautiful outdoor escapes: 

What to know before you move to Phoenix, AZ

Before you pack up your favorite collection of mugs and tell your family you’re moving to Phoenix, you may want to get to know the Southwest’s largest city first. Let’s run through a few facts about Phoenix, Arizona, and what Phoenix is known for to get you acclimated: 

  • Climate: Speaking of getting acclimated, don’t forget that this Arizona city sits within a desert. As part of the Sonoran Desert, this area is typically warm, sunny, and dry, with temperatures typically ranging from 45 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. The city’s average temperature lands right around 75 degrees year-round. You can feel comfortable ditching your snow boots, packing the sunscreen, and getting used to the calming hum of air-conditioning.
  • Geography: Bordered by California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Mexico, Arizona is certainly a landlocked state, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any shorelines. There are a number of lakes (many of them manmade) in the metropolitan area. And, of course, this city is nothing without its magnificent canyons and mountain ranges, including Camelback Mountain, which surrounds the city. 
  • Population: For the statistically curious, Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the U.S. in terms of population, with 1.6 million residents. The average Phoenician is around 33 years old, making it a go-to spot for millennials in search of bustling nightlife, gorgeous outdoor attractions, and an ideal climate for succulents. 
  • History: As the 48th state to be admitted into the Union, Arizona was relatively unpopulated until the last century. Back then, there were cowboys, gold mines, and the Lost Dutchman, a treasure hunter whose body is still rumored to sit in one of the caves outside of the large city. But, a lot has changed since then. As the capital of Arizona and its most populated city, this vibrant locale is still in its growing phases—and perfect for those looking to make a bit of history of their own.

The most popular neighborhoods of Phoenix

This large metropolitan city offers a variety of neighborhoods tailored to the needs and interests of a diverse population. To put it simply, there’s a place for everyone moving to the area.

Whether you like bustling urban areas, open-air markets, or the quieter side of life, the Valley of the Sun has you covered. Here are just a few of the most exciting and vibrant neighborhoods in Phoenix for you to get to know before moving:

Arcadia

Just 15 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arcadia is lush, green, and quieter than the average neighborhood. However, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice city amenities for a little peace and quiet.

Arcadia offers things like:

  • Wide streets and large properties
  • Lush landscapes and citrus trees
  • Historic homes from the ‘50s and ‘60s

Arcadia boasts small-town charms for urban village city-dwellers who are looking for a little bit of the country within the city.

Roosevelt Row

If you’re looking for eclectic, hip, and artsy, Roosevelt Row has that in spades. From their Friday Art Walk to the Cobra Bar Arcade, this small neighborhood has a lot to flaunt.

Your inner bohemian will feel right at home among:

  • Beautiful public murals
  • Boutique shopping
  • Local art galleries

After immersing yourself in the culture of Roosevelt Row, you might not want to leave.

Downtown Phoenix

From sports stadiums like Chase Field to concert venues to nighttime bars and coffee shops, downtown has it all. Take a break in the breathtaking Phoenix Art Museum before visiting the CityScape Complex to check out what’s new in fashion and retail.

Downtown is the perfect neighborhood for:

  • An evening of shopping and dining
  • A night of theatre and concerts
  • A day of national sporting events

Downtown Phoenix is quite literally the heart of the city—it pumps with city-slickers and sports-lovers alike. And, if you’re looking to wake up and immediately take in the skyline, you’ve found the right place for high-rises—just be sure to bring your sunglasses.

Workplaces in Phoenix

If you’re not working remotely, you’re going to need to find a job before moving. Luckily, with more than 800,000 residents in the workforce, this Arizona city is brimming with a variety of wonderful workplaces. 

Here are some of the favorites in town:

  • Shamrock Foods: With a culturally diverse staff and expertise in high-quality food, Shamrock Foods delivers artisanal foods throughout the Phoenix area. As a staff member, you’ll be operating under a family-owned community with access to healthcare plans, 401(K) savings plans, and paid time off—not to mention the sweet, sweet scents of delectable goods. 
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital: With specialties in inpatient, outpatient, emergency, trauma, and urgent care pediatric services, Phoenix Children’s Hospital is a great choice for traveling nurses or those wishing to work within the medical field. 
  • Maricopa County: Like Phoenix, the staff of Maricopa County is ethnically diverse. The county provides regional fiscal and political leadership, from Deputy Sheriffs to Mental Health Managers. 

No matter your job-to-be, this city has a diverse selection of workplaces that will surely check each of your boxes. 

Transportation in Phoenix

With over 500 square miles (as part of a 2,000 square-mile metropolitan area), this large city has a lot to explore. Before you plan on moving, it’s helpful to have an idea about how you’ll get around once you’re there. 

  • Driving: There’s no denying that Phoenix is a car-forward city. With its large geographic area and sprawling cityscape, there’s no easier way to get around the city or nearby areas like Scottsdale than in an automobile. Pop the top, roll down the windows (or blast the AC), and cruise through town at your leisure.
  • Public transportation: If you want to ditch your car and explore the city via public transit, you have a few options. Between city buses, the light-rail, and ride-share choices, you don’t have to be in the driver’s seat to travel around quickly and efficiently.
  • Walking and biking: If you don’t have a need for speed, you can take a more leisurely route through the city. Many individual neighborhoods are walkable, especially Downtown Phoenix. For those who prefer to pedal, you’re in luck: This city is is bike-friendly. There are plenty of desert trails for mountain bikers, too. 

Choose your transportation method of choice and you’ll be able to see the city at the pace that’s right for you. Just remember, there’s a lot to see if you’re moving to Phoenix!

Natural beauty in Phoenix

Once you’ve got a grip on where to live and how to get around, you’re probably going to be itching to leave the house and find out some fun things to do in Phoenix. While this Arizona city is located just over 200 miles from the Grand Canyon, the Phoenix metro area is also home to several parks, trails, and scenic vistas of its own where you can soak up the desert rays. 

Experienced hikers, nature watchers, and novice trekkers alike can find a lot to love about the area’s natural beauty. As such, here are a few of Phoenix’s greatest outdoor spots for the outdoor enthusiast:

South Mountain Park and Preserve

Boasting three mountain ranges, 50 miles of trails, and plenty of roads for biking or driving, South Mountain Park is a breathtaking destination. If you’re interested in overlooking views, you can check out Dobbins Lookout—the highest point in the park—which sits at 2,330 feet. The lookout offers an idyllic view of Paradise Valley and the entirety of the city.

The South Mountain Park and Preserve is perfect for:

  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking

South Mountain Park and Preserve was established during the Great Depression and is not only a natural wonder but a historical landmark as well.

Encanto Park

For a more relaxed outdoor option, check out Encanto Park. Located in Central Phoenix, the park covers over 200 acres of land. This park is all about R&R, and it’s perfect for those looking to skip the intense outdoor adventures.

Encanto Park offers options like:

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Golfing

Bring a swimsuit, fishing rod, and a fully stocked cooler, and you’ll be ready to make a day out of one of the most comfortable parks around.

Roadrunner Park

Feeling a little sporty? Roadrunner Park is the spot for sports-minded Phoenicians looking to get out on the court and get a little physical.

Stop by Roadrunner Park for amenities like:

  • Baseball diamonds
  • Soccer fields
  • Tennis courts

Plus, if you’re there on a Saturday, the park hosts a local farmers market where you can pick up fresh produce to supplement your day of healthy hobbies. Look at you, showing off!

Nightlife and entertainment in Phoenix

So, you’ve had a day of panoramic views, unparalleled hikes, and high doses of physical activity—what’s left to do besides kick back and hit the sack early?

Not so fast! There’s more to Phoenix than pretty sights. The city offers an electric nightlife for every occasion. Whether you’re looking to clink some classic cocktails or dance the night away in a chic club, there’s a spot for you.

A couple of recommendations for Phoenix nightlife include:

  • Valley Bar: Kick it with the hip-and-happening at this downtown dive. As a venue for comedy, music, and art, they’ve got entertainment covered. If you’re not looking to check out the night’s activities, you can always walk into the game room, shoot some billiards, play some pinball, or throw some darts. Good luck being bored here! 
  • Merc Bar: If you’re in the mood for something a little fancier, take a stroll over to Merc Bar. With its East Coast atmosphere, wood-paneled interior, and high-end dress code, Merc Bar is for the sophisticated diner looking to indulge, and it’s the chosen locale for those celebrating a special occasion.
  • Crescent Ballroom: Just big enough to be rowdy, but still small enough to be intimate, the Crescent Ballroom is the venue for dancing the night away to any number of local and national acts. This former garage boasts a delicious menu of Tex-Mex favorites, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about is getting a cramp on the dance floor!

Land in a great apartment in Phoenix, AZ

Now that we’ve taken you through the must-knows of living in Phoenix, you’re probably eager for the move. Landing offers fully furnished apartments in Phoenix with flexible lease terms that make moving easy. Browse our available apartments in Phoenix, or contact us to learn more about what a Landing membership can do for you!

blog-cta-city-phoenix

About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.