Phoenix: The Valley’s Centerpiece
While many of its suburbs garner much attention, Phoenix remains the centerpiece of the Valley of the Sun. The southwest’s mecca of culture and shopping continues to grow, attracting people from all over the United States. With a population of 1,786,000, residents love the sunny climate and the wealth of outdoor activities. Many homeowners love Phoenix because the cost of living is lower than in its nearby suburbs, making it great for retirees on a fixed income as well as young families. Property taxes are lower, and you’ll often find more home for less money.
Popular and Diverse Neighborhoods
Phoenix has many diverse neighborhoods with something for everyone, from contemporary urban living to suburban-like communities. Many areas have a particular charm and their own unique vibe. Within the city itself, you’ll find residences ranging in price from the low $300,000s to over $4 million. Phoenix’s northern area is particularly attractive because of the outstanding vistas of the surrounding mountains and desert. Consider the following:
Biltmore – An established master-planned development and one of the city’s most affluent districts with unique subdivisions ranging from condos to large family estates.
Arcadia – Northeast’s Phoenix slice of suburban life in an urban setting offers mature landscaping, views of Camelback Mountain, and trendy shops and restaurants.
Echo Canyon – A gorgeous gated neighborhood with a community pool and tennis, spectacular mountain views and easy access to the Loop 101 Freeway.
Roosevelt Row – A highly walkable neighborhood with boutiques and award-winning restaurants that is excellent for creatives and young professionals who want to live downtown.
Other popular neighborhoods are:
- Desert Ridge
- North Mountain
One of the advantages of living in Phoenix is that residents can find daily needs like grocery stores, banks, drug stores, etc., on almost every corner. You’ll also have several outstanding shopping options in larger destination malls.
- Arizona Center – Located downtown, this open-air oasis has specialty retailers and plentiful dining amid ponds and gardens.
- Tanger Outlet –Head to the city’s westside for outlet shopping from The Gap, Calvin Klein, Coach, and more.
- Biltmore Fashion Park – At the other end of the spectrum is this upscale mall featuring luxury retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s. The mall also has a selection of fine restaurants.
- Desert Ridge Marketplace in North Phoenix is great for families. It has a Dave & Busters entertainment center, an interactive splash pad and water features, plus great upscale shopping.
Southwest and Mexican cuisine is prevalent in Phoenix, and if you have to select just one cuisine to focus on in Phoenix, it would be Mexican and its close relative Southwestern cuisine. Among the restaurant to try are:
- Sierra Bonta Grills
- Testal Mexican Kitchen
- PHX Burrito House
- Barrio Café
Don’t forget the upscale restaurants. You’ll find exquisite fare at places like Kai in the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort, but you’ll also want to try these stand-alone offerings:
- The Arrogant Butcher
- Quiessence at The Farm
- Binkley’s Restaurant
- Vincent on Camelback
Resort and Native Landscape Golf
Courses and country clubs in Scottsdale get all the attention, but you’ll also find several gems within Phoenix.
Various VIPS, including U.S. Presidents, have played here. Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. built the courses. Choose between the Adobe course, built in 1928, or the shorter Links course.
Nick Faldo and Arnold Palmer each designed a course apiece at this JW Marriott club. The Faldo course has long fairways and numerous bunkers, while the Palmer course is longer and more challenging.
Located at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, this Troon Golf Experience offers gorgeous views. Twelve holes play through preserve land, giving golfers uninterrupted views of Piestewa Peak and Lookout Mountain.
Papago Golf Club
Set in Papago Park, this picturesque course is a golfing gem located less than two miles from Sky Harbor International Airport. Created by the architect of Torrey Pines in California, the course has iconic views of Papago Buttes and Camelback Mountain.
Tennis and Pickleball
Tennis has long reigned in second place behind golf as Phoenix’s go-to recreational sport, and now pickleball joins it. Dozens of city parks have first-come-first-served tennis, pickleball, and multi-use courts. You’ll find wonderful facilities at the following locations.
Phoenix Tennis Center
This full-service facility offers 25 post-tension courts, leagues, tournaments, reservations, professional instruction, a junior players program, and a pro shop.
Encanto Sports Complex
This multi-sports facility has eight lighted tennis courts and three lighted pickleball courts, lessons and leagues.
Other Court Facilities
Athletes will also find tennis and pickleball courts at Mountain View Community Center and the Rose Mofford Sports Complex.
These sites offer pickleball-only courts:
- Pecos Community Center
- Sunnyslope Community Center
- Washington Activity Center
- Deem Hills Park