Living in AZ - What You Need To Know
WELCOME TO PHOENIX
Anchored by the nation’s fifth largest city, the state capital of Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun draws together vibrant suburbs, friendly small towns, urban villages, and other major cities to embrace every lifestyle and environment. Serving as a leading business and cultural hub of the Southwest, Phoenix is the heart of a rapidly growing metropolis. The reasons behind this region’s phenomenal growth are rooted in the enviable high quality of life and a cost of living that compares favorably with other leading cities across the nation.
The very same bright sunshine, superb recreational opportunities, and first-rate attractions that draw millions of tourists and seasonal visitors have made the Valley one of the most popular relocation destinations in the nation. Tourism and hospitality, healthcare, education, retail activity, high-tech manufacturing, and construction are just a few of the established and growing industries. Accolades for the Valley of the Sun are abundant. Expansion Management magazine recently cited the desirability of the Phoenix Metropolitan area in its report on “America’s 50 Hottest Cities,” ranking it second only to Jacksonville, Florida, as a preferred site for business.
Efficient and extensive, the Valley’s vast transportation network includes high-speed freeways that traverse every quadrant and loop the metropolis. Fixed-route buses, park and ride lots, ride sharing and vanpool assistance, special lanes for high-occupancy vehicles, and dial-a-ride services are already in place. The New light rail system is in place, with the first segment from the East Valley into central Phoenix synchronizing well with Arizona State University’s expanded presence in downtown Phoenix.
Over 60 public school districts offer a complete range of educational services, complemented by a selection of private schools, both independent and parochial. Traditional and special programs offer students ample space to learn, grow and meet their unfolding academic and social challenges in a safe, supportive atmosphere. The high school curriculum is geared toward college preparation, vocational training, and grooming today’s students to assume vital, productive roles as young leaders in a competitive marketplace.
Arizona State University stands as the undisputed leader in higher education, serving more than 60,000 students on multiple valley wide campuses. Maricopa County manages a network of respected community colleges that offer affordable vocational and college-track programs close to every metropolitan address. A wealth of general and specialized institutions also call the Valley of the Sun home. Included on this impressive list are DeVry Institute of Technology, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, Grand Canyon University, High-Tech Institute, Devry University’s Keller Graduate School of Management, and Thunderbird Garvin School of International Management.
Newcomers can look forward to state-of-the-art healthcare service throughout the metropolitan area, encompassing such world-renowned innovators as the Mayo Clinic. Banner Health serves as one of the Valley’s largest employers and one of the largest, nonprofit healthcare systems in the entire nation. Honor Health and the John C. Lincoln Health network, represent other major systems that efficiently manage the Valley’s hospitals and specialty care centers. Support facilities meet every need, from family practice and emergency walk-in care centers to same-day surgery, rehabilitation therapies, and sports medicine. Area hospitals are active in the community, providing health screenings, classes, immunization clinics, and public education programs.
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Culture & Recreation
From the sophistication of Scottsdale and the downtown Phoenix cultural centers to the rural atmosphere that prevails in the region’s small towns, the Valley of the Sun is a study in contrasts and variety. Rodeos and opera, symphony and NASCAR racing, vast expanses of high desert and canyon lakes—facilities and activities for every imaginable interest or hobby can be found at a location close to home. The Valley of the Sun excels in offering attractions that please every age group. Those who enjoy spectator sports events can look forward to cheering professional teams for stadium and arena football, baseball, hockey, and basketball. Some of the most popular baseball teams in the nation make the Valley their home for spring training, while events like the Waste Management Phoenix Open PGA Golf Tournament and the All-Arabian Horse Show attract international crowds.
Communities throughout the valley have developed many wonderful museums, art galleries, venues for the performing arts, and colorful festivals. Glendale takes pride in its status as “Arizona’s Antique Capital,” while Scottsdale specializes in exclusive boutiques and high fashion. Downtown Phoenix bustles with activity in dazzling performing arts centers such as Phoenix Symphony Hall, Dodge Theatre, the Herberger Theater, and Orpheum Theatre or uniquely designed sports stadiums.
With the Valley’s reputation for abundant sunshine and four-season activity, the opportunities for outdoor adventure and recreation are equally well developed. Horseback riding, hot air ballooning, hang gliding, rock climbing, backpacking, hiking, biking, camping, boating, ice skating, and water sports are just a few of the possibilities that are available in or near the metropolitan area. Many of the residents of Metropolitan Phoenix are avid skiers, taking advantage of fine ski resorts in the White Mountains, Tucson, or Flagstaff as well as cross-country ski trails along the Mogollon Rim.
Housing throughout the Valley ranges from modest family homes in welcoming neighborhoods to stunning master-planned communities where some of the world’s finest estates overlook pristine golf-course fairways. The vast open space that once surrounded Metropolitan Phoenix is rapidly giving way to beautiful residential villages complete with sparkling lakes, golf courses, tennis courts, lavish clubhouses, fitness and spa centers, miles of multi-purpose trails, shopping, and schools. Even in the heart of the city, upscale neighborhoods like Biltmore, Arcadia, and Encanto-Palmcroft still command top dollar for majestic homes shaded by mature greenery. Throughout the Valley of the Sun, you’ll discover the natural beauty and relaxing Southwestern lifestyle that has made Metropolitan Phoenix one of the world’s most desirable locations.
The eyes of the nation have definitely turned toward Phoenix, recently claiming the status of the fifth largest city in the nation. The visionary leadership, careful planning, and targeted promotion that marked the 1980s resulted in explosive growth within every possible arena of activity and endeavor. Phoenix, already Arizona’s capital city as well as the seat of government for Maricopa County, has assumed a whole new global identity in recent years as “The Place” to live, work, and play in the Southwest. Even the long-standing lucrative tourism industry has moved beyond seasonal ups and downs into a year-round boom.
The rich, colorful history of this flourishing metropolis has its roots in 300 A.D. when the gentle, agricultural Hohokam Indians first settled the region. True to the mythical heritage of its name, modern Phoenix “rose from the ashes” of the Hohokam ruins and their ancient canal system. This pattern of emerging renewed and transformed has continued throughout the city’s rich history, beginning with the first significant surge of population at the end of World War II. With the advent of refrigerated air-conditioning, Phoenix grew in appeal as a retirement or winter vacation haven. Summer comfort could now blend with swaying palm trees, endless sunshine, crystalline lakes, and Sonoran desert beauty to attract increasing numbers of year-round residents.
- Settling In
- East Valley
- Master-Planned Communities
- Northeast Valley
- City of Phoenix
- West Valley
- Pinal County
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