City Guide of Phoenix, Arizona
History: The history of the inhabitation of Phoenix dates back all the way to B.C. when the paleo Indians settled in the Salt River Valley. Slowly other tribes came into the area from Mexico, California, and beyond. Overtime settlements expanded south into Phoenix in 1867 and the city was officially incorporated in 1881. Phoenix was an agricultural area and during the lead up to World War II the city’s economy was fully based on its production of cotton, citrus, cattle, copper, and climate. After the war, Phoenix grew rapidly in population as the men discharged brought their families with them and the city also provided air conditioning. Since then, the Phoenix has become the fifth largest city in the entire United States. It is predicted in years to come that the city will continue to have an influx of people and move up to fourth place by 2020.
Location: Phoenix is a city found in the State of Arizona. It is the capital of Arizona and the biggest city in the state. Not to mention Phoenix is also the fifth largest city in the United States. The town is also the heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Phoenix borders Scottsdale and lies north of the Sonoran Desert. The city is situated within Maricopa County. Here you will find a hot desert climate, rocky terrain, mountains, and plenty of cacti.
Commutes: Of Arizona’s larger metropolitan areas, Phoenix has some of the shortest commute times. There is a huge network of highways, interstates, and freeways so obtaining a car is recommended. Generally, traffic moves quickly in the city and HOV lanes help to relieve rush hour backups often seen in bigger cities. If purchasing or renting a vehicle is not in the cards, Phoenix also offers a light rail system, bus system, and you can also rent a bike if so desired. In addition, there are also two main airports for longer commutes — Phoenix Sky Harbor and the Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport.
Culture: Phoenix is often referred to as the “Valley of the Sun” and rightly so. The hot desert city is one of the most sunny in all of America. The western town is complete with cowboys, beautiful scenery, mountains and cacti, and more resorts, activities, festivals, and spas the one even needs. Phoenix is a quality place to live as it provides residents with a ton of job opportunities and an extremely low cost of living. From the parks and botanical gardens, to the zoos, museums and beyond, living in Phoenix means there will never be a dull moment.
The Phoenix City Council is comprised of eight different members along with the Mayor, all of which serve four-year terms. The Council works towards keeping the city as safe and economically efficient as possible. Whether that be through the passing of ordinances or the employment of first responders.
Phone: (602) 262-6011
Address: 200 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003
The Mayor of Phoenix has a vested interest in improving the city’s transportation systems and desires to create over 1,000 new bike lines for commuters. In addition, the Mayor also wants to continue on the track of keeping Phoenix sustainable by cutting pollution and ensuring the city’s eco-responsibility is met.
Phone: (602) 262-7111
Address: 200 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce dates back more than 125 years and has been meeting the needs of the business community ever since. Within the past couple of years the Chamber has launched the Phoenix Forward. The program offers a unique strategy to further economic development by supporting local businesses.
Phone: (602) 495-2195
Address: 201 N. Central Ave., Ste. 2700, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Overview: To accommodate the large population of Phoenix there are over 58 school districts in the city. Besides the plethora of preschools, elementary, middle, and high schools there are also multiple colleges and universities which keeps the Phoenix economy thriving. A few of these being: Arizona State University, University of Phoenix, Argosy University, Maricopa Community College, and Western International University. To keep students engaged during the long summer break, the Arizona Education Association has implemented discounted continuing education for teachers who desire to further enhance the education of their students. The city also sets high educational standards and employs rigorous curriculum for both public and private schools. This may explain why Arizona students score exceptionally high — over and above the national average — on things such as the College Readiness Exam and SAT & ACT.
School Districts: There are over 30 different school districts within Phoenix, Arizona. The city includes a mix of areas specific to elementary schools, high schools, and then unified districts. A Unified school district just means the section is comprised of institutions ranging from kindergarten all the way to 12th grade under the same district control. The Chandler Unified District reins in as the number one best in all of the Phoenix area. Cave Creek Unified, Kyrene Elementary School District, Deer Valley Unified, and Scottsdale Unified are also exceptional.
Unified School Districts
Cave Creek Unified School District
Deer Valley Unified School District
Paradise Valley Unified School District
Scottsdale Unified School District
Peoria Unified School District
Elementary School Districts
Alhambra Elementary School District
Balsz Elementary School District
Cartwright Elementary School District
Creighton Elementary School District
Fowler Elementary School District
Isaac Elementary School District
Kyrene Elementary School District
Laveen Elementary School District
Littleton Elementary School District
Madison Elementary School District
Murphy Elementary School District
Osborn Elementary School District
Pendergast Elementary School District
Phoenix Elementary School District
Riverside Elementary School District
Roosevelt Elementary School District
Tempe Elementary School District
Tolleson Elementary School District
Union Elementary School District
Washington Elementary School District
Wilson Elementary School District
High School Districts
Glendale Union High School District
Phoenix Union High School District
Tempe Union High School District
Tolleson Union High School District
The Phoenix Elementary School District #1 (PESD), operates on the motto of “1st class education within reach.” This is because it was the first free public school district in Arizona. Within PESD, there are schools of gifted education, special education, and more. However, all of the best elementary schools in Phoenix stem from either a public school or a public charter. Institutions such as Alhambra Traditional School, Arizona School for the Arts, Kyrene de las Sierra School, Kyrene De Los Cerritos, and Kyrene Monte Vista, are known to offer students a high quality of education.
All in all, there are over 250 middle schools located in Phoenix, Arizona. Therefore students can precisely narrow down which school they want to attend based on things like religious affiliation, sports, or programs of interest because there are so many options available. The beauty is that no matter which district is closest to you there is a quality middle school right around the corner. For those within the Madison District, Madison Traditional Academy is highly regarded. If in the Washington District, you may find Palo verde Middle a suitable choice. If living in the Phoenix Elementary School District, no worries, the Kenilworth School is an exceptional public institution serving students Pre-k through 8th.
High Schools in Phoenix essentially span throughout the entire city. There are schools which serve thousands upon thousands of students and there are other institutions which keep the student population fairly small. Arizona School for the Arts, BASIS Phoenix, BASIS Ahwatukee, Desert Vista High School, and Horizon Honors Secondary School are well-rated. One high school may focus heavily on college preparatory curriculum while another may offer students programs for the performing arts. Thus, it is important to research schools in the area and find one that fits the need of your student.
There are about 101 different private schools in Phoenix, Arizona. Schools are offered for every single grade level, however depending on whether the student is in preschool, elementary, middle, or high school, tuition amount will differ. On average tuition for elementary schools are somewhere around $8,000-$9,000 whereas high school tuition can exceed $17,000. Over the half of the 101 private institutions are of some sort of religious affiliation with the rest being a mix of different programs of specialization.
Overview: Due to its large population, Phoenix has an extremely wide range of housing options. Driving through Central Phoenix or Paradise Valley you are bound to see highrises, apartments, homes, townhomes along the way. In Phoenix, the amount of property renters vs. property owners is virtually 50/50. When it comes to prices, they greatly differ upon area of location. A higher end neighborhood like Desert View with close access to restaurants, bars, shopping, etc., will cost more while another neighborhood such as El Mirage, with a smaller atmosphere and further away from downtown Phoenix may be more affordable. If nothing is cutting it, the City of Phoenix Housing Department also offers programs to connect low-income residents with affordable single family homes and apartments as well as Section 8 housing vouchers depending upon the individual’s needs.
Single Family Homes
From the edge of Tempe to the farthest reach of New River there are homes. Neighborhoods like Camelback East, Paradise Valley, Deer Valley, North Mountain, South Mountain, and Maryvale have the highest concentration of properties. Desert view properties have the highest median value and Maryvale has the lowest. Due to the extremely hot atmosphere in Phoenix, homes with a pool are often included or at least wired before rent or purchase. Homes close to golf courses are also popular.
There are thousands upon thousands of apartments all over Phoenix. Phoenix offers a diverse mix of high-end luxury apartments and quality affordable housing. The tenant is able to choose from a studio, one, two, three, or four bedroom floor plan. Some apartment complexes allow pets while others do not. In Central City Phoenix Club 7 Apartments is well-regarded. Trillium 44, Elevation on Central Luxury Apartments, Citrine Apartments, and The Pavilions on Central are also great options.
If you like to live a life of luxury, Phoenix has multiple high-rise condos & lofts for sale and for rent. Prices for flats in the high-rises are much higher on average than alternative apartments and townhomes. The more luxurious the building — the higher end the amenities will be. Depending on how much you are willing to shell out, highrises can come equipped with a rooftop pool, entertainment space, miraculous view, gym access, and concierge services. Optima Biltmore Tower, Summit at Copper Square, Residences at 2211 Camelback, and Esplanade Place is just a small taste of what the big city has to offer.
In the Phoenix-Mesa area, Phoenix is ranked the number one for being the best new-home city. Thus, new construction of all types is prevalent. The top five communities in the city with the newest construction includes: Astora, Pyramid Peak, Astarea at Sky Crossing, Sky Crossing, and Stetson Valley. However, if you really want to customize your own property, there is always an option of picking a lot and then hiring someone to build a completely new home from there. For this, Taylor Morrison and CalAtlantic Homes are the top homebuilders in Phoenix.
Phoenix is known for their exceptional colleges and booming student population. Many come to the city specifically looking for an affordable place to live close to their campus. Luckily, Phoenix has both off-campus and on-campus housing for these students. So whether you attend Glendale Community College or Arizona State University, there is something out there. Usually these properties consist of primarily apartments or dorm rooms, however, there are occasionally listings for student housing high-rises and cottages.
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Overview: Phoenix, the “Valley of the Sun,” is well-known for its high-end spas & resorts, luxurious golf clubs, and vibrant nightlife. However, the complex city has much more to offer visitors than just that. Phoenix is home to the world’s only Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), which is the destination of both the MIM Music Theater performance space and the award-winning Cafe Allegro. Thrill seekers will surely enjoy one of the city’s multiple hot air balloon expeditions and adventurous ATV & UTV tours, where you can explore the desert city from a whole new perspective. If you’d rather just be alone with nature, no worries. You can try out the hiking trails of Camelback Mountain and South Mountain park or look at the desert flora of Desert Botanical Gardens.
Retail & Entertainment
Parks & Recreation
Phoenix has tons of traditional city parks scattered around the entire city. Some have playgrounds, walking paths, and athletic fields. There are also several dog and skate parks as well as places to fish. Marc Atkinson Recreation Center and Deem Hills Recreation Area are just two examples of the many options available.
Whether you want high-end pieces or thrifty finds you’ll find it in Phoenix. Scottsdale Fashion Square, Uptown Plaza, Phoenix Premium Outlets, Outlets at Anthem, Biltmore Fashion Square, and Kierland Commons are some of the most popular shopping destinations.
Art & Culture
The Phoenix arts and culture scene is thriving. Comedic theaters, live shows, musicals, and art galleries fill the streets. Phoenix is home to some of the best museums; Musical Instrument Museum, theaters; Orpheum Theater, and music; Symphony Hall. Downtown Phoenix also hosts a First Friday Art Walk where visitors can tour art galleries and venues in the area.
The city is known for their extensive nightlife options. Downtown Phoenix, Central Phoenix, Old Town Scottsdale, and Downtown Tempe have the largest concentration of hangouts, bars, and clubs. There you can discover places like Cobra Arcade Bar, Culinary Dropout at The Yard, and ZuZu Lounge at Hotel Valley Ho.
Phoenix has some of the hottest restaurants in all of Arizona. Whether you enjoy Korean, Southern, Asian, Indian, or American food, this city has it and more. Get some southern biscuits and gravy at Vovomeena, downhome Barbeque at Little Miss BBQ, or opt for fresh seafood at Buck & Rider.
Overview: Phoenix is divided up into about eight different neighborhoods. Each one of the eight has distinct characteristics, amenities, and cultural differences that separates it from another. The neighborhoods include the following: (1) Surprise, (2) Roosevelt Row, (3) Glendale, (4) Paradise Valley, (5) Downtown Phoenix, (6) Chandler, (7) Central Phoenix, and (8) Arcadia. Surprise is home to the training site for the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. Roosevelt Row is the site of some of the best museums and art galleries in the city. Glendale and Paradise Valley are two of the largest neighborhoods, here you can find shopping, dining, the University of Arizona, and more. Busy city streets perfectly describe Downtown Phoenix, it is the heart of Phoenix. Chandler is a small community with large historic character. To experience the true arts and culture of the city, Central Phoenix is the place to be. The last neighborhood, Arcadia, is one of the most sought after for its high-class dining, shopping, golf clubs, and city views.
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