As the United State’s sixth largest city and the region’s primary transportation and cultural hub, with over 800 startups, a myriad of outdoor activities, and a reasonable cost of living, there’s no shortage of reasons why you’d want to move to Phoenix. To best ensure you’re fully informed before heading out to a city where mailboxes have melted from the heat, read on to learn what you need to know to enjoy your new home.
Best Season Not to Move
There’s a reason why Phoenix is known as “The Valley of the Sun;” it sees the most Sun of any U.S. city throughout the year. All that sun makes for aggressive summers. The tons of concrete and asphalt retaining heat don’t make those summers easier. Combine that with the foot traffic involved with finding a place to live or moving boxes and furniture, and it’s definitely not the promising start you (or your family) will want. Instead, choose a cooler season to explore neighborhoods and begin your transition.
The other weather feature you’ll want to keep in mind are monsoons. While rain comes infrequently to the area, monsoon season, which begins in July and ends in September, brings a downpour of rain, forceful winds, and heaps of dust and sand — often with little warning.
Once you’re here, you’ll make practical adjustments to the weather, from learning how to park in the shade and how to dress and remembering to drink lots of water if you’re spending any time outside.
While the city is car-centric in many ways and has easily navigable surface streets, if you don’t fancy blasting your air-conditioning and burning yourself on a seat belt, you should try out the city’s bus system and light rail line, Valley Metro.
The recently expanded light rail runs from northern Phoenix through downtown and into Tempe and Mesa, while the bus service has routes all through the Phoenix area. Well-maintained, safe and affordable, Phoenix’s public transportation is a good alternative to owning a car and allows you to explore downtown with a group of friends (and a drink or two as well).
Outdoors and Sports
With its rather mild winters and lack of humidity, Phoenix is an ideal place for those who love the outdoors and don’t mind stockpiling sunscreen and sun hats. There’s also a thriving hiking and cycling community throughout the metropolis. As a bonus, Phoenix residents are only a 3-hour drive away from one of the most beloved sights in the world: Grand Canyon National Park. For those looking for a more local trip, there’s South Maintain Park, Camelback Mountain, and Squaw Peak.
If you’re a sports fan, you’ve got your pick of sports teams to celebrate, from the Arizona Diamondbacks for baseball fans to Phoenix Coyotes for those interested in getting into ice hockey, as well as the Cardinals, in their University of Phoenix Stadium. Basketball fans can find tickets for the popular NBA and WNBA teams, the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury respectively, at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Golfers will find Phoenix’s impressive array of over 200 golf courses, including locations which have played host to PGA, LPGA, and Champions Tour events, as a strong reason alone to move to Phoenix.
Yes, Phoenix has a few of the state’s many In-and-Out Burgers and an impressive selection of drive-thru spots, but there’s also a booming street food scene, amplified by an organization of specialty food vendors called the Phoenix Street Food Coalition. Looking for a nice sit-down meal? Take your pick of restaurants. There are over 2,900 restaurants in fact. Whether you’re looking for a hearty breakfast, a midnight snack, or a southwestern dinner, Phoenix’s cafes, pubs, bars, and eateries will have you covered.
The food community doesn’t stop there — while every city has the occasional festival, Phoenix is host to the annual Real, Wild and Woody Beer Festival, where over 50 local brewers present their brews, from the traditional favorites to new and unusual.
How many other cities can tout daily hot air balloon rides? In both Phoenix and neighboring Scottsdale, Rainbow Riders Hot Air Balloon Rides offers serenely scenic views that will have your Instagram family wishing they were in Phoenix with you.
Love fine wine and live jazz? The Nash will become your new regular spot. View their website to see their event schedule, but once you’re in town, it’s sure to be your go-to venue for dates or solo excursions.
What city would be complete without a farmer’s market? Phoenix was founded on its agricultural strengths, so it’s no surprise that residents love the Open Air Market at the Phoenix Public Market, which is open year round and offers both fresh produce and prepared foods.
Film buffs can check out the micro-cinema FilmBar to satisfy their fix for independent and foreign films. Those interested can also join the Phoenix Independent Film Markers Group to exercise their indie interest.
Interesting in learning and experiencing more of Phoenix?
There’s an endless list of things to love about Phoenix, but some of it requires first-hand experience. Check out these deals for things to do in Phoenix so you feel right at home in this stunningly beautiful metropolis.
Written by Jeremy Alderman, ZOG Digital, Inc.