Thinking of moving to Arizona?
Home to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, panoramic desert landscapes and great people, there’s a lot to love about living in Arizona.
Bordering California, Utah, New Mexico, and Nevada, and the country of Mexico, this beautiful landscape of this landlocked state attracts visitors in droves. But as you already know, visiting the state isn’t the same as actually living in Arizona.
I’ve lived in Arizona for the past eight years and have learned a handful of helpful lessons along the way. Today I’d like to share my personal list of the pros and cons of living in Arizona for anyone considering a similar move.
If you’ve been thinking of moving to Arizona, we’re here to help. Keep on reading for our list of the top pros and cons of living in the Grand Canyon State.
Pros & Cons of Living in Arizona
Whether you’re considering moving to Arizona for retirement, a new job, or a simple change of pace, we’ve made a list of our favorite (and least favorite) things about life in Arizona.
Note: This post is part of the Local Living Series, wherein locals share honest insights of living in a specific city through comprehensive pros and cons lists. If you’d like to reach out to the author directly with questions, please do so in the comments below and our team will ensure it gets to the right person.
Pros of Living in Arizona
#1. You can say goodbye to winter weather
Okay, so listing lack of winter weather as the first pro of living in Arizona may come across as odd but hear me out.
I can’t stand bone-chilling winters and one of the things that surprised me most about moving to Arizona was honestly being able to say goodbye to them for good.
Winter highs typically get into the 70s and snow is seen only on the higher mountains in the northern part of the state. Most days are sunny and there’s no chill to worry over.
With the exception of a very short “monsoon season” the weather is dry year-round, which means none of the bone-chilling wet cold that you encounter in most other US states.
So long gone are the days of shoveling snow and bundling up in head-to-toe gear for a morning stroll — easy to love that!
All this to say, if you’re like me and hope to escape winter for good, moving to Arizona is a great place to start.
#2. Beautiful landscape everywhere
While most famous for the epic Grand Canyon, the state of Arizona actually has diverse topography and landscapes.
You’ll have access to everything from gorges and deserts to flatlands, hills and beautiful striped rocks around every corner. In fact, the state is host to an impressive 22 state parks.
#3. The low cost of living in Arizona
One of the biggest perks of living in Arizona is that the cost of living is still reasonable.
In many parts of the U.S., the cost of housing is rising exponentially. Happily, that is not the case in Arizona, where the cost of living – even in major cities like Phoenix – remains close to the US average.
The average monthly rent or cost of home ownership is more than 30 percent lower than that of living in New York City, and the cost of groceries, utilities and other essentials is likewise, much more reasonable.
All this to say, if you’re moving to Arizona with an expectation of buying a home then you’re in luck.
#4. Life in Arizona is easy on the lungs
Arizona has long been known as a refuge for those with lung, joint or other chronic health conditions. This is for good reason.
The air in Arizona is substantially cleaner, with lower levels of pollution than in many other areas of the United States. Additionally, the arid climate means less mold and allergens.
Because rain and snow can aggravate conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, Arizona’s climate provides relief for many different maladies. This is, of course, one of the reasons that it has become so popular with retirees, who move to the state permanently, or to visit for the winter.
#5. Getting around by car is a breeze
Arizona has well-maintained roads. With a higher speed limit and very little traffic, getting places in Arizona cities is a snap.
Unlike cities like Boston and Atlanta, where roundabouts and curving roads are the norm, the larger cities of Arizona – Tucson and Phoenix – are laid out in a grid, much like New York City.
You can learn your way around quickly shortly after moving to Arizona, and GPS will rarely lead you astray. Parking in metropolitan areas is also relatively easy.
#6. There’s a lot of cultural diversity
Arizona’s rich history and proximity to the country of Mexico contribute to a diverse population and the cultural richness that goes along with that. In fact, Arizona is home to 22 Native American tribes, including the Hopi, Apache, and Navajo.
Their influence can be felt in the art, architecture, food and traditions that you’ll find throughout Arizona. The state also has a strong mix of diversity in terms of ages. While retirees have been flocking to the state for years, young people are also making the move to Arizona’s cities.
#7. Robust job market
If you’re moving to Arizona in search of a new job, you’re in luck! Arizona has a strong economy that is bolstered by the tech industries and tourism.
With more than 10 million visitors a year coming in to visit the Grand Canyon, as well as the influx of part-time residents that come to Arizona for the winter, the economy will only continue to grow.
You’ll also notice after moving to Arizona that the healthcare and tech markets are particularly strong.
#8. Lack of flying bugs (flies and mosquitoes)
That’s right. The dry weather in Arizona is inhospitable to insects, meaning that you will see almost no flies or mosquitoes after moving to Arizona.
While it may sound like a small thing, anyone who has lived in a swampy, humid state and dealt with being attacked by swarms of mosquitoes can tell you otherwise. It’s one less thing to deal with, and a great bonus when you enjoy your outdoor recreation time.
#9. Low crime rate
While all cities and states have their crime problems, Arizona has a much lower rate for all crimes than many other areas of the nation. The average number of violent crimes per 1,000 people is just under 5 for the whole of the US.
Arizona’s average (in cities) is less than half that, at 1.7 per thousand. This is a rate that is lower than even many rural or suburban areas of the US.
#10. Cultural opportunities
Arizona’s unique location, as mentioned above, means there’s a lot of cultural opportunities for all residents to enjoy. Cultural festivals and art shows are a year-round occurrence while living in Arizona.
You’ll find large numbers of native crafts, art galleries and museums. In fact, Arizona is home to the world-famous Heard Museum, which celebrates Indigenous cultures with an extensive collection of cultural artifacts, rotating exhibits and collaborations with current Native American historians and artists.
The melding of cultures also extends to the food in Arizona. You’ll find some of the best and most innovative Southwest cuisine in the nation here.
#11. Location is king
Arizona is bordered by several states – California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah – and one other country, Mexico; which makes it the perfect jumping-off point for a road trip to just about anywhere in the Southwest.
Depending upon which direction one goes, it’s easy to find an entirely new landscape and culture within a short few hours’ drive from home!
#12. Outdoor sports fanatics, rejoice
If you are outdoor recreation enthusiast, you’re in luck! In Arizona, you’ll find access to a wide variety of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed year round. From hiking and bike riding to climbing, there are abundant opportunities to enjoy the out of doors year round.
You might be surprised to learn that Arizona is also known for its golf courses and for some of the best fly-fishing spots in the nation. If you’re looking for friends to enjoy the outdoor activities with, you’ll find a large number of outdoor enthusiasts living in the state. It’s a great way to make new friends.
Cons of moving to Arizona
Nothing is perfect and Arizona is no exception. Here are a few of the potential downsides you might want to consider if you’re thinking of moving to Arizona.
#1. The heat is a bear
While the idea of temperate and pleasant winters can sound incredibly inviting, the flip side is that summers in Arizona are brutally hot.
You can expect daily sunshine with temperature getting as high as 112 degrees.
The hottest month of the year is June, when average temperatures in Phoenix rarely fall below 100. During this hot month, most outdoor activities take place in the early morning or late evening when the temps are more bearable.
Just know that when you move to Arizona, you won’t be able to enjoy summer without making plans around water-centered activities.
#2. Moving to Arizona? Brace yourself for barren landscapes
This is another of those “one person’s pro is another person’s con” situations, in that deserts are both beautiful and, potentially, quite dangerous. When driving through the desert, it’s vital to be properly prepared as there are stretches of road where there are no roadside services available for many miles.
The intense heat can quickly become dangerous in such situations. If you’re not a fan of the desert landscape, you might quickly become bored with driving outside of the cities.
#3. Lack of public transportation
There are no two ways about it. Arizona is a difficult place to get by without a car. The major cities have limited public transportation, and the distance between cities, neighborhoods, or homes can make it hard to get around.
Additionally, because of the heat, commuting by bike or walking may be an option only at certain times of year or during the cooler parts of the day, depending on the distance.
#4. The wildlife
Earlier, we mentioned the lack of most pest bugs as one of the advantages of living in Arizona. While there may not be much in the way of flies and mosquitoes, there is an abundance of wildlife, from insects to larger animals.
While some of these creepy-crawlies are merely irritating, or a little startling, others – such as rattlesnakes – can pose genuine danger. If you enjoy being outdoors, you should be prepared to keep an eye out for – and occasionally see – snakes and large insects, such as scorpions.
#5. Dust storms are not uncommon
They may not come through town particularly often and do not last long, but most people are quite shocked the first time they see a dust storm.
These large storms send heavy winds across dry areas of land, bringing giant clouds of dust and dirt with them. Being outside in one is uncomfortable, getting in the eyes or mouth. They leave a layer of grit and dirt in their wake.
#6. Same old, same old (lack of variety)
For some, an endless summer sounds great, but for others, the lack of change in seasons in Arizona leaves a lot to be desired.
If you’re the four-seasons type of person, the temperate fall and winter might bore you. And forget about a “white Christmas” or regular skiing or other winter sport activities.
#7. The great snowbird migration
Arizona gets a huge influx of snowbirds – retirees and others who leave their cold locales for the warm Arizona winter – each year. This can affect everything from traffic to the ability to get a restaurant table or get to work on time.
Of course, the number of visitors vary greatly by region. Phoenix gets an influx of more than 300,000 of these visitors per year. That’s the size of a smaller city all its own!
If you’re looking for a small-town atmosphere in Arizona, it’d behoove you to look at the tourist/visitation statistics before making a decision. Congestion around major attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, can be bad at any time of year.
#8. Job concentration
While Arizona does, indeed, have a strong economy, the majority of that economy – at least in high-tech and high-paying sectors – is concentrated largely in the two metropolitan areas of Tucson and Phoenix.
In fact, almost 25% of the state’s jobs are located in one of the two great metropolitan areas. It can be difficult to find higher-level employment outside of the cities.
Pros & Cons of Moving to Arizona (Post Summary)
Arizona is a large state that boasts a diverse landscape of cities and natural areas. Among the many advantages and disadvantages of living in Arizona are:
- Mild winters
- Low cost of living
- Healthy living
- Cultural diversity
- Robust economy
- Lack of pest insects
- Low crime rates
- Convenient location for travelers
- Cultural opportunities
- Sports culture
- Outdoor recreation
- Year-round hot weather
- Barren landscape
- Lack of public transportation
- Lack of variety
- Invasive wildlife
- Dust storms
- Concentrated job market
- Yearly influx of winter visitors
Whatever your reasons for moving to Arizona, you’ll want to take all of the pros and cons under consideration and spend time looking at different areas of the state, if you haven’t decided on a location. With a little bit of preparation and research, you’re sure to find the perfect spot that suits your lifestyle.
Its location contributes to the unique cultural landscape that make this state unique. While Arizona might best be known for its national parks, scenic vistas and postcard landscapes, it’s also home to several large cities. Truly, Arizona has something to offer for just about everyone.
Nancy Porter says
Read all of these entries, & want to correct a few misconceptions. Let’s start with education. Yes, Az is ranked 47th…not because of the great work that our teachers are doing, but because of the amount of “state funding”. Draw your own conclusions on that.
Yes, June, July, & August are HOT, but our climate is exceptional the other 9 months out of the year. See if another state can compare.
If I want to snow ski in the winter, it’s a 2 hr drive from Phoenix. Speaking of Phoenix, we are the 5th largest city in the United States. There’s a reason why people want to move here. Sorry Philly, my former birth city, but Phx doesn’t have the crime & the “oldness”. It is a young, vibrant city.
Yes, rent prices are high, but are starting to come down. Thankfully, home prices are are still bringing in in moola…thank God !
For those dissatisfied with high traffic volumes, welcome to a state that people want to come to. If you’re looking for Mayberry, you’ve chosen the wrong place.
Love Arizona & all of the cool places you can go to.
Andrea Zumsteg says
Southern Arizona also gets snow, not just northern. There is literally a ski resort near Tucson. And heck, even the mountains by Lake Havasu occasionally get snow.
Robert Shapiro says
Moving to Tucson and Tubac as a get away location is ideal.
Mrs Marple says
Before I start, I disagree with the good air quality. Arizona is very dusty, very dry, and the soil contain bacteria in many places that are harmful to the lungs. Plus, the juniper and pine pollen’s get everyone sooner or later, with months of suffering with allergies.
I disagree with the “barren” comment. You obviously did not visit Arizona too well. Landscapes come in all shapes, colors and forms, and we have 4 seasons in many places.
I also disagree with the “lack of pest insects”. Termites, clothes-eating moths, fire-ants, brown recluses, black widows, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes, beetles, mosquitoes, so many huge and venomous spiders, that I have never seen anywhere else. Armies of huge cockroaches too! Most of what I enumerated are found inside the house. We have a modern, high-end home. Then come the chipmunks, the hares and the rats that eat all your plants, and then you can also count on javelinas to wreck your yard and attack your dogs.
Moved from Bay Area California to Sedona 5 years ago. Lived in different places around the world before that. We are conservative retired people and were tired with CA politics… and also with the fires. Now, cannot wait to sell our house and move out of AZ. It is VERY beautiful, we love the vast spaces and the low density population, although Sedona has become awfully crowded.
Except for a few places around Phoenix and in the South near the border, it is a safe state in general, due to the fact that most people in AZ are armed to the teeth and that you can carry your weapon. It is good.
However, the level of education is among the lowest in the country and it transpires everywhere. Too many people are uneducated, backwards, or just plain dense. People are also shockingly unhealthy in general, and the level of obesity is staggering.
Finding workers for house repairs, remodeling, landscaping and a cleaner for the vacation rental has been a nightmare. People tell you they will come and they don’t. Many are flaky, do not keep their word. Dishonesty, arriving always late, bad attitude, incompetence are all too common. The lack of professionalism is rampant in every profession. People improvise themselves into all kind of professions in which they are not qualified, and charge a lot of money for it. Workers start a project and leave you in the middle in a mess.
No good restaurants. So called “chefs” are low level cooks with no talent. They cannot cook and the kitchens are full with unqualified, non-English speaking illegals. “Fine dining” in Arizona is a joke.
No culture, a little bit of what is left of Native culture, but if you have lived in Europe, and traveled to other continents, the cultural scene of AZ is pathetic.
Organic fresh produce are rare. No enough small farms, very small farmer’s markets. Choice of gourmet food is very limited. Good ranches, good meat, but nobody knows how to cut the meat properly.
Medical care is poor, unless you pay out of pocket for good “alternative” or functional medicine doctors in Scottsdale and plan to spend thousands of dollars. Dentistry scene is the same.
All depends what you are used to. In general, Arizona is very basic. Too many services and businesses that local people have no clue about. The state lacks spirit of entrepreneurship. Too many people have poverty consciousness and prefer to live from hand-outs in a shack rather than working. Now it has become a blue state and it is going to get worse. Sedona has a new Mayor who is a disaster and this beautiful place is getting wrecked. Not many good places still left in the US.
Rosemary Dymond says
Well I would like too know how much is rent there?? I want too move as I have COPD, I don’t like snake and I don’t like sipders.
My husband and I are in our mid 20’s, born and raised in Phoenix. It has changed so much in the past 10 years, it’s ridiculous. Housing may be reasonable compared to New York but thats because.. it’s New York.. Trying to buy a house in your 20’s in AZ is a joke. A manufactured home in a not so good area is over 250,000 just to give you an idea. The traffic is getting worse by the month and snowbirds are living here permanently. They are building so many new apartments everywhere and destroying such memorable places. Not to mention, AZ is 48th in education and it shows. Most people who recently moved here and say they love it don’t stay for the summer so they don’t know. Everything is different here and I can’t wait to get out of Arizona. Everyone from the Midwest, California, and Texas are coming here. I will not be here to see it become as busy as LA!
I would suggest the Prescott area. I have lived in Arizona 42 out of the last 50 years. If your wife can work remote, this might work …but check the internet service for each location you explore.
Elizabeth Melichar says
Hi Richard, consider it! I moved from NY 5 years ago and SO happy I did. I’m happy to share my experiences, resources and suggestions, you can email anytime! Emelichar6@gmail.com
There are many things to like here, but if I had to do it all over again, I would not move here with school age children. If you are thinking of moving here, and you have kids, it would be best to wait until they are out of the house. Especially if you have an IEP, the school of choice system actually works against you because the school you choose, is not required to choose you too, and the ESA scholarship is not helpful in my particular geographic area. That being said, it is nice to not have to drive in ice in the Winter, and there are outdoor activities nearly all year round.
This sounds like good place to live. I am trying to find a place for my daughter and I, so that we can get out of our current situation. We just need a different place to go personal reasons.The heat is no problem.
lmao where have you gone that there are less flies and mosquitoes? lived in southern az most of my life and i can safely say there are the same number of flues and mosquitoes here as anywhere else in the country i have been. there is also a TON of unreported crime that skews the “official” statistics. arizona was recently ranked by cnbc as the worst place to live in the u.s. citing low air quality, low inclusivity, low standards for public education and public health, etc. this article is absolutely bogus.
Sharon Cunha-Clyne says
Great article! I have lived in Cochise County for about 18 years. Cochise County is located in the Southern Eastern part of Arizona. The temperature is approximately 10 degrees lower than Tucson, which is nice! Also, we have had snow during the winter months, most of those years. Often the snow only lasted a day, but sometimes for 3 days. We do have to wrap our pipes I’m the winter otherwise, they will freeze. Also, it is worth noting that there are definitely four seasons. Granted I live in the rural area, however, the traffic is mild driving to Benson, Sierra Vista, Bisbee or Willcox. Oh, and we have grass lawns here! Fort Huachuca is also locates in Cochise County. This is just a reminder that there are distinct differences among the counties and towns in Arizona.
Sandra M Schoon says
Having lived on and off (more on than off) for almost 40 years I must say this was interesting to read. I agree with most of the pros but not all. Arizona is a relative new state and growing. Like everything it takes time to add things like public transportation. I’m sure New York did not build the sub-way with in a few years. But my concern are the cons. Yes we have dust storms but not every day. Nothing like the blizzard of the North and mid-west. Plus every summer no longer produces monsoon weather. As far as being barren that is a quick and silly statement. We do have 4 season if you want to live in them. Flagstaff, Sedona, Payson, Pine Top, Heber, Show Low to name a few. In the winter you can ski in Flagstaff and come down in the afternoon and play golf and swim. Then you have the beautiful landscape of Tucson, Mount Lemon, Green Valley to Rio Rico. Of course everyone know about the Grand Canyon. Experience both the South and North Rims. Both very different. Please don’t judge Arizona by one travel blog writter. Experience the versitality of beautiful Arizona for yourself. Arizona is my home and always will be no matter where I may live.
After 52 years in Arizona you have several things wrong. But we all have our opinion the only one to really mention is the cost of living, I make decent money but need to live with roommates to make ends meet. Cost to live here is not that low.
I live in norther AZ. We get snow and seasons as well as mosquitoes . It rarely gets over 85 degrees in summer here and I don’t even have air conditioning. Unless you are talking about cities in the deserts. In all fairness, that is where the majority live but AZ is a big state with 5 different climate zones.
Eddie Carranza says
Arizona is a nightmare. Heat and mosquitoes everywhere. Rents and home prices are ridiculous. Someone needs to remind Arizona your a desert not beach front property. Driving is insane average speed is 80 cause everyone seems to be in a hurry. Nothing is close the freeway system is ridiculous its basically a big circle so it never takes you right to where you need to go. Can’t do anything in the summer and expect a super high electric bill and spending more on gas because you have to use your AC. I have say Arizona is horrible I’d stay away at all cost. I can’t wait to be back in California.
While all of the pros and cons are pretty accurate to the Phoenix area, because of the size of the state and diversity of landscapes with the mountains in northern and eastern Arizona, there is a lot more than just hot summers and mild winters. The cost of living has changed quite a bit in recent years due to the influx of folks from traditionally pricier areas like California, the Pac Northwest and the Northeast. Still, it’s a state that has just about everything, and is showing no real signs of slowing down just yet.
We are planning on retirement in Sept 2023. Can you kind of give us an idea as to what part of az is the best place to live
Contemplating a move to AZ from Canada. Would you have any advice on how to go about this or whom one should contact. We are nearing retirement age but would be seeking employment in landscaping for myself and international sales for my wife. We live in a hot humid climate in the summer and believe that we can adjust fairly easy. Our reason for leaving would be seeking freedom and would be seeking housing outside of major city centers. Do you feel 1) that these are realistic objectives and 2) do you feel we could fit into the community bringing conservative values and a desire to just live our lives and willingness to adapt to the the cons mentioned above. Snakes and scorpions would be my biggest hurdles being in the landscape industry and owning a home in the above mentioned. Looking forward to your reply
The cost of living is unbelievable now. We had a chance at a job relocation to California, and the costs for us were the same as living in Phoenix (where we live).
There is a ski area in the Catalina mountains, Summerhaven, that is right outside NE Tucson. And speaking of Tucson, it actually is cooler than Phoenix, as it is at a higher elevation, though south of Phoenix.
Driving here can be bad. The 10 is listed as one of the most dangerous highways in the US.
Doug Painter says
Arizona, (Phoenix) is going to be invoking a level one water alerts starting soon and should have probably started it years ago. I have not heard the exact details yet but I’m sure it’s going to be similar to California and States like that that already have it.
Busra, Nur Uygun says
Mosquitos eat us alive when the eggs hatch after the rains! We have ZIKA, West Nile, Lyme and Dengue for starters. We also have a little thing can kill you called Valley Fever.
Some days in summer can reach as high as 120 f. We have been in a serious drought for over 26 years and getting worse, as the Colorado river dries up! Add to this that we were never designed for a large population and do not have the services, water or roads, and rude traffic is appalling.
We have always been a laid-back community, and newcomers don’t get it, and that annoys us.
Still want to come here?
Lived in Arizona for the past 22 years after retiring and moving from New York State. A great place live. Best weather in the country from September through May. June, July and August can get quite warm BUT with everything air conditioned, no problem. Snow skiing in the winter months is plentiful in the northern Arizona areas. Tucson sports the southern most ski resort in the country on Mount Lemon. Snow on the mountain and golf the same day at the lower levels. Scenery is unique and beautiful. Ocean resorts are close enough to fly out to in the morning and be on the beach in the afternoon. San Diego and some Mexican ocean resorts are within a day’s drive. High tech industry, relatively low crime and a lower cost of living than many places in the country. Good medical facilities.
Thank you for reminding me of that.
You forgot to mention the water levels of Lake Mead that are dwindling and the overpopulation concerns. There is a constant smog in Phoenix during the spring and summer. I live there.
Sounds like your post is talking from the experience of living in Phoenix….you don’t mention that Northern Arizona and many other parts of the state can get up to three feet or more of snow ..that yes we do have mosquitoes because we have a monsoon…and yes the allergies are really bad for those sensitive to things…the air pollution in Phoenix is really bad and the dust is very hard on the lungs especially for those liiving at high elevation like in Flagstaff.
Michael G says
First. Completely disagree with air quality being good here.
It’s horrible most of the year.
Second. you fail to mention how horrible the education system is here. We rank in the bottom 10 nationally every year, by every poll.
Third. Cost of living.
Gas prices way above US average. Home prices insanely high.
After living in Arizona for 33 out of 43 years, I would say only come here if you like lots of sunshine all the time and heat. It doesn’t get very cold in the southern (desert) areas during the winter. One year I only used the heater for 3 days, so you can save a lot of money on heating. We have 2 seasons, summer and fall. I do miss winter snow storms…but not the freezing cold.
112 degrees is a good day. I think you have the numbers transposed as there are plenty of times the temperatures exceed 120 outdoors. Arizona seat-belt branding is a real thing with a guy here even making a YouTube career of cooking food on his dashboard with nothing but the sun.
Claudia Clarkr says
Coccidiomycosis (Valley Fever) infection is a real danger here. It can be mild or it can kill. It’s a dirty little secret that Arizona powers that be sweep it under the rug. I’ve had three surgeries and my right lung removed as a result. I’ve had to be on expensive medication for months and even years. Just be aware.
Deb Malley says
Sorry your case of VF was so severe. I was left with a mass on my lung.
Nice summary. Lived here 16+ years after moving from Illinois. The pros far far far outweigh the cons, and the cons aren’t really cons in my book. As for lack of snow and seasons..have you forgotten Flagstaff ? Flagstaff gets as much snow as Chicago and sometimes more, and Snowbowl is a well known ski resort. AZ has it all. The only thing I don’t like about this place are the hordes of people moving here driving up costs and worse, bringing their east coast and west coast politics with them.
Dena Rensing says
I wouldn’t say the cost of living is low. Both rent his higher and a lot of people cannot afford it as it keeps going up. Buying a house?! Nope California peeps and investors made getting a house almost not affordable for “middle income” family.
Have you seen the price of gas? It keeps going up. Soon we’ll be matching California’s insane gas prices. July is the hottest month during the summer. And summer lasts like 10 or of 12 months of the year (I’m super exaggerating that one, more like 6 to 7 months). And temps getting as high as 112?! Try 118.
The snowbirds aren’t that bad as long as they aren’t driving in front of you. Lived in Phoenix, AZ all 41 yrs of my life. The summers are getting longer, we’re running out of water. I wouldn’t recommend moving here.
Billie Jo Huffman says
I live in Bowie (AZ), located 25 miles West of the New Mexico border. I gotta tell ya….perhaps things are a bit different in my part of the state…but the flies and mosquitoes can be quite horrendous during the Summer months of the year.
Also, during the “Winter,” even though it may be dry, temps regularly fall to 10°F. And let us NOT FORGET to mention that living in a desert atmosphere also comes with an INCREDIBLE amount of wind. So, whenyou combine 10°F and high winds, I’m here to tell you that the desert can QUICKLY become an intensely cold COLD place!
I was born and raised in Arizona. I have to disagree on cultural diversity. Yes, the “American” history of indigenous tribes is acknowledged but outside of that diversity is nonexistant. It’s very white and very weird. Let’s not forget Arizona was the last state to make Martin Luther King Jr Day a holiday. It’s next to California but more like Texas with a good ‘ol boys mentality.
Great info on the state. I’m born & raised in Ohio, cannot imagine living anywhere without the 4 seasons. I’m retired & still look forward to the snow.
JIRI VETYSKA says
Well, there is still Flagstaff. 4 seasons, plenty of snow but also plenty of sunshine, lots of trees and skiing.
Lived in AZ my entire life, so FYI, check you entire house every couple months. While flies and mosquitoes are less common, you’re more likely to find giant spiders, scorpions, snakes and other worse things. So, if you come to Arizona, be prepared for that.
Richard Viders says
Nice article. My wife and I are considering moving to Az. We are both in our late 70’s but very active and young in spirit. Getting very tired of NJ and especially NY!
Understand if you do move you can forget about eating good pizza, bagels, hard rolls, Italian pastry. Phoenix traffic is worse that Tom’s River in July. But no snow shoveling and no mosquitoes. Lots of strange animals in your backyard. And you will learn to plant different things in your garden. Some annuals in NJ can be grown year round in AZ. But no peonies. Lots of fruit trees will be fun for you.
Orphan Gilbert says
Please stay there!
For sure. And if you live near an agriculture area, be prepared to deal with those mosquitoes, too!
Cathleen Case says
I think you’re wrong about a few things. I have lived in Arizona for about 30 years, on and off. I think the public transportation is pretty darn good in Phoenix. I have not owned a car since 1996 and would not be able to get around without the bus and light rail. I can jump on the light rail near Central and Camelback where I live and get to Mesa without ever having to get off the train. it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. I can’t stand the thought of people who keep giving public transit a bad name despite the fact that it has much improved in the last 20 years. Another thing, July and August are the hottest months of the year. it can be a very boring state. I have outgrown it, since it has much changed over the years. I can’t wait for the day when I can get out of here. But, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, light rail and bus system are pretty darn good in Phoenix. I should know I use them everyday of the week.
Leslie Oakley says
What you described is 100% right on about the Phoenix metropolitan area. The true hidden gem of Arizona is, believe it or not, home to one of the most iconic towns in Arizona – Tombstone, located in Cochise County. Nestled in the southwestern side of the Mule Mountains, Bisbee’s elevation is listed at 5538 ft.; Denver’s elevation is 5279 ft. This high altitude and its strategic location at the southernmost base of the Rockies where it catches monsoonal moisture coming up from Mexico or across from California made for a very lush, green, pleasant summer this year. I admit to feeling guilty watching the news and hearing how people everywhere were pretty much broiling, and we had maybe 4 days of 3-digit temperatures. We had rain almost every day/night during the month of July and the first part of August. Additionally, it gets semi-cold during the winter. Any snow we get is generally gone within a day or two, at the most.
As for stunning beauty, I direct you to the various Facebook pages featuring the Flora, fauna, geology and history of Cochise County. There are few barren landscapes in this corner of Arizona. Historic US Highway 80 (now congruent with AZ State Highway 80) was the first cross country route between San Diego and Savannah. A good portion of Old Highway 80 still exists from its intersection with I-10 on the east side of Benson, down through Tombstone, up through the mountains and the town of Bisbee, then down into Douglas where it curves northeasterly to Roadforks, New Mexico, where it rejoins I-10 headed east. It is truly a lovely drive.
When I lived in Mesa, I had absolutely no problem getting from point A to point B using the bus and light rail system. If one has the time, it’s definitely much more economical than driving and trying to find a parking place in Phoenix. A traffic jam in Bisbee is having to wait for six cars to pass so you can turn left. There is a little bus system for those who need it, and there is even a shuttle to take folks to and from Sierra Vista, Douglas, or Tucson.
What we do not have is noise, air, or light pollution. We have only one major grocery store, and it would really be nice if they had some competition. With the high price of gas these days, we might as well pay the high prices here rather than put wear and tear on our car driving to Sierra Vista for less expensive groceries.
We don’t really notice in a large influx or departure of snowbirds; the weather here is so perfect, there is really no reason to leave for any extended period of time due to weather extremis. Most folks in this part of Arizona are year-round residents, and not a few are in the military.
With Mexico only 5 miles away, as well as nearby First Nations lands, we definitely have cultural diversity here. Bisbee is known for its eclectic/artsy/Old West copper camp Old Bisbee with its narrow winding streets and homes that were once miners shacks built seemingly on top of one another.
I enjoy sitting out on my screened-in front porch watching the sunset behind the large mesquite trees across from my house. Although I am in town, it feels very rural. As the sun lowers, a long coyote starts yipping, alerting its pack that dinner is ready. The large owl that sits on the cross beams of the telephone pole across the street and watches my cat taunt the coyotes calls out “Hoot hoot! Hoot hoot!” Later on, our security system kicks on and records a couple of javelina snuffling around our front yard. One learns to always watch where one is putting one’s foot, whether inside or outside. Such is life in Arizona.