Arizona is packed with places any family would be proud to call home. Safe, blessed with good schools, convenient amenities, clean streets, and friendly neighbors, Arizona's best cities, towns, and villages ooze family-friendly appeal. But nowhere is perfect. For every community that's bristling with charm, there's another that's best avoided. If you want to raise your family somewhere that's got plenty of pros and very few cons, check out our round-up of the ten best places to live in Arizona for families.
Tempe is a city of 186,086 residents with a lot of very good things to say about itself. As home to the headquarters of multiple big businesses, its economy is booming, resulting in high incomes and plenty of opportunities for job growth. The city is also home to some great public schools, not to mention the main campus of Arizona State University. The family-friendly appeal of the city is accentuated by a low crime rate, some lovely parks, and plenty of recreational opportunities.
If you're looking for a charming city packed with attractions, look no further than Coolidge. Eclectic, diverse, and incredibly friendly, it's ideal for families looking for a relaxed, peaceful town that still manages to pack in plenty of entertainment. There's a good handful of respectable public schools and some great extracurricular programs for the kids to get involved in. As home to both Central Arizona College and the Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology, there's a buzzing, vibrant vibe to the city that belies its relatively small size.
Marana's population has been steadily increasing in recent decades, and for very good reason. Located northwest of Tuscon, the town has plenty to recommend it to families, including a very low crime rate and almost two dozen very well-respected schools. Amenities are bountiful, the job market is buoyant, and it's surrounded by miles of gorgeous scenery - if all that sounds like the kind of place you'd want to raise a family, you know where to head.
7. Oro Valley
Oro Valley might not be the cheapest place to live in Arizona, but if you're happy to contend with a sizeable mortgage, you won't be disappointed. Excellent schools, plenty of family-friendly recreational opportunities, a tiny crime rate, and a small, welcoming community that's sure to make you feel right at home are just a few of its attractions.
If you want to live in a calm, peaceful town where you don't have to spend every second worrying about your family's safety, you might want to consider Gilbert. Despite experiencing astronomical growth in the past few decades (in 1980, it had a population of 5,000; in 2010, the population stood at 208, 453; today, it's over 242,090), it still has a laid back, friendly, and quiet vibe. Crime is incredibly low (in 2005, 2007, and 2014, it was the largest town in the entire US to report no murders), there's a very good selection of public schools, after-school programs are varied, and there's plenty of family-friendly recreational opportunities on offer.
You can't talk about Arizona without mentioning Phoenix. And why would you even try? Phoenix is a stunning city packed with perks... as its 1.4 million residents would no doubt attest. Families will find plenty to love about the city, from the superb amenities to the excellent job market, from the varied housing options to the respected schools. Thanks to its location in the desert, there's a ton of recreational pursuits for the entire family to enjoy, including endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and camping. Just be aware that if you're not a fan of the heat, you might want to steer clear. Phoenix, like much of Arizona, is Hot with a capital H. If, on the other hand, you've always wanted to teach the kids how to fry an egg on the car, you're going to love it.
4. Catalina Foothills
If you want to live within easy reach of Tuscon, look no further than the charming suburb of Catalina Foothills. Incomes are high ($92,929, by the last count), housing options are extensive, albeit expensive, the public schools come highly recommended (as do the extra-curricular programs) and the community is diverse and welcoming. Combine all of that with affordable after-school care, a low crime rate, and some of the most stunning scenery in Arizona, and it's understandable why so many families are keen to make it their home.
Ranked by Home Snacks as one of the best places to raise a family in Arizona, Maricopa is packed with good stuff. From clean streets to a low crime rate, high incomes to a booming job market, friendly neighbors to bountiful amenities, this is the kind of place any family would be thrilled to call home.
If you want to raise a family and have a lot of fun in the process, take the advice of getbellhops.com and head for Scottsdale. Unlike a lot of the rest of the state, Scottsdale is remarkably mild, even in the middle of summer. ven without its temperate climes, it would still have a lot to recommend it, including excellent public schools, high incomes, a low crime rate, and superb job opportunities, especially in the tech industry. For people who want to combine parenting duties with an active social life, there's plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to take advantage of. Factor in a stunningly beautiful riverfront, some gorgeous parks, and almost as many golf courses as there are days in the year, and it's easy to see what makes Scottsdale such a hot destination.
According to Elite Personal Finance, Buckeye doesn't just rank as one of the best places to live in Arizona, it's one of the best places to raise a family in the entire US. Located just 30 miles away from Phoenix, Buckeye's population has increased in size from around 6500 in 2000 to over 67,000 today, and for very good reason. It's safe, it's friendly, it's got plenty of its own amenities (and easy access to Phoenix's), its job market is booming and its schools are exceptional. If all that wasn't enough, the town is positively packed with recreational areas (including the outstanding Buckeye Hills Recreation Area and Skyline Regional Park) that are perfect for family fun.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson