More than 300 sunny days a year isn’t the only reason people want to move to Phoenix. The booming metro with a population of 1.6 million offers safe neighborhoods and endless things to do for families. Whether you’re looking for great schools or a cultural oasis, the greater Phoenix area has a little something for everyone. Below is an overview of the best neighborhoods and suburbs in Phoenix for families, followed by an in-depth look into each area!
- Paradise Valley
- Home Price: $226,153 median purchase; $880 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: 12% lower than the national average
Arcadia/Biltmore is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Phoenix. With spacious homes, a variety of great restaurants, and short commutes to Downtown Phoenix and nearby Scottsdale, this neighborhood is a family favorite for several reasons!
It’s tough to beat the location of Arcadia/Biltmore. Near Downtown Phoenix, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Downtown Scottsdale, Camelback Mountain, and the Phoenix Zoo, Arcadia/Biltmore is within minutes of some of the most popular Phoenix attractions. Driving isn’t required to find something fun to do in this trendy spot. Parents can grab a coffee or cocktail at The Henry or the whole family can peruse boutiques and national retailers at Biltmore Fashion Park.
Upscale Homes with Large Lots
Can a great location come with the quiet, cozy residential feel many families want? Yes. And that’s exactly the unique combination this East Phoenix area provides. This does mean Arcadia/Biltmore is on the pricey side, though. According to Realtor.com, the median closing price in Arcadia is $550,000. Slight savings can be found in Biltmore, where the median closing price is $485,000. While this is steep compared to the entire city’s median closing price of $220,000, there are homes available for well below the median price, so families who want something a bit more affordable can still call this neighborhood home!
Because of Arcadia/Biltmore’s central location between Phoenix and Scottsdale, parents have the opportunity to find schools that best fit their children. Great Hearts Archway Veritas is a charter school that comes with a perfect score from GreatSchools.org. Parents looking for a top-rated public school experience should check out Biltmore Preparatory Academy or take advantage of the nearby Scottsdale Unified School District, which is packed full of great schools.
- Home Price: $273,545 median purchase; $1,055 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: 43% lower than the national average
If an excellent neighborhood with close proximity to outdoor recreation spots is what you’ve been dreaming of for your family, Ahwatukee might be one of the best places for you to live in Phoenix! High graduation rates and low crime rates also make this one of the safest, most family-friendly neighborhoods.
Ahwatukee is home to some of the best schools in Arizona. Thanks to the Kyrene School District, parents looking for great public education have their pick of schools with perfect scores. Charter schools, such as Ambassador Academy and Keystone Montessori Charter, also boast unique learning experiences and top-tier test scores.
Things to Do for Families
Known by some as the world’s largest cul-de-sac, Ahwatukee offers shopping, dining, and outdoor recreation. Whether you’re grabbing dinner at the family-owned Perfect Pear Bistro or spending time at the annual Festival of Lights, there’s always something going on in this community! Because the neighborhood is located along the South Mountain Park, it’s also easy to head out on weekend horseback rides, hiking, or camping adventures with the kids!
Red-tile roofs atop stucco homes and a weekly farmers market are staples of this friendly neighborhood. Just south of the college hub in Tempe, Ahwatukee is a growing area full of young families. This suburban feel also means more affordable housing. With a median closing price of $250,000 and that infamous Southwestern architecture, it makes sense that Ahwatukee was voted the best neighborhood to buy a house in Phoenix.
- Home Price: $147,559 median purchase; $836 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: 43% higher than the national average
Looking for affordability within the city buzz? This Midtown neighborhood is a haven for first-time home buyers and serious artists alike. It’s easy to find great schools in the neighborhood as well. In fact, Coronado reports 25% higher test scores than the Phoenix average.
Close Proximity to Downtown
Coronado offers the unbeatable charm of a historic neighborhood with downtown amenities just minutes away. The area features Brentwood, Historic Coronado, and Country Club Park, and offers a wide range of housing options surrounded by quaint restaurants and businesses. Whether you’re headed downtown for work or taking the kids to the Arizona Science Center, quick interstate access makes getting around easy.
Spend the day playing tennis or swimming at Coronado Park. Get your fill of vegan pastries down the street at The Coronado. Immerse the kids in art as you wander around Roosevelt Row Arts District during First Friday Artwalks. If sports are more along the lines of your family’s interests, head to Chase Field for an Arizona Diamondbacks game.
Architecture buffs will love living in the original “streetcar suburb” of Phoenix. House hunters have their pick of California Bungalow and Spanish Colonial Revival styles on the western side of Coronado, while the north is full of ranch-style homes. You can also find apartments for around $760 a month in the area.
- Home Price: $231,100 median purchase; $1,263 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: 51% lower than the national average
Located about 30 minutes from Phoenix near Chandler and Mesa, this southeast suburb is safe, affordable, and well-suited for raising a family. The lower cost of living combined with a myriad of all-ages activities is why Gilbert continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in the Phoenix metro!
Rated as the #1 safest Phoenix suburb, Gilbert has seen considerable growth linked to its rapidly expanding healthcare industry, as well as its low crime rates and the consistently high-performing public schools that make up the Higley Unified School District. Gilbert is also one of the least expensive Phoenix suburbs, boasting a median closing price of $309,000.
Gilbert is the perfect suburb for outdoor enthusiasts! Known for its Central Trail System, the whole family can go on an afternoon bike ride, while more avid cyclists can explore all 135 miles of trail. In town, residents can enjoy 18-holes at Kokopelli Golf Course or enjoy a free concert at Freestone Park. Those looking to escape further into nature can make the 30-minute drive to Lost Dutchman State Park.
Whether it’s catching a local play at Hale Centre Theatre or participating in monthly bird walks, this diverse suburb is always finding new ways to come together as a community! The sky of Gilbert literally lights up in December with the Holiday Balloon Glow & Bazaar at San Tan Village. And during the spring, residents celebrate and learn about different cultures at the Gilbert Global Village Festival.
- Home Price: $1.6 million median purchase; $2,001 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: 44% lower than the national average
Take one look at Paradise Valley and it’s easy to see why this neighborhood is named the way it is. With enormous estates, gorgeous views of both Camelback Mountain and Mummy Mountain, and plenty of golf courses, this upscale neighborhood in Phoenix is a great place to raise a family!
With a population of 14,355, Paradise Valley provides the comforts of a small town with close proximity to Phoenix and Scottsdale. This scenic neighborhood is one of the safest neighborhoods in the Phoenix area, ranking safer than 81% of cities in Arizona. The area aspires to balance community involvement with privacy and relies on volunteers to assemble a limited government.
Known as a “jewel in the valley,” sprawling homes on large lots are a staple of Paradise Valley. Thanks to a special use permit in the area, housing density cannot exceed one unit per acre, so residents don’t have to worry about other homeowners crowding their views. But with upscale amenities comes a larger price tag. Median closing prices in Paradise Valley are $1.3 million.
Paradise Valley is a haven for spas and golf resorts. Once you’re finished pampering yourself, enjoy fine dining at El Chorro or shopping at Paradise Valley Mall. Take the whole family to the nearby McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and spend the day playing with model trains or riding the Paradise & Pacific Railroad. Looking for more to do? There are tons of museums, shopping, and restaurants in nearby Scottsdale.
- Home Price: $376,700 median purchase; $1,132 median monthly rent
- Crime Rate: 14% lower than the national average
On the northeast side of the Phoenix metro sits “The West’s Most Western Town,” also known as Scottsdale. Once home to cattle ranches and cowboy saloons, Scottsdale is now one of Phoenix’s most beautiful suburbs, offering everything from modest single-family homes and community parks to giant mansions and modern art museums.
Lush golf courses, bike trails, and other outdoor activities are a guarantee no matter which area of Scottsdale you choose to settle in. There’s also excellent shopping to be had at Scottsdale Fashion Square, where you can find more than 200 high-end retailers, boutiques, and national brands. Scottsdale is also home to highly-rated schools, including Scottsdale Unified School District and Foothills Academy.
Though it’s next to more expensive neighborhoods like Arcadia and Paradise Valley, South Scottsdale offers spacious yet affordable housing. In fact, it’s one of the up-and-coming areas in Phoenix for young, creative families. Enjoy the sunshine with a picnic at El Dorado Park. Hit the waves at the nearby Big Surf Waterpark during the summer. Or explore Desert Botanical Gardens, the Southwest’s largest botanical garden.
As one of the best areas in Phoenix for foodies, there are several places that are great for date night or family dinners. Grab cocktails at Citizen Public House or ice cream for the whole family at Sugar Bowl. If you love art, be sure to check out Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Or take the kids to learn more about the Wild West at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West or western-themed Old Town Scottsdale. You can also go for a walk along the Arizona Canal in Downtown Scottsdale and discover all kinds of cool local shops and restaurants!
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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes