If you happen to think of the state of Arizona as nothing but desert, moving to Phoenix will quickly relieve you of such ideas. The urban area does a splendid job of showcasing the very best the state of Arizona has to offer; it’s a gleaming city, but there’s no doubt it’s set in the desert.
Living in Phoenix
If you’re directionally challenged, you’ll find downtown Phoenix was designed with you in mind. Compared to other major U.S. cities, Phoenix has the reputation of being painfully easy to navigate, even if you’re relocating there from someplace rural and don’t understand traffic grid patterns. Every street in the downtown area corresponds to a standard four-point design with South Mountain serving as a Southern needle. Find South Mountain, and you’ll have found the direction south. And since the downtown four-point design corresponds to every street, getting your bearings should be simple.
But if finding your way has you feeling self-conscious about turning in circles, worry not; in addition to being easy to navigate, Phoenix also enjoys a reputation for being user-friendly. That is to say, many Phoenix residents probably weren’t born in Phoenix. That means two things: you’re not the only new kid in town, and the other guys brought food from home.
Want Chicago-style deli food? No problem. Korean takeout prized in Los Angeles? Got it. New York pizza? Hey, just because it’s a desert doesn’t mean there isn’t water to make the dough. Comfort food collides with pure food variety here, and it’s all easy to find.
Working in Phoenix
The Census ACS 1-year survey reports that the median household income for the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale Arizona metro area was $61,506 in 2017. Phoenix median household income is $4,925 higher than the median Arizona household income and $1,170 greater than the US median household income. According to USNews, the average annual salary in Phoenix falls below the national average, aided by the city’s tourism industry.
In terms of employment, Phoenix employment demands follow the state’s trends for roofers and air conditioners. This may sound like a joke, but when you live in a place called the Valley of the Sun, the need for cool air and a good roof can’t be overstated; AC and shade will always be in demand here, even during the winter months.
The public transportation system falls short in offerings too, so keep in mind that a relocation to Phoenix will probably involve a vehicle purchase at some point. Not necessarily a car, but those scooter rental companies might start looking really appealing for the urbanized Phoenix area than they would in Death Valley.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: yes, Phoenix is in the desert, and at least 300 days out of the year will be spotlighted by the sun. Known as the Valley of the Sun, you can therefore safely assume that rain will be scarce, sunscreen is a must, and you’ll be very dependent on your air conditioning.
The heat gets very dry in the summer, although it’s inadvisable to walk around Phoenix complaining about it. It’s safe to assume everyone in Phoenix has a handle on the weather. While daytime temperatures can easily climb into the 80s, 90s, and even the 100-degree territories, nighttime temperatures can quickly turn around and run in the opposite direction. Don’t donate those jackets and jeans before moving, but maybe think about losing the rain boots.
We’re not kidding about the rain scarcity, either. Phoenix typically doesn’t average much more than 8 inches of rain a year, so when it does rain, the experience will be akin to hanging out to watch a monsoon. Hydrate and stay out of the heat.
Things To Do in Phoenix
With the metro area of an estimated 4.5 million people, the place earns the nickname of the Valley. In terms of things to do, it may help to think of Phoenix as an oasis in the desert: a place for culture, sports, and all the things one associates with cities in the desert.
You can’t have 4.5 million people without at least a few them feeling the urge to start a kickball league. Just saying.
Phoenix can also be a sport fan’s paradise. The city boasts professional teams in baseball, football, basketball, women’s basketball, and even hockey (yup, ice hockey in the desert. That’s how cool Phoenix is). Phoenix also has nightclubs, concert halls, museums, and bars, which serve as a nice cool-down chaser to a day out in the sun.
And Phoenix residents have plenty of things to do outside. Outdoor enthusiasts will find trails to hike, lakes to swim, and outdoor sites like the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and the Desert Botanical Gardens, not to mention access to the Grand Canyon, the Arizona State Fair, and the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
While the desert surroundings and the strong influx of retirees call to mind certain concepts of age and wisdom, the city of Phoenix has a sense of newness about it.
As previously mentioned, most of the people living in Phoenix came here from someplace else. While that does give the city a rich and unique diversity, it sometimes makes it difficult to get a feeling of the city’s culture. The population includes Native Americans and Hispanics, resulting in a very strong multilingual presence. College students live here too, adding to the influx of new residents.
But while the city may seem to favor the new, the old Arizona culture still enjoys a strong foothold in the city, most notably in the fashion (jeans go with everything, even formal dinner attire) to the food and architecture. Where else but Phoenix would you find a hotdog called a Sonoran, the bacon-wrapped, pinto-bean topped monstrosity that captures the hearts and minds of the locals?
Run For The Sun!
Excited by the prospect of relocating to a state with so much to offer? Or does the notion of coming to the Valley of the Sun seem a little intimidating?
Unsure of what to do next? Call a Colonial Van Lines professional and find out how simple getting to Phoenix can be.