Moving to Phoenix? Top 15 Things You Need to Know
As the fifth largest city in the nation, Phoenix is home to millions of people. Aside from high summer temperatures and desert landscape, Phoenix has many wonderful things to offer. People from all over the world genuinely love living here! If you know the ins and outs of the city and its metropolitan area, you will benefit even more so when you move here.
Here are 15 things you need to know before moving to Phoenix:
1. How to Handle the Heat
Temperatures typically begin flirting with triple digits in May and can consistently reach 110 degrees-plus from June to August. It is wise to know how to deal with the heat.
- Sun visors, sunblock, sun hats, swimsuits, sunglasses and sandals! These are just a few of the must-haves when you are moving to Phoenix.
- Park under any shade you can find, even if only a few leaves are hovering over your vehicle. If you can’t find shaded parking, you should put up a window visor to avoid burning your hands and legs when entering your vehicle. It is also recommended that you have tinted windows, if possible.
- Don’t leave your phone in the car or directly in the sunlight. It will overheat. The good news is it will only need a short while indoors to cool down before working again.
- Make sure to protect your skin every day, even if you are tanning. You can still get that nice warm tone while wearing sunblock here in Phoenix.
- Most important of all: Enjoy the water! With numerous splash pads, water parks and pools, you are guaranteed a way to cool down while having a blast with family and friends. Wet ‘n’ Wild, Big Surf, and Golfland are just a few examples.
If you’d prefer staying out of the heat until the sun goes down, there are several amazing museums that will keep you busy for hours. This short list only scratches the surface of what is available to lovers of learning.
- Arizona Science Center: When in the mood for exploring and inspiration, this is the ultimate, fun-filled learning spot for people of all ages. It offers hands-on exhibits, a planetarium, shows and more.
- Phoenix Art Museum: Regarded as the largest art museum in the Southwest, this beautiful museum displays works from all over the world. Aside from the mesmerizing art, you can attend lectures, films and educational programs. Check out their website for regular free admission opportunities.
- Children’s Museum of Phoenix: With two floors allowing for imagination and movement, this is a wonderful place for little ones to engage and play! They offer free admission the first Friday of every month, as well as Play Dates for adults who would like to enjoy the museum sans children.
- Heard Museum: This not-for-profit museum’s mission is to present an accurate portrayal of Native American culture. The museum also features festivals, programs, lectures and marketplaces.
3. Sports Galore
Regardless of your team loyalty, you are sure to enjoy a good game at any of the number of sports arenas while living in Phoenix.
- Chase Field: Home of major league baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks;
- Talking Stick Resort Arena: Home of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns;
- University of Phoenix Stadium: Home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and college football’s annual Fiesta Bowl;
- Sun Devil Stadium: Home of the Arizona State University Sun Devils;
- Sloan Park: Home of the Chicago Cubs during baseball spring training;
- Gila River Arena: Home of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.
4. Being Outdoors is Absolutely a Must
You’d be surprised, but people in Phoenix love being outdoors all year. Whether you are fan of hiking, park walks, gardening or biking, there are several ways to get your fresh air in this beautiful landscape.
- Hiking: There are more than 41,000 acres of desert parks and mountain preserves. You can hike 200-plus miles of trails.
- Parks: You will have access to more than 180 city parks and 32 community/recreation centers. There are even several parks just for your dogs!
- Golf courses: People fly in from all over the country to golf in Phoenix. With nearly 200 courses in the metro area, there is plenty of time to practice your back swing.
5. Animal Life
Depending on what area of the city you live in, you will have your own little wilderness show in your neighborhood. You can be sure to see a family of quail running across your front lawn at any moment. The variety of other desert birds is fun to see! You might hear coyotes at night, or pack of pig-like javelina roaming around. Of course, you should also keep a black light to check for scorpions. Don’t worry, though. You are more likely to enjoy any of the 14 species of hummingbirds in your very backyard!
Other fun animals you might see when going for a hike are desert tortoises, rabbits, Gila monsters, roadrunners and snakes.
6. We Support Local Businesses
Phoenix prides itself in the number of mom and pop shops you can find in every area of the city. Whether you are looking for a coffee shop, restaurant, boutique, art studio or specialty store, you can find a non-chain option. If you are moving here to open your very own local business, this is the place to do it! Phoenix is a great supporter of small businesses, and the community loves buying local.
That’s why you can find so many DELICIOUS and authentic cuisines from all over the world. The Mexican food in Phoenix is amazing. The same goes for coffee shops – there is a serious, thriving coffee scene in the Valley for those of varying roast preferences.
7. Convenience is Key!
We did mention it’s hot, right? No worries! After living here for a short while, you’ll find there are so many ways to work around the high temperatures. Take advantage of the many drive-through food spots. Who wants to get out of their air-conditioned car when you don;t have to? You can pick up coffee, salads, Mexican, Thai, Greek and a number of other non-burger choices. But hey! If you prefer burgers and fries, there are many options aside from the big chains to choose from as well.
Due to the plethora of tech companies and course offerings at local universities and colleges, Phoenix has quite an ethnically diverse population. You can find Asian markets, Mexican-focused grocery stores, mosques, Christian-based churches, temples and organizations for all communities to gather and support one another.
9. Nightlife is Plentiful
Dancing, drinking, gambling, music, art exhibits, festivals – you name it, Phoenix has it. Regardless of your musical preference or scene, you will definitely find go-to hangouts. You can go out country dancing one night, see a big pop music act at a casino the next, then end the weekend with an intimate jazz show at a local dive bar. There is something for everyone.
10. In the Center of it All
Regardless of what city you live in, sometimes you just want to get away, and the geographical location of Phoenix makes it so much easier to do so.
- If you want to go camping or hiking (and drop at least 20 degrees in temperature), you can drive to Flagstaff, Sedona, Payson or Prescott in two or three hours.
- Tucson is less than two hours away.
- Las Vegas is only about a five-hour drive.
- New Mexico is only about four hours away.
- You can drive to San Diego in less than six hours.
- Just go a few hours south, and you’ll find yourself in Mexico.
11. Getting to Know the Roads in Phoenix is Easy
You are in luck when you start driving in Phoenix because it is laid out in a grid. Even before GPS was a thing, this grid system made the headaches of navigation minimal. Just remember, numbered streets and avenues run north-south and named streets run east-west. The street numbers increase going east from Central Avenue, and the avenue numbers increase west from Central.
12. Monsoon Season is not a Myth
Although it is dry most of the year, Phoenix is home to a monsoon season every summer. This is defined by high winds, brief heavy rain, tons of blowing dust and flash flooding. Don’t risk trying to drive your car through a flooded road.
13. No Time Changes
Lucky for everyone who lives in Phoenix, we are always on Mountain Standard Time, which means that we don’t practice Daylight Savings Time. You will not have to reset your clock – ever – unless you are vacationing elsewhere, of course.
14. Winters are Wonderful!
If you are coming from a snowy abyss, you will love the winters in Phoenix! For most snowbirds, it is light-sweater weather all winter long. If you are native to Phoenix, you wear scarves and boots in 60-degree weather, and cover your plants with blankets when temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
15. No Sky like a Desert Sky
No matter what time of year it is, you can be sure to see a beautiful extravaganza of colors every sunset. It’s truly breathtaking. It will be the moment, after a hard day, when you say, “Man, Phoenix is beautiful.”
Phoenix living comes with so many wonderful people and experiences! You won’t regret claiming your little spot in the Valley of the Sun. If you’re interested in Phoenix apartments? Contact the friendly team at Heers Management. We have multiple complexes across the metro area and would be happy to give you a tour of any and all of them!