Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we’ve researched the best neighborhoods for families in Phoenix for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Phoenix City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Phoenix’s most popular neighborhoods.

This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas. Oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Phoenix movers and movers throughout the country.

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The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Phoenix (2022) Bellhop Blog

A Little About Phoenix and its Neighborhoods

Phoenix draws new residents from across the country with its beautiful sunny weather, affordable housing, fantastic local grub, tasty craft brews, and outdoor activities that will lure anyone out of their slippers and into their Skechers.

But if you’re new to the area, you might not know where to start. Here’s a basic overview:

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You might already know that Phoenix is Arizona’s capital and that it’s famous for its year-round warm and sunny climate and desert landscapes. The city acts as the central anchor of a sprawling multicity metropolitan area aptly named the Valley of the Sun.

With over 1.6 million people, Phoenix is the fifth most populous city nationwide and the largest city in the state. And though it picks up on the arid climate passed on by the neighboring Sonoran Desert, Phoenix became popular as an agricultural community in 1867, dependant upon and thriving because of the area’s canal system. These irrigation canals were crafted by the Hohokam people who lived in the area for over 2,000 years.

Other than the mountains in and around the city, Phoenix is generally flat, allowing the city’s main streets to run on a precise grid with wide, open-spaced roadways. The area is split generally between its south, central, and northern parts, with locals referring to these areas as simply “South Phoenix,” for example. Neighboring towns like Scottsdale and Mesa to the east and Glendale directly to the west of the city often get lumped into the area as well.

So now that you have an overview, check out our list below. We’ve narrowed down Phoenix’s top family-friendly neighborhoods so that you can pick your perfect new Phoenix home.


With gorgeous houses tucked just 10 minutes north of center-city, Willo is one of the few pockets this close to downtown where homes have large stretching yards. Known as a historic district, this quiet and quaint neighborhood offers a little retreat from the city’s hustle without having to go far. The houses are Willo’s proud showcase, with unique homes built in the early to mid-1900s.

What’s Happening in Willo

While calmly resting along tranquil, tree-lined streets and at picturesque front porches is a favorite activity of many Willo locals, there are tons of nearby activities close at hand. The area offers shops, brewpubs, cocktail bars, cafes, pizzerias, and brunch spots, to name a few.

Strap on your desert sandals and hit the streets for Artlink’s First Friday Art Walk featuring over 70 galleries and venues. Or check out the Phoenix Public Market and buy from local farmers. The yearly Real Wild and Woody Beer Festival brings Phoenicians from afar eager to sip on local brews. And the Crescent Ballroom venue hosts local and nationally-known bands.

Check out these amazing, close-by restaurants: Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour, The Dressing Room, and The Breadfruit & Rum Bar.

Schools in Willo

Schools in this neighborhood include Willow Canyon High School and Mohave Valley School among others.

Homes in Willo

Along its historic streets, Willo has many homes that reflect the area’s architectural past. Tudors, Bungalows, Spanish Colonials, and Ranch styles can all be found.

The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Phoenix (2022) Bellhop Blog


With low crime rates, family-friendly activities, great schools, affordable housing options, and a growing downtown district with some great local eats, Gilbert is reaching up to be one of the best places to live near Phoenix. Many families fill Gilbert’s beautiful homes, and neighborhood kids are often running to each other’s houses and playing with their families in the neighborhood parks.

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What’s Happening in Gilbert

Gilbert already has some amazing sceneries and local parks, but they’re building more. And new local eateries are trying to keep up with the fast-growing population (a population growing faster in fact than almost every other city in the Valley).

The area’s bike-friendly streets, encourage plenty of locals to bike from place to place. And the neighborhood is only roughly 20 miles east of center-city, so many residents pop in and out of Phoenix for work or entertainment. But with a good nightlife scene and local bars in the neighborhood, Gilbert offers enough resources to keep its residents happily home.

Check out what restaurants are bringing non-locals to the area for dinner, and visit Simi’s Cafe, Nico Heirloom Kitchen, and Flancer’s. For some local drinks, visit The Whining Pig, Fox Cigar Bar, and Copper Still Moonshine Grill.

Schools in Gilbert

Schools in this area include Gilbert High School, Gilbert Classical Academy School, and Benjamin Franklin Charter School among others.

Ahwatukee Foothills

This urban suburb is located about 20 minutes southeast of center-city. Its great location, walkability, nature sceneries, golf courses, shops, and tasty local eateries make it a sought after spot. Lower crime rates and friendly neighbors encourage new families to move in, and the area is packed with them.

What’s Happening in Ahwatukee

While all of Phoenix’s activities and offerings are just a short drive away, Ahwatukee offers its own drawing amenities. The small area is dotted with three picturesque golf courses. Community events keep locals close, like the Ahwatukee Chili Cookoff. And South Mountain Park offers Ahwatukee residents room to stretch out in the country’s largest municipal park.

Many residents bike to and from the city, as Ahwatukee is very friendly to alternative forms of transportation. And families love the nearby and plenteous children’s’ play places, like Makutu’s Island, Pump it Up, Main Event, Xtreme Air, and Bounce-A-Rama. For the area’s best and own restaurants, check out Trattoria D’Amico, Caffe Boa, and Spinato’s Pizzeria.

Schools in Ahwatukee

Schools in this neighborhood include Summit School of Ahwatukee, BASIS Ahwatukee, and Kyrene Centennial Middle School among others.

Homes in Ahwatukee

Ahwatukee offers a number of house styles, from contemporary to Spanish mission to Mediterranean-style.

The Best Neighborhoods for Families in Phoenix (2022) Bellhop Blog


This suburb-city is a great spot to raise a family, and many families have moved to the area for its low crime rates and great neighborhood planning, parks, sports facilities, and schools. This little green paradise in the midst of its desert surroundings has nearly quadrupled in population over the past ten years. And it’s still adding more shops, restaurants, and residents.

What’s Happening in Surprise

Surprise Community Park is a family favorite of the neighborhood, with its playgrounds, waterfront walks, dog park, and a shaded pavilion. And the area is packing in some tasty local and independently owned restaurants. Try Tom Yum Thai, Irish Wolfhound, Rio Mirage Cafe, and Vogue Bistro.

For outdoor exploration and hiking, check out the nearby White Tanks Park or DreamCatcher Park. Attend numerous sports activities and events or catch a game or free family movie at the Surprise Stadium. And with just a 45-minute drive to downtown Phoenix, locals also easily have access to all the happenings in the city.

Schools in Surprise

The schools in this suburb-city include Canyon Ridge Elementary School, Paradise Honors High School, and Marley Park Elementary School among others.

Homes in Surprise

Suprise offers many houses that would fit into most home-owners budgets. The median home value is currently right below $200k. But shop around for the current houses for sale and homes for rent in the area to find what works best for you and your family.

There you have it: the best neighborhoods for families in Phoenix!

We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. Need to move quickly? We also provide last minute moving services!

Harrison Stevens