The Best Suburbs in Phoenix 

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, safety -it all can be quite overwhelming. That’s why we have researched the best suburbs in Phoenix for you.

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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 the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop —Phoenix movers and beyond.

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A Little About Phoenix and its Suburbs

A Little About Phoenix and its Suburbs

Phoenix draws new residents from across the country with its beautiful sunny weather, affordable housing, fantastic local grub, tasty craft brews, and outdoor activities. Once a home for sleepy retirees, it’s morphed into an activity-driven metro city.

Phoenix is Arizona’s capital and 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.

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With over 1.6 million people, Phoenix is the fifth most populous city nationwide and the largest city in the state. Its population is largely white and Hispanic with a diverse smaller ethnicity bringing welcome new traditions and great dining opportunities. It continues to grow with good and bad consequences, mostly centered around water use. (More about that later).

Beauty All Around

The neighboring Sonoran Desert is some of the most beautiful imaginable. Yet Phoenix became popular as an agricultural community in 1867, dependent upon the area’s canal system originally built by the Native American Hohokam people who lived in the area for over 2,000 years. Enterprising white planners expanded the idea and agriculture boomed.

Other than the mountains in and around the city, Phoenix is generally flat (more hilly in the north end, decidedly flatter further south).  The city’s main streets run on a precise 1-mile 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.

Booming Corporate Growth

In the ‘80s Phoenix was discovered by corporate America. It now headquarters major companies like PetSmart, Avnet, Freeport-McMoRan, Republic Services, and Magellan Health. Other large employers include the University of Arizona, Walmart, American Express, Intel and Honeywell.

Active and Thriving Sports in Phoenix

With the broadening population sports teams found a welcome home. Earlier Phoenix was known for its baseball spring training centers. Now it anchors all major sports leagues: NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, NBA’s Phoenix Suns, MLB’s Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

If you still need more to do, spas and golf created an activity-focused tourism. Scottsdale’s pioneering Camelback Inn combined a resort with spa, paving the way. So did the many Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses. Now fat-tire bike tours and trail-running in the desert are great examples of how Phoenix continues to evolve for a new generation of residents and visitors.

If Purchasing a Home, Read Carefully about Water Before You Sign

The Phoenix boom took off in the ‘60s with retirement communities like Sun City welcoming seniors. Orange groves got bulldozed for quickly-built tract communities. Planners saw an opportunity based on the flat land and an endless supply of water delivered from the far away Colorado River.

The growth continued even as the entire southwest entered a long-term drought. Now the region is facing the reality of limited water. A lot less with the Federal government mandating allocations among five states. The wild-west style growth is likely to slow as towns like Scottsdale refuse to share its water with unincorporated areas, in one case impacting 2,000 homes built by ‘wildcat’ developers to the north.

We advise you strongly if considering a move anywhere in the southwest to dig deep into the water rights associated with any home you consider (Las Vegas included). Fortunately, the Phoenix neighborhoods we are recommending here have well-established water rights. Still, read the fine print before you sign.

About that Heat in Phoenix’s Best Suburbs

Phoenix’s record-breaking high temperatures regularly make the news. Yes, it’s hot, more like a pizza oven than a humid afternoon anywhere in August on the east coast. Air-conditioning, early morning starts, afternoon siestas, and sleeping under the stars are some solutions. The forward thinking city recognizes its contribution to heat and has begun painting dark asphalt gray. (Every little bit helps).

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

Ahwatukee Foothills

This urban suburb is located about 20 minutes southeast of center-city. Its older master planned communities with golf courses and lakes are in demand. Its great location, walkability, hiking and biking trails along the foothills are a popular draw. The 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.

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. Families love the many nearby children’s indoor play places, like tropical jungle-themed Makutu’s Island, and Main Event. For some of the area’s best restaurants, check out 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, and Tempe Preparatory Academy among others.

Homes in Ahwatukee

Ahwatukee offers a number of house styles, from contemporary to Spanish mission to Mediterranean. Homes range in price from $450,000 to $675,000 according to Zillow.

The Best Suburbs in Phoenix (2022) Bellhop Blog

Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley is located just north of Scottsdale. It was developed later and has a more modern vibe. It combines beautiful rock formations and mountainous hills with rolling terrain perfect for golf courses and very expensive homes. It offers a mega-vibrant shopping and restaurant scene (inspired by the earlier success of nearby Scottsdale), plus resorts and spa retreat centers. It’s the wealthiest area in greater Phoenix.

What’s Happening in Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley offers a number of recreational activities, museums, restaurants, and bars. Outdoors while many locals enjoy swinging clubs on the neighborhood golf courses, pickleball is giving it a run. Trek out to Camelback Mountain and hike to its iconic peak. Take the family to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park with its train rides, model trains, and playgrounds. Or visit the grassy, cactus-speckled Barry Goldwater Memorial Park.

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Worth a visit during a cooling twilight is the Cosanti Originals outdoor art studio and gallery of wind-chimes by famed designer and sculptor Paolo Soleri. Tie that together with wonderful dining. Historic and beautiful upscale  El Chorro with its views is a local favorite. Also check out element’s (and its views), Lon’s, and Prado at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa.

Schools in Paradise Valley

Schools in the area include Cherokee Elementary School, Christ Church School, and Kiva Elementary School among others.

Homes in Paradise Valley

Covid brought the wealthy and launched spiraling home prices that have never really slowed. Now it boasts the most expensive homes in the southwest, according to the Wall Street Journal. The craggy landscape offers views and privacy to those who can afford it. Zillow shows an average home value of $3.2M.


With low crime rates, family-friendly activities, great schools, affordable housing options, and a growing downtown district with some great local eats, Gilbert is easily one of the best suburbs – cities to live in near Phoenix. The low-rise, old farm-town main street of downtown Gilbert anchors its small-town vibe. The city’s population of 270,000+ is younger than the state, more educated, more monied. Homes are pricey.

What’s Happening in Gilbert

Gilbert is flat and once a famous hay-farming town. The distant Superstition Mountains offer great views and more strenuous hiking than the nearby Tonto National Forest.

The area’s bike-friendly streets encourage plenty of locals to bike from place to place. The neighborhood is only roughly 20 miles east of center-city Phoenix, so many residents pop in and out of Phoenix for work or entertainment. The airport is a quick jaunt too. 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 drawing non-locals to the area for dinner. Visit Simi’s Café for a mix of traditional Asian cuisine, from Chinese to Vietnamese dishes, Nico Heirloom Kitchen for high-end Italian, and family-owned Flancer’s for pizza and sandwiches, Joe’s Real BBQ for incredible ribs. For some local drinks, visit Garage-East for Arizona-frown wines and lite fare, The Whining Pig for local craft beer, Copper Still Moonshine Grill, and Chon Thai Food.

Schools in Gilbert

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

Homes in Gilbert

Gilbert’s popularity with families, its safety and small-town laid-back vibe contrast with the pricey, fancy communities like Scottsdale. Still the city is no place for bargains. It’s regularly ranked as one of the most expensive communities in the state. Zillow confirms this: $565,644.

The Best Suburbs in Phoenix (2022) Bellhop Blog


As mentioned earlier, Scottsdale is a suburb right outside of Phoenix and a highly popular mini-city of its own. It’s early success came with the first high-end mall in the ‘60s. The well-laid streets allow for many of its residents to ditch the car and travel via bike or on foot.

What’s Happening in Scottsdale

With hundreds of independently owned restaurants and shops, miles of walkable sidewalks, and parks, bars, restaurants, and shops within walking distance of most homes, Scottsdale has become one of the top places to live (and visit) in the area.

Some residents know the area for its higher-end spa resorts and golf courses. Many residents hit the trails of McDowell Sonoran Preserve if they’re looking for close by outdoor activities. And tourists and new locals are bound to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home and studio, Taliesin West, now an UNESCO site.

There are so many great restaurants in Scottsdale to choose from. But to get a taste of some local favorites, check out Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, upscale gastropub Citizen Public House, chef-owned Sel on main street, and farm to table FnB.

Schools in Scottsdale

The schools in this area include North Ranch, Anasazi Elementary School, and Laguna Elementary School among others.

Homes in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is an historically older section of Phoenix with homes dating back to the 1920s and famous families like the Goldwaters. Lots more mid-century modern homes were added as this desirable area grew.

Affordable housing is scare here; Covid changed all that with strong in-migration. RentCafe claims its cost of living is 7% higher than the state average and 13% above the national — with housing a whopping 42% higher than the U.S. average. Zillow shows an average home value of $792,522.


This 280,000+ popular suburb-city sits about 30 minutes southeast of Phoenix and is the home to a thriving Asian community (11% according to the U.S. Census – 4x the Phoenix rate). In 1980 Intel established a strong presence in the city. This anchored a strong tech base, and many other companies joined it: Avnet, Northrup-Grumman among them. Its plenteous parks, family-friendly events, and great schools make it a natural for tech families working nearby.

What’s Happening in Chandler

Chandler offers a number of noteworthy parks, including Veterans Oasis Park, Tumbleweed Park, and Desert Breeze Park that features vintage train rides along the railroad, walking paths, games and food.

Hungry? Check out the unique Paletas Betty with handmade, Mexican-style popsicles. Other local eateries and drinkeries include Pokitrition for poke bowls & sushi burritos, SanTan Brewing Company for pub food, beer, and distilled spirits. The city touts multi-cultural dining options include “lively Korean-style BBQ, Neapolitan-style pizza, hand-pulled noodles and Taiwanese-style shaved ice.”

Each March, the Ostrich Festival in March at Tumbleweed Park lights up the town with carnival rides, concerts, craft booths, and the infamous ostrich races. And the diverse cultures of the area are frequently celebrated throughout the city, like during Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, and the Celebration of Unity event. 

Schools in Chandler

Some of the great schools in this area include Knox Gifted Academy, Chandler Traditional Academy, Arizona College Prep Erie Campus, Great Hearts, and BASIS Chandler.

Homes in Chandler

Homes here are contemporary modern. Chandler home values increased rapidly during Covid and now average $515,000 according to Zillow. Homes on water-lined golf courses in areas like Balboa Way can easily top $1 million.

There you have it: the best suburbs in Phoenix!

We hope this was helpful, and if you need Phoenix movers, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. We can also help if you need long-distance Phoenix movers. Need to move quickly? We also provide last minute moving services in Phoenix!

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Warren Sly
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