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Living like a local

Is Moving to Texas Right for You? A 2021 Guide.

Moving to Texas? Here’s all you need to know.

Everything is bigger in Texas. Or, at least, that’s what they say. Perhaps, there’s bigger better living there too. We’ll know for sure by the end of this guide. (Oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop. Nice to meet you. We’re movers in Texas… and in particular, Austin movers, Houston movers, San Antonio movers, Dallas movers, Fort Worth movers).

What we do know is that there’s more to Texas than the images that pop into our heads upon hearing someone mention the state—BBQ, cowboy boots, football, Willie Nelson, Longhorns, etc.

Texas is a dynamic state bursting at the seams with vastly diverse cities… which are also bursting at the seams with hundreds of thousands of new residents moving into them each year. In other words, folks are really taking a liking to the lone star state.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

So, what’s so great about living in Texas? Here’s a brief overview of the state.

1. Texas is a massive state with a ton of character.

Texas is the second largest state in the US after Alaska, and within the 269,000 square miles the giant takes up, you can find deserts, mountains, forest, ranchland and over 360 miles of beautiful coastline and an 850 miles interstate route that makes traveling through the great state seamless. It has character. A lot of character.

2. When it comes to cities in Texas, there’s plenty to choose from.

In addition, Texas also houses three of the largest cities in the United States –– Houston, San Antonio and Dallas –– all of which are so rich with history, culture and entertainment we could write an entire article focusing strictly on each. Yet, besides the larger names Texas is known for, it is also home to much smaller cities like Austin which is quickly becoming a favorite for young professionals across the nation.

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Pros and cons of living in Texas

Like all states, Texas has some great things about it and… some not so great things. Fortunately, unlike other states, the good far outweighs the bad. Regardless, here are a couple factors worth thinking about as you consider your move.

3. Pro: the taxes are ridiculously low.

Texas is one of the few states in the US that boast no income tax. Which is great, but what does this mean for you in terms of savings? Well, according to Time Magazine, Texas collects about $3,500 per resident. California, on the other hand, collects $4,900. And, New York collects $7,400. So, when you compare it to other states, residents of Texas save as much as half of what they would normally pay in taxes. That’s nothing to scoff at and might even be a factor that tips the scale in favor of moving to Texas.

4. Con: it’s hotter than hades (okay maybe not that hot, but you get it).

Texas is hot. In fact, Texas Monthly called Texas the hottest state in the entire country. Along the Rio Grande, which is the hottest spot in Texas, days and nights average 102 degrees Fahrenheit. In both San Antonio and Dallas, the summer temperatures average out at around 100 degrees. That’s hot. And, to be completely honest, it’s something worth considering before you make the jump there. If you’re the type of person that can’t stand the heat, Texas is the last place you’re going to want to move to. It might be worth investing in a pool. That, or take plenty of cold showers during the summertime.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

Money in Texas: jobs, the economy, and cost of living.

There is money in Texas. According to an article Texas Monthly published, something like 46 billionaires live in Texas. That’s a lot of people with a lot of money… but where does all that money come from? Well, half of them amassed their riches in oil and gas pipelines, which up to this point in time has been the largest money maker in the state.

But, let’s not assume that’s the only way these billionaires are making their money. Michael Dell made his billions by… yes, you guessed it… Dell. Tilman Ferrtita has made his fortunes in the food industry, starting restaurant giants like Bubba Gump Shrimp. And, of course, Mark Cuban the golden child of anything entrepreneurial lives in Dallas.

But, as innovation is beginning to seep into the great state, some are calling one Texan city the Silicon Valley of the South. But, more on that in the next section.

5. The next silicon valley… in Austin?

So, industries like agriculture, energy, defense and healthcare are what makes up the larger economy of Texas. But, as more and more young professionals are moving to the state, an interesting and refreshing spark of innovation has begun to take hold –– particularly in Austin.

Forbes has actually listed Austin as a city that could potentially become the next Silicon Valley. That’s obviously a pretty bold statement that we don’t have an opinion on one way or the other. But, you get the idea, there’s some innovation happening there. What does something like this mean for someone like you, though?

Well, startups like AppSumo, Onnit, Rollick Outdoor and Senseye have gone from being ideas to big innovators employing hundreds. This constant innovation means more jobs for folks moving to Texas. And, if you’re someone that wants to start a business yourself, it’s best to immerse yourself in a culture where entrepreneurship runs wild. Either way, employee or entrepreneur, Austin is a good place to land.

If you’re interested in the tech and startup scene in Austin and want to line up a few potential job opportunities before moving there, AngelList is a great resource. We highly recommend checking it out!

6. Texas is home to plenty of fortune 500 companies, too.

The job market doesn’t end at startups though. There are plenty of fortune 500 companies headquartered in Texas as well. Huge industry giants like ExxonMobil, GameStop, At&t, Southwest, Texas Instrument, Phillips 66, Whole Foods and Valero are just a few massive companies that have made Texas their home base. Honestly, we’re kind of blown away by some of the names on this list.

7. Great job opportunity coupled with a reasonable cost of living makes Texas a gem for young professionals.

According to Zillow, the average home price in Texas is $190,000 and the average rent price is about $1,500. Due to the fact that Texas is absolutely massive, they have practically endless land to build on. The more houses builders can put up means more supply, which makes housing prices more affordable. While $200,000 might buy you a shack in California, in Texas it’ll get you a nice home. Couple this with the fact that there are plenty of job opportunities and it’s a pretty good situation for young professionals looking to be homeowners.

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What’s it like to live in Texas?

So, when we started out writing this guide, we wanted to get to the bottom of the saying, “Everything is bigger in Texas”. While we weren’t able to trace its origins, we did discover the saying had some truth behind it. Texas is really big, nearly as big as the entire country of France. And, when it comes to living, Texas does it up pretty big too.

8. Living in Texas

Texans are an interesting mix of loving and tough. They’re known for being huggers with bigger-than-life personalities but have been built to be pretty resilient considering they deal with 100 degree summers six months out of the year and have to avoid being bitten by poisonous rattlesnakes on the daily.

Not unlike the people, it feels like the culture in Texas offers similar extremes, making it a state where just about everyone can find something they love.

Music in Texas is complex and dynamic, running deep in the culture. While most people think “country” when they think Texas, independent and alternative artists are popping up everywhere in the state. The New York Times actually wrote an entire piece on the emerging music scene in Texas. For history buffs, it’s a state built on the grounds where native tribes like the Caddo, Apache and Comanche had lived for 11,000 years. And, on the contrary, for futurists, it’s a place where organizations like SpaceX and NASA fire off their rockets.

We guess what we’re saying is that while Texas is known for things like Football, BBQ, Country music and cowboys boots… it seems there are just as many things on the other end of the spectrum that run deep there, too.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

A few final thoughts on moving to Texas.

With hundreds of thousands of people moving to Texas every day, there is some obvious charm to the lone star state. As long as you can stand the heat, we feel pretty confident you’ll find a spot that feels like home in Texas. And, if you need some help moving there, well you know who to call.

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Living like a local

The 7 Best Breweries in Phoenix, AZ (The 2021 Update)

In a sizzling desert metropolis like Phoenix, there’s nothing more refreshing than a cold, bubbly beer. And, over the last decade or so, businessmen and businesswomen of Phoenix have been catching on to that fact. Now, Phoenix is busy with beer festivals and boasts over 80 craft breweries. But what are the best breweries in Phoenix? Here at Bellhop (we’re a modern alternative to traditional Phoenix movers, by the way), these are the seven that “bubble up” to the top of our list:

No. 7: Huss Brewing Company

This independent brewery makes beer that can hold its own against the big dogs. As one of the largest breweries in the state, husband and wife duo Jeff and Leah Huss have proven that they’re onto something that works. With several award-winning brews like the Scottsdale Blond and The Husstler Series Milk Stout, they’ve been on a roll for about five years now. Jeff and Leah have a passion to make their family-owned brewery a business that’s accessible to all, regularly hosting beer dinners and food pairings with local restaurants.

What makes them great? Their 30 years of combined experience in the brewing industry and the quality and consistency of their beers.

koffee kolsch
Try this: Koffee Kolsch

Huss cold steeps this traditional, light-bodied Kolsch with freshly roasted caramel and hazelnut coffee beans. Its crisp start and smooth biscuity finish will send coffee and beer lovers to the moon!

No. 6: Sonoran Brew Company

If you’re looking for a straightforward, drinkable, no secrets or surprises beer, look no further than Sonoran Brew Company. Sonoran doesn’t blow any whistles or jingle any bells. They won’t tell you a touching story about how they got started, they aren’t going to tantalize you with fancy pairings or tease you with outlandish ingredients. They’re about good, drinkable beer, and that’s about it.

Let’s just say, if fictional characters could write beer reviews, this brewery would get the Ron Swanson stamp of approval.

Try this: DFRNT IPA

Sonoran’s IPA is brewed to be drinkable, smooth, and satisfying. Unlike a lot of IPA’s out there, this drink doesn’t raise the hop profile so high that your tongue will turn to raisins and your nose hairs curl. Careful with this one though—while it’s easy and drinkable, at 6.25% ABV it can catch up to you quickly.

No. 5: Four Peaks Brewing Company

Four Peaks led the way for the craft brewery industry in Arizona and, some would say, in the Southwest as a whole. Four Peaks opened in 1996 in a 125-year-old building that was once an ice house, a creamery, and a recording studio which hosted Stevie Nicks. The owners of Four Peaks worked for several years to ease the restrictive laws on small craft breweries and eventually worked with Governor Doug Ducey to help breweries thrive in the state. Because of their valiant beginning, a lot of locals were surprised to see Four Peaks sell to Anheuser-Busch in 2016. However, according to their regulars, after the sale, Four Peaks is just as great as it’s always been. Its delicious variety of beer and food keep their customers coming back regularly.

Try This: Pitchfork American Pale Ale

Pair it with Four Peaks’ Bon Me Thai sandwich with spicy daikon, pickled carrots, fresh herbs, and pork belly. The tropical fruit hops used in this beer will add just the right subtle fruity quality to pair with the Bon Me’s sweet Thai flavors.

No. 4: Mother Bunch Brewing

The world of brewing has not always been dominated by bearded men and flannel shirts. No, no. This brewery’s owner, Julie Meeker, named her brewery after a 17th-century tale of alewives and tapsters as a salute to the women brewers of the past. People come from the east and west side of Phoenix and the surrounding states to meet in the middle at Mother Bunch, giving it that true public house feel. It’s like the living room of the neighborhood. Visitors and regulars alike feel at home in this warm and welcoming environment and leave well-fed and a bit more jovial than when they came.

Phoenix brewery Mother Bunch's Cherry Popper Porter
Try this: Cherry Popper Porter

This brew was Mother Bunch’s first commercially brewed beer. The balanced recipe makes drinking this beer as enjoyable as eating a chocolate covered cherry. And the mild smokey finish balances out the sweetness of this tasty brew.

No. 3: Wren House Brewing Company

Patrons walk into the homey taproom of Wren House Brewing Co. and feel the stress of the day melt away. The owners Drew Pool, Bill Hammond, and head brewer Preston Theony transformed a 1920s home into a family-style tap room spotted with old chairs and one large and central wooden table. Though Wren House only opened in 2015, they’ve already gained a solid following and have made great efforts towards building the community in Phoenix.

Their taproom fosters conversation and interaction with its small, intimate environment and large group tables (you won’t find any TV’s playing in this brewery). And Wren House has begun to use malt and wheat grown by the local farmers and maltsters of Arizona, working with The Nature Conservancy to help support the area. This space is really the perfect spot to gather with friends for a good conversation over a tasty beer.

Try this: Lady Banks

This glowing ruby Gose is brewed with Celtic sea salt, rose petals, chamomile, and hibiscus flowers. It bubbles beautifully with higher carbonation and sips deliciously at 4% ABV.

If you want to keep it pink, try out Berries and Cream for your second pour. This 6.7% sour IPA is fermented with huge amounts of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries and conditioned with vanilla beans. This brew tastes creamy with a subdued tartness and explosive fruit aroma and flavor.

No. 2: Helton Brewing

Helton Brewing has quickly won the hearts of many Phoenix locals in the few years since its been open. Expect a wide selection of consistent beers and, on those relieving cooler days, live music by local bands in the outdoor “Beer Garage.” Feel free to bring your furry friends along with you to this brewery. If your pup likes the atmosphere as much as you will, join Helton’s Downward Dog for the Dog’s event, where $1 from every pint is donated to the One Love Pit Bull Foundation.

Phoenix Helton Brewery's French Saison
Try this: French Saison

Brian Helton, brewmaster, owner, and certified cicerone, certainly knows how to brew a balanced beer. Clean, with good carbonation and balanced notes of orange and coriander, Helton’s French Saison would please even the French themselves. Pair this beer with Helton’s Lazy Goat Bruschette, and taste how the high carbonation of the saison pairs perfectly with the creaminess of the dish’s goat cheese and balsamic reduction, and how the acidity of the beer pairs perfectly with the dish’s tomato, shallots, and herbs.

No. 1: Helio Basin Brewing Company

One of the first things you’ll notice about Helio Basin Brewing Company is the quality of their beer. Quality from grain to glass is Helio’s philosophy— and you’ll notice it upon your first sip of one of their brews. Their beers are sophisticated yet uncomplicated, and you can literally taste the integrity of their ingredients and the care they use while brewing. Add to this high-quality, delicious food made from local ingredients with impeccable flavor balance, and you’ve found yourself our number one pick for Phoenix breweries as well as one of the top new breweries in all of Arizona!

Phoenix brewery Helio Basin's american pale ale
Try this: American Pale Ale

A delicious find, this American Pale Ale has light hints of fruit and clean malts. You’ll definitely taste the hops in this beer, but the balance and blend of these simple, clean flavors will have you wondering why others breweries make an APA any other way.

Helio Basin prides itself on pairings. In fact, they host a 6-course beer dinner that showcases the diversity of Arizona’s tastes and foods and pairs each dish with one of their signature brews. But if you’re stopping in on another day, try pairing their APA with the Red Pork Posole. The sweet and malty backbone of the Pale Ale complements the caramelized pork of the dish, while the hops accentuate the radish, cilantro, and lime. You won’t leave this table unsatisfied.

To keep up with our latest posts, be sure to like us on Facebook!

If you ever decide to make Phoenix home, remember that we coordinate local and long distance moving services, and we would love to help.

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Living like a local

Is Moving to Florida Right for You? A 2021 Guide.

Moving to Florida? Here’s everything you need to know about the sunshine state.

Most folks living in the United States have been to Florida. In fact, there is a good chance that you have too… whether it be on family vacation or for a spring break that you may or may not remember.

And, while all of us are aware that it’s a vacation hot spot that over 65.5 million people visited in the first half of 2018 alone (nine out of every ten of which were from the United States), could it be worth considering moving to… permanently?

We’re not sure. That’s why we are writing this, after all. But, what we do know is that at first glance year around sunshine, sandy beaches and super fresh seafood within arms reach at all times doesn’t sound too shabby. (Oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops. Nice to meet you. We’re movers in Florida… specifically Jacksonville movers, Orlando movers, Tampa movers, St. Petersburg movers, Miami movers, Ft. Lauderdale movers, and West Palm Beach movers.)

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

What’s so sunny about living in Florida? Let’s cover a brief overview of the state.

As we mentioned previously, most of us have been to Florida on vacation. But, vacationing in Florida is much different than living in Florida. As sunburnt vacationers frolicking around in Florida’s theme parks and resorts, we’re only seeing one (very small side) of a rather complex state. Here’s a few things that makes Florida so sunny for the people that actually live there.

1. Florida is a big sunny state with a lot of personality.

There is California. There is Texas. There is New York. And, then, there is Florida. As the fourth largest state by population in the United States, Florida was estimated to have over twenty million residents as of 2016.

This massive number combined with the fact that 65.5 million people visited the state in the first half of 2018 alone means there’s a lot of people and a lot going on.

But, why do so many people choose to live there? We would argue Florida’s 1,350 miles of breathtaking coastline might have something to do with it. Or, perhaps the stunning landscape.

Genevieve Howland, a Chicago native that uprooted her family to move to Destin, Florida a year back after one of the coldest winters in Chicago history wrote about how lovely the landscape is on her blog:

“Going hand in hand with the weather is the state’s beauty. Where we live is covered in pine forests and palmetto palms. Wild flowers. Deer moss. Coastal dune lakes. Wild blackberries and rosemary. Magnolia trees. It really is a diverse and breathtaking state.”

But, the wildflowers, magnolia trees, and warm weather is only the beginning of Florida’s lovely landscape. Florida is also home to coral reefs, barrier islands, low rolling hills, underwater caves and plenty of swimming holes (that you might want to be careful when swimming in because… alligators).

2. Dozens of cities in Florida offering something for everyone.

In addition to the lovely landscape, Florida boasts some nice diversity in its cities too, which seem to offer something for just about everyone. For the young professional there is Miami, which is bursting at the seams with culture and art and a variety of ethnicities and a party scene that you’d have to experience to fully understand.

Then, for the individual looking to live in a Florida city that’s reasonably big but affordable, there is St. Petersburg. And, finally, for the baby boomers looking to kick back and settle down, there is The Villages a retirement community that’s the size of a small city at 69,000 residents. And, this is just a few… there is also Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Destin, Vero Beach, Tallahassee and the list goes on.

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The pros and cons of moving to Florida: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

While some might argue differently, it’s not all sunshine in Florida. There is some bad and even ugly there too. But, we’re optimists here at Bellhops so we are going to give you the good first and then follow things up with the bad and the ugly.

3. The good stuff about moving to Florida (obvious pros).

Besides the beauty and the beaches and the sunshine (all stuff we’d claim is pretty good), Florida boasts no state tax. And, while this might not seem like that big of a deal, it is when you consider Chicago’s income tax is 3.75% and California’s is 13%. In other words, by moving to Florida, you’ll be putting away more money in the bank and that’s never a bad thing.

In addition, getting beachfront property in Florida is not as expensive as you might first assume. CNBC made a list of the cheapest beach towns to buy a home in and half of the cities listed were in the state of Florida. No state tax combined with affordable housing isn’t such a bad combination.

4. The bad stuff about moving to Florida (the cons).

If you’re not into tourism, which permanent residents of a place heavily touristed generally aren’t, Florida can get old pretty quickly. As we mentioned previously, 65.5 million people visited Florida in the first half of 2018 last year. So, somebody is lying if they tell you it’s not something to be concerned about.

With that said, there are certainly cities that see less tourism than others. If you land in Tampa, Destin or Orlando, there’s probably going to be more tourists around you than actual city residents. But, if you live somewhere like the hidden gem that is Vero Beach, ranked one of the best beach towns in the US, you’re going to probably see less tourism.

5. The ugly stuff about moving to Florida (the obvious cons).

Hopefully, this goes without saying, but Florida is known for hurricanes. Every year from June 1st to November 30th is Hurricane season. And, while we wouldn’t say this is a reason to avoid moving to Florida, it’s certainly one of the less-desirable qualities about the state.

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The job market and the economy: Show us the money, Florida.

If you’re considering moving to Florida, it might not be a bad idea to gain a decent understanding of the sunshine state’s economy. You’ll need to make a living there, after all.

7. Florida, a hot economy that is only getting hotter.

In July of this year it was reported that Florida’s economy hit $1 trillion. Yes, you read that correctly. To give you an idea of how big that is… if Florida were its own nation, it would have the 17th largest economy in the entire world. That’s great for the state, great for the people living there and great for people like you considering moving to Florida.

8. Strong industries combined with a growing tech scene.

The six largest industries in Florida are tourism, financial services, life sciences, Aerospace and aviation, international trade and agriculture according to Investopedia. The financial services industry alone employs 900,000 Floridians.

But besides these strong more traditional industries, there’s something interesting going on in Florida cities like Miami. Behind the cities most prominent industries like real estate, tourism and hospitality there’s been something brewing under the water… tech. Recently, Curbed.com reported that Miami was ranked #8 in the nation for VC-backed startups right behind Chicago, which is saying something. For young professionals looking to gain a ton of experience while propelling their careers forward, the right kind of startup can offer the perfect opportunity. If startups have been something you’re interested in, we highly recommend you check out AngelList.

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That’s wonderful but what’s it like to actually live in Florida?

The money is good. The weather is really good. But, what’s it life actually like there?

Folks who live in Florida claim there is something called the Honeymoon phase, where for the first few months to a year everything about it is amazing. We imagine it probably feels like being on an extended vacation.

But then, after the honeymoon period wears off and you begin to establish a routine and become accustomed to the wonderful weather, you gain a more realistic idea of what living there is actually like.

Genevieve Howland, the woman we mentioned earlier, wrote that one pro to moving to Florida was how easy it is to meet people. She says that unlike Chicago or Boston, where people have lived their whole life, many people who live in Florida weren’t actually born there. So, it’s not too shabby of a place to make friends.

And, with Florida being a very southern state, folks who move there tend to be pleasantly surprised by the southern culture… Genevieve explained how she doesn’t think she’ll ever get tired of hearing “yes ma’am” and “yes sir”.

What’s next?

Okay, so now that we’ve written this article in its entirety, we must say we are pretty “pro” Florida. Between the weather, the booming economy and that it’s very possible to find an affordable place to live in Florida, we think it could be the perfect spot for your next move.

Oh, and if you ever need help moving to Florida, well, you know who to call. (And just to make that semi-oblique reference 100% clear, we mean to give us a call.)

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Living like a local

THE Best Places to Live in Florida (2021)

Here are the best places to live in Florida.

If you were to ask anyone in the United States where the best places are to vacation in Florida, they could fire off a handful of locations immediately. But, if you were to ask them what the best places to live in Florida are… well you’d probably get nothing but crickets.

Nearly everyone has vacationed in Florida at least once in their lifetimes –– bouncing around from places like Destin, Tampa and Orlando. In fact, over 65.5 million people visited the sunshine state in the first half of 2018 alone. It’s an extremely popular vacation spot… but after doing some research we realized the places people tend to visit when vacationing in Florida aren’t necessarily the places you’d want to live.

Fortunately, for you, we’ve compiled a list of the very best places to live in Florida. We’ve got everything from big cities, to small lesser-known beach towns. So, no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it on this list (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—movers in Florida and specifically Jacksonville movers, Orlando movers, Tampa movers, St. Petersburg movers, Miami movers, Fort Lauderdale movers, and West Palm Beach movers).

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

1. Head to Vero Beach if you’re a nature lover.

If you’ve never heard of Vero Beach, you’re not alone. We had no idea it even existed until we started doing a little digging.

It turns out, we aren’t the only ones to take a liking to it. Coastal Living named Vero Beach one of the best beach towns and The Street listed Vero Beach as one of the best cities to live in all of Florida.

But, what’s all the hype about?

Vero Beach is a tiny gem located on Florida’s east coast. With a tiny population of just 16,000-ish people both blue collar workers and billionaires coexist there happily, sharing a deep passion for the city’s miles and miles of untouched coastline, biking paths and protected wildlife refuges.

Unlike so many Florida beach towns that have transformed into overly crowded tourist traps, Vero Beach has remained adamant about maintaining it’s authenticity and beauty by forcing developers to abide by very strict rules like not building any structure over four stories tall.

It’s an eco-friendly city that feels nothing like commercial Florida all of us are so used to seeing. If you’re someone that loves nature and having access to incredible wildlife and beaches that are completely unscathed, then Vero Beach is your spot.

In addition, Vero Beach is also known for having a bustling art scene. The city holds monthly art galleries, an annual wine & film festival, an art museum, and an opera.

With that said, Vero Beach isn’t for everyone. With it being a smaller city, the job market is obviously smaller too. And, real estate is on the pricier side there, especially if you want to live near the beach.

But, if you’re looking to rent, it appears that averages are reasonable for a small city where you’ll be within in pretty close proximity to the ocean. The average rent goes for $647 a month.

However, if you’re a big city guy or girl, you might want to take a closer look at the next name on our list…

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2. You might find yourself falling in love with Miami.

While Vero Beach has a tiny population of just 16,000 people, the city of Miami has around 500,000 residents and the greater Miami area has a mind-boggling 5 million. So, if Vero Beach wasn’t big enough for you, we think Miami certainly will be.

There’s a lot to love about Miami. South Beach, obviously. But, also it’s rich Latin American and Cuban heritage that gives the city an ethnically diverse culture and some really really good food.

In addition, those escaping the work-centric cultures in cities like New York and Chicago, find that Miami is a breath of fresh air. While the folks there certainly work hard, they do a great job separating work from play. Something that isn’t too difficult to do with world-renowned clubs and beaches at their fingertips.

In Miami, there is a neighborhood for just about everyone. Miami’s downtown neighborhoods like Wynwood, Midtown and Brickell are ideal for young professionals looking to be in the heart of the city. But, it’ll cost you around $1,200 a month for rent. The suburbs of Miami are also worth checking out.

And, despite all the partying, there are also neighborhoods in Miami that are great places to raise a family, too. Coconut Grove is the oldest neighborhood in all of Miami and today is rated as one of the safest.

In addition, behind Miami’s cultures, there is something brewing under the water… tech. Recently, it was reported that Miami was ranked #8 in the nation for VC-backed startups.

We think Miami is an ideal city for young professionals and not too bad of an option for families looking for warmer weather.  And for the young professional, there are several up-and-coming Miami neighborhoods worth checking out.

For more info about Miami and everything it has to offer, check out our guide on moving to Miami.

3. Jacksonville offers more than you might expect.

When most people think of Florida, they don’t think of Jacksonville, which is ironic considering the city is quite large from both a population and size standpoint. 1.3 million people live in the greater Jacksonville area and it can take as long as 45 minutes to drive all the way across the city. That’s big.

But, besides size, Jacksonville has some beautiful things about it. For one, if you’re a football fan, the sport is a religion there. If you move anywhere in Florida, most especially Jacksonville, you’re going to have to pick a side –– the Florida Gators or the Florida State Seminoles.

But besides the sports, there’s plenty of culture there too. Jacksonville boasts Florida’s youngest population and, apparently, the hippest. It was voted by Expedia as one of the nations coolest populations. And, while we can’t say for certain if truly the hippest/coolest people live in Jacksonville, we do know some ahem, interesting, musicians are from the city –– Limp Bizkit and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Anyway, if you’re looking to make a jump over to Jacksonville, rent won’t cost you an arm and a leg like most Florida cities. You can get a studio for $600 and a two bedroom for $1,000. Not too shabby considering the job market is pretty good in Jacksonville too, ranking in the top 15% for cities in Florida.

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Honorable Mentions…

Do a little time traveling in St. Augustine.

USA Today rated St. Augustine as one of the best places to live in Florida for the sole fact that it’s the oldest continually occupied city in the United States. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is filled with endless history that still shines through today in the city’s stunning architecture.

Enjoy all the lovely pastel in Seaside.

In addition to Vero Beach, Coastal Living also named Seaside as one of the best beach towns in all of Florida. We’ve had members from the Bellhops team actually vacation in Seaside and they can’t seem to get the pretty picturesque pastel beach homes out of their heads. While Seaside might not be the ideal place for a young professional looking for a ton going on at all hours of the day, it’s wonderful for those looking for a slower pace. Everything in the town is a short walk or bike ride away.

Live among the rich and famous in Palm Beach Florida.

We will go ahead and preface by saying that Palm Beach might be one of the more expensive places on our list, with a studio apartment costing right around a whopping $1,300. Today, Palm Beach is a common vacation spot for wealthy celebrities… a tradition that has continued for decades. The Rockefellers and the Kennedys actually held their winter homes in Palm Beach. It has so many beaches it’d be hard to visit all of them if you lived there for years. Palm Beach sports over 47 miles of coastline.

Other honorable mentions

There are a few other cities we just couldn’t leave out here. Tampa, Orlando, and St. Petersburg to be specific.

There you have it: the best places to live in Florida.

And just like that, our work here is done. If you’re still looking for more information, check out our guide on moving to Florida. And, of course, if you are planning on making the move to the Sunshine State, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Living like a local

The 4 Best Places to Live in Arizona (2021)

Where to live in Arizona.

Driving through Arizona can feel like exploring another planet in a galaxy far, far away. Just one afternoon of existing in the “Valley of the Sun” will make you realize why films like Stars Wars, Indiana Jones, and Casablanca were shot there.

Yet, with a state like Arizona, there comes a problem… in such a stunning state with such a vast array of features, where exactly are the best places to live?

We imagine you could comfortably pitch a tent anywhere in Arizona, save for maybe the desert and find yourself surrounded by beauty. But, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to live in Arizona down below, for those of us who want a job and a home and a city and all that good stuff. (Oh, and by way of introduction, we are Bellhops—Phoenix movers and Tucson movers).

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

The best places to live in all of Arizona.

Arizona has a lot more to offer than just the picturesque landscape. 300 days of beautiful sunshine, a thriving economy and a reasonably low cost of living all make moving to Arizona a great decision for young professionals, families, and retirees alike. Choosing where to live can be the most difficult part. Here are the best places to live in Arizona:

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1. Raise a family and have a lot of fun doing so in Scottsdale.

The lovely city of Scottsdale Arizona is a breath of fresh air in a state that gets pretty hot at times. The weather in Scottsdale is described as being “mild” even in the hot summer months. It’s a smaller city, roughly 230,000 residents.

And, while it often times gets pigeon-holed as being a place where retirees call home, the safety, job stability, great public schools, high income and reasonable cost of living make it a wonderful place to raise a family.

And, for parents who want to have a good time in addition to raising kids, Scottsdale has an incredible social scene, sporting a vibrant downtown bursting with nightlife and a riverfront so beautiful you’ll be tempted to jump in.

Oh, and for those who love slapping the little white ball around, there are over 200 golf courses in Scottsdale. Yes, you read that right.

Not to mention, if you’re entrepreneurial minded, Scottsdale is widely considered to be one of the best cities in the United States to start a start-up. Big tech companies like Yelp and Weebly have opened up branch offices in Scottsdale adding to its growing startup scene.

2. Hit the desert (and don’t forget your swimsuit) in Mesa.

At 460,000 people, Mesa, Arizona offers a big city feel without the big city fuss. It’s right in the middle of the desert making it one of the hotter cities on our list.

But, locals say don’t let the desert fool you into not bringing a swimsuit. Mesa has plenty of water that you’ll definitely be taking advantage of during the hot summer months. Two rivers and three lakes are all within a short 30-minute drive of the city and then, of course, there are pools on practically every corner.

And, for those who love Christmas but make the argument that it must be “cold and snowing” for it to truly feel like Santa is coming, think again. Mesa is obsessed with Christmas. Every year The Mesa Arizona Temple Gardens puts up tons of Christmas lights so dazzling over a million people flock to gawk at them.

Think about that for a moment… on Christmas Eve you can go for a swim in the morning, a hike through the desert in the afternoon and then that night you go admire one of the world’s most beautiful array of Christmas lights. Sounds like a dream come true. But, that’s Mesa for you.

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3. Enjoy more than just a college town Tempe, Arizona.

Tempe is by far the most unique name on our list of best places to live in Arizona. Most known for Arizona State University, Arizona’s largest college with over 83,000 undergraduates, Tempe is a small-ish city with plenty of character.

Tempe being a college town gives it some great perks like a thriving nightlife, scrumptious food scene, arts galore and plenty of affordable (and many times free) things to do.

Those who visit Tempe are surprised to find Tempe Town Lake in the middle of the city where people spend time paddle boarding and canoeing. Pretty cool when you consider Tempe is in the middle of the desert. Rowing teams on the East Coast will actually travel to Tempe in the winter’s to practice on Tempe Town Lake.

If you’re a young professional, we highly recommend Tempe. In part because of everything we named above but also for a growing economy combined with a relatively low population—a smaller number of people means less competition for the many tech jobs that are beginning to pop up in the city with more startups taking root there.

The state of Arizona as a whole has been a big player in the world innovation for a while now and this certainly seems to hold true in Tempe.

4. Did you think we were going to leave Phoenix off our list? Absolutely not.

When most people think of Arizona, they think of Phoenix. And, for good reason. It’s a stunning city and a remarkably diverse one bursting at the seams with culture. As the sixth largest city in the United States, Phoenix has 1.4 million residents that enjoy plenty of perks living in Arizona’s capital.

Phoenix is one of the few cities in the United States that sports (pun intended) four major professional sports teams –– Phoenix Suns in the NBA, Arizona Diamondbacks in the MLB, Arizona Cardinals in the NFL and Arizona Coyotes in the NHL. So, first and foremost, if you’re a sports fanatic, need we say more?

But besides all the sport hysteria, there’s plenty of non-related sports things to do too. Like hiking through the Sonoran Desert, where it’s actually illegal to chop down a Saguaro cactus by the way… you can spend up to a year in prison. Yikes.

With Phoenix literally being in the desert, there’s endless hiking and swimming and mountain biking and trail running to be had all around the city. So, if you’re an outdoors type, you simply can’t beat it!

With that said, there are certainly come cons about living in Phoenix too. If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of Phoenix (and Arizona as a whole for that matter). Most years there are a handful of days that get into the triple digits… yes that’s hot enough to fry an egg on your car. But, if you can stand the heat, you might just fall in love with the place.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

So, to recap on the best places to live in Arizona…

We threw a lot at you, delivering four of the best places to live in Arizona. To recap… take a close look at Phoenix if you’re looking for a big city with an insane amount to do.

If you’re looking for a not-so-normal life head to Mesa where you can swim in the desert and enjoy Christmas lights in 70+ degree weather.

If you’re looking for a small-town feel, with plenty of culture and character, look no further than Tempe.

And, finally, if you have a family, love to golf and want a bustling tech scene… Scottsdale is your place.

As you continue to plan your move, don’t hesitate to reach out. Like we said before, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Arizona and we would love to help.

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Living like a local

Is Moving to Arizona Right for You? A 2021 Guide.

If you’re planning on moving to Arizona, you should really read this first.

As a kid, there’s a good chance you watched in awe as a tiny blue roadrunner darted too and fro on your little barely colored television screen tailed closely by a hungry, dynamite loving coyote.

At the time, you probably didn’t realize that these two arch-enemies were fighting a battle in Arizona of all places. That’s right, The Canyon State… if you’re anything like us your inner child is smiling from ear to ear right now.

But enough about that. Here are two things you should know about Arizona:

  1. There are in fact roadrunners in Arizona, folks who live there seem to see them darting around at 17 miles an hour dodging predators like coyotes.
  2. Arizona, the place that was the playground for arguably the most iconic Looney Tunes cartoon of all time, might end up being one phenomenal playground for you as well.

Anyways, if you’re seriously considering moving to Arizona, take a moment and read through this article where we will be covering everything from the weather to a bustling economy that’s growing hand over fist. (Oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops— we’re Phoenix movers, Tucson movers and movers around the country).

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

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A closer look at Arizona, the Grand Canyon State.

A little while back, U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States in hopes to determine the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market. Phoenix, Arizona actually ranked number 17 for the best places to retire and ranked number 19 for the best places to live. (For more information on moving to Phoenix, check out our city guide here.)

1. Let’s address the elephant in the room (a.k.a the Grand Canyon).

Okay, so one of our biggest sells on Arizona is the fact that the Grand Canyon is there… a natural wonder so wondrous that people travel not just across the United States but across the world as a whole to see it’s wondrousness in person.

How many people can say they live in a place where the Grand Canyon is practically in their backyard? Our point exactly.

2. The Grand Canyon is just the beginning of Arizona’s incredible landscape, though.

But, besides the Grand Canyon, Arizona is known for possessing a stunning landscape filled with ample opportunities to go hiking, mountain biking, trail running, camping, exploring, swimming and white water rafting.

To give you an idea of just how vast the Arizona wilderness is, the state sports two times the amount of wilderness than all of the Midwest put together. The rivers that flow through the state make it one of the top fly fishing destinations in the country. That’s unbelievable.

Arizona offers such a vast playground of fun activities to do outside we could commit an entire blog to the subject. But, for the sake of your time and ours, just know that if you’re an outdoorsmen (or outdoorswomen), Arizona is a place you should definitely consider calling home.

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With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

Pros and cons of moving to Arizona: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Like any state, Arizona comes with its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, we noticed there was quite a bit more good than bad in this great state. Below you’ll find a lot of the good, some of the bad and not too much ugly about living and Arizona.

3. Pro: Arizona’s weather is ridiculously nice.

Arizona is commonly referred to as “Valley of the Sun” which doesn’t sound nice… like at all. But, we did some digging and found that the state boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year.

In fact, there is so much sunshine in Arizona that Phoenix gets more days of sunshine each year than any other metropolitan area in the United States. So, if you struggle with seasonal affective disorder, Arizona is your state because it practically doesn’t have seasons.

Well, that’s not entirely true, the seasons are just much shorter and milder in Arizona (save for maybe summer) –– the state enjoys an early spring with flowers blooming as soon as January. So, even the slightly chillier winter months won’t last long at all.

4. Con:  The traffic can be rough. 

This certainly isn’t unique to Arizona. It most certainly isn’t. But, like so many beautiful states that receive their fair share or tourism… there’s plenty of traffic. Arizonans complain that traffic is even heavy in the evenings and early mornings where folks are traveling to go on hikes, commuting to an event or just driving for who knows what. If you despise traffic, you’re going to want to think twice about moving to Arizona… and really think twice about moving to any state with large cities, honestly.

5. Con: fatal falls, rattlesnakes and the occasional UFO

To be completely honest, we had some trouble finding the “ugly” parts of Arizona. And, even as we are writing this now, there is nothing exceptionally bad that really stands out to us. But, what we do know, however, is that you need to be careful on the edges of the Grand Canyon, where there have been over 686 falling fatalities to date.

And, in addition, when you are walking through the beautiful Arizonian landscape, you need to be careful about where you are placing your feet… there are over 150 rattlesnake bites a year in Arizona. And, this last one is more or less interesting versus bad… but back in 1997 Arizonans spotted an aircraft sitting stationary in the sky for approximately 106 minutes that was described as unworldly.

As far as we know there hasn’t been any alien abduction… but would we even know if there were?

In all seriousness, as long as you’re careful you should be safe and sound in Arizona, just watch your step and we guess… stay indoors if you see a floating UFO?

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Arizona’s economy and cost of living: Is there any green in Arizona? It looks mostly red.

Besides the great weather, the stunning landscape, endless activities and the chance you’ll spot an alien aircraft… Arizona’s economy is outlandishly strong. And, coupled with a low cost of living makes Arizona a great state for young professionals looking to get their start or retirees looking to settle down.

6. Arizona has embraced the 21st-century economy from the beginning.

Unlike other states, Arizona has always been pro-innovation embracing technology startups and forward-thinking companies. They were one of the first states to open their cities up to ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, and their governor Doug Ducey has been very bullish on forming key partnerships and building stronger relationships with universities and tech companies (like Uber) to maintain this innovative trajectory.

It was recently announced that Uber will be relocating its headquarters for its self-driving car division to Arizona. But, in addition to Uber, other new business is flocking to Arizona too.

Apple, for example, recently announced a major $2 billion expansion… an expansion that will end up being one of the largest investments in the organization’s history.

And, Google, in addition to Uber, launched a self-driving vehicle program in Arizona. The tech giant praised the state, “Arizona is known as a place where research and development is welcome, innovation can thrive, and companies can set up roots.”

And finally, Lucid Motors, the innovative electric car company in close competition with Tesla announced they’ve selected Arizona for it’s electric car manufacturing operation… an operation which will bring 2,000 new jobs and $700 million in capital investment to the entire region by 2022.

So, what we were trying to say is that if you’re an entrepreneur interested in jumping into an innovative seen or just looking for a gig at a stellar company… Arizona is a great state for that.

7. A great economy plus a reasonably low cost of living in Arizona makes for a pretty good mix.

Innovation and plenty of job opportunity is great. But, it only goes so far if where you’re living costs you an arm and a leg.

Our favorite cities and states here at Bellhops are those that pair great opportunity with low cost of living. It just so happens that Arizona falls in that category.

A two bedroom apartment in Arizona will cost you around $1,000 month and a one bedroom will cost you under $800. And housing in Arizona is just slightly above the national average.

Not to mention, with their being endless free things to do outside in Arizona, you can have the time of your life without spending a dime –– one of the many benefits of living in a warm place with nature right in your backyard. Big cities like Chicago and New York are great in their own way but you definitely can’t enjoy this kind of luxury.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

So what are our final thoughts on moving to Arizona?

Arizona is one incredible state and we think you should move there… as long as you can stand a little summertime heat, are cool with giving up the snow in the winters, don’t mind keeping an eye out for the occasional rattlesnake and enjoy a thriving tech scene. For more information on the best places to live in Arizona, check out our guide to Arizona’s top places to live. If you want to go even further with your research, check out our City Guides for moving to Tucson and moving to Phoenix.

And, as always, if you need help with your move, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Like we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Arizona and we would love to help.

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Living like a local

Is Moving to Pennsylvania Right for You? A 2021 Guide.

Moving to Pennsylvania: everything you need to know.

Besides being extraordinarily tricky to spell, Pennsylvania is a tricky state to put your finger on… in the best kinds of ways obviously. It’s filled with history, character and plenty of chutzpah… all of which we will get to in more depth in today’s article where we explore what to consider if you’re planning on moving to Pennsylvania. (Oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops— Philadelphia movers, Pittsburgh movers and movers around the country).

What makes Pennsylvania so special? A quick overview of this amazing state.

Pennsylvania is commonly referred to as the “Keystone State” for both economic and geographic reasons. We won’t delve too deeply here because we know geography was never the most exciting of subjects in school growing up.

But, Pennsylvania acts as a bridge of sorts between the Northeastern states, the Southern states, the Atlantic seaboard, and the Midwest. This, along with the fact that Pennsylvania was and still is enormously important to the US as a whole is why it has been dubbed the Keystone state. But, that’s only the beginning of Pennsylvania’s complexities. We’ll explore the rest in detail down below.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

1. Pennsylvania is a state of firsts (tons and tons of firsts).

We’ve been geeking out over Pennsylvania for some time now and have written about her on a number of occasions. And, if anything amazes us about this incredible state, it’s how many “firsts” have happened there.

Pennsylvania is home to the very first computer, the first automobile service station, the first daily newspaper, the first zoological garden, the first piano in America, the first American flag, the first police officer, the first radio broadcast, the first… you get the idea. The list literally goes on and on and on like this forever.

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2. Pennsylvania might be one of the most historical places in the United States.

Along with these firsts are some historical firsts, too. Pennsylvania was the first to protest against slavery and it was the first to pass an abolition law in the United States. And, as we’re sure you already know, Pennsylvania is where the Declaration of Independence was signed marking the United States independence from Great Britain.

We share all of this not to bore you but to instead help you understand the amount of history that exists in Pennsylvania. Some might argue that it’s one of the most historical places in the United States.

What are the pros and cons of moving to Pennsylvania?

Like anywhere, there are some really great things about living in Pennsylvania and there are some not so great things about living there. In this section, we’ll be sharing the pros and cons of moving to Pennsylvania. Fortunately, there’s more good than bad.

3. The pros of living in Pennsylvania.

As we mentioned earlier, there are a whole lot of pros about living in Pennsylvania.

Cost of living: For one, it boasts a low cost of living and a very low-income tax. When compared to its close neighbor, New York City, Pennsylvania’s rent prices are about 50% lower and its real estate prices are about 70% lower. That’s a substantial difference.

Proximity to NYC: And, on that note, what a lot of people love about living in Pennsylvania is that they’re in close proximity to New York City. They love being able to drive over to the Big Apple and enjoy spending a night or weekend exploring the city without having to constantly deal with the nastiness that comes with big cities –– high prices, crazy traffic, and congestion.

4. The cons of living in Pennsylvania.

Weather: Weather in Pennsylvania can be a bit contrary. Actually, that might be an understatement. Just one week prior to “Stella” the winter storm that swept across Pennsylvania, the state experienced a streak of 70-degree temperature days.

So, at times, you might find yourself needing to pack both a pair of shorts and full-blown winter jumpsuit. The bottom line is that if you’re moving to Pennsylvania, be prepared to for the snow.

State College averages 45.6 inches of snow annually, Pittsburgh averages right around 41.9 inches, Harrisburg averages 31.2 inches and Philly clocks in at 22.4 inches. If you enjoy frolicking around in a winter wonderland, then Pennsylvania is the state for you.

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Why moving to Pennsylvania offers opportunity, financial growth and a high quality of life.

Pennsylvania is complicated when it comes to determining the level of opportunity, financial growth, and quality of life the state offers. While smaller cities and towns in Pennsylvania might not offer as much due to size, the states larger cities like Pittsburgh and Philly are bursting at the seams with opportunity.

5. Pennsylvania offers a high-quality of life.

Between being home to some of the best universities in the world, high-ranking health institutions, rich history and four beautiful seasons (save for a pretty cold winter)… Pennsylvania offers all the essentials for a high-quality of life.

If you remember, earlier we mentioned that Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone state for its central location. This has also gifted the state with miles and miles of stunning landscape that include mountain trails, vast lakes and stunning forests.

So, if you want to get outdoors, it won’t be a problem in Pennsylvania.

6. If you’re in the right place, there’s plenty of money and opportunity to be had in Pennsylvania.

The states of Pennsylvania used to be an economic powerhouse. And, more specifically the city of Pittsburgh. Back in the 1950s, Pittsburgh was the 8th largest city in the United States and was responsible for half of the country’s steel production, which caused a massive influx of more than 500,000 Italian immigrants.

Like all good things, this golden era (or steel era rather) came to an end and Pittsburgh was forced to reinvent itself. The city has experienced a few of these types of rebirths over the years and most recently is experiencing another.

Today, young professionals are migrating to the city of Pittsburgh in waves because of the bustling startup scene, strong industry and a reasonable cost of living in comparison to much larger east coast cities like Boston or New York City.

If you’re young, hungry and looking for opportunity, we think Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is where it’s at.

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What are the best places to live in Pennsylvania?

Okay, so if you’re sold on moving to Pennsylvania, your next question probably is… where exactly should I call home? Great question. In our opinion, we would most definitely say Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Here’s why…

7. Pittsburgh is widely considered one of the most liveable cities not just in the nation but in the world.

As we touched on briefly in the previous section, Pittsburgh offers tremendous opportunity but besides this, it boasts a pretty incredible quality of life, too. CNN ranked Pittsburgh as being the 30th most livable city in the world and the second most livable city in the United States… which we certainly wouldn’t argue with after having spent plenty of time there.

In addition, diverse neighborhoods like Squirrel Hill, Bloomfield and East Liberty offer something for everyone… whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a single young professional, a foodie or a couple looking to start a family.

For more information on moving to Pittsburgh, check out our city guide here

8. Philly is… well, it’s Philly.

Okay, so to be transparent, Philly is definitely the more expensive of the two on our short list of best places to live in Pennsylvania. But, when you consider that it’s the 6th largest city in the United States, $1,300 a month for a nice one bedroom place could certainly be worse.

Yes, you’re going to pay more but you’re also going to have more opportunity in Philly than most other places. Huge companies like AmerisourceBergen, Comcast, Aramark, Lincoln National Corp, Universal Health Services Inc., Crown Holdings Inc., Genesis Healthcare Inc., UGI Corp., Airgas, and Tol Brothers Inc. all call Philly home.

For more information on moving to Philadelphia, check out our city guide here

Our final sell on Pennsylvania?

We have one final sell on Pennsylvania. It’s our trump card of sorts that we’ve been holding onto until now because it’s just that sweet. Are you ready? Are you sitting down? We think you’re gonna like this.

9. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

Whether they were chocolate kisses, Almond Joys or Mr. Goodbars… we imagine you’ve your fair share of Hershey’s chocolate over the years. We know we have. Well, it just so happens that Pennsylvania is home to the sweetest place in the United States… Hershey. When Milton S. Hershey started the beloved Hershey Chocolate Company it was right here in Pennsylvania and in our opinion… that alone may just make it worth moving here.

Considering moving to Pennsylvania? Do it.

Between a low cost of living, being surrounded by stunning nature, four beautiful seasons and great cities like Pittsburgh and Philly offering loads of opportunity… we can’t think of any good reason for you not to move to Pennsylvania. Can you? If you need some help moving, we know the city like the back of our hand and we just so happen to coordinate moving services connecting you with Pittsburgh movers and Philadelphia movers. So, just give us a call and we’ll be over in a jiffy!

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Living like a local

The Best Suburbs of Tucson (A 2021 Guide)

Best Suburbs in Tucson

Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live.

That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. You’ve no doubt seen our Tucson City Guide, which includes a short section on a few of Tucson’s most popular neighborhoods (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops—Tucson movers and movers throughout the country).

This list is a more in-depth neighborhood guide meant to examine what it’s like living in each of these highlighted areas.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

A Little About Tucson’s Suburbs

If you’re moving to Tucson but don’t want to move into the city, this guide is for you.

The Tucson suburbs are close enough to enjoy all that urban living offers—the culture, the food, the excitement and energy—but removed enough to avoid the less desired aspects like traffic, parking hassles and the hustle and bustle of the city’s business center and student life at the University of Arizona.

So, just for you, here are some of the best suburbs of Tucson.

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1. Green Valley

Just 20 miles outside of Tucson to the west of the Santa Cruz River, Green Valley is a quaint suburb surrounded by copper mines and a variety of outdoor activities in the nearby Santa Rita Mountains.

According to a 2017 U.S. Census, 77 percent of the population was over the age of 65. Even though most of the communities are age-restricted and Forbes named it one of the Top 25 Places to Retire in 2017, doesn’t mean it’s not kid-friendly. There are schools and attractions for kids in this community as well.

History of Green Valley

Green Valley officially started when, in 1964, a Chicago developer named Donald Maxon and his architect brother Norman, purchased 2,900 acres near Canoa Ranch for residential development. Though it was started as a retirement community, there are families there as well. Green Valley’s population has grown to more than 22,519, which is 70% since 2010.

What’s Happening in Green Valley

Green Valley has a bevy of entertainment, shopping and restaurant options including the CPAC Community Performance & Art Center, Triple Play and a farmer’s market, among plenty of other options.

Schools in Green Valley

There are a few schools here including the Air and Space Academy, which is an autism charter school, and Continental Elementary School, just to name a couple.

Homes in Green Valley

House-wise, there are plenty of modest ranch-style homes and spacious Mediterranean houses, as well as Spanish-Revival, Mission Revival, Cape Cod and Adobe. There are also apartments and condos, with the average home value around $162,000.

And a bonus: Green Valley’s cost of living is four percent lower than the national average.

2. Dove Mountain

Located in the town of Marana, Dove Mountain opened in 1998 and has about 3,000 residents with a mix of families, business professionals, golfers and retirees as residents. A high-end golf course development at the base of the Tortolito Mountains, Dove Mountain is one of the most popular new neighborhoods in the last few years.

Home prices range from around $170,000 into the millions. It’s located about 40 minutes north of Tucson with easy freeway access.

Dove Mountain is also home to the retirement community, Del Webb at Dove Mountain, which features a variety of single-family homes.

History of Dove Mountain

When Eugene ”Cush” Cayton settled on what is now known as Dove Mountain, the area where he established his T Bench Bar Ranch was predicted by the surveyor to be “…one of the most beautiful spots in the Tucson area.”

Cayton stayed there with his family until 1984, where he hosted a wide variety of artists, scientists, prospectors and cowboys. Then he passed his stewardship on to David Mehl, who made the beloved Dove Mountain community what it is today.

With 4.8 out of 5 stars on over 100,000 moves, you might say we’re the best in the business.

Schools in Dove Mountain

Dove Mountains is part of the Marana Unified School District. Students who live in the Dove Mountain resort community may attend three of the public schools within the district, IronWood Elementary, Tortolita Middle School and Mountain View High School.

But, in the fall of 2019 Dove Mountain will be home to the new K-8 CSTEM School, which will include a rigorous curriculum of computer science, technology, engineering and math.

What’s Going On in Dove Mountain

Besides The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, which has plenty of dining, shopping and entertainment options, residents can hike on the Wild Burro Trail, go golfing at the Gallery Golf Club or go to the Gaslight Music Hall.

Homes in Dove Mountain

Southwest-style stucco houses are spread out and have been built to compliment the desert landscape.

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3. Catalina Foothills

Just north of the city at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains lies the Catalina Foothills neighborhood, which offers some of the best views of downtown you can get in Tucson. And it’s only a 15-minute drive from the city.

This area has a minimalist feel with very few sidewalks and narrow streets that wind through hills. The residents who live in the Catalina Foothills are mix of upper-middle class and wealthy retirees, families and professionals, with a population of almost 52,000.

History of Catalina Foothills

Dating back to the early 1920s, land developer John Murphey began buying property north of River Road in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, where he envisioned 10 subdivisions with large, private, gorgeous mountain and valley views.

He eventually contracted Swiss architect Josias Joesler to implement his vision in the 1930s. Joesler also designed the buildings that now make up the Catalina Foothills School District

Schools in the Catalina Foothills

This community is part of the Catalina Foothills School District, which has more than 5,200 students enrolled in eght schools that span Pre-K through 12th grade.

What’s Going On in the Catalina Foothills

Housed in an upscale outdoor shopping center called La Encantada with Apple, Michael Kors, Anthropologie and more. There’s also St. Philips Plaza, where you can enjoy the farmer’s market on the weekends and a wide range of other shows and events during the week.

Homes in the Catalina Foothills

There’s a mix of subdivisions and Southwest-style custom homes there and have all been built to blend in with the desert landscape. Instead of traditional green grass, the front yards have natural desert landscaping with cacti and desert flowers. Interested in living in Catalina Foothills?

4. Sahuarita

Located in Prima County, Sahuarita is about 15 miles south of Tucson. With a population of around 29,000, this community was founded in 1911 and incorporated in 1994. It features the master-planned neighborhoods of Rancho Sahuarita & Resort, Quail Creek and Madera Highlands, in addition to the residential neighborhoods of La Joya, Valle Verde del Norte, Los Colonias and Los Arroyos.

History of Sahuarita

Sahuarita has a pretty extensive history. The area was under Spanish control but then after the Spanish-American War, it came under Mexican control, until they sold the land to the United States as part of the Gadsden Purchase. In 1854, Sahuarita became part of the Territory of New Mexico. In 1879, Sahuarita Ranch was created by James Kilroy Brown, and eventually, a small community formed in the area named Sahuarito.

After Brown sold his ranch, the town laid dormant for three decades until 1915, when the Continental Farm of Sahuarita was created, as a way to grow rubber in retaliation of a potential German blockade of rubber imports. During World War II, Sahuarita was home to Sahuarita Airstrip, which was used to train bomber pilots.

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What’s Going On in Sahuarita

Sahuarita has a grocery store, Fry’s Marketplace, as well as other local and chain coffee shops, dining and retail.

Schools in Sahuarita

Sahuarita is part of the Sahuarita Unified School District.

Homes in Sahuarita

Homes here range in price from the mid $100s to $1 million.

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5. Oro Valley

With a population of around 41,000, Oro Valley is only six miles north of Tucson in Pima County. It was incorporated in 1974 and the average household income is around $72,000. Townhomes, spacious Mediterranean-style homes and contemporary homes dot this area and run anywhere from the $200,000s into the millions.

What’s Happening in Oro Valley

For families, there are plenty of arts and entertainment within Oro Valley, but since Tucson is so close, it only takes minutes to experience the sights and sounds there as well.

The Steam Pump Ranch is an important part of Oro Valley’s history, dating back to the 1870s and is located in the heart of the area. The Oro Valley Farmers Market is held there every Saturday, and concerts often occur there as well.

Schools in Oro Valley

The public schools are part of Tucson’s Amphitheater Public School system with ten schools serving the area.

There you have it: the best suburbs of Tucson

Suburbs are about location and lifestyle, to be sure. But more importantly, they are about the people who live in them. Tucson is filled with a rich history and culture, and the suburbs surrounding it only accentuate the beauty of this city. Hopefully, this guide will help you find what you’re looking for. If you decide to move in or to Tucson, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are Bellhops—movers in Tucson and throughout the country and we would love to help.

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Living like a local

The Best Neighborhoods In Tucson (A 2021 Guide)

The Best Neighborhoods in Tucson

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 can be quite overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhops— Tucson movers and movers throughout the country).

You’ve no doubt seen our guide for moving to Tucson, which includes a short section on a few of Tucson’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, with links to popular destinations, as well as available houses for sale and apartments for rent.

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A Little About Tucson’s Neighborhoods

Like many other American cities, Tucson was developed on a grid plan, starting in the late 19th century. The city center at the time was Stone Avenue and Broadway Boulevard. But the city has shifted and expanded since then, making Tucson a vast city with many distinctive neighborhoods.

But like many cities, parts of Tucson fell into neglect, with abandoned, decaying buildings.

At the end of the 21 century, city planners, along with the business community, decided to do something about it. They started a massive revitalization effort called Rio Nuevo in downtown Tucson that’s ongoing, with quite a few exciting projects underway. And the suburbs that surround the city have a rich history as well, with lots of tantalizing amenities.

If you’re moving to Tucson, then you couldn’t have picked a better time, with all of the exciting changes going on.

Here are some of Tucson’s best neighborhoods.

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1. El Presidio Historic District

The city’s first, and at one time, most affluent neighborhood, El Presidio is located downtown and features large, historic homes. The area is full of historic art, architecture, food and culture, and is a great place to raise a family

History of El Presidio

Named for the Spanish military garrison that once stood there, El Presidio Historic District is where Tucson all began as a modern-day city. In the 1700s, Tucson was taken over by Spanish missionaries and soldiers who established it as an important colonial outpost in 1775. Then in 1853, Tucson became part of the United States. Today, the district is a combination of historic and modern amenities, where families live alongside a very rich cultural experience.

What’s Happening in El Presidio

Throughout El Presidio Historic District you’ll find local, regional and Latin American artists who sell their goods inside Old Town Artisans, along with The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block and the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson Museum, where family-friendly events are held throughout the year. There’s also the family-owned restaurant Cafe’ A La C’art, a country-style cafe that’s been in operation for more than 14 years.

Schools in El Presidio

Schools in this neighborhood include El Presidio Day School, Museum School for the Visual Arts, City High School, and Davis Bilingual Elementary Magnet School, among others.

Homes in El Presidio

There are a variety of different homes that range in style, size and price in the area. See what’s for sale and for rent in El Presidio.

2. Dunbar Spring Neighborhood

Dunbar is located just north of downtown Tucson. It’s a small, historic community that is culturally diverse, with lots of character. Dunbar Spring has had it’s ups and downs over the years, experiencing some decline, riddled with crime and neglected properties. But things are looking up, with revitalization efforts and residents once again moving into the area. Homes are being restored and shops and restaurants have moved in within walking distance.

History of Dunbar Spring

The first predominantly African-American neighborhood, Dunbar Spring was built on land that was originally Tucson’s Court Street Cemetery. It was also the site of The Dunbar School, Tucson’s first segregated elementary school.

Dunbar Spring, along with the rest of downtown, fell into decline after the turn of the century, with crime and abandoned properties. But thanks to the influx of new homeowners in the neighborhood working together with lifelong residents, Dunbar Spring is making a comeback, turning once again into a vibrant community.

What’s Happening in Dunbar Spring

Located just north of downtown, Dunbar Spring has a strong cultural identity and there are several African American families that have lived there for generations. It’s home to several churches and social service agencies. Dunbar Springs has plenty to do nearby.

Trail Dust Town, a historic outdoor shopping center, Estevan Park, where you can go for a picnic, play some rugby or take a leisurely stroll, and the Leo Rich Theater, where you can see plays, ballet, concerts, and special events. Restaurants like Zinman’s Food Shop, The Tasteful Kitchen and El Charro Café.

Schools in Dunbar Spring

Schools located near Dunbar Spring include John Spring Junior High School, the Mexicayotl Academy Charter School, and the Martin School.

Homes in Dunbar Spring

The building styles in Dunbar Spring include Victorian, Territorial, and Bungalow. See what’s for sale and rent in Dunbar Spring.

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3. Armory Park

On the National Register of Historic Places, Armory Park is located downtown and features architectural treasures close to Tucson’s arts and cultural center. One of Tucson’s most desirable neighborhoods, this area is full of architectural styles spanning the last 150 years.

History of Armory Park

With the arrival of the transcontinental railroad in 1880, Amory Park was part of a town plan for Tucson, originally centered around the existing Military Plaza. The neighborhood began to grow primarily along Third and Fourth Avenues, and in 1902, portions of the original Military Plaza were sold to the city, and the remainder became Armory Park. It developed into a stable, progressive neighborhood consisting of mostly prominent, wealthy families. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Armory Park suffered from neglect until it was recognized on the National Register of Historic Sites in ‘74. With the help of private and public investment projects, Armory Park is once again one of the most popular areas in Tucson.

What’s Happening in Armory Park

Several restaurants are also in the area including Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery, and Diablo Burger. If you have kids, the Tucson Children’s Museum is located within the neighborhood, a great place to take them on a rainy day.

Also located in the area is the Armory Senior Center, which was built in 1975 and hosts many different kinds of senior activities and assistance, including social services, dances, fitness classes.

Schools in Armory Park

Quite a few schools are in the area, include Safford K-8 School, Project MORE High School, and Imago Dei Middle School.

Homes in Armory Park

Houses in Armory Park tend to range on the expensive side, going anywhere from around $225,000 for a one bedroom to close to $1.5 million for a six-bedroom house. There are Victorian, Queen Anne, Greek Revival and Anglo-Territorial-style houses there.

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4. Sam Hughes

You’ll find a mix of university professors, students, artists, young families and professionals in this central Tucson neighborhood. There are charming bungalows and turn-of-the-century Territorial houses on tree-lined streets. Because it’s close to the University of Arizona, the Sam Hughes neighborhood is close to student life downtown, and plenty of cafes, shops, restaurants, and bars are easily accessible. If you’re interested in taking a photographic tour of the neighborhood, Tucson.com offers one. It’ll give you a pretty good idea of the historic beauty of the area.

History of Sam Hughes

The Sam Hughes neighborhood was named after Samuel C. Hughes, a Welsh immigrant who came to America in 1837 at the age of eight. After settling down in Tucson in 1858, he became a community leader, starting the first bank. He served in the city council and helped establish the city’s public education system. The development of the Sam Hughes neighborhood began in 1921 and it became a national historic district in 1994.

What’s Happening in Sam Hughes

Probably the most well-known event in this neighborhood is its annual neighborhood home tour, but the neighborhood association hosts other events as well. There are a couple of grocery stores, Natural Grocers and Rincon Market, the Mexican folk art shop Arte de La Vida, a Baskin-Robbins and a handful of other shops.

Schools in Sam Hughes

The schools near Sam Hughes are among the city’s best. Among them are Sam Hughes Elementary, Second Street Children’s School and Edge High School.

Homes in Sam Hughes

Housing prices in this neighborhood start around $200,000 and can go as high as $1.5 million and higher, so there’s some good variety regarding lifestyle. Rent a space in the Sam Hughes neighborhood, or see what’s for sale.

5. West University Neighborhood

A lively college area, West University is bordered by the University of Arizona on the east, and on both sides of Fourth Avenue. It’s a very walkable area with numerous shops and places to eat nearby. The streetcar passes right through the neighborhood, making it convenient for heading to the university or downtown.

History of West University

This was the first Tucson suburb north of the Southwestern Pacific railroad and was settled between 1890 and 1930. In 1980, this neighborhood became the largest historic district in Arizona.

What’s Happening in West University

There are two major shopping/restaurant districts nearby, 4th Avenue and Main Gate Square, featuring places such as a Chipotle, Panera Bread and Scented Tea Leaf & Lounge. This area also has a great nightlife with places like Illegal Pete’s, Frog & Firkin and Fox in a Box. West University also has Catalina Park, a grassy, tree-shaded park that has a wading pool and a children’s area.

Schools in West University

The neighborhood falls within the TUSD school district with Roskruge Elementary, Mansfeld Middle and Tucson High in the area.

Homes in West University

West University has more than 700 buildings in a large variety of architectural styles, from Transitional to Art Deco, and quite a few bungalows. And if you’d like to see what’s for sale and rent, we’ve got you covered. The houses seem pretty affordable, for the most part. If you can find anyone who’s willing to sell. And the rent is pretty inexpensive too, depending on what you’re looking for.

Neighborhoods are about location and lifestyle, to be sure. But more importantly, they are about the people who live in them. These downtown neighborhoods are culturally rich and offer a range of diverse lifestyles. Hopefully, this guide will help you find what you’re looking for.

If you decide to move in or to Tucson, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are Tucson movers and we would love to help!

Good luck on your move to Tucson!

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