Moving to Arizona? Read This First

Arizona will surprise you. For example, it snows here –  75 inches or so in the northern regions, more at the ski resorts. Barringer Crater, one of the best preserved meteor craters in the world, is here. It’s one of the top fly fishing destinations in the country – and it’s the only place to find the Arizona trout. There are pine forests, mountains (26 mountain peaks soaring above 10,000 feet are in Arizona) and waterfalls. And it has more than its share of Hummingbirds. 

Yes, even though it’s the only state that contains parts of the four major North American deserts – Great Basin, Mojave, Chihuahuan and Sonoran – Arizona is much more than a hot desert with cool cactuses and the Grand Canyon.

Nevada

There’s more to love about Arizona than its beauty, the state has a great personality too. Late to statehood – Arizona is our 48th state, and didn’t join the nation until 1912  – history meets technology here, with a culture that melds the best of the west with a thriving economy and a low cost of living. 

Whether you’re retired or looking to get hired, raising a family or just starting out – Arizona can be a great place to live. And we can help you get there, we’re Bellhop and we have local movers all across Arizona – Phoenix, Tucson, Glendale, Scottsdale and Flagstaff, just to name a few – and across the nation. Whether you’re moving cross country or across the street, you can count on us to deliver stress-free, trustworthy moving services. 

Looking for Long Distance Movers in Phoenix?

Getting to know Arizona

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.

Nevada

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. But what one person sees as a negative may be their neighbor’s favorite thing about the state. So keep an open mind – and know that locals tend to be thrilled about living in Arizona. 

First, let’s get the not-so-great stuff out of the way:

Haboobs are fierce sand-and-wind storms, miles long and thousands of feet high, that can sweep across Arizona’s desert landscape with little warning. A Haboob can reduce visibility to near zero in seconds, and you obviously don’t want to be caught in one. If you are, here’s what to do. 

Big bugs are a fact of life in Arizona. There are giant hairy scorpions, super-aggressive bees, and even the occasional tarantula, along with the usual mosquitoes, termites and other creepy crawlies. 

Astonishing electric bills are something to prepare for before you move. If you don’t come from another AC all-year state like Florida, your first $450 electric bill will likely ruin your day. Some folks cope by setting the AC to 78 or higher, others just grit their teeth and add the horrible cost of staying cool to their budget. 

Nevada

The Pros of living in Arizona

Yes, it’s really 119 degrees. For some folks, the peak summer heat is an unspeakable horror (no one enjoys having to wear oven mitts to open the car door). For others, those high temps and nearly constant sunshine soothes body aches and makes them feel happy. 

Sunshine is something you can count on; Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson regularly take the top spots on those “sunny cities” list. Locals take great joy in reminding each other that you don’t have to shovel sunshine. If you struggle with seasonal affective disorder through the winter months, Arizona is your state.

The Grand Canyon – a natural wonder so wondrous that people travel not just across the United States but across the world as a whole to see its wondrousness in person. But there’s more – Canyon de Chelly, Canyon del Muerto, and Monument Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, Petrified Forest National Park, and the striped badlands of the Painted Desert … we could go on and on. Arizona is beautiful – and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a desert in full bloom.

Sonoran hot dogs involve wrapping a wiener in bacon, placing it on a crispy bun, and then topping it with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and pinto beans. Add mustard and mayo. Apply to face. Yum!

No daylight saving time, so you won’t need to spring forward and fall back, lose an hour of sleep, wonder where all the daylight went or how to reset the clock in your car. 

Arizona’s economy and cost of living 

Arizona’s economy is strong. Employment has grown at an annualized rate of 5.2% over the five years to 2022, overperforming the national average of 3.7%, according to IbisWorld. The long-run forecast calls for Arizona to continue to outpace national growth, though probably at slower rate. Teamed with the state’s low cost of living, Arizona is obviously a place where you can thrive and prosper. 

The state has embraced technology startups and forward-thinking companies. Arizona was one of the first states to open their cities up to ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, and the state government has been bullish on forming key partnerships and building stronger relationships with universities and tech companies to maintain this innovative trajectory. A lot of interesting tech research is being done here, particularly in the self-driving vehicle development.

Tucson is the place to work if you’re interested in aerospace, defense and space. Tempe is known for its business services, manufacturing, healthcare, biotech, and technology. It’s also one of the best cities for remote workers. Phoenix also has a reputation for a plethora of tech jobs, particularly in financial, education, healthcare and aerospace industries. Scottsdale is centered on tourism and hospitality. Arizona’s original export activities – agriculture and mining – remain strong outside of the metro areas. 

Best Arizona cities to live in

Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a great choice for active retirees, with a vibrant downtown, thriving arts scene, a gorgeous riverfront, and over 200 beautiful golf courses. But don’t write it off if you’re still saving for retirement, the city is also home for startups, has excellent public schools, and a reasonable cost of living. And if the idea of a spa day thrills you, you’ll have dozens to pick from here. 

Mesa

Hot, hot, hot – but gorgeous. Mesa is located just outside of Phoenix and is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, so if you crave dry heat, you’ll find it here. Ditto golf courses, there are 25 in the area. Mesa is also known for its excellent pools, lively arts scene, and its extremely festive Christmas lights. You’ll also be able to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities like golfing and horseback riding, and good nightlife.

Gilbert

An exceptionally low crime rate, almost equally low cost of living, natural beauty, great schools, and a strong sense of community make Gilbert a great place to raise a family or retire. 

Phoenix

Opportunity, diversity, amenities and beauty, Arizona’s state capitol has it all. An exceptionally large number of tech firms are based or have offices here, making it a great place for anyone seeking work in STEM fields. You get all the amenities of big city living – arts, music, an abundance of dining choices, shopping and four professional sports teams to root for – at a very reasonable cost of living. Heads up though, Phoenix is scorching hot, the nation’s hottest major city. 

Flagstaff

If you want to live in Arizona, but summer all-year-round really isn’t your thing, check out Flagstaff. You can enjoy all four seasons here, in a city that’s known for its friendly residents, pine forests, ski and hiking trails and other outdoor activities. As a college town, Flagstaff is both lively and affordable, and boasts a historic downtown packed with dining, shopping, art exhibits, live music and other events. 

Tucson

Tucson’s flourishing visual and performing arts scene complements its beautiful desert backdrop. Despite the expansive desert, mountain ranges stretch in every direction and provide opportunities for skiing. In between mountain biking and enjoying the views, Tucson is also ideal for gallery hopping, museums, and exploring Barrio Viejo’s authentic Mexican cuisine and adobe architecture. Don’t miss making a wish at El Tiradito!

Making your move to Arizona

For more information on the best places to live in Arizona, check out our complete 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. We’d be happy to coordinate your local or long-distance Arizona move.

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.

Harrison Stevens
Latest posts by Harrison Stevens (see all)