To truly know what it means to live where it’s the best in the West, one must experience the super safe, super beautiful, super awesome, best state of Arizona.
Arizona is known for its beautiful deserts, gigantic canyons, and majestic mountains. And folks, it doesn’t end there.
The good people Arizona are always looking out for each other. They have placed sprinklers all over the state to help with the ‘dry heat’. They’ve taken the rattle out of their pesky rattlesnakes. And don’t get us started on how they’ve trained the scorpions and tarantulas to steer clear of humans.
Whether you’re a Northern Arizona Lumberjack fan or a University of Arizona Wildcats fan, or just a fan of great cities, great weather, and great people, there’s a city in Arizona for you.
Arizona has every type of city for every type of person. Hip millennial cities like Phoenix, cowboy and cowgirl cities like Winslow, and college cities like Tucson are great places to find work, raise families, and just plain enjoy life.
How did we determine the best places to live in Arizona for 2020?
Grab a carne asada burrito and a cold Corona and read on.
The 10 Best Places To Live In Arizona For 2020
- Paradise Valley: We don’t know about you, but anytime we see “Paradise” in a name we get pretty excited. And, folks, everyone should be excited about Arizona’s #1 best place to live, Paradise Valley. Located directly North of Scottsdale, this affluent, small town in Maricopa County scored a perfect 10/10 SnackAbility Score with an emphasis on jobs, homes, and great schools.
- Gilbert: “Gilbert: Clean, Safe, Vibrant” has a new adjective to add to this motto, they are Arizona’s 2nd “Best” place to live. Once the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World,” the 237,484 residents who live here know what it means to work and it shows. Besides its rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center, the Gilberts unemployment rate is 4.4% making it one of the most competitive job markets on our list.
- Scottsdale: Scottsdale is not only Arizona’s 3rd best place to live, it’s one of Arizona’s fanciest places. So, when the census reported that the median household income in “The West’s Most Western Town,” was the 5th in the state at $84,601/year, we did not bat an eye. So, don’t be surprised if you find an eclectic mix of people who might ask you to make the 20 minute trek to Phoenix to hike Camelback Mountain during the day only to top it off with one of Scottsdale’s top Michelin Star restaurants for an evening of fine dining. To keep an affluent place of this nature safe, the city of Scottsdale has pulled out all of the stops: the crime rate here is 7% the national average and that is thanks to the efforts of the Greater Phoenix Police Department.
- Oro Valley: Just a stone’s throw North of Tucson is Arizona’s 4th best place to live, Oro Valley. This desert playground for both old and young alike is a highly sought after suburb of residents. When you are ready to live in Oro Valley, know that your family is going to be safe, as this city in Pima County is one of the top safest places in Arizona with a crime rate 50% below the national average. And when it comes time to send your kids off to school each day, they will be going to some of the best schools in the state: Oro Valley scored a 9.5/10 for education on our SnackAbility scale.
- Sahuarita: You’ll be 30 minutes from the Saguaro National Park and the first class bike trails at Tucson Mountain Park if you buy your forever home in Arizona’s 5th best place to live, Sahuarita. Basically, you’ll never be bored in this small town of 28,949 residents. And if you do start to get bored, the unemployment rate here is 3.7%, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding more than one job to keep you entertained and out of trouble. Not that you’d find trouble here: Sahuarita’s crime rate is 50% below the national average.
- Chandler: This city in Maricopa County has over 50 parks–yes, you read that right–for 248,631 residents. To put it in perspective, you could visit a different park here every month for five years. (We recommend you start with Desert Breeze Park because it has everything: bike trails, water features, and playgrounds.) However, this is not the only reason Chandler scored a 9.5/10 on our SnackAbility scale for amenities, it also has some pretty great shopping and dining.
- Marana: There are no complaints in the “Marana department” as this place is the 7th best place to live in Arizona. And the reason the residents in Marana are so content, their cost of living is not much higher than the national average making it the 16th best place to buy a home.
- Thatcher: What is it about Arizona’s 8th best place to live, Thatcher, that makes a bunch of 29 year olds want to live in this eastern Arizona gem? Well, for a number of reasons: it’s the home of Eastern Arizona University, the cost of living here is low, the job market is reporting an unemployment rate at 3.1%, and there’s a lot of fun desert activities to keep one entertained.
- Peoria: If your Zodiac Sign is a water sign, you’re going to want to live in Arizona’s 9th best place to live, Peoria. Located along the Agua Fria River and Lake Pleasant, this Maricopa County city of 164,572 residents is one of the most affordable on this list for most things. However, they spend a tad bit more than the state average per student and it seems to be paying off as they are in the top 50% of Arizona schools for academic performance.
- Prescott: You’ve probably seen Prescott in the headlines for many things. Just recently, KTAR News covered the most expensive places to live in Arizona and Prescott was named one of the top cities. And since money makes the world go round, it should be no surprise that Prescott is also the 10th best place to live in The Valentine State.
The cities in Arizona are known for their quirky “How the West Was Won,’ western vibe with amazing local flare, and out-of-this-world Mexican restaurants.
And don’t get us started on Arizona skies that go forever and sunshine that pulls even the grumpiest out of their slump.
Needless to say, it was very difficult to narrow down 55 of Arizona’s best places to live to just ten.
What city is the best place to live in Arizona for 2020? Well according to the UC Census and FBI data we crunched, Paradise Valley is the best place to live in Arizona if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.