Metropolitan Phoenix offers upscale shopping, delish dining, entertainment, nightlife, outdoor activities, desert landscapes, and sporting events—plus it’s always pool season! Read on for our favorite neighborhoods in the Valley of the Sun.
This popular picturesque neighborhood is part of both Phoenix and Scottsdale. Once home to citrus groves, Arcadia is now a suburban oasis. This lush landscape is a desirable address due to its proximity to Old Town Scottsdale, Downtown Phoenix, and amenities. Restaurants, shops, banks, cafes, and grocery stores are all within walking or biking distance. At the edge of the neighborhood, the open-air Biltmore Fashion Park offers high-end shopping as well as dining. Located just south of Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak, Arcadia offers some of the best views and hiking in the city.
The heart of the Phoenix metropolitan area serves as its business and entertainment district. There are actually several historic neighborhoods within Downtown and Central Phoenix, including the Warehouse District, Roosevelt Historic Neighborhood, and Grand Avenue, which is home to local businesses, art studios, converted warehouses, bars, and restaurants.
The construction of Phoenix's light rail system, the Valley Metro Light Rail, brought several new mixed-use commercial buildings like CityScape Phoenix to the area, revitalizing the shopping and dining scene.
In addition to indie coffee shops, boutiques, and bars, the nexus of commerce, art, and culture is home to the Arizona Science Center, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Arizona Latino Arts and Cultural Center, the Children's Museum of Phoenix, and the Phoenix Center for the Arts. Tour art galleries and venues throughout the city on the first Friday of the month, during one of the country's biggest self-guided art walks, Artlink's First Fridays Art Walk. The Phoenix Symphony plays at Symphony Hall, while arts venues like The Orpheum Theater, The Herberger Theater Center, and The Comerica Theatre host live performances.
Arizona State University has a campus Downtown, with brewpubs, cocktail bars, cafes, pizzerias, and breakfast spots that cater to students. It’s also the place to be for sporting events and concerts. The Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB) play at Chase Field, while the Phoenix Suns (NBA), Phoenix Mercury (WNBA), and Arizona Rattlers (Indoor Football League) all play at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Roosevelt Row (aka RoRo) links Downtown to several residential neighborhoods. This arts district is the place to be if you’re into indie films, craft beer, and art openings. Houses in the area have been converted into live music venues and chic bars.
Hip and trendy eateries have turned RoRo into a dining hub, with plenty of patios to enjoy the Arizona sunshine. This walkable, creative district boasts impressive murals, award-winning galleries, and funky boutiques.
Shopping, spas, and spring training reign supreme in serene Scottsdale. Each spring, the San Francisco Giants play at Scottsdale Stadium in the heart of the city’s Downtown, Old Town Scottsdale. Old Town’s nightlife scene consists of plenty of drinking and dining establishments, including sidewalk cafes, wine bars, gastropubs, and dance clubs. Botoxed blondes shop luxury high-end stores at Fashion Square, a behemoth shopping center on East Camelback Rd.
Stroll, shop, and dine at The Scottsdale Waterfront, a 1.1 million-square-foot project with retail, office, restaurant, and high-rise residential buildings. The redeveloped downtown area is lively, with young professionals dwelling in luxury apartments and lofts. In addition to yoga studios and coffee shops, Downtown Scottsdale is home to a bustling art scene that includes The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
This Scottsdale suburb has a more laid back vibe that is popular with older, more mature residents. Scottsdale Airpark brought residential and commercial growth to the area, making it a prosperous place to work and play. North Scottsdale sports spas, steakhouses, wine bars, and shopping plazas with luxury boutiques, like Market Street at DC Ranch. Hike, mountain bike, and ride horses at nearby McDowell Mountain Regional Park.
Not so much a neighborhood as it is the fourth-largest city in Arizona, this thriving mini-metropolis is nestled in the northwestern quadrant of the Phoenix Metro area. Glendale’s downtown is made up of two neighborhoods: Catlin Court and Old Towne. Historic Catlin Court boasts bungalows-turned-specialty shops, white picket fences, and mature shade trees, while Old Towne features ethnic eateries and famous antique stores.
A thriving mixed-use urban development, Westgate City Center provides numerous shops, clubs, bars, and restaurants on the city’s western edge. The NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes play at Glendale’s Gila River Arena, while the Arizona Cardinals kick off at the State Farm Stadium, which also hosts concerts and special events.
Known as the “Beverly Hills of the Southwest,” this small, affluent town in Maricopa County is not only the wealthiest suburb of Phoenix but is also the wealthiest municipality in the state. Resorts and real estate reign supreme in this luxurious land of golf courses, shopping, and fine-dining. Sprawling, multi-million dollar houses decorate Paradise Valley’s cliffsides, while its many resorts make it a tourist destination. Camelback Mountain sits to the south and Piestewa Peak is to the west, providing gorgeous mountain views and hiking.
Tempe is home to the main campus of Arizona State University, where the Desert Financial Arena hosts sporting events and concerts. Nearby, the striking Tempe Center for the Arts hosts live performances.
Tempe Town Lake offers kayaking, pedal boats, and paddleboarding, while Tempe Beach Park plays host to outdoor festivals throughout the year and connects to the five miles bicycling and jogging paths around the lake. Rising above the city, partially located on ASU’s campus, Hayden Butte or Tempe Butte is referred to by locals as “A” Mountain, after the 60-foot-tall gold-painted letter 'A' near the top.