Major Regions & Neighborhoods in the Phoenix Metro Area


Every year, over 300,000 people move to Arizona to enjoy the warm weather and the healthy lifestyle that comes with living in a place with over 300 days of sunshine. While many of these people are retirees looking to relax and enjoy their golden years, over half of them are working people with families, who are seeking a better lifestyle and a better future for their loves ones.  They may come for the healthy lifestyle, but they also come for the opportunities that exist within a state with over (6,000,000) residents and many fast growing companies, large employers, entrepreneurs and job opportunities.

The majority of these newcomers to the state of Arizona end up living within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  Home to over 3,000,000 people, Phoenix and the surrounding area make it the 14th largest metropolis in the United States.  Add in an additional (1,000,000) or more “long-term winter visitors” and (1,000,000) million more “short-term vacationers” and the Hospitality Industry alone provides great employment opportunities.

Besides all of the jobs available in the Hospitality industry, there are many jobs available in the Healthcare Industry. Other large employers in Technology (Intel), Aerospace (Boeing) Telecommunications (Cox, Verizon, Century Link), and Banking and Mortgage (Wells Fargo, Chase, Lending Tree) provide many other job opportunities for existing residents and new residents. The area is a Small Business Mecca, a great place for entrepreneurs and new ideas.

"The Valley of the Sun" is a great place for sports fans, with teams in the four major professional sports, and also home of Cactus League spring training baseball. For sports participants, the area is full parks filled with football fields, soccer fields, and baseball fields, basketball and volleyball courts. The Phoenix metro area is also home to some of the countries finest golf courses, and unlike so many other parts of the country, you can play virtually year-round.  There are hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails within the city, and great areas for hunting and fishing nearby. There are even ski resorts in the mountains of Northern Arizona and near Tucson in the southern part of the state.

City vs Suburbs

Unlike many older, established metropolitan areas, where there has been a gradual migration of jobs and population from the main city to the suburbs, Phoenix is a thriving city with many great areas where people work or live.  Downtown Phoenix is home to the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns, and the newly renovated Phoenix Convention Center is one of the largest in the country.  There are thriving older neighborhoods in the Central Avenue Corridor and the Arcadia area, and newer developing neighborhoods to the south (near South Mountain) and far to the northern outskirts of the city.

West of Phoenix, you will find thriving, growing communities in Glendale, Peoria and Surprise.  On the northern end of town, you have Cave Creek, Carefree and Anthem.  East of Phoenix is the popular suburb and tourist destination of Scottsdale. Southeast of Phoenix you will find the city of Tempe, home of Arizona State University, one of the largest colleges in the US, and further southeast you will find the communities of Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and San Tan Valley. All of these suburbs have their own charms and their own attractions.

North Phoenix is not an actual city of it's own, but an area that is part of the larger city of Phoenix.

North Phoenix has no official boundary that separates it from the rest of Phoenix. Some people consider it everything north of Lincoln and/or Glendale Avenue, others consider it to be everything north of Shea Blvd, and others think of North Phoenix as the part of Phoenix north of the 101 Freeway loop.

Wherever it starts/separates from Phoenix, North Phoenix is surrounded by the city of Peoria is to it's west, it intersects with and surrounds Cave Creek on its northern edge, shares it's eastern border with the city of Scottsdale.

Founded:  1951

Population: 217,385

Sq Miles: 184.2

Wide 11 mi

Length 31 mi

Elevation: 1300 to 1600

Borders: West - Phoenix, East - Indian Reservation - McDowell Mountains, South - Tempe, North, Carefree/Fountain Hills

Major Thoroughfares:  The most prominent and longest thoroughfare is Scottsdale Rd which runs 22 miles from the southern border Tempe and northern border Carefree.

Geographical Features: Papago Park, The Scottsdale Greenbelt, McDowell Mountains, Pinnacle Peak, Surrounding upper desert

Major Attractions:  Scottsdale Municipal Airport, Frank Lloyd Wright Talesin West, Mayo Clinic, Old Town Scottsdale, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Spring Training Baseball, Barrett Jackson Auto Show,

Recreation: Perfect weather for outdoor activities 12 months a year. Scottsdale Greenbelt is 15 miles long for walking, running, roller-skating, and biking. and lines by a series of small urban lakes.  The city is loaded with parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, and swimming pools, offering all types of sports and recreation, and hiking and nature trails in a natural desert setting.  Within 30 to 60 minute drive to various lakes for boating, water skiing, fishing, etc.

Founded: Incorporated 1961

Population:  13,400

Square Miles: 15.5

Elevation; 1,342 ft

Paradise Valley is the wealthiest suburb of Phoenix, known primarily for its many resorts and expensive real estate.

Median household income is slightly over $150,000.  71st most expensive in the US and most expensive in the entire SW United States

Borders;  Surrounded by Scottsdale to the east, northeast and southeast, and by Phoenix to the south, west and north of PV,

Geographical Features, Mummy Mountain in the center of PV, Camelback Mountain on the southern border and Piewstawa Peak Park on its western border.

City Services; Most of PV is in the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Major Thoroughfares; Lincoln runs east/west from Scottsdale all the way through PV to Phoenix.  64th street, 56th street, and Tatum are major north/south routes.

Major Attractions: Expensive real estate and resorts.

Cave Creek is a town with a population of approximately 5,300 people.

Cave Creek is located north of Phoenix and covers 28.2 square miles of land.  Cave Creek Road is the main thoroughfare through town.  The road runs north/northeast through Phoenix, and then makes a sharp turn in "downtown" Cave Creek and from there it heads east toward Carefree.

With a elevation of 2129 feet, Cave Creek is generally 3-5 degrees cooler than the rest of the Valley of the Sun.

Two of the geographic landmarks of Cave Creek or the Cave Creek Recreation Area and Spur Cross Ranch, which combine to offer nearly 20 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of camping facilities and plenty of room for mountain biking and horseback riding.

Cave Creek has a median household income of approximately $60,000, and the median income for families was approximately $76,600.

Most of the city is in the Cave Creek Unified School District, but the southernmost part of the city fall with the Deer Valley Unified School District.

Cave Creek was established as a gold mining town and US Cavalry stop in the mid 1870's.  While most of the original buildings are gone, there are many buildings and businesses that were built in the early 1900's.  The downtown Cave Creek area has a true western feel and includes a few famous saloons that draw visitors from all over the Phoenix area and even further.

Carefree is a town with a population of slightly more than 3,500 people.

Carefree is a very small town, occupying only 8.9 square miles of land.  It is nestled in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert amid lush terrain and ancient boulders, offering refuge from the larger cities that surround it.

Carefree is located northeast of Phoenix, north of Scottsdale and east of Cave Creek. The major routes in and out of Carefree are Scottsdale Road, (which runs south all the way through Scottsdale and into Tempe), and Carefree Highway, (which runs west from Carefree through Cave Creek, across North Phoenix, and through Peoria and Glendale as it passes near Lake Pleasant).

At an elevation of 2382, it is usually about five to seven degrees cooler in Carefree than it is in the rest of the Valley of the Sun.

Carefree is considered an upscale residential neighborhood, with a median household income of almost $89,000.  It was conceived as a master-planned community, with land sales commencing in 1955, and home-building starting in 1958.

Within the heart of Carefree is a pedestrian-friendly, vibrant business district containing a rich variety of dining opportunities and a unique assortment of intimate shops and galleries.  This area attracts local residents, along with people who live all over the metro area and the state, plus many out of state visitors who come to get a glimpse of the culture and the peaceful living that the town provides.

Among the cities attractions are the Carefree Sundial (which was erected in 1959 and claims to be the third largest sundial in the Western Hemisphere). Southwestern Studios was built in 1968, and was later known as Carefree Studios until it was razed on 1999.  This 160 acre movie/TV studio is where movies/shows featuring Dick Van Dyke, Bob Hope, Paul Newman, Bill Cosby, and others were filmed and produced.

For recreation, Carefree is very close to Bartlett Lake and Horseshoe Lake for boating, swimming and camping.  There are plenty of great golf courses nearby, along with hiking trails, ranches for horseback riding, and ATV riding opportunities.