As angry as it makes people that so many are moving here, it’s happening for a reason. Arizona is a great place to live.
I am guilty of being a transplant. Most of us are at this point. I initially moved here for the weather. I need sunshine for my mental health. Now that I’ve been here for two years, I can say I’ve fallen in love with the area.
As soon as I really got to experience the state, a pandemic happened. All I’ve been thinking about it getting back out there. I think even long-time residence are feeling this way too. It’s gotten to the point where people who said there isn’t anything to do around here are realizing just how much they did before.
After a year of struggle, it’s become so obvious what our favorite parts of the valley are.
Of course, as as one of the valley’s radio stations we love the music scene. Phoenix has the perfect kind of venues for alternative artists large and small. Not to mention we are almost always a stop on someone’s tour! We are also home to some incredible local musicians. Several moved on to do great things like Jimmy Eat World and more on their way to the big time such as Upsahl. Keep your ears out for our amazing Arizona artists!
It’s cliche to have hiking on a list like this but cliche for a reason. Our trails are great! Well taken care of, properly marked, great variety and the view from the top is unlike any other. You down need to be IN Phoenix to experience these great trails. No matter where you are in the valley, you’ve likely got a trail within 15 minutes of driving. Want to do something big? Do a little more driving. Our location is prime! Big mountains and skiing are just a couple hours away too.
The great thing about any metropolitan area is the variety. Big cities bring in all the new trends and attractions. What is unique about the valley is that you can go from big city to open park or open desert by just popping through to the other side of interstate. Clubs, local restaurants, themed areas, shopping, sports, and more are all easily accessible. If you’re looking to try something new, odds are you can find it around here and a club to go with it.
What is winter? If you have been around the area a while, then 50 degrees is definitely going to give you a chill but if you’ve lived anywhere else you realize what a blessing that is. During my time in Michigan the country experience what was called, “the polar vortex,” remember that? Yeah, the day I started driving to move here, it was -14 degrees with windchill. It precipitated (rain or snow) statistically every two days. Almost every day is cloudy in the winter. In the valley, it’s unusual to have a cloudy day. So unusual that it’s probably the main topic of conversation you will have with most people. Can’t have a list of reasons to love this place without mentioning it.
Support the local art. The valley is home to amazing artists of all trades! We are so lucky to share our state with Native American land and being able to share in their art too. It’s a great melting pot area where many cultures coexist. It’s the perfect Petri dish for art to thrive. You find find it in stores to purchase, fairs, on the walls of downtown, and museums. My goal this year is to find another local piece to add to my collection! The last thing I bought was a painting but I’d love to buy some sort of structure to hang on my wall to add dimension and the area happens to have a few locals who do that.
6. Local Businesses
WE LOVE LOCAL. Can you tell? Normally small towns are known for great mom and pap shops! They are typically home to the types of people who put their heart and soul into their work. Big cities are thought of as machines that crank things out as quick as possible. Home to chain restaurants and giant banking buildings… okay, so we have those. But we ALSO have enough soul for local businesses to flourish too. My heart lives in my stomach so I’m thinking about our restaurants but actually the place I frequent the most often is locally owned- it’s a little place called Modern Milk. Great place for moms. I go for the little shop and twice a week for a mommy-fitness class. Not an ad, just an example of a small business in the area to love. The best way to show passion for the place you live is to support businesses ran by people who also live there! It’s a real investment into your community to “shop small.”
7. Vacation is just a drive away
Ironically, another reason to love the valley is getting away from it is easy! So many vacation destinations can be driven to in a handful of hours. Being neighbors to California and Colorado gives you access to just about any kind of terrain you could want to escape to. As someone who rarely ever takes a vacation, you still benefit from living in the valley! Since the weather is almost always perfect, your random day off can be treated like a day you would spend on vacation- pool side, shopping, exploring -and there are gorgeous resorts right here you can run away to for a night or two. I stayed just two nights at the Scottsdale Princess and it felt like I a complete getaway. The illusion at these places is well done.
As a society we have found it easy to complain. Things are too old, too boring, not living up to what you see someone else doing. Scrolling through Instagram can make you feel like you’re not doing enough and then you blame it on your town. If only your town had (insert activity or attraction here) then you would be able to go out and do more. Before the pandemic you might have been guilty of taking the valley for granted. As we get back out there and restore normalcy, let’s not forget this feeling of craving our area. Be curious about what is out in the world and travel but love your home. Phoenix is special. Showing passion for the area is what will keep it that way.
Comment some reasons why you love the valley!