Arizona continues to be a desired place to live for all generations, from Baby Boomer retirees to Gen Z young adults renting out their first apartment. It’s hard to pinpoint the best places to live in Arizona as the whole state offers a high and affordable quality of life paired with abundant natural wonders.  

But as good as Arizona’s towns may be, not everyone can make it to the top. To measure the best places to live in Arizona we gathered data in the following categories:

  • Affordability
  • Crime
  • Education 
  • Employment opportunities
  • Activities

If you’re planning for a move to Arizona or just entertaining the thought, familiarizing yourself with its top residential destinations is a good first step. Without further ado, here are the best places to live in Arizona. 

10. Scottsdale

Life in Scottsdale is like a never-ending resort vacation. Its many spas, golf courses, and parks are a major draw for town transplants. Scottsdale’s safe suburbs make the town a family-friendly destination. However, its vibrant downtown promises a fulfilling lifestyle for young people, too. 

9. Surprise

Flora Mae Statler founded Surprise on one square mile of land, claiming she’d be “surprised” if it ever amounted to more. 

Today, it’s a safe suburban town that makes up part of the greater Phoenix area. It’s a great place to live in Arizona for families and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Its one possible downside is that it’s not among the cheapest places on this list. 

8. Tempe

Sure, Tempe is home to Arizona State University, but it’s so much more than another college party town. It’s been a growing destination for young professionals, and more and more tech companies are calling it home.

Like many other places on this list, Tempe is located right outside of Phoenix, meaning its an arm’s reach away from both the fast-paced city and pristine nature. 

7. Mesa

Mesa is rapidly growing in population and it’s easy to see why. Its competitive schools and safe neighborhoods paired with affordable housing makes for a winning combination. Mesa, too, is part of the Phoenix area, so residents get to enjoy the amenities of all the nearby towns as well. 

6. Goodyear

Goodyear lives up to its good namesake as a well-balanced Phoenix suburb. It’s far away enough from the city to be low on crime and traffic, but to still provide the conveniences the Phoenix metropolis has to offer. Goodyear’s top selling point is that it offers mountainside and lakeside living

5. Anthem

It may come as no surprise that Anthem, too, is located by Phoenix. However, it’s farther away than the other places on this list and has a much smaller population. It’s slow-paced but not slacking in education or safety. 

It is also home to the Outlets at Anthem, where you can enjoy discounted designer goods along with seasonal events (just maybe not this year). 

4. Peoria

Peoria is one of the best places to live in Arizona because of its well-balanced amenities. It offers an excellent education system and low crime rate while maintaining affordability. 

This suburban town has a strong sense of community, as most of its residents are homeowners and not transient renters. 

Like the other Phoenix suburbs, Peoria offers a world of outdoor activities, ranging from hiking to water sports at nearby Lake Pleasant. 

3. Chandler 

Life is neither too fast nor too slow in Chandler. You can have your pick of fast-paced Phoenix or the lone desert range- both of which are within earshot of Chandler. 

But Chandler boasts more than its surroundings. The town itself will keep you entertained with its many parks and vibrant downtown. 

2. Oro Valley

One of the best places to live in Arizona that is not in the Phoenix metropolitan area is Oro Valley. This Tucson suburb’s exceptional livability score is thanks to its safety and well-maintained neighborhoods. Oro Valley’s booming economy is favored by both small business owners and tech companies.

1. Gilbert

Gilbert tops the list of best places to live in Arizona because it has it all. Safe communities, braggable schools, well-maintained parks, abundant entertainment, and trendy shops are what makes Gilbert an outstanding place to call home. All this comes at a price, though- Gilbert’s cost of living is not for weak wallets.