When it comes to the best places to live in the United States, Arizona is not a frequent feature in the lists of many people. The elements have a large part to do with this. But if a hot, dry climate is not a factor that tilts your scale to the nay side, you’ll find there is a lot to love about The Grand Canyon State.

Endless mountain ranges, palm trees that give the place an easy vibe, rivers, lakes, acres of space, and crazy beautiful sunsets make it a dream place for outdoor lovers. It should come as no surprise then to know Arizona has one of the biggest resort collections you will find in a single state.

Beyond the natural lure, some of the things that make this state appealing include affordability, education (three of the top 10 high schools in the US in 2016 came from here), and employment opportunities.

In particular, we found the following areas the 15 best places to live in Arizona, based on the three aforementioned factors (cost of living, public schools, job opportunities), in addition to crime rate and local amenities.

Gilbert

With a population that hovers around the 230,000 mark, home value, median household income, low crime rate, good public schools, affordable healthcare options, and idyllic nature, you will often find Gilbert on many a Best Places to Live Countrywide list.

The town is within close proximity to Phoenix and is one of the areas in the state that showcase the best Arizona has to offer. The Grand Canyon. Ancient ruins. Farmland and fresh produce. Wineries. Golf courses. Arts bazaar. Wakeboarding even!

The overall cost of living may be a bit steeper compared to other places in Arizona (Phoenix included) but it easy to see why.

Generally, it’s is well worth it.

Scottsdale

Scottsdale is one of the most ‘complete’ places you will find anywhere; a land of true contrasts.

On one hand, it still retains that Wild West vibe, and the city’s motto really says it all (The West’s Most Western Town). On the other, it is as modern a city as they come, ranked eighth on the list of best cities to launch a startup by DataFox in 2015.

This is also a city with one of the most concentrated AAA Four Diamond hotels in the country, not to mention golf course galore.

The conurbation of about 230,000 is often pigeonholed as a city for retirees, but you would be hard pressed to find a place better suited to raise a family – crime rate is low, median family income is high, abundant amenities, excellent quality of life, and top-notch education.

Even the weather itself is a bit different in Scottsdale, often described as mild even in summer.

Chandler

Chandler has a population of about 250,000, and is a city that perfectly weaves family-friendly and cosmopolitan. This is largely thanks to its award-winning school district and bustling downtown area.

Homebuyers will love it here due to the affordable housing with plenty of room to spread out.

Couple that with great security and A-one amenities that range from great amazing restaurants to distinguished clinical excellence and you begin to understand why Chandler has been a constant feature on many a notable Top x list in the country through the last decade.

Best Places to Live. Most Thriving U.S. Cities. Best Cities for Young People. Best Fitness Walking Cities. Best Place in U.S. for Tech Startups. Chandler has it all.

Paradise Valley

Its name is a dead giveaway because in reality, Paradise Valley is one of the most scenic spots in the state of Arizona. The serene, picturesque suburb is peppered with natural beauty everywhere you look – from the Piestewa Peak Park and Phoenix Mountains Preserve in the west, to the Echo Canyon Park to the south.

Just like its southern neighbor, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley has a well-known affinity for golf, even boasting some championship-level courses. Then again, for all the beauty, who can fault it, right?

This Valley of the Sun suburb features lovely modern condos and southwest style single-family homes. These go some way in complementing its natural beauty while ensuring the residents have ample space to spread out.

Expectedly, Paradise Valley is no place for small fry.

The average home price is well over the 1.2-million mark, and the area also ranks up high on the bacon chain, with each household netting an average $758,132. This, according to the Business Journal, easily catapults the area of about 14,000 people to the wealthiest places in America.

Phoenix

The big town itself. Phoenix is the capital of Arizona, and as far as capital cities go, this is one of the few cities in America that best paint a picture of the America that was and the America that is rapidly emerging.

For one, Phoenix is downright beautiful and there is a thriving pulse to it that is hard to beat for most cities. It is quickly growing, and today boasts a population of about 1.5 million. It is as cosmopolitan as they come, with many, including Hispanics, Asians, Blacks and White Americans calling the city home.

Median home value in the capital stands at $215,800, which is neither too low nor too high compared to the smaller cities in Arizona. The median home value in the state itself is $225,000, so it’s fair to say this is a bit reasonable bearing in mind it is the largest city.

The economy is thriving; the city has a good college scene; amenities are in abundance, as you would expect; and the nightlife is truly well and alive. And with the government revitalising the downtown area, Phoenix remains, largely, a pretty appealing city for most people.

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