Moving to Arizona: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that Arizona is the 6th largest state in the United States and the last state founded in the 50 states. And while many people’s first thought is the dry heat, it has many great things to offer. While the pandemic has put a pin in many of our normal daily activities, Arizona still has many activities and reasons to move to or visit the great state. Flagstaff, for example, is famous for its snowfall, mountain ranges, spruce trees, deep canyons, and ski resorts.

However, if you like the desert scenery, moving to Southern Arizona, you will find plenty of hiking trails and biking paths. In all, Arizona has 22 national parks and monuments and 35 state parks, and natural areas! If you move to Arizona, you’ll be able to experience the great outdoors without driving too far.

Cost of Living in Arizona

The cost of living in Arizona is pretty reasonable, depending on where you want to live. While the pandemic has created inflation for all states, the average cost of housing in Arizona is still 20% lower than the national average. 

Job Opportunities in Arizona

The unemployment rate in Arizona has dropped from 6.8% in June 2021 to 4.7% in November of 2021 and is reducing roughly 2% year after year. While the pandemic is to blame for the unemployment rate, Arizona is starting to see a boom in employment again. Arizona is home to many fast-growing tech companies and major start-up companies. It is a great time to power up your resume and find a career in this beautiful state. 

Learn About Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona and is located in the central region of the state. People may know Phoenix, Arizona for its year-round sunny days and desert beauty. There are world-class resorts and golf, lots of possibilities for outdoor adventures, and a great nightlife.

With its broad, tree-lined avenues, Spanish-style architecture, and surrounding mountains, Phoenix bears much resemblance to Los Angeles. Phoenix plays an eminent role in the economy of the Mountain West region of the country, serving as a financial, communications, and transportation hub.

Phoenix Valley 

Phoenix is known as the Valley of the Sun and the area to the east comprises several dozen cities, the primary ones being Tempe, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Carefree, and Cave Creek.

Employment in Phoenix

If you are planning to move to Phoenix, Arizona, or the surrounding cities, we have some great news for you. The growth rate for employment is projected to increase an average of 4% – 5%, according to azcommerce.com with Leisure and Hospitality having the highest year-over-year change. It’s an employee’s market as some would say. This means that employers are searching for employees and employees are searching for jobs. The rate of unemployment is slowly decreasing. 

Weather in Phoenix

Summers in Phoenix are hot and dry and in the winter you will experience cool and mostly clear skies. You’ll likely see around 9 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 45°F to 107°F and is rarely below 37°F or above 112°F.  Weatherspark.com reports the hottest times of the year from June to August.

Arizona is known to have occasional but intense dust storms called Haboobs, Arabic for blown, is created from the airflow of a thunderstorm or intense shower. If you are caught in a Haboob you should safetly pull off to the right of the road. Turn off the engine and lights, turn off A/C or heat and keep your foot off the brakes. Wait it out until the visibility improves. It is essential to close your car vents before entering a Haboob, as Haboobs bring increased risk of Valley Fever, airborne fungus spores. 

Traffic & Commuting

Most major cities such as Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale have access to public transportation. However, it is highly recommend to have a vehicle. You may have already guessed why, the heat and the distance between must see destinations. While most businesses won’t have you walking into the desert to find, you are still susceptible to heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration if you are not careful. It’s also reccomended because Arizona has amazing places to see and they are not all in one little spot, so you’ll need a car to travel to this spectacular points.

Traffic

Manuvering through traffic can be difficult in any major city as you have good drivers and you have bad drivers everywhere. You will encounter seemless driving on highways during off peak hours and back-to-back traffic on peak hours. This also depends on where you are driving. If you are driving in more of a rural area you will most likely not have much traffic. Whereas, if you are in Phoenix during peak hours, you may want to plan at least 30-45 minutes of extra time.

That being said, according to AZdot.gov, the peak time for car accidents, in 2020, were between the hours of 4 PM  to 5 PM and the peak day for accidents were on Fridays. So, be safe and observant on your travels. 

During school sessions and summer time you will notice a flow of increased traffic due to “snowbirds”, individuals leaving their home-state during winter months for the sun, and student’s getting back to class.

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Moving to Arizona? 

Local Hotspots in Phoenix, Arizona

While the pandemic has put a pin in many of our normal daily activities, Arizona still has many activities and reasons to move to or visit the great state. We’ve compiled a list of the best local hotspots and the best places to visit in Phoenix. Our list consists of family-friendly and adult-only venues to accommodate most.

Phoenix Zoo

The Zoo was opened in 1961 by Robert E. Maytag, the grandson of the founder of the Maytag appliance company. The Zoo has had many changes since that time and today it is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit zoos and is home to more than 1,400 animals. You can see Sumatran tigers roam the savanna, feed giraffes in an up-close encounter, and discover the local flora, fauna, and critters of the Sonoran Desert on the zoo’s Arizona Trail. Phoenix Zoo

Butterfly Wonderland

Butterfly Wonderland, featuring the largest butterfly conservatory in the country with thousands of fluttering butterflies, transports guests of all ages to the rainforest by immersing them in the world of butterflies and other rainforest animals. If The Butterfly Wonderland is a part of 8 other attractions in one location. You’ll find Odysea Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, Laser + Mirror Maze, VR Xtreme, Pangaea, Surprise Your Eyes, and Paradise Earth in Scottsdale, Arizona. Butterfly Wonderland

Golfing on the Green

Did you know that Phoenix is home to nearly 200 golf courses? From desert landscapes to traditional landscapes to resort golf courses, there is just about everything a golf enthusiast could ask for. Phoenix is home to TPC Scottsdale, the LGPA tour, and the PGA tour’s annual Waste Management Phoenix Open, also known as the “people’s open” and the PGA Tour Champions cup. According to visitphoenix.com, hundreds of thousands of people attend every year for parties, concerts, and golf.

Rustler’s Rooste

Rustler’s Rooste was established in 1971. It is said that the original site was atop the foothills of South Mountain and was a hideout for cattle rustlers. The steak house has large portions of good old cowboy food, a tin slide, an outside fire pit, live indoor music. Don’t forget to say hello to the residential Bull. Rustler’s Rooste

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Need an entertaining show with dinner? Try an experience like no other and watch an epic tournament at the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Where you can watch Knights jousting, sword fighting, and see the royal falconer, all while being part of the royal feast. The theme of this establishment may be set in the medieval era, however, guests will also have a wide array of meal options including vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free “as commanded by the Queen.” Located in Scottsdale, this entertainment destination has been on Tripadvisor and has 4.7 stars out of over four thousand reviews. Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Stunning Arizona Landscape & Wildlife

Arizona has some the most captivating scenery to see. With volcanic mountain ranges, forests, and deserts it’s perfect for any adventurist or photographer. From the majestic and equally beautiful red rocks to the twist and turns of the carved canyons,  and all the deep caves to explore, the desert’s cotton candy sunsets might not be the only thing that leaves you speechless. 

Javelinas, Rattlesnakes, Scorpions, Cougars...OH MY

Arizona is home to a wide and diverse population of animals and insects. While all respectable adventurists will tell you to give these wild animals their space and intrude,  we want to point out some of the wildlife you might encounter in Arizona. Again, please remember to keep your distance from wild animals. While most will not attack you for just being present, never taunt or provoke a wild animal, they can defend themselves. 

It will be impossible to list every animal and insect you may encounter in Arizona. However, we have compiled a list of animals you might encounter on your travels. 

Mammals You Might Encounter: Black Bear, Coatimundi, Cougar, Coyote, Deer, Javelina, Raccon

Black Bear

Although not common to see in Arizona parks, they do, at times, make their apperance known in certian locations. Did you know that not all black bears are black? They can be brown, reddish and even blonde bears exisit throughout Arizona. If your looking to spot a wild black bear you have a better chance around Slide Rock and Tonto Natural Bridge. 

Late summer months are typically when black bears forge and find foot to prepare themselves for the long winter hibernation. 

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Black Bears are secretive, and intelligent animals. They are omnivorous, eating both plants and meats. 

Coatimundi

Often mistaken for desert monkeys because of their long tails and propensity for trees, the coati, or coatimundi is actually more closely related to a raccoon. These social animals are great fun to watch and can be seen in several of your state parks across Arizona. 

According to Arizona State Parks, Coati’s have been spotted at Kartchner Caverns, Catalina, Patagonia, and Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. 

coatimundi

Coati’s are Intelligent and Affectionate. Their diet consist of fruits, invertebrates, small rodents and lizards.

Cougars 

Whether you call it a Cougar, Mountain Lion or a Puma, they are all the same species just called a different name depending on where you live.

They are stealthy, solitary animals that inhabit mountain rages, forests, and deserts. 

While they tend to be afraid of people and do not recognize or seek humans out as prey, they can be very dangerous to humans. Cougars are more to attack solo hikers or young children. If you are confronted by a cougar it is best to make noise by yelling, blowing a whistle or an air horn. Do not approach cougars. Give it ample space to run away and never corner them. 

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Cougars are stealthy, solitary animals. They are Carnivores and hunt at night or during hours of dawn and dusk.

Coyote

Coyotes can be found in almost every natural Arizona State Park. These desert dogs tend to prey on smaller mammals, reptiles and birds but have also known to prey on larger species. rizona’s coyotes come in a variety of colors depending on where they live. 

Various shades of tan, brown, gray, and red coyotes have been spotted in the parks, although most individuals seem to have a variety of colors throughout their coats.

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Coyotes are primarily nocturnal, efficient hunters, with keen senses and are Omnivores.

Deer

Arizona is known to have two different types of deer that roam parks accorss the state. The Mule Deer and Coues Whitetail Deer. Both deer species are more active in the hours surrounding sunrise and sunset and can be seen as they feed, water, or travel to their daytime bedding areas.

Various shades of tan, brown, gray, and red coyotes have been spotted in the parks, although most individuals seem to have a variety of colors throughout their coats.

mammal_mule-deer-California_Richard-Douse_600x300

Deer are primarily active during twilight and night times, and feed on acorns from desert oaks and fruit from atop barrel cactus.

Javelina

Pronounced Ha-vuh-lee-nuh, Javelinas are one of the most unqiue animals living in Arizona. Most commonly mistaken for a pig or boar, they are actually collared peccary. Despite their similar appearances peccary are not true pigs nor are they wild boars. They are however, closely related to pigs and Hippopotamuses. 

A squadron, a group of Javelinas, typically consist of 10 or less but have known to create huge herds of up to 53 animals. They have known to be very territory, and will attack humans if they feel threatened, cornered, or protecting their young. They have also been known to attack dogs in fear that they are coyotes. 

Javelina

Javelina are protective of their herd or squardon. They have poor eyesight and are active during the early morning and evening when it’s cooler. 

Raccon

Raccons can be found throughout Arizona and always live near a permanent water source. They can reach up to 30lb, are generally shy creatures, and are primarly nocturnal. Although, it is not uncommon to see a raccoon active during the day time, it is it’s highly unusual for a raccoon to be aggressive towards a person. A female may boldly defend her young, and if they feel threatened or cornered they will let you know by giving a huff, a grunt, or charge. It is best to give them their deserved space. 

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Raccons are solitary animals and social groups consist of mothers and her young. While they are omnivorous they do not eat garbage or rotting food.

What About Scorpions? 

Yes, Arizona has scorpions but they are not in every nook and cranny and they are generally harmless. It is sensible to be afraid of scorpions because of their distinctive features and pincer-like pedipals, jointed appendages that resemble small legs but are more like antennae. Professionals state that scorpion sings results in swelling and pain similar to a bee sting. People are often stung by them as they pick up an object and press against a scorpion clinging to the underside or accidently step on them.

There are recorded incidents of deaths caused by scorpions, and in these cases children or the elderly often are those affected. Only a few species are actually deadly to humans. In fact, most species are generally harmless to people unless they are allergic to scorpion venom.  Only one of 30 scorpions found in Arizona are life-threating.

Scorpion Tip: Generally speaking, the smaller the scorpion the more venom it possess to protect it’s self from threats. To avoid scorpions from your home you should:

  • Clear away debris, trash, logs and bricks where scorpions like to live.
  • Mow grass and keep it short.
  • Fix holes and cracks in the house.
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Bark Scorpion are slender in shape, and have long, delicate pincers and tails different from other more stoutly-built species in the state. The bark scorpion prefers to climb, and orient themselves upside down. 

Did you know that there are six turtle species, 49 lizard species and 52 species of snakes living in Arizona. For more information on these animals, you can go to azstateparks.com

Paradise for Outdoor Sports

Havasu waterfall in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

If you’re an active outdoorsy person, you’ll love it here! There are a plethora of outdoor activities to participate in, from hiking and biking, white-water rafting, kayaking and fishing, and plenty of mountain ranges to explore and camp. Flagstaff and Tucson (Mt. Lemmon) are great places for winter sports, if you need a winter gateaway. 

Papago Mountain

Located in Tucson, Arizona Papago Park is one of the most scenic and easily accessible desert areas in the Phoenix metro area. Explore 1,500 acres dedicated to hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and lagoons. Papago Park is also home to attractions including the “Hole in the Rock” hike, Desert Botanical Garden, the Phoenix Zoo, and AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park. Papago Mountain 

Tempe Beach Park

While Arizona may not have an ocean, it does have a beach. The artificial perennial reservoir runs about 2 miles long and 1,200 feet wide. While Tempe Beach reservoir is never suggested for swimming, the 25-acre park is a perfect way to spend some outdoor fun and relaxation for everyone. The park offers more than five miles of walking paths, exercise trails, picnic areas, ramadas (pitched roof structure), and the Luis Gonzales Baseball Field. The park offers day rentals: kayaks, pedal boats, electric boats, stand-up paddleboards, and more. Tempe Beach Park

Canyon Lake

With 900-acres visitors can enjoy boating, water skiing, fishing, Jet Skiing, and taking scenic hikes around the shore. This Salt River reservoir is only 45 minutes east of Phoenix. If you need a quick getaway this is a beautiful destination to see wildlife and get in tune with nature. Be sure to check the website for information regarding restrictions, fire warnings, recreational permits, and passes and other parks. Visit the USDA website for more information. Canyon Lake

Goldfield Ghost Town

In the 1890′s Goldfield boasted 3 saloons, a boarding house, a general store, a blacksmith shop, a brewery, a meat market, and a schoolhouse. The town was known for gold mining but when the gold ran out the town slowly died away. Today, you can walk down Main Street, pan for gold, ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train, explore the shops, historic buildings and witness an old west gunfight performed. The Mammoth Steakhouse and Saloon offers food at a reasonable price and is open to the public. Goldfield Ghost Town

Learn About Tucson, Arizona

Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona and the 33rd largest in the United States. You may see Arizona as part of the wild west with outlaws and gunslingers. But It is also known for beautiful pink and purple sunsets, unique geography, and fun.

There are many great reasons to move to Tucson, Arizona. You may say we are giving our secrets away when it comes to why you should move to this beautiful state. With roughly 550 thousand residences, this town offers the “big city amenities” with a “smaller town” feeling. 

According to Salary.com, the overall cost of living in Tucson, Arizona is 6% lower than the national average. Although inflation has taken hold of every state, Tucson is still an affordable place to live. Housing is affordable, coming in almost 10% under the national average, and 18% lower than the state average in Arizona. If you’re looking for a delightful neighborhood close to the nightlife downtown, take a look at Sam Hughes, Barrio Historico, or Armory Park. With a wide array of architectural styles (Mission, pueblo, Victorian-style) homes, you will most likely find the perfect fit for you.

Local Hotspots

Tucson, Arizona has been a city since 1877. A lot has changed since then but here are some local hot spots (in no particular order) you’ll want to stop by and check out

Baja Cafe 

If you love breakfast or brunch this is the place for you. Baja Cafe has appeared on the Travel Channel’s Man Vs Food, Canada’s Food Network Channel’s You Gotta Eat Here!, have been awarded the “Best Spot for Comfort Food” by Cheapism and the “Best Waffles” by Business Insider and have made 40 other appearances in the news. If you have never been there, we urge you to try their pancakes. The Snickerdoodle pancakes (our favorite) are exactly how a pancake should be; massively huge, fluffy, and mouthwatering. However, you cannot go wrong with anything on their menu. Be sure to get there early, this hotspot fills up fast.

The Shelter Bar

Known to many as the “fallout shelter”, however, the truth is it was built as a bar back in 1961. The round, windowless structure is packed to the rafters with 60s era knick-knacks, from JFK memorabilia to black velvet paintings and groovy lamps. The retro vibe is augmented with a continual showing of 60s B movies and plenty of period music, occasionally provided by DJs fond of deep cuts and rare grooves. Bartenders mix up all the retro cocktails you can handle.

Pima Air & Space Museum

Pima Air & Space Museum opened in 1976 and is one of the largest Air and Space Museums in the world; and is the largest self-supporting aerospace museum. The museum features more than 400 historic aircraft, from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner, and encompasses six indoor exhibit hangars (three dedicated to World War II) and 90 acres of outdoor displays.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Have you heard of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum? The renowned Desert Museum is everything you could want in a Sonoran Desert adventure! Mostly outdoors and comprising an AZA-accredited zoo, extensive botanical garden, two art galleries, and a natural history museum, the Desert Museum sits on 98 acres of pristine desert landscape. The Museum showcases the diverse flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert region (with over 55,000 plants!)  Tripadvisor.com rates the Desert Museum 5 stars out of almost 9 thousand reviews. It’s also rated #3 of 341 things to do in Tucson, Arizona. This family-friendly establishment offers something for everyone!

Mount Lemmon

If you want breathtaking views, hiking, and a beautiful scenic drive, then look no further. Mount Lemmon is where you will want to go. Regarded as one of the most scenic drives in southeast Arizona, the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway takes travelers to the upper reaches of Mount Lemmon and the Santa Catalina Range. Recent visitors describe the views as “spectacular” and a “must-do” when in Tucson. Along with the stunning vantage point, the ride up also provides a reprieve from the desert heat as the temperature drops as you climb higher along the byway. Take advantage of the scenic overlooks and rest areas by bringing along a picnic, you will not regret it.

What are the Best Places to Move in Arizona?

Moving to Arizona is a wonderful option for people who don’t mind hot temperatures, enjoy outdoors and art, and are looking for great career options. If you are asking yourself what are the best places in Arizona to live in? Here are some of the best cities in Arizona:

  • If you’re looking for a city with a great nightlife, outdoors adventures, arts and culture, year-round festive spirit, and amazing coffee, moving to Phoenix is one of the best choices.
  • If you’re looking for a city with affordability, buzzing nightlife, and great public transportation, Tempe is a great choice.
  • If you want to live in a city with a historic district, plenty of golf courses, affordable living, and hiking and skiing options, moving to Tucson is also a great option
  • Peoria, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Mesa, Chandler, Surprise and Glendale are also good choices. 

Wherever you decide to live within Arizona, preparing to move can be a big undertaking. Cool Box Portable Storage aims to take away the stress from moving and storage with its one-stop storage and moving service solution. We have three container sizes to choice from, we deliver insulated moving and storage containers directly to your driveway, you load it, and we pick up the unit(s) and move it to your new home. If needed, you can opt to keep the storage container at your home or our secure yard for storage at no additional cost.

If you’re moving to Arizona, get a quote from one of our convenient Arizona locations:

https://azdot.gov/sites/default/files/media/2021/07/2020-crash-facts.pdf

https://azstateparks.com/

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https://www.bls.gov/oes/2020/may/oes_az.html

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https://growjo.com/city/Phoenix