A couple sitting and watching the overlooking view of Phoenix, Arizona during sunset, with many of the best neighborhoods in Phoenix in view

8 Best Phoenix Neighborhoods (for 2023)

Planning to move to or visit Phoenix? I’m here to fill you in on the best Phoenix neighborhoods. 

This guide overviews the pros and cons of 8 communities in Phoenix. I share insights about each neighborhood’s entertainment, schools, safety, and general residents. Find ideal neighborhoods for young professionals, families, retirees, and everyone in between. 

Having diversity, amenities, and an enviable climate, the city’s population only continues to grow. With 1.5 million residents (5 million in the metro area), Phoenix is on the brink of becoming the fourth-largest city in America.

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8 Best Neighborhoods in Phoenix

Paradise Valley Village

Resort-style living in a calmer Phoenix area — it’s quite literally paradise just outside of the city! 

Rainy day in Old Town Scottsdale with parked cars around and string lights hung above the street
Old Town Scottsdale, just a few minutes from Paradise Valley, on a rainy day

📍 Google Maps | Paradise Valley Village Website | School Districts: Paradise Valley Unified School district | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Paradise Valley Village is one of the best places to live in Arizona. Many Phoenicians refer to it as the Beverly Hills of the area. When you visit, you’ll see why. The streets are pristine, and restaurants, wine bars, and trendy coffee shops are on every corner. You’ll also find some of the best golf courses in the country here.

The demographic is older, with many retirees and long-time professionals, but there is still plenty to do here for young people. The bars and nightclubs in Old Town Scottsdale are only 10 minutes away! And if you love sports, watch the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes play at the Mullet Arena just south in Tempe.

This master-planned community is one of the most highly sought-after in the state. Aside from high prices, it checks all the boxes for a stellar neighborhood. PV Village has amazing schools, public amenities, shopping and dining, and nearly non-existent crime. The neighborhood features everything you need to start a fantastic life in Phoenix.

Pros of Paradise Valley Village

  • Very safe (34% below the national crime average)
  • Top education systems
  • Plenty of jobs
  • Beautiful golf courses and resorts
  • Near downtown Scottsdale

Cons of Paradise Valley Village

  • Very expensive
  • Not walkable

📚 Related Reading: 27 Places to Visit in Arizona in 2023 (By a Local)

North Mountain Village

A tight-knit community perfect for raising a family in North Phoenix

Aerial view of the scenic area of Scottsdale and a mountain nearby
Experience nature, privacy, and luxurious beauty in this gorgeous area of Phoenix

📍 Google Maps | North Mountain Village Website | School Districts: Glendale Union, Phoenix Union, Paradise Valley Unified School District | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Courtyard by Marriott Phoenix North

North Mountain Village is a lovely North Phoenix location. It’s especially ideal for young professionals and families with children. The tight-knit community is very friendly, and everybody seems to know everybody. 

There are tons of playgrounds and kid-friendly parks along with highly-ranked schools in the area. Nearly half of the NM Village population has kids under the age of 18.

Northeast of Glendale along I-17, NM Village is within 15 minutes of Downtown Phoenix and Sky Harbor International Airport. Great restaurants, coffee shops, amusement parks, and large shopping centers are also nearby. 

Hiking and biking trails abound in the surrounding desert landscape. Need we give more reasons to move in? It’s also only 1.5 hours from some of the most popular day trips from Phoenix like Sedona, Prescott, and Payson.

Pros of North Mountain Village

  • Family-friendly
  • Affordable housing
  • Great restaurants and coffee shops
  • Bike lanes (bike score of 64)
  • Close to popular Arizona destinations

Cons of North Mountain Village

  • Few community events
  • Average lower-level schools

North Scottsdale

Live in the beautiful desert on the outskirts of the lively city attractions

Aerial view of the Greenbelt in Scottsdale, Arizona with a mountain and cityscape view in the distance
The “green belt” of Scottsdale is full of pristine golf courses and jagged mountains

📍 Google Maps | Scottsdale Website | School Districts: Scottsdale Unified School District | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Scottsdale Marriott Old Town

North Scottsdale is a beautiful place to raise a family in a friendly neighborhood. This area is well-kept, clean, and safe. The schools are top-notch compared to the rest of the city. Walking and biking lanes make it super easy to get around on foot or two wheels. 

You’ll be just far enough away from Old Town Scottsdale to avoid the chaos of the crowds. However, the neighborhood is still close enough to enjoy this energetic area within a short drive via SR 101. If you seek a night out on the town, the best bars, nightclubs, and restaurants are 20 minutes away in downtown Scottsdale. 

Hike, bike, and go horseback riding directly east at McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Desert wildlife is abundant throughout this area. You will never be lacking in exciting plans when you live in North Scottsdale!

Pros of North Scottsdale

  • Clean and safe
  • Amazing schools
  • Close to nightlife
  • Many restaurants and Phoenix attractions nearby
  • Wildlife and outdoor activities

Cons of North Scottsdale

  • Expensive housing
  • Farther from the airport
  • Need a car – public transportation is limited

👉 Local Tip: Stay at a hotel in Old Town Scottsdale when you visit so you can get a feel for what makes this historic area so special. See my guide to where to stay in Phoenix to get planning.

Ahwatukee Foothills Village

A peaceful suburban community offering great schools, public amenities, and proximity to popular Phoenix hotspots 

A cactus standing in the middle of the mountains overlooking the Ahwatukee Neighborhood in Arizona
Views of Ahwatukee below from the cliffs of South Mountain

📍 Google Maps | Ahwatukee Foothills Website | School Districts: Kyrene and Tempe Union School Districts | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Arizona Grand Resort

Ahwatukee Foothills Village is rated as one of the top five places to live in Phoenix. This suburban neighborhood is great for families and older residents. It’s one of the safer parts of the city, with well-lit streets and low crime rates. South Mountain Park and Preserve borders to the north and offers fantastic hiking with great views and wildlife.

Ahwatukee Foothills Village is located on the south side of Phoenix along I-10. It’s farther from the action of downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale. However, it is within 20 minutes of Arizona State University and Mill Avenue in Tempe. 

This quieter Phoenix neighborhood is a great place for laid-back entertainment and culture. The downtown area has an intimate feel to it. This is an ideal place for people who don’t require constant events. The schools here are also highly rated, so kids will have plenty of favorable educational opportunities.

Pros of Ahwatukee Foothills

  • Very safe
  • Great schools
  • Strong sense of community
  • Many hiking and biking trails nearby

Cons of Ahwatukee Foothills

  • Farther from central Phoenix
  • Pricey housing

Midtown / Encanto Village

Experience the best of the city in this affordable Phoenix metro area

Façade of a southwestern-style home with desert plants around
These urban homes are beautifully landscaped with natural desert foliage

📍 Google Maps | Encanto Village Website | School Districts: Alhambra, Creighton, and Phoenix Secondary School District | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Embassy Suites by Hilton

Encanto Village is small but densely populated. This urban village is located just north of downtown along Central Avenue. It’s super close to hopping nightlife, exceptional shopping, live music venues, and more. 

The Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum are within walking distance. Young families have plenty of options for family-friendly fun, like the Enchanted Island Amusement Park.

Encanto Village was once the home of the Phoenix Suns (hence the name “Valley of the Sun”). Now it’s closest to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. It has long been one of the most popular Phoenix areas, especially for young people. 

Spend your days perusing art galleries, attending sports games, and chowing down on great local cuisine. It’s the spot to simply soak in the culture of Phoenix, as Encanto Village embodies it all. 

Pros of Encanto Village

  • Close to downtown Phoenix
  • 10 minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport
  • Plentiful community events
  • Affordable housing

Cons of Encanto Village

  • Average schools
  • Not particularly safe

📚 Related Reading: 29 Best Phoenix Restaurants

Downtown Phoenix

Live in a skyscraper apartment in the exciting center of business and entertainment. You don’t need a car in the heart of it all!

View of the skyscrapers at the rail of the Metro train along the street of Downtown Phoenix
No car is needed in the bustling center of the city (photo: You Touch Pix of EuToch / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Downtown Phoenix Website | School Districts: Phoenix Union HSD and ESD | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Sheraton Phoenix Downtown

Downtown Phoenix is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the state. Young professionals and college students will have a blast here. Live, work, and play amid the skyscrapers in the most urban area of the capital, the center of business and commerce. 

This community is vibrant and bustling, constantly moving at a fast pace. If you love non-stop excitement, there’s no better Phoenix area to live in than downtown.

Convenience is the name of the game here. A car is not needed. Take the light rail from Sky Harbor International Airport to the heart of the city within 10 minutes. Live walking distance from Chase Field and the Footprint Center to see exciting baseball and basketball games. Stroll to major museums like the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum along Central Avenue. You’ll find top-rated bars, restaurants, and speakeasies in every corner of this area.

The only downside about downtown Phoenix is safety. Since it is a dense metropolitan area, crime rates tend to be higher. Although violent crime is not common, it is not recommended to walk late at night. For this reason, we don’t recommend this neighborhood to families with children or older residents.

Pros of Downtown Phoenix

  • In the heart of the city (walk score of 93)
  • Close to sports, live music, restaurants, bars, museums, and more
  • Don’t need a car (light rail system throughout)
  • Arizona State University Downtown Campus for students
  • Frequent community events

Cons of Downtown Phoenix

  • Expensive housing
  • Mostly apartment living (rentals)
  • Congestion and noise
  • Unsafe for some residents

Camelback East Village / Arcadia

Live near all of the action — everything Phoenix has to offer is within 15 minutes of here

Aerial view of a golf course and residential area below Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona
Camelback Mountain is the defining feature of this area

📍 Google Maps | Camelback East Village Website | School Districts: Osborn, Madison, and Phoenix Elementary School District | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: AC Hotel Phoenix Biltmore

Camelback East Village / Arcadia is one of the best neighborhoods for the best of both worlds – city life and nature. It’s an older, quieter neighborhood nestled between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. 

If you love the outdoors, hiking trails are 10 minutes away and popular Arizona lakes are within an hour of this beautiful neighborhood in Phoenix. You’ll also be within 15 minutes of downtown Phoenix, downtown Scottsdale, and other amenities. These include Papago Park, the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona State University, Tempe Town Lake, and Sky Harbor International Airport.

Camelback East Village is not only one of the best places to live in Phoenix but in all of Arizona. With many A+ rated schools nearby and plenty of safe parks, it’s a wonderful place to raise children. Young families, couples, singles, retirees, you name it! This is a stellar area to live for anyone who wants to be close to the action in Phoenix.

Pros of Camelback East Village / Arcadia

  • Close to major attractions, restaurants, and the airport
  • Many jobs for young professionals
  • Close to hiking trails
  • Convenient travel via I-10, SR 51, and SR 202
  • Affordable housing

Cons of Camelback East Village / Arcadia

  • Congestion and noise
  • Some areas are run-down

Deer Valley Village

A calm, more nature-oriented neighborhood located just outside of the crowded areas of the capital

Aerial view of Interstate 17 and Loop 101 in the middle of the neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona
Though Deer Valley is spread out, the intricate freeway system gets you anywhere quickly

📍 Google Maps | School Districts: Deer Valley Unified School District | 👉 Best Hotel for Your Scouting Trip: Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Happy Valley

Deer Valley Village is one of the northernmost Phoenix neighborhoods. This area is more rural, with ranch homes and farm cottages in addition to modern developments. It’s diverse, with a mixture of historic culture and brand-new amenities.

This is a lovely neighborhood in Phoenix to raise a family with highly-rated public schools. There are also plentiful outdoor activities in Deem Hills and Cave Buttes nearby.

Rent prices in Deer Valley Village are middle of the road. A wide variety of residents can afford to live here from college graduates to retirees. It’s considered one of the best neighborhoods to buy a house in Phoenix! Antique stores, entertainment, and dining options abound near Norterra Mall. We like the suburban feel of Deer Valley and the friendly community within.

Pros of Deer Valley

  • Above-average schools
  • Friendly community
  • Close to nature and the city
  • Affordable housing
  • Family-friendly amenities and events

Cons of Deer Valley

  • Limited nightlife
  • Farther from the airport and downtown

FAQs About Phoenix Neighborhoods 

Where is the nicest neighborhood in Phoenix?

The nicest neighborhood in Phoenix is either Paradise Valley Village or Camelback East, in my opinion. These are objectively two of the best neighborhoods to live in Phoenix, though the ideal choice for you will depend on your lifestyle. 

What are the safest areas to live in Phoenix?

One of the safest areas to live in Phoenix is Paradise Valley Village. This neighborhood is extremely well-kept and has very low crime rates. Deer Valley Village and Ahwatukee Foothills are also very safe places in the capital.

What are the pros and cons of living in Phoenix, Arizona?

There are more pros than cons to living in Phoenix, Arizona. Pros: It’s full of entertainment, great restaurants, outdoor opportunities, and jobs. It’s close to nature and big-city life. Housing is mostly affordable, and the weather is pleasant year-round. Cons: There are some unsafe areas for families and it can get loud and crowded in more congested areas.

***

If you seek a beautiful place with endless things to do, Phoenix is calling your name. So what are you waiting for? Turn the page to your next chapter of life and make your move to one of the best Phoenix neighborhoods!

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3 Comments

  1. This is a good list for Phoenix city limits, but this perspective should encompass the entire meto Valley. There are so many wonderful neighborhoods in surrounding cities that are just as close to city center and numerous other attractions that are more affordable. Residents in the the valley don’t compartmentalize each town they will mostly view the valley as a whole and refer to parts as East or West valley. As the Valley continues to expand these gem neighborhoods will continue to be more valuable. The current Phoenix metro population is 5 million BTW.

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