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Moving to Scottsdale, Arizona

Are you planning a move to the city of sunshine? Whether you're moving to the area to take advantage of the burgeoning economy and the multiple job opportunities or to enjoy the sunny weather and warm, dry, climate, the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, can be the perfect place to relocate on your own or start a new life with your family. The Scottsdale area is known for its many attractions, an abundance of outdoor activities, and a relaxed and fun-filled atmosphere. 

Moving to Scottsdale

Scottsdale Weather

The Scottsdale area is known for its warm and sunny weather through most of the year, making the perfect climate to enjoy the many outdoor activities the city has to offer. The winter months are mild and have brisk night temperatures that drop to around the high 40s, with highs during the day around the high 60s. Average rainfall in this season is minimal when compared to other locations. 

The spring season is the best time of the year to take advantage of outdoor activities, enjoy some outdoor dining, and get out and get active. There is little rain during this time of year, and average highs are in the high 70s, with lows dipping down to the 50s. The beginning of summer is known as the dry season in Scottsdale, and there is almost no precipitation during this time of the year. The temperatures are in the high 90s during the day and the low 70s at night, but the lack of humidity makes the outdoor temperatures pleasant as long as you have periods of time indoors. 

 The second half of the summer season is known as the wet season, and the highest rainfall is during this time. Though it's not considered very significant, it can significantly raise the humidity level, which can make the highs of over 100 degrees less comfortable and the 80-degree evenings rather balmy. This is a good time of year to enjoy indoor activities with air conditioning. 

The autumnal season will see some rainfall, especially if it's a rough storm season along the Gulf Coast. The highs are around the high 80s, and the lows drop to the low 60.

Scottsdale Demographics

Located in Maricopa County, the city of Scottsdale officially uses the slogan "The West's Most Western Town." Even though it was only incorporated in 1951, the city has seen substantial growth year after year. It's in the top 100 of largest city populations in the U.S. and has a population just shy of a quarter of a million residents. The city has a thriving nightlife and social scene and is often compared to the social structure of the Miami South Beach area. The population is incredibly diverse, representing a wide range of ethnicities and culture. 

The demographics of the area skews to a younger population, with 32% of the population between the ages of 25 and 49 and 17% under the age of 18. A large part of the working population has employment in the tourism industry, with most working in the many resorts, attractions, retail facilities, and restaurants. 

History of the City

Even though the city was incorporated less than a century ago, it has a history dating back to 300 B.C. It was originally inhabited by the Hohokam, who created a series of canals used for irrigation. Many of these canals have been updated and are still being used today. The city started as a village, originally known as Vasal S-Vasoni. 

The area first saw major growth in the 1880s when U.S. Army Chaplain Winfield Scott saw its potential for agricultural ventures. He eventually bought 600 acres, and he and his brother, George Washington Scott, became the area's first residents of what was then called Orangedale. In 1894, the city was renamed Scottsdale in honor of its founder. 

The town soon established a public school system, post office, and a general store. In the 1900s, it continued to expand with the development of Granite Reef and Roosevelt dams. It received its first economic boom during World War II when it produced cotton for the war effort, though the boom came to a crashing halt after the war ended.

When the Great Depression hit the country, many artists and architects made their way to the Scottsdale area to establish residence, and the town began to grow again. From the 1970s through the 1990s, many planned communities were developed. The area expanded so much that residents were afraid its natural beauty would suffer. In an effort to preserve this, 36,000 acres of the area was preserved to protect the southwestern landscape. 

Today, the Scottsdale area relies on tourism as its primary economy. It's also home to many spas and a growing aviation industry. 

Living in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is known as a great place for those who want to raise a family. It has an abundance of safe suburban areas, low crime, and some of the best schools in the state. It's also ideal for young adults just starting out. There are plenty of job opportunities, an abundance of nightlife, great dining, and plenty of shopping opportunities. Those who love nature will enjoy Scottsdale, which has some of the best trails in the country. Scottsdale also has numerous activities.

Scottsdale is centrally located between mountains and beach areas. A drive of a few hours can take you to some of the top ski resorts, and if you enjoy days at the beach, you can travel four to five hours to some of the best beaches in California. 

Even though the temperatures get high during the year, the low humidity makes it extremely comfortable. Many homes in the area are grand, and there are numerous good areas for housing, whether you're looking to live in the suburbs or a more urban setting. For golf enthusiasts, Scottsdale is a dream come true, as it's among the best golf destinations in the world. 

Hottest Neighborhoods in Scottsdale

One of the best parts of choosing to move to Scottsdale is that the city offers so many great neighborhoods, no matter what type of lifestyle you lead. While it's hard to go wrong with any neighborhood you choose, some of the most popular areas to live in the city include:

  • McCormick Ranch. The planned community of McCormick Ranch has a history dating back over 40 years. It started as a horse ranch, known for the raising of Arabian horses. Now, the suburban community features multiple lakes and picturesque views of the mountains. It's a family-friendly area with shopping centers, churches, health care facilities, and hotels.
  • Gainey Ranch. Gainey Ranch is another planned community perfect for families. The expansive suburb covers more than 560 acres and 19 different neighborhoods that are all gated. The homes in the area range from large single-family homes to townhouses. There are also several office buildings and commercial areas. The neighborhood centers around three nine-hole golf courses and a large network of trails for hiking, biking, and walking. 
  • Downtown Scottsdale. If you're looking to be in the center of the city, downtown Scottsdale has seen significant development over the past several years. For those in love with the Western appeal of the city, Old Town may be your best option. The city is a good choice for those who enjoy active lives. Downtown boasts a bustling nightlife and art scene and offers world-class dining, shopping, and luxury apartments. 
  • North Scottsdale. This area has seen a tremendous amount of growth and houses many employees of the Scottsdale Airpark. North Scottsdale boasts a number of residential subdivisions, each of which has a unique character, as well as commercial centers and office buildings. It's one of the greatest places to work and to play in Scottsville. 

Best Schools in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is home to some of the best schools in the state. It has numerous private and public schools that include college preparation curriculum and boast high test scores and safe and productive work environments. While all the school districts in the area are highly ranked, below are some of the best schools in the area. 

Best High Schools

  • Basis High School. This school fosters both camaraderie and competition and is known for its diverse culture.
  • Great Hearts Academies. This prep school features one of the most rigorous curricula around, preparing students on the college path to any University.
  • Notre Dame Preparatory School. This private high school is known for its heavy competition and well-rounded, challenging curriculum. 

Best Elementary Schools

  • Basis Scottsdale Primary School. This elementary school is known for its encouraging staff and incorporation of diverse cultures.
  • Mission Montessori Academy. This school is known for its highly trained staff and sustainable systems.
  • Sonoran Sky Elementary School. This school boasts a knowledgeable staff that's trained to meet both the academic and social needs of the students. 

Scottsdale Job Outlook

Scottsdale is one of the top places in the country for job seekers, with most of the employment opportunities in the aviation, tourism, and health care industries. Salaries are significantly higher for those starting out than in many other U.S. cities.


Scottsdale has a number of options when it comes to transportation, enabling those in the city to get around with ease, especially if they prefer not to drive vehicles in heavy traffic. One of the most popular ways to get around the Scottsdale area is taking one of the four trolley routes. The trolleys are free to ride and can connect you to other transit systems that can get you to the Phoenix area. 

The Valley Metro Transit system is another popular public transportation option that serves both the Scottsdale area and the Phoenix metropolitan area. It also provides service to and from other valley community areas via a system of connecting buses. 

Also popular is Cab Connection, a city-funded program that provides participants with vouchers each month that provide them with transportation from their residences to designated locations. The city also offers door-to-door transportation for seniors and those with disabilities through the Valley Metro Paratransit system. 

Festivals and Fun

The city of Scottsdale is active the entire year, and its beautiful weather and long-lasting sunshine make it the perfect place for festivals and other outdoor fun. Below are some of the annual events that you need to be sure to check out when living in Scottsdale and the surrounding area. 

Scottsdale Arts Festival

Running for a week in March, the Scottsdale Arts Festival is a fantastic event for fun and culture for the whole family. The festival features art, music, activities, and food for all ages. You can test your artistic skills at the Community Art Studio, explore the Marble Mountain installation, get competitive at the scavenger hunt, and enjoy some fun at the Giant Games Garden. During the festivities, you can gain free admission to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

If you're looking for an event that has entertainment as well as cuisine to tantalize your tastebuds, you can find what you're looking for at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. The event features three stages of live music and tastings from over 35 restaurants featuring cuisines from all over the world. You also can enjoy samples of the area's best wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails. 

You can also attend one of the many culinary demos, where celebrity food experts and local chefs will show visitors how to make sausage, chocolate, chorizo, and more. They will also teach simple cooking tips and explain how to use herbs to showcase favorite culinary creations. If your tastes lean more toward libations, the Four Peaks Garden features more than 200 microbrews from some of the best local breweries as well as a vodka deck. 

If you want to bring the whole family, the kids can spend the day in the Family Fun Zone, which provides learning and play opportunities, complete with prizes, in a safe gated area. 

Scottsdale International Film Festival

Don't miss the Scottsdale International Film Festival, which features more than 50 films from countries around the world. The event features an awards ceremony, as well as a Q&A session with many of the directors and producers. Find out which films come out on top this year.

Arizona Taco Festival

Nothing says Southwest more than trying out some tasty tacos. The annual taco festival not only celebrates Mexican cuisine but also Mexican heritage and includes a weekend competition in which more than 30 teams will compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and to be crowned the top taco creator. While trying out the competition is definitely the best part, you can also enjoy some Lucha Libre wrestling, a chile pepper eating contest, and a Chihuahua beauty contest.

Salt River Fields Balloon Spectacular

Want to celebrate Halloween like you've never done before? Come out to the Salt River Fields Balloon Spectacular, which lights up the sky with more than 20 hot-air balloons. The event features balloon trick-or-treat stations ad tethered balloon rides. You also can enjoy the Haunted Trail, live music, and an unforgettable fireworks finale. 

Scottsdale Fall Festival

One of the most popular events in Scottsdale is the Scottsdale Fall Festival. Visitors will enjoy a haunted forest and pumpkin carving contest. Kids can get candy and win other prizes with the many family-friendly games. Among the best parts of the festival are the costume competitions for kids, families, and even pets. Don't forget to vote for your favorites. 

Popular Scottsdale Cuisine

Scottsdale is known for its luxury shopping and high-end cuisine that's sure to suit anyone's palette. The area is known for excellent dining, so you can't go wrong when you chose almost any of the restaurants in town. From steakhouses to brunch joints, there's no shortage of great places to grab a meal in the city of Scottsdale. Check out some of the most popular restaurants frequented by locals and tourists alike. 

Cowboy Ciao

One of the staples of the Scottsdale culinary scene for the past 20 years, Cowboy Ciao provides a twist in modern American cuisine. The menu is a blend of Southwestern, Mexican, and Italian flavors. One of the most popular menu items it the flat iron steak, which is rubbed with ancho chile and Asian five spice blend. The chef serves your steak alongside basmati rice and citrus-glazed vegetables.

Arcadia Farms Cafe

If you're looking for a great place to enjoy brunch, whether for a special occasion or on a Sunday morning, the family-owned-and-operated Arcadia Farms Cafe is the place to go. It originally started as a carryout bakery but became a full-service restaurant full of rustic charm and tasty creations. Some of the most popular menu items include the fresh berry crepes, the smoked salmon plate, and the breakfast quesadilla. 

The Montauk

One of the newest restaurants to the Scottsdale downtown lineup is The Montauk. Located in Old Town, the restaurant is known for its fantastic food offerings and Hamptons-inspired decor. It's a great place to enjoy a date night or a night out with friends, and it offers one of the busiest happy hours in the city. When stopping by, be sure to try the lobster mac and cheese, the fried chicken dinner, or the fish tacos. 

The Greene House

One of the most popular ways to dine in Scottsdale, especially during the amazing weather in the spring season, is al fresco. If you want to find the best open-air restaurant in town, be sure to stop by The Greene House. The menu includes a wide range of options, including burgers, flatbread, and even bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin. It's known for its upscale ambiance and for having the nicest dining patios in the city. It's an ideal place to enjoy a bottle of wine on a warm, sunny summer day. 

Fun Facts You Might Not Know About Scottsdale

Even though the city is not even a century old, there are still probably a number of fun facts that you may or may not know about the city of Scottsdale. 

  • The oldest building in Scottsdale is a true Victorian-era home called the Titus House.
  • Scottsdale Municipal Airport traces its roots back to World War II. Thousands of war pilots received their training in Scottsdale.
  • The city and surrounding area is home to more than 200 golf courses.
  • It was originally called Orangedale because it was considered to have the perfect conditions to grow citrus.
  • The city was the setting for a number of blockbusters including "Raising Arizona," "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," and "Wayne's World."
  • It's listed in many reports as one of the best places in the country to live.
  • It continually ranks in the top 10 for luxury home markets. 
  • The area has more than 60 miles of trails and is home to America's biggest nature reserve, The McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
  • In 1994, the chile was declared the official food of the city. 
  • The Scottsdale area became the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, who was responsible for designing many buildings and homes in the area. 
  • The city fire engines are chartreuse (also known as optic yellow) instead of the traditional red.

Things to See and Do in the City of Scottsdale 

There's no shortage of things to see and do in the city of Scottsdale and the surrounding areas. Whether you love nature, sports, unique shopping, or dining or are looking for something more thrilling, there's something for everyone in Scottsdale. Check out some of the most exciting sites and activities around the area. 

McDowell Sonoran Preserve

This large, permanently protected sustainable desert habitat enables locals and visitors to explore the untainted beauty of the Southwestern landscape. Hikes range from beginner to advanced, making it the perfect place to take some photographs and get in your daily exercise. Experienced hikers can try the rocky terrain of the Gateway Loop. If you're just starting out and want to enjoy the scenery, consider spending some time around Brown's Ranch. 

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

If you love to learn about trains, or you just enjoy riding them, you'll want to check out McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. It features concessions, model railroads, and even miniature train rides. The railroad museum helps you learn about the history of the early transportation that changed the West. Kids will love the multiple play areas, the carousel, and the gift shop. 

Butterfly Wonderland

For a fun day out, nothing can beat the beauty of Butterfly Wonderland. The state-of-the-art facility features a glass atrium and tropical rainforest habitat that features hundreds of species of butterflies from around the world. You can also enjoy a 3D "Flight of the Butterflies" movie and multiple interactive exhibits. 

Old Town Scottsdale

For history buffs, there's no better place to visit than Old Town Scottsdale. It's located right downtown and is the perfect place to enjoy a stroll and explore. You can stop at some of the award-winning restaurants, souvenir stores, unique boutiques, and fine art galleries. Be sure to check out some of the unique historical buildings, such as the Little Red Schoolhouse, Rusty Spur Saloon, and the Blacksmith Shop. It's also a great place for people watching. 

Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West

Be a part of the West by stopping by Scottsdale's Museum of the West, located right in Old Town. The 35,000-square-foot facility features artifacts and paintings that represent the history of the Western Expansion. The exhibitions frequently rotate, so be sure to stop by often. One of the most popular featured shows is the Cowboy Artists of America exhibit, which features the fine art and culture of the Western cowboy. 

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

If culture and the performing arts are what you're looking for, you can pay a visit to The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Here, you can see one of the 1,000 shows it features throughout the year. The center, which puts on both indoor and outdoor performances, is considered one of the best performing arts halls in the Western United States. The center also features unique al fresco dining and a souvenir shop. 

Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center

The kids will fall in love with the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, which is a sanctuary that has been dedicated to the rescue of wild animals that have been abandoned, found, injured, or orphaned. The center strives to rehabilitate the animals to be released into the wild. Those who aren't able will be able to live out their remaining years in the safe and peaceful habitat the conservation center provides. 

Scottsdale Fashion Square

If luxury shopping is one of your favorite pastimes, enjoy a day filled with shopping in the Scottsdale Fashion Square. You can choose from all the best name brands in the business,  such as Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. The 2-million-square-foot retail facility is the picture of opulence. It's the largest mall in Arizona and is among the largest 30 malls in the United States.

Desert Splash Adventures

There's nothing more unforgettable than a seaplane adventure. You can include up to eight guests on your journey and choose from destinations such as Roosevelt Lake, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, Sedona, and Lake Powell. The Amphibious Seaplane is truly a one-of-a-kind experience that you will never forget. Pack your lunch for the amazing full-day experience. 

Moving to Scottsdale

Planning a long-distance move to the Scottsdale area is a thrilling experience. The city features unique and affluent neighborhoods, bustling cultural and nightlife scenes, picturesque scenery, and some of the best school districts in the country. Before you make your big move, there are a few things you'll want to know to prepare yourself for life in the city of Scottsdale. 

The Living is More Affordable Than Most People Think

When people think of the Scottsdale area, they think of affluence and weather. It's no surprise when you see neighborhoods that boast million-dollar homes. It may make Scottsdale seem out of your reach. While the area is home to many wealthy residents, there are many areas that are considered more working class, such as South Scottsdale. The great thing is that the neighborhoods in the area are still fantastic, and houses can cost a third of what they cost in the more affluent neighborhoods. You also will enjoy a much higher median income, which will enable you to afford more than you could in many other cities. 

Living in Scottsdale Means Living Outdoors

There's really no good excuse to stay indoors when you live in the Scottsdale area. While there may be times during the hot summer months when you need to get a break from the heat, the abundant sunshine can make the area a wonderful outdoor haven all year long. Mountain biking and rock climbing are some of the area's most popular activities. With Camelback Mountain located just on the edge of the city, there's no excuse to avoid hiking, biking, and even horseback riding. 

Artists Don't Starve in Scottsdale

Scottsdale, one of the top cities for artists to live in the country, boasts more than 125 art galleries and studios. It's also home to a number of art markets and art festivals, with the Scottsdale Arts Festival considered one of the top art events in the United States. Not only do you have many artists making a living in the city, but you also have numerous art lovers who are happy to support artists and their craft. While not all artists end up being rich, many end up making a good living. 

Scottsdale is the Perfect Place for Man's Best Friend

Scottsdale is home to a number of dog parks, including one of the most impressive in the country, Scottsdale's Chaparral Dog Park, which separates active and passive dogs so all can enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Your furry friend is also welcome at many of the area's restaurants and local events. Bring your pooch along to the ArtWalk to get a portrait painted by a talented local artist. 

With an active social scene, burgeoning economy, and family-friendly environment, the city of Scottsdale is the perfect place to call your new home.

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