While many people are familiar with popular Phoenix neighborhoods for nightlife and shopping, fewer people associate Phoenix-proper with family friendliness. However, you do not have to move into the suburbs to find great family friendly neighborhoods in Phoenix (though if that is your bag, there are plenty great suburban neighborhoods in the area too). So Century 21 Northwest thought it would be a great idea to put a list of the top neighborhoods in Phoenix.
The top neighborhoods in Phoenix
Families considering neighborhoods in Phoenix (or anywhere, for that matter) understandably have safety at the top of their minds. While the overall crime rate in Phoenix is not shocking considering the size of the city, there are certainly some neighborhoods in Phoenix that are exceptionally safe.
Paradise Valley Village
Paradise Valley Village (not to be confused with the City of Paradise Valley) is a 43 square mile area centered around the Paradise Valley Mall. The boundaries of Paradise Valley Village extend from the Phoenix Mountains to the Central Arizona Project. With the City of Scottsdale forming the eastern boundary and 16th Street forming the boundary on the west. Among other characteristics making this a great Phoenix neighborhood for families, the area has one of the lowest instances of crime in the City of Phoenix.
An affluent area in central Northeast Phoenix. Named after the landmark Arizona Biltmore Hotel that was built near 24th Street and Camelback Road in 1929, this neighborhood in Phoenix is indeed safe. Though families considering neighborhoods in Phoenix will also want to note that the population in the Biltmore area tends to be older, so it might be more difficult to schedule play dates.
Bordered by South Mountain Park, Pecos Road to the south and Interstate 10 on the eastern side, separating it from Chandler, Tempe, and Guadalupe, Ahwatukee Foothills is highly underrated in terms of family friendly Phoenix neighborhoods. It is the southernmost of Phoenix’s 15 urban villages (the way Phoenix neighborhoods and communities have been divvied up since 1979), it is sometimes called “the world’s largest cul de sac.” When compared to other Phoenix neighborhoods, Ahwatukee Foothills is relatively isolated, which contributes to its exceptionally low crime rate.
In between east Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arcadia is a historic Phoenix neighborhood that is among the most coveted in the entire metro area. Built on former orange groves, the Arcadia neighborhood is located between 44th Street and 68th Street as well as Oak Street and Camelback Mountain. The neighborhood is characterized by many large (mostly midcentury) ranch style homes on oversized lots. So in addition to being an exceptionally safe Phoenix neighborhood, kids who live in Arcadia can usually bank on having a large backyard to play in. Be forewarned, though, the competition to buy reasonably priced homes in Arcadia can be fierce given the area’s popularity.
Neighborhoods in Phoenix with the best schools
When considering Phoenix neighborhoods, parents and families do not need to get overly worried getting out their Phoenix neighborhoods map to compare with school district boundaries. The state of Arizona has been a pioneer when it comes to school choice, having enacted measures to create a statewide open enrollment policy as early as the 1980s. Because of this policy, can enroll in any public state-funded school of their choosing, regardless of attendance boundaries, just so long as there is room in the school. This is great news for parents who find they may have difficulty affording or liking homes in a specific area and would rather live somewhere else nearby. Having said that, here are the Phoenix neighborhoods with perhaps the best schools, a good starting point when deciding which areas families should start their house hunts in.
The Deer Valley Unified School District encompasses parts of north Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Anthem and New River. The neighborhood in Phoenix known as Deer Valley is centered between Interstate 17 and Arizona Loop 101, bordering Glendale and Peoria. Barry Goldwater High School, located in the Deer Valley neighborhood, is especially touted for its International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program and (the International Baccalaureate) Middle Years Program (for ninth and 10th graders).
Just east of the Phoenix portion of the Deer Valley Unified School District, the Paradise Valley Unified School District serves northeast Phoenix as well as some parts of Scottsdale. North Canyon High School and Pinnacle High School are both located in the area and are frequently mentioned in any materials discussing the best schools in Phoenix.
Containing parts of both the Biltmore and Arcadia neighborhoods, Camelback East is the official name of the large urban village recognized by the City of Phoenix as the area sitting between Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. Camelback East is mostly served by the Creighton School District (though Arcadia kids usually go to the Scottsdale Unified School District). Creighton is home to award winning schools and churns out some of the Valley’s best and brightest.
If you would like to learn more about neighborhoods in Phoenix, feel free to call or drop us a line. Whether you are new to the Phoenix area or are interested in some neighborhoods that might have changed without you realizing, we pride ourselves on our ability to find the right neighborhood for every family and lifestyle.