Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert about an hour north of Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson. Phoenix is surrounded by mountain ranges and receives ample sunshine, earning it the nickname Valley of the Sun.
Here are some things you should know before moving to Phoenix.
Moving Season: Moving to Phoenix during the summer can considerably reduce your moving costs (for example, renting a moving truck or paying for professional movers) because it is the off-season. Winter is more expensive, and due to an influx of seasonal residents, it is more difficult to book moving trucks and companies.
Traffic: Phoenix has two interstate highways (Interstate 10 and Interstate 17) as well as numerous state highways (US Route 60 and State Routes 51, 101, 143, 202, respectively) providing access to, through, and around the city. Like any major city, freeway traffic is much heavier during high commute times and during special events.
Moving in the Summer: Phoenix is hot. The reason that summer is considered the off-season is due to days averaging well over 100 degrees (it can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit on the hottest days). In addition, late summer also has frequent afternoon monsoons, which are powerful thunderstorms that often induce street and underpass flooding or damage from lightning strikes—not to mention dust storms. If you choose to move to Phoenix in the summer, try to confine your move time to early mornings and late evenings (and drink plenty of water).
Parking: If you plan to visit Phoenix and explore the different neighborhoods and potential employers prior to moving there, pay special attention to street and parking signs. Many streets have restricted parking requiring permits or payment. In addition, even areas with ample free parking may have restrictions regarding days and times that spaces are available. You don’t want to start your move to Phoenix with a mark on your new driver’s license!
Changing Your Address: To make your move to Phoenix easier, change your address online.
Phoenix sits on 475 square miles, a third of which is undeveloped desert. The city divided into 15 urban villages in 1986 with the hopes of creating stronger community interaction, and the city places an emphasis on urban design. The urban villages are based on significant neighborhoods and areas annexed into the City of Phoenix. In addition to the 15 urban villages, there are numerous other regions and neighborhoods from which you can choose to call home.
One of the first things you’ll want to do when moving to Phoenix is to get up to speed on all of the local media outlets. Here is a list of the most widely read newspapers and publications available throughout Phoenix, as well as a roundup of local and network affiliate TV stations.
The Arizona Republic
Not only the largest newspaper in the city of Phoenix, but also the largest in the entire state, The Arizona Republic is the leading source of news for residents living in and around the Phoenix metro area. Founded in 1890, the newspaper is published seven days per week and draws roughly 350,000 daily readers, with more than 525,000 picking up each week’s Sunday edition. The Arizona Republic’s distribution is statewide, focusing on state and world news, sports and business, with a slight conservative lean. The paper also regularly features arts and entertainment listings for events in and around Phoenix, leaving clues as to the best restaurants and nightlife in the city.
Phoenix New Times
Launched in 1970, the Phoenix New Times provides coverage on local alternative headlines and is a main source of information on the city’s diverse cultural scene, including arts, music, theater, nightlife and dining. Ranked high in terms of credibility among readers and considered to have no political bias in reporting, the Phoenix New Times can be found free on newsstands and in shops throughout Phoenix every Thursday. Its circulation is just under 100,000.
La Voz Arizona
Sister publication of the Arizona Republic, La Voz Arizona (which means “The Voice”) is Phoenix’s largest Spanish-language publication, with a circulation of approximately 60,000. Reporting on local and world news, including issues of import to the city’s Latino community, La Voz Arizona began publication in 2000 and has since earned numerous awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications. The newspaper is available free of charge and appears on newsstands throughout the city on Fridays.
Dedicated to covering relevant news, politics, entertainment and feature stories for the LGBT community, the Phoenix Echo is published every two weeks. The Echo also works toward the promotion of gay-owned businesses throughout Phoenix, and is a major source of promotion for community events supporting the LGBT population.
Phoenix Local TV and News Channels
For local and world news coverage on your TV, tune to these channels.
- KNXV TV 15 (ABC affiliate)
- KPHO TV 5 (CBS affiliate)
- AZ Central (USA Today affiliate)
- KSAZ TV 10 (Fox affiliate)
- KTVW TV 33 (Spanish-language Univision affiliate)
- KTVK TV 3 (local news and entertainment coverage).
It’s no mistake that the Phoenix metropolitan area is known as the Valley of the Sun. It’s hot. Really hot. Sure, it is pleasant and warm in the spring and fall, and you might even need a jacket during the coldest days of winter (or at the least the nights), but summers are scorching. On the bright side, it’s a dry heat. Even during the monsoon months (late June/early July through early September) when it rains (or at least threatens to rain) most afternoons, the humidity manages to stay relatively tolerable.
The average daytime temperature in the summer (which tends to run from May to September) is well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The spring and fall seasons average about 85 degrees, and the winter high cools down to an average of 65 degrees. Nighttime temperatures during all seasons cool off quite a bit from the daytime highs, and range from around 45 degrees in the winter to 80-plus degrees in the summertime.
Average annual rainfall for Phoenix is 8.3 inches.
Finding the right school is one of the biggest undertakings faced by families moving to Phoenix. There are more than 30 school districts in the Phoenix area. Recent changes in state funding have taken their toll on public schools, but the area is still full of great educators providing quality education to their students.
Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Phoenix. Phoenix preschool information is also available.
Top School Districts in Phoenix
- Alhambra Elementary District
- Madison Elementary District
- Archway Classical Academy North Phoenix
- Kyrene Elementary District
- Paradise Valley Unified District
- Phoenix Union High School District
- Cave Creek Unified District
Want to take care of important (mandatory) tasks before moving to Phoenix? Many of the items required for a move to Phoenix can be found online:
- Register to vote at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office
- Register your vehicle and obtain a new driver’s license at the Arizona Department of Transportation: Motor Vehicle Division
- For tax information visit the IRS