About the Phoenix Region

Phoenix photoThe Phoenix region is a growing metropolitan area composed of not only the major city of Phoenix, but also the notable minor cities of Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe. Phoenix, as the capital of Arizona and focus of the state government, is an operational hub of concentrated activity that drives the commerce of the surrounding areas. The entire region embraces a friendly atmosphere both to visitors and residents of the state best displayed in vacation packages, work environments and retirement lifestyles. The spectacular surrounding landscape and geography are undeniably the most striking features of the area, which offer facilities adjustable for a wide variety of outdoor activity participation in the Sonoran Desert, the Grand Canyon, and in addition, more metropolitan cultural attractions in the city. The Phoenix region presents a plethora of unique, as well as traditional events, specialized destination affairs along with the more simple pleasures of the region. The city of Phoenix is the largest city in the state of Arizona and is located in Maricopa County.

Phoenix Metro Area

The term Phoenix metro region in our directory covers Maricopa County and, although Phoenix is the largest city in the area, includes other moderate sized cities in the area including Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale and Tempe.

Phoenix's Climate

Phoenix is a popular year-round retirement destination for seniors, yet also serves as a winter haven for residents of northern America escaping the snowfall and chilled temperatures of these states. The area has an average of 325 blissful days of sunshine per year with an average annual temperature of 85 degrees. Some of the benefits of the local climate are due to the pleasant proximity to the nearby Sonoran Desert. High altitude desert spots provide mildly composed weather mixes of moderately high day temperatures and wonderfully cool nights. Phoenix is truly blessed with one of the most magnificent climates in the country.

History of the Area

The city of Phoenix, surrounded by stunning Tonto National Forest to the Northeast and the Gila River Indian Reservation to the South, is full of vivid cultural history and tradition. Arizona was founded on February 14,1912 as the forty-eighth state of the union, with its capital being Phoenix, the city itself being accepted as a municipality in 1881. At first, the Phoenix area was inhabited by the Hohokam Indians, some think as early as 300 B.C., bringing water to the region for the improvement of farming through a network of complete irrigation tunnels spanning almost 135 miles.

After the disappearance of the Hohokam, a man name Jack Swilling discovered the beauty and agricultural potential of the Phoenix area in 1867, when he and his horse, halting their travels, came to a stop at the base of the White Tank Mountains. A former confederate soldier himself, Swilling became the postmaster of Phoenix in 1868 after the town was finally named, ending a name-shifting streak which included the titles Swilling's Mill, Hellinwig Mill, Mill City and East Phoenix. Eventually Darrell Duppa suggested the name Phoenix, which he felt symbolized the rebirth of a new community out of the remains of an ancient one, referring to the demise of the Hohokam Indian tribe.

In addition to its curious history, the city of Phoenix has also been honored with numerous awards in the last several years. Since 1950, Phoenix has been chosen as an All-America City on four individual occasions, signaling its remarkable importance in keeping small-town American ideology alive through the use and integration of a highly active and dedicated citizen-involved government. Also, in 1993 Phoenix was chosen as "The Best Run City in the World" recipient, more commonly referred to as the Carl Bertelsmann Prize, for its exceptional ability in organizing and running a healthy and efficient municipal government. Phoenix shared this honor with Christchurch, New Zealand.

Phoenix's Attractions

A noteworthy part of the attraction of Phoenix is the spectacular scenery, which composes the significance of the region. Whether it is for seniors, children or grandchildren visiting the area, Phoenix offers casual outdoor pleasures such as walking trails and paths but also more vigorous open-air activities such as mountain biking, air and jeep tours, Grand Canyon explorations and visits to the Sonoran Desert. Showcasing the true west of the arid United States, both in the fascinating history of the old west and in the development of the contemporary west, charming attitudes and relaxed lifestyles are combined to create a concentrated ambiance of blushing skyline paired with tranquil regional mannerisms all within the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

At the pulse of Phoenix are a variety of cultural attractions, which display the Spanish, Native American and Mexican influences interwoven within the cuisine, architecture and retail outlets. Residents and visitors will find an assortment of galleries, indoor and outdoor destination malls, local museum attractions and fine dining destinations. Keeping in custom with the finest American traditions of the nation, Phoenix displays a diverse ethnic blend of many cultures making the area a fascinating place to visit, live and explore.

The Phoenix region is also well known for its golf courses. The region's climate provides the perfect complement for not only swinging the nine iron, but for maintaining a high quality of golf course terrain. In addition to world-class golf and ideal sports weather conditions, the city of Phoenix has four major professional sport teams for the spectator in all of us.

Below is some interesting information on the six moderately sized cities within the Phoenix metro area:

  • Chandler - One of the fastest growing cities in Maricopa County, Arizona, Chandler has a population of 220,705, up by almost 25% from the year 2000. Renowned for its annual Ostrich Festival, Chandler is also the hometown of two NFL team members; Adam Archuleta of the St. Louis Rams, and Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens.
  • Gilbert - As the fastest growing town in the US with over 100,000 people, the city of Gilbert was noted for growing at a 42% rate in the year 2004, easily making it one of the most promising areas in the Tucson region. Also promoting a great sense of community and fellowship, the annual town festival of Gilbert Days in late November signifies the date of when the town boulevard, Gilbert road, was finally paved all the way through town.
  • Glendale - Home to the NFL's Phoenix Coyotes, the NLL's Arizona Sting and now to the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, Glendale Arizona is a large metropolitan suburb of Phoenix bustling with excitement and action for all ages.
  • Mesa -As the third largest city in Arizona, after Tucson, Mesa has a sizeable population, even larger than the cities of St. Louis, Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh. Originally founded by Mormon settlers after the decline of the Pima Native American Tribe, Mesa is now home to many community attractions, like the town amphitheater, and also to the spring training efforts of the Chicago Cubs! Mesa, Arizona, who knew?
  • Scottsdale - Named one of the premier tourist destinations in the country and titled "The Beverly Hills of the Desert" by the New York Times, Scottsdale displays some of the finest atmosphere and benefits the west has to offer. With a comfortable population of 202, 705 divided into four distinctive areas, Scottsdale displays many upbeat social attractions without lacking in arenas excellent for serenely private contemplation as well.
  • Tempe - A two time "All-America" City Award winner, for its proclivity in the activity of its residents to become personally involved in the proceedings of the local government. Besides being the receipt of several valued honors, Tempe is strikingly beautiful with its native cacti set against cobalt skies and is also home to the campus of ASU, the Fiesta Bowl and the largest New Year's party in America.

Transportation in Phoenix

In the Phoenix metro area, there are a variety of transportation services available for total use by individuals of all ages. These transportation options include Valley Metro public bus lines, park-and-ride lots, dial-a-ride services, which are particularly useful for seniors, and Car/Vanpool alternatives. All of these services are located within the Phoenix metro area and surrounding suburbs and many are even offered around the state.

Encompassing over sixty bus routes and multiple bus pick-ups as well as two main transit centers, the MetroCenter Transit Center and the Sunny-Slope Transit Center, as well as the Park-and-ride "Dreamy Draw" hub located off of Shea and SR 51. The Dial-a-ride service is an option for those who cannot access local transportation services like traditional fixed-bus routes and stops. This paratransit service includes pick-up and drop off for seniors and those with disabilities by way of personal oversized van usage from the convenience of home.

Car and Vanpools are what many working individuals already use all over the country to save them money on transit expenses through the use of vehicles and cost sharing. Vanpools typically offer services to between seven and fifteen riders who pay monthly fees for gas, maintenance and insurance of the automobiles.

Senior Services in the Phoenix Region

Phoenix's pleasant seasons and comfortably moderate size make it a very appealing location for fulltime and part-time senior residents. The city offers the conveniences of a larger metropolitan area by embracing an excellent infrastructure of senior housing, transportation, medical and educational sources. Seniors in the area will find an assortment of senior housing ranging from continuum of care communities, independent retirement communities, assisted living, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's assisted and skilled nursing. Other senior services include home health care and associated agencies, home medical services and senior support services such as homemakers and companions.

Use our Search Senior Services link to learn more about the variety of senior housing and senior support services located in the Phoenix metro area. Use our Resources web page to learn more about Phoenix and the surrounding area.

Photography courtesy of Robin Christopher Baggot