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Cities in the Phoenix-Metro Area

Phoenix is one of the most heavily-populated cities in the United States with over 1.7 million residents. Phoenix is a city that people from all over the world visit and it is also officially the 5th-largest city in the United States. Phoenix is an ideal setting for a family vacation because the area offers a wide variety of attractions and fun experiences. Phoenix is also home to several remarkable museums and it’s also a popular destination for its warm and gorgeous year-round climate. Phoenix is a cultural epicenter located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert.

Mesa is the third-largest city in the state of Arizona with a whopping 500,000 people. The city is situated on the outskirts of Phoenix about 12 miles southwest of Scottsdale. Similar to Phoenix, downtown Mesa is also a culturally diverse area that’s home to a wide range of art galleries and studios. The most popular cultural attractions in the area are the Commemorative Air Force Museum and the Mesa Historical Society & Museum. Mesa also offers an excellent nightlife experience along with an array of dining and shopping experiences.

With a population of just over 250,000 people, Chandler is one of Arizona’s hidden gems. The climate in Chandler is hot and arid year-round which makes it the perfect place to live for outdoor enthusiasts. Chandler also offers plenty of options when it comes to art and entertainment. Some notable venues and museums include the Arizona Railway Museum, the Chandler Center for the Arts, and the Commemorative Air Force Museum. Chandler is one of the fastest-growing communities in Arizona and the city features plenty of modernized architecture including a recently renovated City Hall.

Scottsdale is a suburb of northeastern Phoenix that has a population of over 250,000 people. Living in Scottsdale is like being on vacation year-round because it’s always hot and sunny outside (the area averages 330 days of sunshine in a year). The city’s motto is “The west’s most Western town” which was officially adopted during the 1950s when Scottsdale was incorporated as a town. Everywhere you go in Scottsdale you will discover remnants of the old west, whether it’s a saloon or someone dressing up as a cowboy or cowgirl.

Glendale is a suburban community located 15 minutes northwest of downtown Phoenix and the city has a population of nearly 250,000 people. Glendale is home to the famous State Farm Stadium where the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals play their home games. Also located in Glendale is the Gila River Stadium where the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes play their home games. Glendale is also home to several unique attractions and entertainment venues that provide residents with ample opportunity to get out and enjoy their evenings and afternoons.

Gilbert is a medium-sized suburban city with a population of roughly 240,000 people and located 24 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix. During the 20th century, Gilbert was referred to as the “Hay Capital of the World” because the area was primarily an agricultural community. In recent years, Gilbert has flourished into a modern economic powerhouse. The community features two municipal swimming pools, two community centers, a recreation center, and 14 public parks. Gilbert is also home to the famous “Gilbert’s Day” event which is a three-day celebration of the achievements and heritage of the community.

Tempe is a suburb located about 10 minutes east of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The city has a population of roughly 185,000 people and it is home to the prestigious Arizona State University. US Airways is also headquartered in Tempe, the city has a lively mixture of history, shopping, culture, dining, nightlife, sports, and special events. Tempe also offers plenty of outdoor activities to residents and visitors of the area, including rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking. The nightlife in Tempe is also a big reason why people travel to the area for the weekend, as the area has a solid collection of nightclubs, cafes, and breweries.

Peoria is a moderately-sized suburban community located on the northwestern outskirts of the Phoenix metropolitan area. With a population of roughly 170,000 people, Peoria is home to the nearby Lake Pleasant Regional Park which offers visitors a large variety of recreational options. This includes camping, fishing, boating, and many more outdoor activities. Also located in the area is the Peoria Historical Society Museum which features several exhibits that preserve and tell the story behind the origins of Peoria. Peoria is also a great place to live if you’re a baseball fan because the greater Phoenix area is where the Cactus League takes place (MLB spring training).

Surprise is also a suburban area even further northwest from downtown Phoenix. The city has a population of around 135,000 people and the city has experienced a dramatic amount of growth in recent years. Some of the attractions that the area has to offer include the Bead Museum, the West Valley Art Museum, and Lake Pleasant. Both of these museums feature artifacts and relics that preserve the local history and culture of the area. Surprise is also home to notable higher education opportunities, which include Ottawa University and Rio Salado College.

Avondale is a modern suburban city located west of downtown Phoenix with a population of roughly 84,000 people. Over the past decade, the population has exploded by growing at a rate of 114%. The city also estimates that there will be over 100,000 residents in the coming years. Many residents relocate to Avondale because the community is safe and offers many recreational amenities. Avondale has one of the fastest-growing economies in Arizona and the area is attracting new business and employers every year.

Goodyear has a modest population of just over 79,000 people, making it one of the smaller suburban cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Goodyear is situated along the Estrella Mountain Range and the area features more than 188 square miles of plains, rivers, and trails for hiking. Goodyear is also known for its geographical diversity; upon visiting the area, you will discover lush green trees, wetlands, and beautiful desert landscapes. As recently as 2008, Goodyear was the recipient of the All-America City award and City Livability award.

Buckeye is also a small suburban community of the greater Phoenix area with a population of 68,000 people. The city is located on the southwestern edge of the metropolitan area near the Estrella Mountain Range. Buckeye is a fast-growing community that offers an incredible quality of life for its residents. Buckeye is the place to live if you are an outdoor enthusiast as the area offers you ample opportunity to go mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping. Buckeye is also home to the Skyline Regional Park which features breathtaking mountain views and seven different camping sites.

Casa Grande is a suburb of Phoenix located on the southeastern edge of the metropolitan area. With a population of nearly 55,000 people, Casa Grande is a historic town and tight-knit community. Many local events take place in Casa Grande which attract people from all over the region. This includes live concerts, car shows, walking tours of historic sites, fine-arts shows, fly-ins, and festivals. Many of the events and celebrations in Casa Grande honor and commemorate the local history and Native American culture.

Maricopa is one of Arizona’s oldest communities and it offers a different vibe from both Phoenix and the surrounding areas. Maricopa is known for its agricultural origins and the city served as an important stop for the now-defunct Butterfield Overland Mail route. The city now has a population of roughly 48,000 people, which represents a whopping 220% increase from 2005. Residents of the area also boast of a median household income of $70,000 which greatly exceeds the national average. Some of the largest employers in the area include Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino, Maricopa Unified School District, and Fry’s Food Store.

Apache Junction is located 35 miles east of the Phoenix metropolitan area and the small suburban city borders the historic Superstition Mountains. The iconic mountain range is a popular destination for adventurers and tourists from all over the country. Apache Junction is also home to the Lost Dutchman State Park where you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, which include hiking, camping, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities. Another popular tourist attraction is the Goldfield Ghost Town where you can explore Arizona’s beautiful deserts and canyons.

Queen Creek is a small rural community in central Arizona located about 45 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix. In the early 200s, the area experienced a great deal of economic growth and expansion. Over the years Queen creek has maintained its small-town appeal while sustaining tremendous growth and providing more employment opportunities for its residents. Like much of the surrounding areas, Queen Creek experiences 330 days of sunshine in an average year. It’s also a great place to live if you love being outside and exploring nature.

Located 35 minutes northwest of downtown Phoenix, El Mirage is a beautiful suburban community with a population of roughly 35,000 people. El Mirage was formerly an agricultural community before transforming into a diverse urban city in 2010. Many of the residents of El Mirage say the area offers you that small vibe while also providing you with access to big city amenities via downtown Phoenix. In recent years, the city has invested heavily in public safety and recreational resources. This includes the construction of a new fire station, new police station, the Northwest Valley Family YMCA facility, and a New City Hall.

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