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The skyline of Phoenix, AZ during the day. The sky is orange. There are colorful buildings in the foreground with the city skyline in the background.

The Best Neighborhoods in Phoenix for Families (Plus Some Bonus Suburbs!)

Phoenix Arizona

by Matt Lyons Posted on February 26, 2024

Whether it’s for a job opportunity or simply wanting to experience a new place, moving to Phoenix, Arizona, is a great move! Have a family in tow? Even better! It’s actually one of the best cities in the U.S. to raise a family. And home to a variety of tight-knit communities, the best neighborhoods in Phoenix for families offer top-notch public schools, safety, and lots of ways to stay active outdoors in the sunny and warm weather.

Planning a move to Phoenix? Start by getting a quote from PODS.

Along with that beautiful outdoor scenery for the nature lover to explore, Phoenix offers countless year-round family-friendly activities. Popular attractions include the Phoenix Zoo and the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. And when you want the kids to be more active, you’re not bound to the city limits; you can always head to one of the popular large parks nearby, like Mansel Carter Oasis Park or Freestone Park

But what are the best neighborhoods in Phoenix for families exactly? Here are the ones that made the top of our list — with some bonus family-friendly suburbs added in there, too.

Best Neighborhoods in Phoenix for Families — FAQs

Q: Is Phoenix a good place to raise a family?
With plenty of job opportunities, lots of family-friendly attractions, top-notch public schools, and safe neighborhoods, Phoenix is an ideal place to raise a family!

Q: Where is the best place to raise a family in Arizona?
  According to Niche, Catalina Foothills, a suburb of Tucson, is considered the best place to raise a family in Arizona. But Phoenix’s Ahwatukee Foothills neighborhood also makes the top 10!

Q: What is the nicest part of Phoenix to live in?
Several of Phoenix’s nicest neighborhoods — like Camelback East, Paradise Valley Village, and Desertview — are all located in the northeastern part of the city. 

Q: Which part of Phoenix is the safest?
Paradise Valley Village and Queen Creek are considered to be among the safest parts of Phoenix.

Phoenix at a Glance 

  • The population in Phoenix is estimated to be approximately 1.6 million.
  • The city is currently the largest in the state and 5th largest in the entire country.
  • With 24.5 percent of the population in Phoenix under the age of 18, a considerable number of families are proud to call the city home.
  • Home to more than 150 golf clubs, Phoenix is a golfer’s paradise.
  • The city is home to headquarters for companies such as Carvana, Insight Enterprises, and Avent, so it’s not uncommon for families to move to Phoenix due to a job change.
  • With close to 300 sunny days a year followed by warm temperatures and mild winters, you can feel free to explore the local beauty in Phoenix all year at spots like South Mountain Park, which is most ideal for hiking and biking.
  • The average home price is around $416,600.
  • The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,525.
  • Phoenix is great for exploring the outdoors, family-friendly attractions, diversity, job opportunities, top-notch public schools, and safety — among many other things!

The Best Neighborhoods in Phoenix for Families

As one of the largest cities in the U.S., it can feel overwhelming trying to navigate the best neighborhoods in Phoenix for families. So to give you a better idea of the best areas to live in Phoenix, AZ, check out our top picks that offer everything from fantastic public schools and a safe environment to plenty of ways to stay entertained. 

A beige two story home in Ahwatukee Foothills. There are two garages and bushes and trees in the yard.

Ahwatukee Foothills in Phoenix, AZ 
Source: LivinginPhoenixaz.com

1. Ahwatukee Foothills 

Close to 20 miles south of downtown Phoenix, Ahwatukee Foothills is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Phoenix and currently ranked as both the best place to raise a family and the best neighborhood to live in Phoenix, according to Niche. In addition to access to top-notch public schools, including BASIS Ahwatukee, this neighborhood is best known for its fabulous outdoor recreation opportunities and delicious dining options. 

Ahwatukee Foothills is situated close to the mountains, so you know there has to be some beautiful outdoor parks to explore! The South Mountain Park & Preserve, for example, is definitely a favorite among local residents, and it’s ideal for activities ranging from horseback riding to hiking to mountain biking.

Hungry? You’ll find some of the best grub around at Spinato’s Pizzeria & Family Kitchen. Enjoy a classic pasta dish or try one of the many specialty pizzas that are offered.

2. Desert View

Situated right along the Sonoran Desert, aptly named Desert View isn’t just one of the best family neighborhoods in Phoenix; it’s also one of the safe neighborhoods in Phoenix worth checking out. Although it was first established in the late 1970s and didn’t gain much traction until the early 2000s when more local businesses started to open up, it’s now ranked as the second best neighborhood to live in Phoenix by Niche. 

It’s located in a very rural area, but you’d be surprised at how much there is to do near the community. Desert Ridge Marketplace, for example, is the heart of this neighborhood and has everything you need when it comes to shopping and dining. 

The kids will love staying active at the local Reach 11 Sports Complex, as well, which has soccer fields, baseball fields, and concession stands for when you get hungry during those long tournaments! You can also run or walk along the community’s trails. And with some of the best public schools in the city nearby, such as BASIS Phoenix, you can feel confident that your kids will get a great education growing up here.

a sprawling mansion in Paradise Valley Village. The left side of the home looks like it’s under construction. There are green trees and mountains in the background.

Paradise Valley Village in Phoenix, AZ
Source: Matheson Real Estate Team

3. Paradise Valley Village 

Paradise Valley Village is just a short 25-minute drive from both downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale. Along with popular golf courses, such as Paradise Valley Golf Course, it’s home to a variety of beautiful parks, playgrounds, and hiking trails with some of the best views Phoenix has to offer!

And restaurants? It has those in droves. More than 200 in a five-mile radius, to be exact. For some coffee and a quick bite to eat before work, head to 40th Street Cafe, or treat the whole family to dinner at a popular local restaurant like Paradise Valley Burger Company.

4. North Gateway

Home to a part of the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, the sprawling neighborhood of North Gateway is situated in an open desert-like atmosphere with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities available to explore the local beauty. Lake Pleasant Regional Park, for example, is just a couple of miles away and is a great spot to take a boat out on the water or go camping. 

Besides the local outdoor wonders, North Gateway is home to The Outlets at Anthem, where you can find everything from affordable accessories to upscale designer items at stores like Coach

And as one of the best neighborhoods in Phoenix for families, North Gateway is home to plenty of top-rated schools that serve the area, including BASIS Peoria and Reid Traditional Schools.

5. Deer Valley

Located in the northern part of Phoenix right near the 1-17 and Loop 101 freeways, Deer Valley is often overlooked as one of the best family neighborhoods in Phoenix, even though it’s home to just about every amenity a family could ask for. From top-rated schools to lots of dining options and other attractions, Deer Valley is certainly one of the best neighborhoods in Phoenix to consider. 

In March of 2024, it will officially be home to one of the largest theme parks in Arizona, the 35-acre waterpark called Hurricane Harbor Phoenix that boasts water slides and a variety of other family-friendly attractions. And for the ultimate upscale shopping experience, Deer Valley’s Biltmore Fashion Park offers numerous high-end stores to choose from, including Saks Fifth Avenue.

an expansive neighborhood in Camelback East in Phoenix, AZ. There are mountains in the background and a few green trees in the foreground.

Camelback East in Phoenix, AZ 
Source: Redfin.com

6. Camelback East 

Ranked among the top five neighborhoods to live in Phoenix, according to Niche, Camelback East is one of the most popular areas around Phoenix that’s known for its vibrant culture, fun attractions, and plenty of dining options. 

When searching for homes in Camelback East, you’ll notice plenty of charming recently renovated historic homes on the market that are ideal sizes for families. And speaking of history, Wrigley Mansion, built by William Wrigley, Jr. — the owner of Wrigley gum — as a 50th-anniversary gift to his wife Ada, is one of the most famous historic landmarks in the area. Scottsdale Fashion Square is also in the area, and it features stores like Burberry, along with a diverse selection of restaurants such as Ocean 44 and Nobu.

7. North Mountain 

The North Mountain village of Phoenix is one of the most diverse communities in the area. It’s best known for its incredible outdoor fun and plethora of family-oriented attractions, including North Mountain Park. There, you can enjoy some of the most picturesque views of Phoenix, along with many trails for the whole family to keep active year-round. 

The residents of North Mountain are considered warm and friendly, and the quiet atmosphere is a bonus. Besides the scenic trails found at North Mountain Park, residents can check out family-friendly attractions, such as Castles N’ Coasters and Cave Creek Golf Course, a popular course for those of all skill levels. 

The best part? With an average home value much lower than the state average and many of the other best communities in Phoenix, North Mountain is one of the most affordable you can choose from!

The Best Suburbs of Phoenix for Families

Looking to branch out from the big city a bit? Here are our top choices for family-friendly suburbs of Phoenix.

A two-story brown and white home in Queen Creek sits on a few acres of green land with a white fence, with trees and mountains in the background.

Queen Creek in Phoenix, AZ 
Source: AZbigmedia.com

1. Queen Creek, AZ

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the main city, Queen Creek may be just the place. Another one of the safe neighborhoods in Phoenix (well, suburb actually), violent and property crime rates are lower than the national averages and other surrounding communities. Not to mention it’s known for its stunning desert landscape and many places to shop and dine. 

Looking for a fun night out with family and friends? Consider stopping in Queen Creek Olive Mill, a Mediterranean-style restaurant with pasta and pizza, order San Tan Flat, a vibrant outdoor dining location perfect for eating, mingling, and listening to live music. 

2. Gilbert, AZ

Ranked as the best suburb to raise a family in Phoenix, according to Niche, Gilbert is a growing area of Arizona that’s ideal for all walks of life but offers amenities specifically catered toward families. Top-ranked Phoenix schools such as BASIS Mesa serve the area, and there are plenty of fun things to do nearby, from exploring the outdoors to shopping to checking out the various local attractions.

The local Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is one of the most popular outdoor spots, as it features trails, gorgeous water views, and plenty of flora and fauna to admire. And you can’t go wrong with a farmer’s market! The local Gilbert Farmers Market is the perfect place to purchase locally sourced goods and other hand-crafted products. 

3. Litchfield Park, AZ

The laid-back small town of Litchfield Park, located north of Interstate 10, is home to one of the largest training centers in the world for fighter pilots: Luke Air Force Base. 

Aside from the Air Force Base, the community is most known for its scenic attractions, which include White Tank Mountain Regional Park and the Ak-Chin Pavilion (or Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre). White Tank Mountain Regional Park is home to unique petroglyphs and rock carvings, and Ak-Chin Pavilion is one of the biggest concert venues you can find in the state. 

While living in Litchfield Park, you can rest assured that your kids will get a top-notch education at public schools serving the area, like Great Hearts Academies and BASIS Goodyear

A Family with two young kids watch their PODS delivery driver close the container that sits in their driveway

PODS Can Help You Move to a Family-Friendly Neighborhood in Phoenix

Once you’ve decided on one of the best neighborhoods in Phoenix for families with your name on it, it’s time to give PODS a call to help you get there. Have your very own portable moving and storage container delivered right to your doorstep, where you can pack and load all of your belongings on your own time. PODS will then pick it up and take it to your new home when you’re ready. The best part? One month’s storage is included in each move! 

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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