What Are The 5 Best Neighborhoods In Scottsdale, Arizona?

Kirbee Anderson
by Kirbee Anderson

If living someplace warm and sunny without the high cost of living in a place like California sounds appealing, Scottsdale, Arizona may be a good fit for you. In addition to a strong jobs market, Scottsdale has a great selection of neighborhoods to choose from. But what are the absolute best neighborhoods in Scottsdale, Arizona?

The best place to live in Scottsdale are McCormick Ranch, Downtown Scottsdale, North Scottsdale, Gainey Ranch, and Paradis Valley. McCormick Ranch is excellent for families, while Downtown Scottsdale is a great fit for young people. If you prefer luxury living, North Scottsdale and Paradise Valley are your best options.

Read on to take a look at some of the best neighborhoods that Scottsdale has to offer. You may be surprised at how they defy presuppositions.

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Why Move To Scottsdale, AZ?

Scottsdale is the perfect place to move if you can’t stomach the idea of another cold winter. With winter nighttime lows that rarely drop below the high 40s, you will not have a frequent need for a winter coat. Do be prepared to bear hot summers that feel even hotter when the rainy season hits, bringing humidity to temperatures that are already over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lots of cities in the west and southwest can give you year-round warmth, but what sets Scottsdale apart from other Sunbelt metro areas is a hot job market and a strong reputation as a city good for families. The Scottsdale Unified School District has some of the top schools in Arizona.

Scottsdale is often stereotyped as a golf community for retirees, but the city is actually a great one for younger people as well. The year-round sunny weather makes it the perfect stage for numerous festivals. There is an arts festival, culinary festival, hot-air balloon festival, fall festival, and even a taco festival. Its proximity to Phoenix and inclusion in the Phoenix-Scottsdale Metro Area makes available further opportunities for Scottsdale residents. What Scottsdale does not have can likely be found in nearby Phoenix.

Further shaking the retirement community stereotype, Scottsdale has a vibrant arts scene that includes a performing arts center and several museums. One is a historic blacksmith forge that serves as a great reminder of the city’s past.

Average home prices in Scottsdale are at $626,000. This is well above the national average but also a steal compared to other popular metro areas with a good jobs market. Of course, things can vary from place to place, so where are the best neighborhoods in Scottsdale, Arizona?

5 Best Neighborhoods In Scottsdale, Arizona

The city has a wide variety of neighborhoods to appeal to many preferences and stages of life. We will take a look at a few of the best neighborhoods in Scottsdale.

1. McCormick Ranch Tops The List Of Best Neighborhoods In Scottsdale, AZ

Formerly an Arabian horse ranch, McCormick Ranch is now a master-planned community with 67 subdivisions. McCormick Ranch is the best Scottsdale neighborhood for families.

The area has several lakes and great mountain views. There is also a diversity to the homes to satisfy a variety of budgets. Many are hacienda or desert-style homes, but given Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence on the area, you will also find some beautiful mid-century modern homes.

One subdivision, Mountain View East, is an entire development inspired by the designs and aesthetic of Wright. Fifty-one homes are in this development, and you will find clean lines, block structures, and most homes have a pool. The lots are also large, with a minimum of 7,000 square feet. Other subdivisions have seen some new builds go up recently in this same style.

Residents can find all that they need in the neighborhood. There are shopping centers, health care facilities, post offices, dining, and more. Several parks are either in the neighborhood or adjacent to it, and some even connect to the city’s Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt.

The greenbelt is the result of a world-renowned flood control project that turned a floodplain into over 11 miles and is an oasis of green vegetation through the desert. Most importantly, it allows bikers, joggers, and walkers to safely travel outside of the flow of traffic and avoid crossing busy streets.

Also in or on the perimeter of the neighborhood are the Talking Stick Resort, aquarium, and butterfly emporium. Baseball fans will love to know that the spring training facility for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies is also at the edge of McCormick Ranch.

The median home sold price in this neighborhood is $625,000.

  • Walk Score: 24
  • Bike Score: 59
  • Transit Score: 28

2. Downtown Scottsdale Is One Of The Best Neighborhoods In Scottsdale, AZ

For fewer families and more nightlife, Downtown Scottsdale is the place to be. Downtown Scottsdale is the best neighborhood for young people. It is designed to be a live, work, and play area like San Antonio’s River Walk.

The city center has a good amount of nightlife, has an art scene, and has plenty of traditional city amenities like great dining, shopping, and upscale living in luxury apartments and condos.

Downtown is pedestrian-friendly with views of the desert that give it an exotic feel. It is near Scottsdale Fashion Square and the 5th avenue shops, which are two major retail areas that draw people from across the city and the surrounding area.

Within downtown Scottsdale is a section called Old Town. This is the historic part of downtown and is also the part that draws the most tourists. Part of the reason it draws people to the area is that there is just so much to do. Old Town is very pedestrian-friendly.

You’ll find a public art walk, and an even better walk is the Scottsdale Wine Trail. Five wineries coordinated a wine-tasting passport, and they all have tasting rooms within a few blocks in Old Town.

The median home price in downtown Scottsdale is $412,000. There’s a wide range of homes ranging from median single-family homes and condos all the way to multi-million dollar condos in this part of town.

  • Walk Score: 73
  • Bike Score: 82
  • Transit Score: 52

3. North Scottsdale

This is one of the best neighborhoods in Scottsdale, Arizona when it comes to luxury. This area abounds with luxury estates. The median home price is above Scottsdale’s average at $875,000. Homes at the lower end of the price range are one-bedroom condos, often under 1,000 feet. Additionally, there are lots of employment opportunities and retail in the area, so moving to North Scottsdale for huge homes and lots does not mean that you are sacrificing the conveniences.

Technology and the healthcare industry both create many job options in this neighborhood. AirPark alone employs over 55,000 people. North Scottsdale is actually home to half of the population of Scottsdale.

There are plenty of golf courses and country clubs for entertainment, and North Scottsdale is a good location for those who want access to Phoenix as well as Scottsdale itself. It is 30-40 minutes to Phoenix and 20-30 minutes to downtown Scottsdale.

  • Walk Score: 58
  • Bike Score: 65
  • Transit Score: 36

4. Gainey Ranch

Sometimes people frown upon the lack of spontaneity in a master-planned community, but Gainey Ranch is an example of a well-planned community that gives amenities that are hard to find in non-planned neighborhoods. Gainey Ranch is among the best neighborhoods in Scottsdale, Arizona, to meet all your needs in one place.

When you move to Gainey Ranch, you will be able to stay there for days without leaving the neighborhood. There are multiple golf courses, a commercial area, and a great network of paths for walking, running, and biking. Gainey Ranch is a series of gated communities, so many people describe it as having a resort feel.

There is an estate club with a fitness center and tennis courts, and the neighborhood is subject to some neighborhood-wide rules to maintain the curb appeal of the area. Anyone considering a move to Gainey Ranch should be aware of these restrictions and thoroughly research them prior to committing to the neighborhood. There are both the Gainey Ranch neighborhood standards and local subdivision rules.

The median home price in Gainey Ranch is $750,000. You will find mostly single-family homes, but there are also golf patio homes and townhomes available.

  • Walk Score: 24
  • Bike Score: 59
  • Transit Score: 28

5. Paradise Valley

Although Paradise Valley is not within Scottsdale proper, it is in many ways synonymous with Scottsdale and worth noting when discussing the best places to live in Scottsdale, AZ. This town of fewer than 20,000 people is home to 8 tourist resorts! Children in Paradise Valley attended Scottsdale schools, so the two cities are very closely tied together and are only separated by 3 miles.

Paradise Valley is an enclave for the ultra-wealthy who can afford multi-million dollar estates and want private retreats with outstanding views of the desert and mountains.

There are many things to do in Paradise Valley, and a good majority of them are upscale. You can dine, drink, and socialize at the Paradise Valley Country Club. There is a pool, spa, fitness center, and of course, golf. You can enjoy a day or night out at El Chorro Lodge, shop at the Scottsdale Marketplace, or enjoy that many outdoor access points.

Paradise Valley has multiple trailheads to access the Sonoran Desert and take in the beautiful scenery and wildlife of the area.

The median home price in Paradise Valley is $2.26 million.

  • Walk Score: 49
  • Bike Score: 75
  • Transit Score: 39

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Takeaways About The Best Neighborhoods In Scottsdale

Scottsdale is undoubtedly a hot place to live right now, both literally and figuratively. Long a destination for snowbirds, it now benefits from a strong jobs market that pulls in year-round residents. Depending on just how lucrative that job is for you, there are several best neighborhoods in Scottsdale, Arizona, to choose from.

Much of Scottsdale is now oriented to family, and McCormick Ranch, North Scottsdale, and Gainey Ranch are great neighborhoods to manage the stage of life with young children. Downtown Scottsdale really offers the nightlight, dining, and pedestrian accommodations that make being young and single one of the best stages of life.

Related Questions

What is the crime like in Arizona?

With roughly 26 crimes per square mile, Arizona’s crime rate nearly matches the national average of 26.9 crimes per square mile. Violent crime and property crime rates are slightly higher than the US average.There are roughly 35,980 violent crimes per year in Arizona, and your chances of being a victim of one are 1 in 199. Approximately 165,323 property crimes occur each year, and your chances of becoming a victim are 1 in 43.Some of the most dangerous cities in Arizona are Globe, Tolleson, Page, Winslow, and Tucson. The cities considered some of the safest are Florence, Gilbert, San Luis, and Oro Valley.

How is the cost of living in Arizona?

Arizona’s overall cost of living is only slightly higher than the national average, roughly 2% higher. Healthcare and grocery costs are typically lower than the US average, while transportation, housing, and utilities are higher. The median income in Arizona is roughly $62,055 and the median home price is $349,300.If you choose to rent in Arizona you can expect to pay about $906 a month for a studio apartment and $1,214 for a two-bedroom apartment. A four-bedroom apartment could cost you nearly $2,000.

Kirbee Anderson
Kirbee Anderson

Kirbee is a licensed attorney and real estate broker, but DIY projects of all kinds call to her. Kirbee loves being at home with her husband, daughter, and dog and investing her time and energy into projects to make their home a unique and comfortable place for all of them. Her favorite projects include gardening, building new items, and creating solutions to manage clutter.

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