Moving to Arizona Guide: Discover the Grand Canyon State
We created this guide for moving to Arizona to help those who are in their very early stages of researching where they’d like to move. So, what exactly do you need to know before moving to Arizona? We’ve complied some of the most important items you should consider when making this big decision. According to 2020 Census data, Arizona was in the top ten fastest growing states of the last decade, with a solid 11.9% growth in population. So, is Arizona the right state for you to move?
What You Need to Know about Arizona’s Geography
Arizona is a Southwest “Sun Belt” state that shares the Four Corners region with Utah to the north, Colorado to the northeast, and New Mexico to the east. Nevada and California border Arizona to the west, and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California are to the south and southwest. Fun Fact: Arizona was the forty-eight and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union!
If you love exploring the outdoors, Arizona may be the right place for you. With an area of 113,990 square miles, Arizona is home to twenty-four National Park Service maintained sites. In fact, the state is the well-known home of xerophyte plants such as the cactus and the less well-known home of pine-covered mountain forests. Arizona is also home to one of the most well-preserved meteorite impact sites in the world!
From Grand Canyon National Park to Saguaro National Park, named for the saguaro cactus that does not grow naturally anywhere else, and not to forget the Petrified Forest National Park in Navajo and Apache counties known for its fossils, you’re sure to be inspired by Arizona’s natural beauty. The variety in the typography is just one of the many things to love about Arizona.
Arizona’s highest point is Humphreys Peak, and it stands at 12,637 ft tall. By comparison, Arizona’s lowest point is in the Colorado River at the border with Mexico, and that’s only 72 ft! Speaking of low points, the Grand Canyon, considered a natural wonder of the world, drops to a depth of almost a mile!
Moving to Arizona Guide on the Weather in Arizona
Arizona’s climate varies widely depending on where in the state you go. In the lower elevations, the climate is primarily desert, with mild winters and extremely hot summers. In areas of higher elevation, the climate is cooler with cold winters and mild summers, though the climate remains semiarid to arid. It may surprise you to learn that extremely cold temperatures are not unknown and temperatures below 0 degrees are possible!
This just means monthly normal high and low temperatures really depend on where in the state you live. Winters across the state can see low temperatures in the teens all the way up down to below zero. Summertime is when Arizona really heats up with highs over one hundred!
The state has dangers associated with earthquakes and extreme heat, which should be something to consider if you plan to build a home after moving to Arizona.
Moving to Arizona Guide on Getting a Job in the Grand Canyon State
If you’re looking for a place to grow your career, consider moving to Arizona! According to an article published by the Arizona Governor’s office, at the time of writing this article, the state of Arizona has seen a steady job growth rate compared to the rest of the United States. Moreover, in 2021, Arizona employers added jobs faster than any other state!
Arizona continues to add more drops, resulting in a steady unemployment rate of around 6.7%. Industries showing solid job gains included health care and social services, aerospace, and manufacturing. As more people move to the state, the demand for tourism services is also expected to increase.
What’s the situation on buying alcohol in Arizona?
Who isn’t curious about how to toast moving to a new state! Alcohol-licensed businesses can serve alcohol from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. However, they can’t allow any drinking after 2:30 a.m. Nor may customers have alcohol in open containers between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. In fact, no alcohol is state controlled in Arizona meaning you can buy alcohol in grocery stores across the state.
Fun fact: Arizona’s state drink is lemonade – no alcohol required!
What is there to do in Arizona?
Hopefully you like hiking and camping! Arizona’s nickname, the Grand Canyon State, references the Grand Canyon, of course, but there is so much more to see besides this natural wonder. The Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River, the West Mitten at Monument Valley, and the Blue Mesa at Petrified Forest National Park are just a few of the many natural sights that will make every weekend an adventure! Looking for something a little wild?
The Phoenix Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona, is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoon in the country, and the state’s many conservation areas might pique your interest, too!
Another choice is to head over to Phoenix for culture, food, and fun. A growing big city, Phoenix boasts a variety of fun and interesting things to do including the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Art Museum. However, if you’re like us, we’re sure you’ll agree that outdoor Arizona is the best. You’ll be in awe each and everything you step outside!
Important State Symbols in Arizona
The state of Arizona has over twenty official state symbols; we’ve included a few of our favorites here. The first, and most important, is the state gem – turquoise! Arizona is currently the most important producer of turquoise by value in the United States, and Indigenous communities who originally inhabited the territory have treasured the gem for centuries! The state fish is the Apache Trout, and the state flower is the Saguaro Cactus Blossom. Another one of our favorite Arizona symbols is the state neckwear: the Bola Tie. Probably the most unexpected state symbol is the state fossil – Petrified Wood!
Lesser-Known FAQs About Moving to Arizona
Q: What is the capital of Arizona?
A: The capital of Arizona is Phoenix. Greater Phoenix is also the most populated city in Arizona. The Phoenix metropolitan area, known as the Valley of the Sun, includes two counties with a combined population of almost five million residents making it the most populated metropolitan area in Arizona and the eleventh largest metropolitan area in the nation by population. If you plan to move to Arizona, you’ll probably find yourself in the Valley of the Sun!
Q: How do Arizona’s public schools rank nationally?
A: According to a study by US News, Arizona public high schools rank 35/50 in a national breakdown tracking state-by-state high school performance. While education quality can vary widely depending on where in the state you live, this report takes the weighted average of the state’s high school performance into consideration.
Q: What kind of taxes can you expect to pay in Arizona?
A: Taxpayers in Arizona face below-average income tax rates and property tax rates, along with very low gas taxes. Currently, Arizona has four individual income tax brackets with rates ranging from 2.59% to 4.5%. Other types of taxes in Arizona include property taxes and a vehicle license tax. But the tax you might encounter most consistently is the Arizona “transaction privilege tax,” which is the sales tax. The state’s transaction privilege tax rate is 5.6%, and counties and municipalities can levy their own additional tax.
Property taxes on residential homes are handled at the county level in Arizona, and homeowners pay their property taxes to the county (not the state’s revenue office). Finally, since 2005, Arizona has not imposed an estate tax, and the state also doesn’t tax inheritances.
Q: What’s it like to vote in Arizona?
A: If you are a first-time voter, you must prove the following in order to register: that you are a U.S. citizen; that you are a resident of Arizona and your county at least twenty-nine days preceding the election; that you are at least eighteen years old on or before the next general election; that you have not been convicted of treason or a felony; that you are not currently declared an incapacitated person by a court of law; and that you are able to write your name or make your mark.
Arizona does offer early voting, and you will need to bring ID to vote in person. There is also the option to vote by mail, which requires an application, and Arizona does not offer registration on Election Day.
Q: What are the rules for switching your driver’s license in Arizona?
A: If you have an out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to transfer it for an Arizona license. The good news is that if you’re licensed in another U.S. state, you can transfer your license easily without taking a written or road test! What you’ll need to do is apply for an Arizona license in person at your local Motor Vehicle Department or an authorized third-party driver’s license provider. You’ll then need to provide required documentation as indicated online, pass a vision test, and then pay the licensing fee. After that, you’re good to get going!
Q: When do you need to update your car plates in Arizona?
A: If you are a new Arizona resident, you must register your previously titled or registered vehicle with the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT). You’ll need a completed and signed Title and Registration Application, an emissions compliance form if you’re in Phoenix or Tucson, a Level I vehicle inspection if missing the out-of-state title or registration, the out-of-state license plates, and payment of all applicable title and registration fees.
Q: What’s it like driving in Arizona?
A: Like most state, the driving conditions in Arizona are very different in urban and rural areas. Thankfully, Arizona, in a tie with Texas, ranked at number 22 as the state with the worst drivers in America. Now, that doesn’t mean Arizona drivers are perfect – there’s just too much to look at out the window of the car!
Q: Does Arizona have any walkable cities?
A: Of all cities in Arizona, the best bet for having a walkable lifestyle is going to be in Tempe, Tucson, or Phoenix, However, that’s going to be difficult because of the extreme summer heat. Each city has public transportation available, and the systems are still expanding. Just be sure to put on sun screen and pack water!
Is Arizona the Right State for You to Move?
For those of you looking for outdoor adventure, while still enjoying the creature comforts of city living, Arizona (and specifically the Valley of the Sun) may be the right fit for you. The beautiful typography of Arizona, low taxes, and booming economy all lend themselves into making life great in the Grand Canyon State. However, extreme heat and middle of the pack schools prove that while exceptional, Arizona isn’t perfect.
What do you think? Does Arizona fit the bill, or do you need to research other moving guides? Let us know by leaving a comment below?