When you think of Arizona, which image is strongest? The majestic beauty of the Grand Canyon, the pine forests of Flagstaff, or the vast stretches of sandy desert bathed in hot sunshine? Residents of the Grand Canyon State may take these wonders for granted, but they have an appreciation for the vibrant blend of cultures and traditions that has built this state into a unique and desirable place to live.
The name Arizona comes from a Spanish interpretation of "arizuma," an Aztec Indian word meaning "silver-bearing." You may not have any luck finding silver here today, but you may be able to hang onto more of what you've got due to Arizona's favorable financial situation, which benefits everything from apartment rentals to utilities. The state's personal income tax structure is among the lowest in the nation, ranging from 3.3-5%. Most of Arizona's cities have living costs in line with nationwide averages, with Flagstaff and Yuma less expensive than average.
Arizona is internationally renowned for its stunning landscape. Mountains, rivers, grasslands, sand dunes and cactus forests are punctuated by natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert and Colorado River. Arizona's year-round heat and sunshine encourage a wide variety of recreational activities, including snow skiing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, boating, rock climbing, rafting, camping, hunting and fishing. And don't forget golf—the state boasts more than 325 courses.
If golf is too sedate for you, take your pick of pro sports to enjoy. Arizona is home to the 2001 World champion Arizona Diamondbacks, NFL Football, NBA Basketball, NHL Hockey, NASCAR, professional tennis and rodeo events.
With a population of 5.5 million and a land area of 120,000 square miles, there's plenty of Arizona for you to discover—and plenty of apartments for you to choose from. Places to live range from the big city of Phoenix to the small mountain community of Flagstaff, and everything in between.
Phoenix is the United States' fifth-largest city with a population of nearly 1.3 million (Greater Phoenix has a population of 3.2 million and covers 2,000 square miles). But don't let the size scare you—Phoenix may be a vast, growing metropolis, but its residents maintain a casual personality, with friendly and welcoming attitudes the norm. Despite its size, Phoenix is a well-organized place; it's been honored as the "Best-Run City in the World" and "Best Managed City."
Phoenix's major industries are high-tech manufacturing, tourism and construction—it seems like new buildings, homes and apartments for rent are springing up everywhere. With 325 sunny days per year, the weather is hot but gorgeous, a perfect environment for enjoying the natural beauty of rugged mountain ranges, towering Saguaro cacti and spectacular sunsets.
In 2003, Tucson beat out hundreds of competitors to make the top five of MSN's "America's Best Places to Live," with excellent scores for cost of living, crime rate, education, weather and home prices. In 2004, the median monthly price for apartment rentals was $544, with average 1-bedroom apartments for rent going for $535 and average 3-bedroom apartments going for almost $1,000. Tucson boasts the progress and innovation of a metropolitan community, housing both the University of Arizona and the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Blessed with the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert and an unsurpassed climate of 360 sunny days a year, residents here enjoy a high quality of life and maintain the friendly, caring atmosphere of a small town.
The largest city in Northern Arizona, Flagstaff is situated on 64 square miles at the base of the San Francisco Peaks and is surrounded by one of the largest pine forests on earth. At nearly 7,000 feet elevation, Flagstaff is one of the highest cities in the country. Its mild weather, clean air and beautiful scenery have made it an attractive destination for tourists and Arizonans seeking a second home, be it houses, apartments or cabins in the woods. Annual snowfall here is 108 inches, much to the enjoyment of skiers, ice skaters and snowboarders. Flagstaff is rich with cultural diversity, stunning beauty and friendly people, as well as plentiful educational, recreational and scientific opportunities, which explains why the town motto is "They don't make towns like this anymore!"
With a great diversity of employment opportunities, apartment rentals and recreational activities, Arizona has a lot to offer new residents. Whether you're drawn to the heat, clean air, stunning beauty or friendly communities, discovering your new home in Arizona is sure to be a happy adventure.
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